AYA Niseko Exterior Winter 10

FAQ

Reservations

When do your reservations open?

We usually open winter reservations around April-May, and summer reservations slightly earlier around February. Please subscribe to our mailing list for updates about our opening date and rates.

My desired room type is fully booked. Can you put me on a waiting list for if there is a cancellation?

We are sorry but we do not keep a waiting list. It is your own responsibility to check back and book if you see that the room becomes available later.

Do kids stay free at AYA Niseko?

Children under 6 years old stay free if they are using existing bedding (sharing with their parents). If extra bedding is required it will be charged accordingly regardless of the child's age. Children aged 6 and under are not counted towards the maximum occupancy of the unit.

Children 7 years old and above are counted towards occupancy and charged as an adult even if they will be sharing a bed with parents.

Is there breakfast included?

Our winter room rates usually do not include breakfast. Occasionally we have partnered with our tenant restaurant to make a breakfast package however it is not guaranteed every season as the restaurant is not under our management. You will be informed at the time of booking if breakfast is included in your rate or not, please check for the details on your confirmation email.

Which payment methods does AYA Niseko accept?

AYA accepts cash in Japanese yen only, major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, Softbank card, and QR code and NFC payments. These may include Alipay, WeChat Pay, PayPay, Waon, Nanaco, Rakuten Edy, IC cards, Suica, ICOCA, PASMO, Kitaca, Manaca, Tolca, Hayakaken, Nimoca, SUGOCA.

Please note that there are no facilities at AYA Niseko to withdraw cash or perform currency exchange.

What time is check in/check out?

Our standard check in time is 3pm and check out is 10am.

If you book a plan with an alternative check in or check out time specified, this will be given priority.

Can I have an early check in/late check out?

Depending on room availability we may be able to accommodate your request. Please ask the Front Desk staff on the day of your arrival regarding early check in. Due to our large rooms and thorough cleaning protocols it may not always be available, we appreciate your understanding on this.

For late check out we charge 20% of your daily room rate until 12pm, and 50% until 3pm. After 3pm, we must charge the full room rate at 100% regardless of what time you depart thereafter.

Not all late check out options can be accommodated on a daily basis as it depends on our occupancy. Please do not assume late check out will be available until you have confirmed directly with our Front Desk team.

Can I book a room beside my friends/family? Can I have a room on a higher floor?

We cannot guarantee the room allocation in advance. It depends on the availability we have on the day you arrive. Our team will do our best to meet your requests but please understand that they cannot always be accommodated if we do not have the rooms available.

I want a view of the resort or Mount Yotei but I only need a small unit like a studio, is it possible?

We are sorry but due to the design layout of our building, the smaller Studio and 1.5 Bedroom units are all facing the Hirafu village. The Atelier units have an inward-facing window that looks onto a small internal courtyard between the Atelier unit and the elevator lobby. From this unit, you cannot see outside into the resort. 2 Bedroom units and larger offer a choice of view. Residence units are located on the ground floor with a forest view.

What is meant by "bedding configuration"?

All sleeping spaces at AYA are made up of single beds. We can push the beds together to create a king bed or we can leave them separate for twin beds. The default configuration is king for the main bedroom, and twin for any additional bedrooms in the same unit. The penthouse and residence units also contain one small bedroom with only one single bed – this cannot be changed. To change your bedding configuration please contact us at least 3 days prior to check in with your request. For configuration changes on the day of check in, charges will be applied of 3,000 JPY per bedroom.

If you have reserved a Studio unit, there are two sleeping spaces as well as the option to make up the sofa as an extra bed. In the 1.5 Bedroom unit similarly, there are two sleeping spaces and a fold out murphy bed. Other units do not have these extra bed options available.

Can I send my luggage to AYA Niseko ahead of my trip?

Yes you can, but please do not arrange for your luggage to arrive more than 5 days prior to your check in date as we cannot store it for long periods. We also request that you arrange for round-trip luggage forwarding and prepay for this service to prevent queuing upon check out.

On the waybill please clearly write: the name the reservation is under, the reservation ID, the arrival and departure dates. Forwarded luggage will generally be placed in your room prior to your arrival at AYA Niseko.

Our address is as follows;

AYA Niseko, 195-1 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-Gun, Hokkaido, JAPAN 044-0081

Room Facilities

Can I get a cot for my baby to sleep in?

Certainly. We have cots available for 3,000 JPY per cot per night. If you would like a highchair or bed guard we can provide these free of charge. Numbers of cots, highchairs, and bed guards are limited so please tell us in advance if you need these set up in your room.

I know the occupancy states X but can I add another person to my room?

For Atelier and Studio rooms there is no possibility to add extra guests. For 1.5 Bedroom and larger we can add an additional futon for one extra person. Once the maximum unit occupancy has been reached, we are sorry but we cannot allow extra guests in the room. Maximum unit occupancy is not determined by AYA Niseko but is a fire regulation restriction based on the unit size. Children under 7 years old are not counted towards the unit occupancy but children 7 years and older are.

If you have booked a discounted plan for single occupancy but have more than one person staying, charges will be applied for any extra guests based on the regular rates for the room type.

I don't want to sleep on a futon, can you provide an extra bed?

We do not provide extra beds. The only available extra bedding is a Japanese-style futon mattress which can be placed on the floor or on a sofa. For extra beds, you would need to book a larger room type, or an additional room.

Does AYA Niseko have a barrier-free room/wheelchair accessible room?

We apologise for the inconvenience but we do not have fully accessible rooms for wheelchair users. The elevator accesses all floors, entrances to all rooms are met without steps, however there is a large step between the floor and the bathtub in each unit.

There is a wheelchair accessible restroom in our lobby area. We have a shower chair available to lend (subject to availability).

Can I book a smoking room?

No. Our building and all rooms are non-smoking. This includes balconies and terrace areas in Penthouse and Residence units too. Please only smoke in the designated area outside the side entrance where there is an ashtray. Any cigarette butts you bring back with you from around the resort should also be disposed of in this ashtray. If evidence of smoking is found in your room (including smoke smells or butts in the trash), we reserve the right to charge penalties based on non-compliance with our terms and conditions.

What amenities are in my room?

For a full list pertaining to your room type please contact our Reservations team. All rooms include towels, bathrobes, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, dental kit, cotton set, hairdryer, tea and coffee, electric kettle, cups, refrigerator, television. Rooms with kitchens or kitchenettes (all units except for the Atelier*) are equipped with kitchen supplies including a rice cooker, pots, pans, cooking utensils and tableware.

Larger unit types will have more amenities and/or larger amenities. Kindly note that we do not provide pyjamas, or cooking oils/seasonings.

*Atelier unit does not have facilities available for cooking in the room.

Are there humidifiers in the room?

Yes. Every unit has one humidifier in each bedroom. Additional humidifiers are available on request however the number is limited and we cannot always guarantee availability. Humidifiers cannot be reserved in advance, please enquire with the Front Desk when you are in-house if you need an extra.

Do you provide free drinking water?

Yes. Our housekeeping team will provide and replenish water bottles in your room once per day according to the number of guests 7 years and older that you have reserved for. Additional water bottles can be ordered from the Front Desk for 200 yen per bottle or purchased from the vending machines on floors 2 through 6. The tap water is also drinkable in all our units.

Are there laundry facilities?

Yes. For 1.5 Bedroom and larger rooms there is a washer and dryer inside your unit for personal use. Guests staying in Atelier or Studio rooms can use one of the communal laundry rooms located on each floor from 2F-6F. AYA Niseko provides detergent and the machines are free to use (no coins needed).

How can I switch the air-conditioning/heating mode?

We apologise but this feature is not possible. As is common in Hokkaido, our temperature circulation system is on a grid which is set for the entire building. In winter, the heating is on. In summer, the air conditioning is on. Your room has a control for how strong you would like the climate control to be in your room. In winter, if your room is too cold, you can switch to the highest setting. If your room is too hot you can turn it off entirely, and perhaps open a window to let the air in to cool down. In the summer, the opposite applies.

We also have column heaters and small fans available to help control the temperature in bedrooms. Please note the number of units available is limited and we cannot always guarantee availability. These items cannot be reserved in advance so please ask the Front Desk during your stay if required.

What housekeeping services can I expect during my stay at AYA Niseko?

All standard bookings have daily housekeeping on a rotating schedule. Every day the trash will be removed, towels replaced, and bathroom cleaned. On every third room clean your bed linens will be changed and floor cleaned in addition to the daily cleaning tasks.

Your beds will not be made up every day, and your kitchen will not be cleaned during your stay. If you would like extra cleaning, you may arrange it with our Reservations team in advance, or Front Desk when you are in house. Extra cleaning has associated fees that vary based on room type.

We will provide a housekeeping schedule when you book so you know what to expect each day.

In the summer season only, we offer long-stay plans for guests staying 7 nights or more. When booking one of these plans, the cleaning schedule is one full clean per week. It includes changing bed linens, cleaning the kitchen, bathroom/s, and floors. Extra towels or amenities are available on request. On days other than the scheduled full clean, there will be no cleaning provided.

Can I schedule housekeeping to make up my room at my preferred time?

The housekeeping's schedule is fixed, especially during the peak season and holidays. Due to the size of our units, cleaning of rooms due for check in that day must be prioritised and stayover cleaning will be worked in around this schedule where the staff are available. Requests for cleaning at a certain time therefore cannot be accommodated. We appreciate your kind understanding.

Can I bring pets?

No. We are sorry but AYA Niseko does not allow any pets inside the building. Guide dogs are exempt from this rule by law. Please note that valid international guide dog certification is required at the time of reservation.

Public Facilities

I have tattoos. Can I use the AYA Niseko public onsen?

Yes. We understand that tattoos are common among our international guests and we do not place any restriction on entry for guests with tattoos. However, please be mindful of other guests and understand that in Japanese culture tattoos are generally not allowed in onsens.

Clothing cannot be worn inside the onsen, so please do not wear any clothing, swimsuits, sleeves, towels, or bandages to cover up tattoos while bathing.

I am not comfortable taking a bath in front of others, is there a private onsen available?

Yes. We have three private onsens exclusively for our in-house guests to book. The rate is 3,000 JPY for one hour. Bookings are available from 8am on the day of use. Sessions begin at 13:30, 15:00, 16:30, 18:00, 19:30 and the last session at 21:00.

If you would prefer to book a unit with a private onsen inside for your exclusive use you may be interested in the Penthouse or Residence units.

*In following Japanese culture and tradition, AYA Niseko does not allow any clothing to be worn while bathing in the public onsen. This includes swimsuits and underwear. Guests wearing clothing in the onsen bath will be requested to leave for the comfort of other guests.

What temperature is the onsen and what minerals are in the water?

The indoor and outdoor hot spring baths are 40-42 degrees Celsius. The cold bath is 10-12 degrees Celsius. The minerals found in the water include sodium, magnesium, calcium, chlorine, and sulfate. You can find the breakdown of the mineral content in the inspection report on the wall of our public onsen.

Do you have a shower to use after I have checked out and gone skiing before leaving?

We do not have a shower room available. From 1pm our Front Desk staff can give you temporary access to the public guest onsen where you can take a shower. Between 10am check out time and 1pm please understand that there will be no shower facilities available to you and plan accordingly.

Can non-staying guests use the gym and onsen?

Not during the winter season. Due to higher occupancy, we do not have the space to allow access to those who are not staying at AYA Niseko. During summer, non-guests may use the gym and/or onsen for a set fee payable per visit.

Is there free wifi?

Yes. The entire building has access to our wifi network. You will be given the password at check in.

Is there a business lounge for conference calls, printing, or a workspace?

We apologise for the inconvenience but we do not have a business lounge. Our Front Desk staff can assist with some minor printing, charges will apply for major print jobs. Our multipurpose room can be reserved for conferences in the summer season only. There is free wifi throughout the building.

Are there ski lockers?

AYA Niseko does not have ski lockers but we have a ski valet service on the ground floor exclusively for guests to use. Our staff will assist with storing your skis, poles, snowboard and boots while you are in-house. To prevent loss or damage, please understand that bags, helmets, and clothing cannot be stored at the ski valet and should be kept in your room. Day visitors to the spa or restaurant can leave their skis or snowboard outside the building in the racks provided, our ski valet storage is for in-house guests only.

What kind of food does the Ginger restaurant serve?

Please contact the restaurant directly for questions regarding opening dates and menus.

In previous years, Ginger has served a Western/Japanese fusion menu. They were open for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the winter. The Ginger coffee corner was like its own mini-café with beverages and a range of small snacks like muffins, biscuits, and slices.*

*Information is intended for guidance only and may not be accurate.

Can I order room service? If I dine in the Ginger restaurant can I charge to my room?

Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no. Ginger restaurant does not offer room service, although you can order for takeout. Ginger is owned and managed by a separate company to AYA Niseko. As a result, our billing systems are not compatible, and we cannot cross charge. If you dine in the restaurant, you will need to pay after your meal as normal.

Can I charge my AYA SPA treatments to my room?

Yes you can. AYA SPA use the same billing system as AYA Niseko so we are able to charge treatments to your room for you to pay on or before check out.

Are the AYA Niseko facilities all complimentary for guests?

Unfortunately not. The public onsen, sauna and gym are free of charge for guests. Any additional services you book including the Ginger restaurant, AYA SPA, NisekoWow Golf and NisekoWow Fitness must be paid directly with those businesses in our building.

Transport

Do you have free parking?

Yes. We have limited free outdoor parking spaces available which are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. We do not accept advance reservations for parking spaces. If our parking lot is full when you arrive, our staff will direct you to an alternative lot.

How do I get to AYA Niseko from the airport with public transport?

In winter, the best way by public transport is to take a direct bus from Chitose Airport to Hirafu Welcome Center where we will pick you up on arrival. You can book tickets in advance to suit your flight and you don’t need to carry your luggage very far. The bus costs around 4000 yen per person one way.

The JR train is another option however you will need to change trains in Otaru in order to reach Kutchan Station where we will pick you up. In Kutchan station there is no escalator or elevator and you will need to carry your luggage up and down stairs to cross the track. If you have heavy luggage or small children, we particularly recommend the bus instead. The train costs around 3500 yen per person one way. If using the train, please buy a paper ticket as IC cards are not available after Otaru.

Can you pick us up from the bus or train station?

Yes. We provide complimentary pick up and drop off services on your arrival and departure. Please note that you must contact us at least 3 days in advance so that we can arrange a driver. Pick ups and drop offs are only available between AYA Niseko and Kutchan JR Station or Hirafu Welcome Centre.

We need a ride to a restaurant for dinner, can you drive us?

No, we are sorry but we do not have a designated personal driver for these kinds of trips. Our Front Desk staff are happy to call a taxi for you, or direct you to restaurants within walking distance. We recommend booking a taxi at the same time you book your restaurant due to the very short supply of taxis available in winter. Some restaurants offer a free shuttle service if you are booking in advance.

Is there a bus to take us around the resort?

Unfortunately the AYA winter shuttle bus between AYA - Hirafu Welcome Centre - Gondola - Kutchan is suspended for the 2021/2022 season in order to prevent virus spread. Please check when you arrive for alternative options.

Public busses are available to take you further afield in the Niseko United resort and surrounding areas. You buy a ticket onboard for each trip (cash only). Please check the Niseko United website for timetables, fares and regulations.

Skiing/Lifts/Rentals/Lessons

When does the resort open and close?

It depends on the snow conditions. If there is not enough snow early in the season the opening will be postponed and you won’t be able to ski. Usually the resort opens towards the end of the first week of December however we have seen it open both earlier and later in previous years.

The closing date is usually at the end of the Japanese golden week in May, however beginners might struggle to find a suitable run late in the season as it will be only the very high mountain peaks that still have snow on them that late in the season.

When do the lifts start and end for the day?

