Planning a Japan ski holiday but worried about what to do with the younger members of your family? While much of your time will be spent on the slopes, there are a lot of things to consider when planning a ski vacation with children. Luckily, two of the larger and more internationally-renowned resorts – Niseko and Hakuba – have plenty to offer families to make your Japan ski holiday both stress-free and fun for everyone.
One of the most important things to consider is lodging. When travelling internationally with children, you want to make sure you have selected something suitable to accommodate your group and works well for all ages. Hotels and apartments located in close proximity to the ski lifts are always going to be appealing to families with young children. Check out Hilton Niseko Village, The Vale Niseko and AYA Niseko as well as Hotel Marillen, Alpine Tenshi Villa, Koharu Resort Hotel & Apartments and Mountain Side Hakuba for fantastic ski in / ski out or near ski in / ski out options.
Properties with in-house restaurants are also a big draw for families with tired children after a day on the slopes. Try the Green Leaf Niseko Village, Shiki Niseko, Hakuba Tokyu Hotel or Hakuba Mominoki Hotel.
Many properties offer children to stay free of charge on Japanese-style futon, perfect for little ones. You can also often purchase baby-kids in advance through your accommodation which often include a travel cot, high chair and in some cases depending on the accommodation, baby gates.
Childcare is becoming very popular these days and easily bookable in both resorts. Choose from part time or full days for the little ones, or even have a babysitter come to your apartment. They do fill up in advance though, so book early!
Both Niseko and Hakuba resorts offer a nice selection of family-friendly restaurants. Try these Niseko dining options: Niseko Pizza, Milk Kobo.
Sometimes it is nice to vary your activities and try some non ski options. In Niseko visit the Niseko Adventure Centre Kid’s Garden, which is a full jungle gym. Within the same complex is a nice cafe perfect for the parents to sit with a cappuccino and pastry while their children play. Or try the Takahashi Dairy Farm Mandriano which has a playroom for kids. Niseko Village offers a kids club snow school for a nice option while visiting that part of the resort. In Hakuba try the Sakka Kids Park.
One of the best things about visiting Hakuba resort is taking a day trip to visit the famous snow monkeys. Snow Monkey tours depart twice daily and tickets can be purchased in advance. Choose from either an adult or children’s meal for lunch!
Who doesn’t like to save a little cash? Both Niseko and Hakuba resorts offer fantastic child prices on airport transfers, lessons, equipment and lift passes (children under 6 ski free). Or, visit Niseko resort in March and April and children get free lift passes and equipment with the purchase of an adult pass or equipment, and discounts on lessons.