Niseko United covers the four resorts on Niseko Annupuri (1308m): Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu and Hanazono. While you can buy individual passes for each, part of what makes Niseko so great (in addition to that famous powder) is that you can buy a single all-mountain pass, an electronic tag that gives you access to 18 lifts and gondolas and 60 runs.

All the resorts have terrain for all levels, though quieter Hanazono is considered best for families. The all-mountain pass also gets you free rides on the hourly shuttle that runs between the resorts. Eight-hour and multiday passes are available, too.

As so many skiers and snowboarders here are from abroad, there are plenty of English-speaking instructors and backcountry guides; rental shops (of which there are many) also typically have a few foreign staff on hand.

Niseko takes a pretty hard stance against rope ducking. Avalanches do happen; when conditions are deemed safe, gates to select off-piste areas are opened.