For skiers, the Japanese town of Niseko’s allure is hard to resist, given its world-renowned “japow” (low-humidity powder snow), delectable cuisine and unique après experiences. Here are our top tips to avoid the crowds when you go. 1. Go later in the season Go in the festive season and you’ll be running into someone you know every five steps, so do your best to avoid that time period. View this post on Instagram @nisekovillage backcountry Gate 11, "Mizuno no Sawa", is open today! Conditions are variable, so please be careful when entering gate 11. Happy skiing! #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Jan 8, 2020 at 5:45pm PST Visit later rather than early in the season; the crowd, costs of accommodation and flights begin to ease mid-February, and travelling later also means you’ll see that famed powder in its glorious depths, all 15 metres it averages. Don’t worry, that fluffy snow continues to fall right into April. 9 reasons to love the Japanese ski resort of Hakuba 2. Stay beyond Hirafu There are four ski resorts on Mount Annupuri, collectively known as Niseko United, or as we know it, Niseko. View this post on Instagram Jan. 10, 2019 Everyone loves Blue Sky and Mt.Yotei 風が強い一日でしたが、久しぶりに羊蹄山が見えた日でした。 #nisekograndhirafu #niseko #bluesky #windly #羊蹄山 #Yotei A post shared by Niseko Grand HIRAFU (@nisekograndhirafu) on Jan 9, 2019 at 11:16pm PST The most popular one, Hirafu, has the highest concentration of developments. Restaurants, shops and more than 400 accommodation options are available, making it extremely convenient and buzzing with energy. These are all crowded in a loose grid flowing from the Grand Hirafu Gondola and the luxury hotels which flank it, right down to Lower Hirafu. Buck the trend by staying at one of the other three ski areas. Trust us, it's a better idea. When haute couture hits the slopes: 11 outlandish skiing outfits Directly west of Hirafu, Niseko Village has a collection of luxury ski-in, ski-out properties, including family-friendly Hilton Niseko Village and The Green Leaf, the ultraluxe Kasara town houses and newly-launched Hinode Hills. A shopping village with restaurants, cafes and boutiques complete this elegant ski resort. View this post on Instagram Stay at The Green Leaf at the base of @nisekovillage for easy access to the slopes and one of the best onsen in Niseko. #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:04pm PST For an authentic, small-town vibe, Annupuri is the place to be. There, Annupuri Garden provides elegant cocoons with bespoke concierge services to relax within, while surrounded by a tranquil winter wonderland. There are a smattering of pensions and chalets, such as Niseko Negula which offers a quainter experience. On the other side of the mountain, northeast-facing Hanazono is the quietest of the resorts. There’s a mere handful of stand-alone chalets and inns here, but the sleek Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono opens this month. The much-anticipated property is ski-in, ski-out and will offer multiple restaurants and ski valet serving the 100 guest rooms and 80 residences. View this post on Instagram Beginning December 2019, HANAZONO guests will have the privilege of experiencing HANAZONO’s transformation into what without a question will be Asia’s premier international ski and resort destination. Read our latest blog for details about all the exciting developments coming to HANAZONO for winter 2019-20! #hanazononiseko #adventureawaits⠀ https://buff.ly/2H67dua A post shared by HANAZONO Niseko Resort (@hanazononiseko) on May 6, 2019 at 12:30am PDT If you must stay in Hirafu, Elite Havens has an excellent selection of luxury self-catering chalets in Lower Hirafu, with complimentary driver service to take you to and from the mountain base. Facial cryotherapy is a blast: like skiing with no effort and better skin View this post on Instagram The powder snow is calling! There are only 2 chalets left for Christmas and 3 for New Year’s. Get in before they are gone and while flights are priced well. . Book directly on our website: www.elitehavens.com . . #luxuryholiday #anelitehaven #elitehavens #picoftheday #niseko #luxuryliving #japan #beautifuldestinations #travelawesome #luxurylife #winterholiday #worldtravelpics #exploringtheglobe #earthpix #visitjapan #worldplaces #discoverearth #traveldiaries #instatravel #familyholiday #japanlife #darlingweekend #passionpassport #explore #takemeback #winterinjapan #theglobewanderer #natgeotravel #japanholiday A post shared by Elite Havens (@elitehavens) on Sep 1, 2019 at 8:08pm PDT Whichever you choose, it's easy to explore all four ski areas of the mountain by traversing the mountain top. 3. Shake up your slope schedule View this post on Instagram Found on #nisekounited! Share your best moments with us and tag @nisekounited for a chance to be featured. A beautiful day up top shot by @btbounds. #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Dec 17, 2019 at 3:18pm PST The generic formula: everyone is out on the slopes post breakfast to noon, then after lunch till 4pm, so to experience the best of the mountain (especially after a night of heavy snowfall), go out earlier in the morning, pause for brunch, then hit the slopes again come lunchtime. View this post on Instagram Lots of terrain to ski at night at @nisekograndhirafu! What's your favorite run at night? #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Nov 15, 2019 at 3:39pm PST Niseko also has the largest night skiing areas in Japan, so take back the slopes at twilight when others have adjourned to the bars and restaurants. 