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Hokkaidō is dotted with world-class ski resorts, but the reigning prince of powder is unquestionably Niseko (ニセコ). There are four interconnected resorts with more than 2000 skiable acres along the eastern side of the mountain, Niseko Annupuri. Soft and light powdery snow and an annual average snowfall of more than 50ft make Niseko extremely popular with international skiers. Many own second homes here – resulting in a diverse dining and nightlife scene that is atypical of far-flung rural Japan. English is spoken virtually everywhere. While it's possible to do Niseko on a budget, be warned that it is getting increasingly difficult, especially in winter (peak ski season).

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