With lush mountain scenery and powdery snow conditions for skiing and snowboarding, Niseko is an ideal winter destination for luxury travelers. The vibe of this resort town in Japan is quite relaxed, and visitors in Niseko are expected to adopt an equally laid-back approach to apres-ski dressing.

“Laid-back” doesn’t have to mean sloppy, though. Preparing to dress for winter days and nights in Niseko couldn’t be simpler; it’s just a matter of balancing form and function. We’ll show you the best way to transition from a day at the ski slopes to a night out in town while still staying well-dressed for the occasion.

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The Dress Code

Photo: Ski Asia

Surprisingly, the “dress code” in Niseko isn’t a strict one at all. Regulars in Niseko have been known to frequent bars and restaurants while still wearing their ski gear. There’s no expectation to “dress up” for a night on the town as long as you’re appropriately warm.

If you must, however, bring “smart casual” rather than formal clothes with you to Niseko so you can look put-together without the need for a full suit-and-tie or glamorous fur coat. A few shirts, pants, and dresses that are warm enough to act as an outer layer are good choices for dinner get-togethers.

The Basics

No matter what clothes you pack, layers are the key to keeping warm during winter holidays in Niseko. The key is to understand the materials that go into every layer to maximize the temperature-controlling aspects of every outfit.

1. Thermal layers

Photo: Thermajane

Everything starts with a good base, which is why thermal wear is a must. For the brisk winters in Niseko, guests are advised to pack and wear high-quality thermal underwear, shirts, socks, and tights for warmth. Look for thin thermal materials that are soft on the skin, and be sure to pack more than one set.

Many travel guides recommend that you bring as many thermal layers as you can to keep yourself warm. In the event that you do run out of thermals, though, there are many stores in town that carry winter apparel, which will be discussed later.

2. Outerwear

Photo: Palms to Pines

Packing outerwear for Niseko depends on which season your trip falls under, but it’s highly recommended that you pack arctic-grade outer layers for the winter months and lighter jackets for spring and summer. Same goes for gloves, scarves, and hats, which should serve the purpose of covering up your hands, neck, and head.

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3. Socks and Boots

Photo: Mountain Thermo

Boots are always recommended for Niseko, especially during the winter season. High-cut walking boots are more likely to protect your legs and ankles from the cold. Choose thick socks to go with your boots, and pack as many pairs as possible to keep your feet warm throughout your stay.

4. Winter Sports Gear

Photo: Snowriders Australia

Helmets are considered as life-savers for visitors at the four ski resorts of Niseko, since they do protect skiers from unexpected injuries. Goggles are also highly recommended, but the color and material of the lenses depends on the seasons and the circumstances. Non-polarized lenses are always recommended for seeing through the snow while skiing, while polarized lenses are recommended for less snowy days.

Some of the recommended gear that guests can bring and wear around town (not just on the slopes) include ski suits and pants for warmth. Apart from that, skiers and snowboarders are free to bring the equipment that suits the snow conditions.

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Where To Buy

Photo: Japan Travel

Sometimes there are instances when guests do forget to bring their essentials to Niseko. Luckily for them, there are shops in Niseko where they can buy what they need.

Many of the world’s top skiing and snowboarding brands can be found in Hirafu, both at stand-alone boutiques and multi-brand hubs such as Rhythm, NAC, and iGate, all of which have multiple branches in the area. Hirafu is also home to many ski shops where you can get your snowboards and skis waxed so you don’t have to do it on your own.

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Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember about packing for Niseko is to prepare for fun times ahead, even in cold weather. You may never know when you’ll have a pleasant day or a cozy dinner featuring local dishes that will keep you warm. Additionally, it’s always important to keep yourself safe as you spend your days on the slopes.

Whatever you decide to do or wear, your stay at our luxury chalets in Niseko is always our priority. Book with us and we’ll make sure that you’re taken care of at every step of the way.

Featured Image: Spice House Restaurant