How to Get There: American Airlines operates daily flights between Tokyo and Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and New York/JFK. Service is also offered between Tokyo and Honolulu and San Francisco in cooperation with codeshare partner Japan Airlines. AA also offers connecting codeshare service in conjunction with Japan Airlines to New Chitose Airport, in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
Niseko Powder Connection is one of the best-equipped and most reputable tour companies in Niseko. The fully bilingual staff can arrange packaged or customized trips, including accommodations, lift passes, and transfers, for a variety of budgets, starting at about $700 per week. They also have guides, instructors, and a shop that rents the skis necessary to navigate deep powder. 011-81-136-21-2500.
When to Go: Winter in Hokkaido is at the same time of the year as in North America and Europe, though the best months for deep powder tend to be December through February, when storms can deposit upward of five feet of snow over a few days' time.
Where to Stay: Everything from giant chain hotels to small cottages is available in Niseko. Tour companies are the best way to book these if you don't speak Japanese.
Silver Birch Cottages offer accommodation in cozy chalets for two to 10 people and have the advantage of living rooms and full kitchens, should you want to try your hand as Iron Chef. From $120 per night.
Scot Hotel is right by the gondola and quad chair on Hirafu, guaranteeing you'll get those sweet first tracks when you awake on the many powder days. It's a Western-style hotel, with the smiling face of Snoopy welcoming you from the parking lot. From $100.
Uranaka Lodge is a favorite with the budget-conscious and the young at heart. This family-run, funky pension may have shared bathrooms, but the rooms are done in Japanese style, with tatami mat floors and cozy futon beds, so there's plenty of space for you to lounge after a hard day on the hills. And it gets bonus points for the magic black-water onsen, whose scorching heat can render any user happily comatose after five minutes in the water. It's also said to have healing powers. From $60.
Where to Eat: Japan has some of the finest cuisine on the planet, and Hokkaido specializes in fresh seafood and lamb like no other.
Bang-Bang is a choice izakaya whose chef spent years traveling the world, bringing back inspiration for his local cuisine. Try the mouthwatering sashimi plates or the skewers of delicious yakitori. 011-81-136-22-148
Mina-Mina is a decidedly laid-back bar and eatery, great for après-ski or late-night snacking and sake. Try the fried burdock chips, from a local root vegetable, or their version of nato, pungent fermented beans, served with shallots and garlic. 011-81-136-23-4771
Where to Soak: Onsen abound around Niseko and range from small pools in hotels to large complexes seemingly in the middle of nowhere. In town, the most accessible, and one of the best, is Yukoro. About $6 per person.