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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Annupuri Lodge in Niseko – Getting There

Which is the closest airport to Niseko?

New Chitose Airport, Sapporo, Hokkaido.
Getting to the New Chitose Airport Sapporo Hokkaido is easy. Fly from your nearest international airport to either Tokyo or Osaka then take a short connecting flight to the New Chitose Airport Sapporo. Some cities do have direct flights to this airport. From the airport to Niseko, 90% of visitors to Niseko take the shuttle bus. The remaining 10% take either private shuttle or rent-a-car.

What is the least expensive airline for flying from Tokyo to Sapporo, or Osaka to Sapporo?

There are a number of low cost carriers (LCC) that do those two routes.

– Air Asia
– Jetstar
– Peach Airlines
– Skymark

(*for Skymark best to purchase exactly two months in advance to get best deal. For example if you want a ticket on Jan 10th, buy it online at Nov 10th, 9:30 am.)

Is there parking at the lodge?

Yes, parking is available in the Annupuri Lodge parking lot for ¥1,000 per night.

How do I get to the lodge from Sapporo-New Chitose Airport?

Our shuttle bus ticket service can take the headache out of getting to the Annupuri Lodge from either the New Chitose Airport or Sapporo City. When we process your reservation, you will have the chance make shuttle bus reservations online via our website.

Learn more here

How do I get to the lodge from Sapporo City?

There are shuttle buses that leave from Sapporo train station frequently. In addition there are some buses that pick people up at a number of the more well-known hotels in Sapporo. Please contact your hotel desk in Sapporo to make these arrangements.

Can I ship my skis or boards and luggage in advance?

Yes. Easily! This is a very efficient service in Japan, and the equipment will arrive at the lodge 2 days after shipping. It generally costs around ¥2,700. We will store your equipment safely and it will be waiting for you when you arrive. We highly recommend this service to ease the hassle of carrying luggage unnecessarily. The service is called in Japanese Ta-Q-Bin and is done by Kuroneko Yamato

What To Bring

Do I need to bring towels or linen?

All towels and linen are provided by the lodge.

Do I need shampoo and conditioner?

Shampoo and conditioner is provided by the lodge.

How cold is it and what sort of outerwear do I need?

The temperature in winter season generally ranges from -10℃ to 3℃. Sometimes it can get colder at night.
You should come prepared with the proper clothing. This includes long underwear, fleeces, scarves, jackets, gloves, woolen socks, etc.
Some people bring boots for walking in the snow and this is preferable, but if you are only staying for a week it is possible to get
by with sneakers.

Skiing and Snowboarding

I have never skied or snowboarded before. Am I able to get lessons?

Yes. Niseko Winterlab offers ski and snowboard instruction, as well on-mountain and sidecountry guiding tours of Niseko, Moiwa and Rusutsu.

Can I rent equipment when I get there?

Yes. We use a high-quality equipment rental service. Simply fill out the form here and we will arrange for your equipment to be delivered to the lodge on the morning of your first day skiing. You will be fitted at the lodge by the rental technician. If at any time you have anything that needs to be adjusted or would like to, for example, switch from skis to snowboard, simply let the lodge staff know and the rental technician will arrive at the lodge.

Do you offer guided tours of the mountain and tours to other resorts?

Yes. In addition to experience ski and snowboard instruction, on-mountain and off-piste guides also available through Niseko Winterlab. Winterlab also offers trips into the Niseko backcountry, as well as tours of the nearby Moiwa and Rusutsu resorts. You can do on or off-piste. We recommend trying some of these nearby resorts with a knowledgeable guide as a way to get in some quality ski time in a less crowded, alternative environment.

I have never ridden deep powder before. Am I going to be able to handle it?

With a few adjustments to equipment and subtle changes in technique, powder snow is actually a lot easier to ride than more compact snow. If powder is not to your liking, there are tons of groomed trails to ride as well.

I really want to get in to the deep backcountry. Can I do that?

Yes, you can! We are affiliated with some of the best backcountry guides in the region. Niseko Winterlab has guides that offer mountain orientation tours of the resorts designed to familiarize you with the resort terrain, as well as tours that will take you deep into the backcountry for more extreme skiing and boarding.

Learn more here: Niseko Winterlab

Can I go riding at night?

Yes! We have some of the world’s best night riding available until 20:30 each night. An all-day lift pass includes night skiing as well.
If you’ve never done it, it is actually quite enjoyable and the visibility is way better than you would think.

Do day passes include night skiing?

Yes. Depending on your needs, you can purchase an 8-hour ticket for a given day (a 12 noon start will last you until the end of the night period,) or an all-day ticket, which includes night skiing. All multi-day passes also include night skiing.

Other Activities

Are there hot springs baths nearby?

Yes. We are blessed with a number of hot springs in the area. The closest one is called Ikoi No Mura. It has an indoor and outdoor bath, plus a sauna.
You can walk there in 5 to 8 minutes. Please check the map in the lobby to see directions.

What are the hot springs like?

Onsens are a great way to experience the local culture and make you feel fantastic. Onsen have been used by the Japanese for centuries and today play a central role in Japanese tourism. The are geothermically-fed hot baths and the water contains natural minerals. It is perfect after a long day on the slopes. It is also a good way to prevent injury and get you ready for the next day of skiing.

The local people pay for the running of the onsens and clean them themselves, so it is important that you follow the local manners when indulging. If so, you will have a great time and fit right in. Basically, if you follow the locals you will be fine, but just in case here are some guidelines to help you make the most of this unique experience:

– Bring a towel. If you bring a lodge towel, please make sure to bring it back. You can also bring your sundry kit, but they usually have soap and shampoo there.
– Pick the right door – Men’s and Ladies are separate and the entrances are well marked.
– Shoes and clothing (all of it) must be taken off and put in the shelves or lockers. It’s important to take your shoes off before you step on the raised area after entering and put them in the bottom of the lockers.
– Before getting into the pool you must totally wash your body with soap.
– Sit at the taps provided around the walls wash all soap off before entering – you can get water out of the spring with the buckets supplied.
– Ease into the bath and relax. You may find it hot at first. But after a while you will get used to it.
– Use a small towel (you can buy or rent them at the onsen reception) if you are feeling modest. Take care not to put the towel into the water. Some Japanese fold the towel and put it on their head while sitting in the bath.
– There is no drinking or eating allowed in the onsens, but come back to the lodge or to a local restaurant for a beer and some food after. An onsen followed by beer and good food is the ultimate Japanese experience!

Lodge in General

What kind of power do you have? Can I charge my computer and camera?

We have the US/Japanese style double-pronged plugs with 100 volts.
You should bring an adapter if needed. You can charge your computer, camera or smartphone in your room at the lodge.

How many staff do you have?

We have seven staff:
Operations Manager
Guest Services Manager
Office Receptionist/Administrator
Lodge Hand/Driver
Luckyfingers Manager
Luckyfingers Chef
Wait Staff

What is Luckyfingers like? When does it close?

Luckyfingers is a relaxed and comfortable restaurant/bar whose mission is to serve great Japanese food. To this end, we have been joined by YOSHI Shinohara, former executive chef of MEGU, a Japanese restaurant in TriBeCa, NY.

Chef YOSHI has opened MEGU restaurants in New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and Moscow. Now we are fortunate to have him in Luckyfingers to prepare his signature brand of Japanese casual cuisine. His simple, yet delicious izakaya fare and beautiful presentation is sure to delight and impress.

Luckyfingers bar serves Kirin draft beer, wines, spirits and Japanese specialty drinks, including sake, shochu, yuzu-shu, and a nice selection of Japanese whiskies.

Dinner at Luckyfingers
The bar is open for après ski with light snacks and drink from 4pm. You can order dinner from 6pm. We serve izakaya style, various dishes to be shared among family and friends over drinks. See selections from our dinner menu below. We recommend making a reservation.

Business Hours
Open Every Day
Aprés Ski; 4:00pm-6:00pm (bar drinks and snacks)
Dinner: 6:00pm-11:00 (last order 9:30)
note: Tuesday night is bar/light food menu only.

Reservations
For reservations, please contact 090 1851 6663 (from abroad: +8190 1851 6663) or use the contact form on our site.

Selected Luckyfingers Dinner Menu Items

– Spicy Edamame ¥400
– Scallop Carpaccio ¥950
– Fried Tofu with Macha Salt & Wasabi Mayonnaise ¥750
– Beef & Foie Gras Croquettes (2p) ¥900
– Skirt Steak Grilled with Yoichi Japanese Whiskey Sauce ¥1950
– Kirin Ichiban Shibori Draft Beer ¥600
– Great sakes from all over Japan (hot & cold) ¥700〜
– Wines and Cocktails ¥700〜

Is there a curfew at the lodge?

No. But it is important to keep noise to a minimum after 11pm.

Can I store my valuables in the lodge safe?

Yes. Please ask the staff and they take care of that for you.

Will I be contactable from outside Japan at the lodge?

Yes. We have free wifi in the lodge. Also, the area receives wireless signals that are on both the 3G and 4G wireless network for smartphones.
You can also receive phone calls if necessary at the Annupuri Lodge at at: 81 (136) 58 3280.

Niseko in General

If I need cash, how do I get it?

It is best to bring lots of yen cash (budget at least $60 per day), as many shops and restaurants don’t take credit cards, although this is changing. An ATM machine is about 4km away from the lodge.

How big is the Niseko ski area in total?

Niseko is a big area comprised of four interconnected areas on the same mountain. Here are some statistics:

– Ski Season: Dec-May
– Mountain Elevation: 1308m
– Avg Snowfall Per Season: 15.5 meters
– Steepest Run: 37 Degrees
– Longest Run: 5600m
– Number of Courses: 61
– Combined distance of groomed trails: 48 km
– Number of lifts: 27 chairs, 3 Gondola
– Terrain: Beginner: 30%, Intermediate: 40%, Advanced 30%

How do I get to the neighboring parts of Niseko United?

If you are intermediate level or above, you can get to the other areas by taking the lift to the top of the mountain and then skiing across and down into the other areas.
You can also take the free shuttle that goes back and forth between all areas and stops at the bottom of the mountain in front of the Annupuri Nook.

Is there a free shuttle bus that travels around the area?

The free shuttle goes back and forth between all areas and can be boarded at the bottom of the mountain in front of the Annupuri Nook. The shuttle generally runs from 7:30 am to 9 pm.
For schedule information learn more here

Can I get a taxi? Are taxis expensive?

Yes. You can get a taxi and they are not cheap but not expensive. Please ask the staff for assistance and estimated cost to destination. You can also use the mobile phone interface for Sprint Taxi to call a cab.

Food and Dining Out

What are the breakfasts like at the lodge?

Breakfasts at the Annupuri Lodge feature hot food as well as fruits, yogurt, cereal and granola. We also have hot coffee, tea and fruit juices. Bon appetit!

What are the restaurants like in Annupuri?

In addition to Luckyfingers, there are a number of restaurants in Niseko Annupuri. They tend to book out during peak seasons, so it is advised to make restaurant reservations upon arrival with guest staff at the lodge, to avoid not being able to get a table on the day.

Del Sol (across the street from lodge)
Brick-oven Pizzeria price range: pizzas 1500 to 2500 yen. Authentic Italian-style gourmet pizza, salads, draft beer, shochu (Japanese distilled liquor) etc. Small and comfortable place across the street from the lodge. Reservation necessary. Wed & Thur holiday. (0) 136 58 3535.

Carabina (free pickup and drop off available, ask staff)
Japanese Izakaya Restaurant. In Japan, an Izakaya is a casual place with good food and drink. Japanese food that is good for sharing. Eight minute walk from lodge. They will also pick you up and drop you off at the lodge!

Moku Moku Tei (8-minute walk)
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Barbeque Restaurant
Across from the Ikoi No Mura Onsen. You don’t need a reservation but should call ahead to make sure they are not booked for a party. They are open from 12:00-14:00 for lunch and 17:00-20:30 for dinner, so you must arrive before 7:30 pm to eat there. This place is fun! There is a buffet with a wide range of meat and vegetables that you put on a plate and take to your table, where you cook it over a grill built-in to the table.

Rakuda
(free pickup and drop off available, ask staff)
Japanese casual dining in Niseko Town. Nice , warm atmosphere. Lots of different Japanese foods, as well as pizza, taco rice and salads. Lots of different sakes and beer. 18:00 to 24:00.

For more info, please contact staff.

Do you need a reservation?

Yes, it is almost always advisable to have a reservation.

What about vegetarian options?

Japanese food has a decent amount of vegetarian options. Just ask the restaurant staff when ordering and they will be able to assist you.

Safety

With all this snow, is there high avalanche danger?

We highly recommend getting travel insurance to cover any emergencies that could occur during your trip.
Avalanches are a threat outside of patrolled mountain areas and any guests skiing or boarding in those areas do so at their own risk. Backcountry guides are the experts in this terrain and we recommend you use them at all times if you go into the deep backcountry. Daily avalanche report can be seen on our website here. Avalanche and weather reports are also located at each backcountry access gate across the Niseko United Mountain and at each lift station. The Niseko United Mountain and Annupuri Lodge recommend that you are equipped with the appropriate avalanche safety equipment and avalanche knowledge prior to entering the back country.

What happens if I get hurt? Do I need travel insurance?

There are full medical services close by. The Annupuri Lodge has all the relevant contacts for these services and has a full translation service. However, travel insurance is recommended for all guests and we advise you check that your policy includes snow sports and covers incidents that occur while outside of resort boundaries.
In the event that you encounter trouble on the mountain and need assistance, the first thing to do is contact Ski Patrol on the mountain and let them know where you are.
If you for some reason you are unable to achieve a satisfactory result, please call the lodge manager, Rhys.

Phone Numbers
– Ski Area 81 (136) 58 2080
– Annupuri Lodge manager, Rhys 81 (90) 1305 2427
– Annupuri Lodge 81 (136) 58 3280

What else do I need to be aware of in regards to safety?

Just keep in mind that we are in an extreme alpine environment with a high volume of snow and there are certain dangers that accompany that. Please ski safely and take into account the rules of the ski resort and the needs of others on the mountain. The Niseko United Ski Resort strikes a good balance between being commited to the freedom of skiers and being concerned about their safety. Here are what is known as the “Niseko Rules.” (http://www.niseko.ne.jp/en/rules/index.html)

1. “Haru no taki” & “Yu no sawa”area is strictly off limits at all time.
2. Crossing boundary ropes is prohibited. Those who violate the rules may be refused from using all resorts facilities.
3. No safety control & no patrol beyond resort boundaries.
4. Do not step out of bounds when gates are closed.
5. The “Niseko Avalanche Information’ is the offcial daily info of the Niseko Rules.
6. Special charges will be applied for out of bounds search and rescue.
7. Ski patrol’s instructions must be obeyad.
8. Children under 12 must refrain from going out of bounds unless accompanied by a proficient adult leader.
9. The resorts and the local community respect the freedom of all resort users, but are also deeply concerned about their safety.

Before an escape like this, there are normally a thousand questions running through your mind. We hope to cover the main ones and help you be best prepared to enjoy your trip in the snow. If there is ANYTHING you need to know, feel free to contact us directly here, will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Q. Which is the closest airport to Annupuri Niseko?

New Chitose Airport Sapporo Hokkaido
Getting to the New Chitose Airport Sapporo Hokkaido is easy. Fly from your nearest international airport to either Tokyo or Osaka then take a short connecting flight to the New Chitose Airport Sapporo Hokkaido. Some cities do have direct flights to this airport. If you intend on taking a shuttle bus to Niseko on the day you arrive

Q. How do I get to Niseko Annupuri from the New Chitose Airport?

Our shuttle bus ticket service can take the headache out of getting to the Annupuri Lodge from either the New Chitose Airport or Sapporo City. When we process your reservation, you will have the chance make shuttle bus reservations online via our website.

Learn more here

Q. What is there to do in the area other than ski or snowboard?

Niseko is home to a massive variety of activities during both summer and winter seasons.

Learn more here

Q. Do day passes include night skiing?


Yes, all full day lift tickets include night skiing, which usually kicks off around 17:00 each night.

Q. Can I hire equipment when I get there?


No problem. We have a high-quality rental equipment service that covers everything from skis and snowboards to outerwear for the whole family. Our rental company is very reasonably priced and will fit you out with your gear upon arrival at the lodge.

Learn more here

Q. I have never skied or snowboarded before. Am I able to get lessons?


Whether you are a total beginner or an experienced skier or boarder wanting to brush up on your technique with a private instructor, we can provide lessons for you at the most reasonable rates in the area via our affiliate snow sports school  Niseko Winterlab.

Learn more here

Q. I really want to get into the deep back-country; can I do that?


Yes you can! We are affiliated with some of the best backcountry guides in the region. Niseko Winterlab guides offers mountain orientation tours of the resorts designed to familiarize you with the resort terrain and tours that will take you deep into the backcountry for more extreme skiing and boarding.

Learn more here

Q. Will I be contactable from outside Japan at the lodge?

Yes! Japan is a high-tech country with amazing communication systems. The Annupuri Lodge features free high-speed broadband Wi-Fi Internet. You can log on using your own laptop or are welcome to use of one of our complimentary MacBook air computers. In additional we are able to print, scan and fax document to anywhere is the world for a small fee.