Lower lifts including the Family Quad will open around 8:30am most days, the higher lifts will open 10-20 minutes later once the staff have made their way up. Top lifts will close first, followed by the lower lifts. The closing times depend on the sunset but around 4pm on average. During the peak winter season some lifts will stay open for night skiing until around 8-9pm with weather permitting, floodlights will also be switched on to light the runs. The lift schedule is subject to change so please check the status directly when you are here.

How can I check details about the ski resort snow conditions, lift operations, opening dates?

Please check on the Niseko United site, or on the official website of each ski resort.

Niseko United

Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

Niseko Hanazono Ski Resort

Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort

Niseko Village Ski Resort

When is the best snow?

December is unpredictable until the final week of the year. The most consistent thick snow is in January. There will already be enough build up from December to have a good foundation and it will continue to snow well into February. Around this time the skies will mostly be grey and cloudy, it can also be quite windy, but the powder is good. From early to mid March the skies will clear for sunny days, but the snowfall will also reduce dramatically. From the middle of March snowy weather is much more infrequent, April has almost no fresh snow.

How close are you to the ski lift?

Our ski valet room backs on to the resort so you are less than 70 metres away from the Family Quad lift to start your day. There is also a ticket office opposite the ski lift to buy your liftpass. The Family run is the best run for beginners in the Grand Hirafu resort.

Can I rent skis/snowboard gear at AYA Niseko?

No, we do not have a rental shop or ski school inside our building, but our staff can guide you to places nearby to rent your gear and book your lessons.

Can I buy a liftpass from the Front Desk?

No, we do not sell lift passes directly. Please plan to purchase your tickets online, or from the lift ticket office opposite the Family Quad lift behind AYA Niseko (about 60 metres away).

I have never done snowsports before, is it easier to ski or snowboard as a beginner?

Generally, most instructors would say that it’s easier initially to learn to ski, but you can progress faster and get to a higher skill level with snowboarding. The difficulty difference comes from the balance required for snowboarding. Skiing will have you standing up from the start but standing up can be difficult to achieve consistently on your first day snowboarding.

You should choose the one that appeals to you most!

Can I use a sled on the ski resort?

Sleds are not permitted in the Grand Hirafu resort.

Ski Resort Area

Are there activities in the area other than skiing or snowboarding?

Of course! If you still want to experience the snow you can try snowshoeing or snowmobiling, snowtubing is also available at Hanazono. There is an indoor rock climbing gym, and an outdoor adventure climbing park in Hirafu. During winter you can also experience the best cuisine that Japan has to offer with traditional restaurants and international tastes widely available. In summer you can try rafting, mountain biking, hiking and trail runs. Year-round there are a variety of festivals held within a few hours drive of Niseko. We recommend the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in winter.

Is there a place for the kids to build a snowman, play in snow, or have a snowfight?

There is snow everywhere in Niseko! You can find a spot to yourself without too much trouble, many kids like to play on the giant snowpile that accumulates near the police koban and the traffic lights. Around the bus stop and food trucks there is often thick snow for snow angels or building a snowman. If you take the free Hanazono shuttle to the Hanazono resort you have many more open spaces to play, plus a kid’s park and a tubing slope.

By staying at AYA Niseko do we get any discounts at partner businesses?

Yes. AYA guests can enjoy exclusive discounts on lift passes bought in the Hirafu resort. Our staff can also show you how to activate your "Niseko Passport" to gain access to a range of discounts and deals from many local businesses that are participating in the scheme.

Can I pay with a credit card at locations around the resort?

Niseko has been heavily influenced by international visitors and the demand for card payments has been met somewhat; however Japan is still a largely cash-based society. Some restaurants and activity providers will accept cards but we recommend to be prepared to pay cash (in Japanese yen) everywhere you go – just in case! AYA Niseko can accept credit card, cash payments and some forms of mobile payments.

Niseko seems very international, what Japanese cultural experiences can I have there?

Niseko is a bit of an international bubble but there are plenty of authentic experiences to be had! You will of course be able to try an onsen bath, taste sake and matcha, dine on Japanese favourites like yakiniku, sushi, shabu-shabu, and crab, check out the convenience store selections, experience true Japanese hospitality, try karaoke, watch Japanese TV, visit a shrine, and of course play in the world-famous powder snow!