I loved every minute of my stay, not just at Niseko Grand Hirafu, but also Annupuri, Sapporo City and Sapporo Teine Olympia. As mentioned above, the snow was great, skiing was great, the wait for the lifts was never longer than 10 minutes, the hotel was wonderful, food, service, and most importantly the people, everything about my stay was just unreal. When it comes to the equipment hire, I could very well have been at Thredbo or Perisher or any other resort in Australia, or perhaps Whistler (Canada) - Aussies everywhere, so of course the service was fast and no communication issues. Overall it was an incredible experience which left me longing for more and I know if my life is still in order 10 months from now or absolutely no more than 22 months from now, I'll be on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hakodate and on to Sapporo and Niseko for more pleasure overload. However, even after several visits I hope to be able to make, I know I'll never forget the week I spent in Hokkaido in late December 2019.
From 21 December, 2019 To 25 December, 2019
Snow condition on visit:
The snow depth varied between 60cm at the base to 1.7m at the top, which was below average for that time of the year(so I was told). It did not matter one bit, the snow quality was incredible. My skiing skills are sub-beginner level but even I could tell that was the of the highest quality. Although the resort was already quite busy at the time, with many skiers and especially snowboarders constantly "damaging" the surface, the snow that kept falling showed most of the time was just heavy enough to cover the ice slabs and the small "trenches". Basically the courses were self-repairing throughout the four days of my stay, with the exception of about a 12-hour period when it did not snow. The courses remained safe, smooth and enjoyable even for a hopeless skier like myself. I have been an Aussie for 25 years but I originally come from Sarajevo (former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia, southern Europe). We have a few snow resorts there (we even hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984), but the snow quality over there (and the snow depth most of the time) - nowhere near Niseko. not even 40 years ago, when winters were colder and snowier. The overall snow situation in northern Honshu and Hokkaido never ceases to amaze me, given its geographical location, both the latitude and the elevation, even for a below average winter.
Things I liked:
Absolutely everything, especially the snow quality, which is like nothing I have seen in my life (and I have seen a lot of snow in my youth).
Things I didn't like: