Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort is a small resort found in the Niseko Ski Area of Hokkaido. People started skiing on Mt Moiwa as early as 1919 when they had to hike up to enjoy the plentiful powder and it’s still the perfect place to head for a powder day. Even though Moiwa has a lower peak (800m) than Mt. Niseko Annupuri (1308m) next door, it still easily reaches a base of 4 metres of snow each winter. Instead of having to fight for fresh lines like you do at Annupuri, you can easily cruise till 3 pm and still get fresh lines all around the mountain. Lift tickets at Moiwa Resort are cheaper than the larger resorts and give you the option of 4 hour or 1 day passes depending on how long you want to ski for.
Moiwa is the perfect place to learn to ski or snowboard without worrying about crowds of faster skiers darting past you. With 3 lifts accessing different terrain, beginners will find the best place to start will be on the Pair C Chair which gives access to two beginner runs called Fairy Tale and Forest Run which are nice short runs to practice your turns on with the chance to see some forest animals. Once you feel like you want to progress to something steeper, then Main Burn is a nice intermediate run off the Pair B Chair. To help you in your learning process you can also get group or private lessons from the Moiwa Ski School.
Mt. Moiwa also has a wide range of terrain for the powder seeker from advanced open runs to tree runs across the whole resort. Expert skiers can also access the backcountry through gates 6 and 10 (depending on conditions) after seeking advice from Ski Patrol as if you ski too far down it could be a long walk back. Advanced skiers will mainly want to use the Hooded Quad Chair which gives access to all of the resort and will keep you a little warmer on the ride up.
Moiwa has fewer accommodation options than the other 4 resorts but don’t let that deter you! Most options are just a couple of minutes’ walk from the lift and will give you a more relaxed all-inclusive ski holiday experience than the bigger busy hotels. One good option that just opened in 2015 is Lodge Moiwa 834 which is a luxury capsule hotel. The location is just across the road from the lifts and you get breakfast and dinner included. Separate lockers are provided for both your ski gear and your other belongings so you have plenty of secure space to store your things as well as a beautiful lounge area to relax in. If you are after a larger hotel, then One Niseko Towers is a good option as they have a free shuttle to Moiwa, Annupuri and Grand Hirafu Resorts and you can ski from Moiwa back to the hotel. They also have an on-site onsen which is the perfect thing to for your tired muscles after a day on the slopes.
If you are staying in Hirafu you can easily access Moiwa catching the free Moiwa Shuttle Service that leaves in the morning to take you to the resort and returns around closing time. If you are feeling adventurous you can also ski over from Niseko Annupuri Resort but you would need to do some research into which way to go before you head off. If you love to ski powder but are looking for a quieter option around Niseko, then Moiwa is the place to head as it is a great resort with something for everyone!