To date, I have made 3 trips to Niseko, Hokkaido for snowboarding, i.e. 2016, 2017 and 2019.
In this post, I’ll share with my cost breakdown, and some tips, hopefully to help you budget and plan your next Niseko snowboarding trip !
Basis & Assumptions
I have assumed an average inflation of 3% per annum (loosely from Bank Negara), to adjust for time value of money.
Currency exchange is assumed at 0.038 RM/MYR.
All cost numbers shown are in Malaysian Ringgit (RM), and for 1 (one) person.
Total Cost & Breakdown
For all 3 trips, I flew Air Asia because of the convenience, i.e. the only airline that flies direct Kuala Lumpur to Chitose.
- 2016, return trip with baggage fees, RM 1,309 MOD
- 2019, return trip with baggage fees, RM 1,134 MOD
Again, inflation has no impact on airfare ! The key (and I reiterate) is to buy your air tickets early! I bought them at least 9 months in advance. It also helps with advance planning with regards to accommodation, equipment rental, and lessons, which all have significant cost saving if booked earlier.
From Chitose airport, you need to arrange for a bus to Niseko ski resorts, which is about 2.5 hours ride.
Round trip costs 7,200 yen (RM 274) after 10% discount.
For the last 3 trips, I have rented my gears from Goodsports. This also saves me on excess / oversized baggage charges.
Tip: Pre-book your gears as early as you can to get a good discount. For my recent trip, we managed to get 30% discount, and ended up paying about 15,000 yen (USD 135) for 3 days of rental (snowboard, ski suit, and helmet).
You want to book your accommodation early, for better rates, especially during peak seasons (January and February).
If you read my previous post on Ultimate guide to snowboarding / skiing in in Niseko, you will know that I prefer staying in Grand Hirafu, as there are more options. And that, there are two sections, i.e. Upper Grand Hirafu and Lower Grand Hirafu.
For my previous trips,
- 2016 and 2017, Downtown lodge, Lower Grand Hirafu (closed for business), 19,000 yen MOD
- 2019, Gondola chalet, Upper Grand Hirafu, 27,000 yen MOD
Gondola chalet was considered a luxury upgrade for us.
For food, I usually budget about 8,000 yen (70 USD) a day, and this is considered a luxury budget. Some food prices example,
- Ramen = 1,000 yen
- Snow crab ramen = 2,000 yen
- Hokkaido curry soup (Tsubara Tsubara) = from 1,400 yen
- Izakaya = 2,000 to 3,000 yen per person depending on how much you order
- Premium seafood (Ezo Seafoods), really depends on what you order, we always order the Omakase (chef recommendation) and gave the chef a budget, e.g. 5,000 yen per person
As a minimum, you should be able to get by with 3,000 yen a day, if you have Ramen for 3 meals !
I hope my simple guide gives you a head start to planning your next Niseko trip. Sharing with you my simple budget calculator for your Niseko trip planning. Excel file in link. The default is set for an example 3 nights stay under RM 5,300 (inclusive of airfare).
I look forward to hearing you share your experience! Drop a comment below!
If you enjoy this post on how to budget your next trip, check out my previous post on how to budget your Europe trip !