Q. How cold is it and what sort of outerwear do I need?


At times the temperature gets as low as -15’C. We recommend very good thermal base layers and a perhaps a long sleeved tee under your normal jacket. We also recommend a backpack and an additional layer in reserve.

Q. What kind of food is available


There are plenty of Western & Japanese style restaurants, cafes and bars in the Annupuri area for you to choose from.

Learn more here

Q. I have never ridden deep powder before; am I going to be able to handle it?

With a few adjustments to equipment and subtle changes in technique, powder snow is actually a lot easier to ride than more compact snow. If powder is not to your liking, there are tons of groomed trails to ride as well.

Q. How big is the Niseko ski area?

Annupuri is part of the Niseko United Mountain, a network of resorts and trails that is truly massive. You can ski over into the neighboring resorts easily by taking any of the top lifts, here in Annupuri and there are over 30 groomed trails for all levels and ages located on the Annupuri side of the mountain. Annupuri Lodge guests also have unrivalled access to the famous Annupuri back bowls and Moiwa resort via one of a number of back country gates which are easily accessible within minutes of leaving the lodge!

Q. With all this snow, is there high avalanche danger?


Avalanches are a threat outside of patrolled mountain areas and any guests skiing or boarding in those areas, do so at their own risk. Backcountry guides are the experts in this terrain and we recommend you use them at all times if you go into the deep backcountry. Avalanche and weather reports are displayed at 8am on the digital monitor by the front door of the lodge and are also located at each backcountry access gate across the Niseko United Mountain. The Niseko United Mountain and Annupuri Lodge recommend that you are equip with the appropriate avalanche safety equipment and avalanche knowledge prior to entering the back country.

Q. What happens if I get hurt, do I need travel insurance?


There are full medical services close by. The Annupuri Lodge has all the relevant contacts for these services and has a full translation service. However, travel insurance is recommended for all guests and we advise you check that your policy includes snow sports and covers incidents that occur while outside of resort boundaries.

Q. What type of power do you have can I charge my computer and camera?


Japan’s electricity supply is 110V and uses a 2-pin plug similar to that of the USA. The lodge has numerous adapter plugs and a step up/down converter available on request.

Q. If I need cash, how do I get it?


We have a number of vehicles on standby and lodge staff can assist you to get to the nearby ATM. Japan is still very much a cash society and credit card facilities may not be as readily available as they are in your home country. We do recommend carrying cash money at all times if possible, however The Annupuri Lodge does full credit card facilities for our guests.

Q. Do I need to bring towels or linen?


All towels and linen are provided by the lodge

Q. Can I go riding at night?

Yes! We have some of the world’s best night riding available until 20:30 each night.
What do I bring?  (Keep in mind the rental company we use also rents ski wear, goggles, gloves and helmets, in addition to skis and snowboards.)

  • Two pairs of goggles, one with a clear lens for night riding and one with a tint for low visibility (we ride with three pairs so you always have a fresh pair after that total blow out in the deep pow.)
  • Your favorite board or skis.
  • A helmet for those fast runs through the trees.
  • Two sets of thermals and socks.
  • Two good beanies.
  • Lip Balm.
  • Voltaren, Celebrex, Naprosin, Panadol, Advil and any other medicines required to ease those sore backs and legs.
  • A good jacket and pants rated for -15’C conditions.
  • Two neck warmers.
  • Laptop to connect to the free Wi-Fi.
  • A good backpack for riding.
  • Spare set of gloves.
  • Goggle-defogging spray if you can get it. If not, it is available on the mountain.

OFF-PEAK HOT DEALS
Save up to 33% off the peak rates!
Private King/Twin Room (Nov 27 to Dec 15, 2016, Mar 6 to Apr 17, 2017) >>¥7,900 pp. w/daily breakfast (33% off peak rate.)
Bunk Room (Nov 27 to Dec 15 2016) >>¥5,800 pp. w/daily breakfast (30% off peak rate.)
Bunk Room (Mar 6 to April 17, 2017) >>¥6,300 pp w/daily breakfast (25% off peak rate.)

You'll receive:
- Great lodging one minute from the gondola.
- Less crowded on the mountain
- Knowledgable and friendly staff who will assist you with transfers, rentals, discount lift tickets and more.
- Lots of great places to eat in the area.

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