After finding a cheap ticket to Niseko a few months ago on Jetstar, I decided to impulsively book it. The base fare was indeed very cheap, but after the baggage and seat selection add-ons, it came out to about Php16,000. Still a considerable amount of savings compared to the regular price of almost Php 30,000. It is always best to travel light as the extra baggage cost was over Php 2,000 each way, definitely unavoidable when traveling to an area with such a cold climate.
The three and a half hours to Nagoya was not a very pleasant one as I accidentally selected the wrong seat (for which I paid extra for). For those that don’t know, the row in front of the emergency exit row and the first emergency exit row do NOT recline! Enduring the whole flight with an upright seat was extremely difficult. Once we got to Nagoya for a our two hour layover, we did not have much time to do anything else and proceeded to check in for our second leg to Chitose, a quicker hour twenty minute flight.
Upon arriving, we exited the arrival area and found several booths all around providing ground transportation to Niseko. We settled on the Resort Liner which was departing soonest, to better maximise our time. There are convenience stores right by the booths, making it easy to grab food to bring onboard. The one way cost is ¥4,000 and takes roughly around three hours. The boarding process is a bit disorganised, coupled by the fact English is not widely spoken, made it hard to mobilise everyone, leaving almost fifteen minutes past the departure schedule of 11:30am. The bus is also a bit older with no added amenities, a bit disappointing since the regular Chuo Bus also runs to Niseko at a fraction of the cost.
We got dropped off at our hotel Northern Annapuri Resort, and promptly checked in. I made the reservation through Agoda and was disappointed to find out that even though I had booked a twin room, I had inadvertently booked only one guest a room and therefore had to be charged extra per person. Although luckily the charge was minimal, it is something to take note of when booking a room in Japan.
After the long journey to get to Niseko, we decided to eat close by and chanced upon BBQ House. Having had a light lunch, the buffet was just what we needed! For only ¥3,000 per person, it was an all you can eat grill that includes soft drinks! The options were plenty with a salad bar, noodle bar, curry, chirashi, to name a few. The meats and seafood were also very fresh, boasting the famous Hokkaido scallop! The meal is definitely worth every penny and a great deal for those with big appetites.