6 traditional Japanese foods vegans can enjoy in Osaka View this post on Instagram Last years Yotei. When I get a day off and the sun comes out I’ll attempt another one. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ #aadmanimages #nikonphotography #nikond500 #mynikonlife #snowboarding #japan #niseko #hanazono #hirafu #volcano #yotei #mountains #winter #landscapephotography #nisekounited A post shared by Adman (@aadmanimages) on Jan 8, 2020 at 7:30am PST East to west: Hanazono is known for its wide intermediate runs, tree skiing and deep powder bowls; Hirafu has slopes for every level of skier and snowboarder but they do get mighty packed in peak season; Niseko Village has exciting, narrower runs with quirky names such as Snorkel (snow so deep you need a …) and Miso Shiru; Annupuri’s beautiful, gentle runs with no crowds are perfect for beginners, while skiing off the back bowl at the mountain peak is a thrilling challenge for expert powderhounds. 4. Onsen aprés View this post on Instagram Onsen time ♨️ Many good onsens in Niseko area, where is your favorite one? . . . #onsen #afterski #winterholiday #niseko #annupuri #japantown #wintervacation #relaxing #travelgram #니세코 #스키장 #온천 #스키스타그램 #여행스타그램 A post shared by True Niseko (@trueniseko) on Jan 7, 2020 at 4:25am PST To do the Japanese alpine experience authentically is to embrace the onsen. Indoor or outdoor onsen are fed by geothermal mountain springs, therapeutic because of their heat and mineral content. The best time to go is between 2pm to 4pm, and again to fully relax you before bedtime. To partake, one sheds all clothing, then showers in a communal space before sinking into the baths and letting the 40 degrees Celsius to 42 degrees Celsius waters work their magic. Onsen are accessible at a fee in each ski area, and most higher-end stays have dedicated ones for guests. Soaking in silence in an outdoor rock pool, as big fat snowflakes fall around you is one of the most magical, calming experiences to be had. Observe the rules: no clothes, no noise and no phones. View this post on Instagram Does anybody else think a dip in a steamy onsen after skiing sounds perfect right now? This is Iroha Onsen at Annupuri Resort, one of our favorites. #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Oct 8, 2019 at 5:16pm PDT For a more traditional aprés, watering holes serving everything from craft beers to natural wine and classic cocktails are available. Japan’s wabi-sabi philosophy is the interior decor trend of 2020 5. Eschew the must-go restaurants View this post on Instagram Autumn is harvest season in Niseko! Photo: @lalalafarm. #nisekounited #feelthepowder A post shared by Niseko United (@nisekounited) on Oct 19, 2019 at 4:19pm PDT Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil, Hokkaido’s fruit, vegetables and dairy products are stellar, and the seafood pulled up from the cold waters surrounding the island is some of the best in the world. Michelin-starred restaurants and family-run izakayas are a huge part of its attraction, but that does not mean you can only get good food in restaurants that need to be booked a minimum of three months in advance. View this post on Instagram Feast on the hearty Kaizen Nabe during cool evenings within the cosy settings of Crab Shack that imitate a Hokkaido boathouse feel. #nisekovillage #niseko #experienceniseko #ytlhotels #ytltravels #japan #traveljapan A post shared by Niseko Village Resort (@nisekovillage) on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:05pm PST In Annupuri, Luckyfingers is a modern izakaya with a mix of Japanese and western dishes and the best fresh bean curd in the world. Over in Niseko Village, The Crab Shack’s amazing shabu-shabu hotpots teem with local herb-grazed Makkari pork or king crab warm the belly. View this post on Instagram part of the Omakase dinner - local oyster tempura with curry mayo #rokettoniseko #oyster #かき A post shared by Roketto Niseko (@rokettoniseko) on Mar 18, 2019 at 8:43pm PDT In Hirafu, chef Willin Low of Singapore’s Michelin-starred Wild Rocket operates the winter-only Roketto, where he’s just begun omakase dinners for 2020. Out in the wilderness of Hanazono, the wonderful Somoza Gallery offers an incredibly serene Italian-Japanese dining experience surrounded by snow blanketed birch trees. Finally, venturing into the streets of Kutchan town, hole-in-the-wall spots such as Nakama Ramen and Yakitori Torimatsu offer authentic meals off the beaten track. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .