There is no denying the ultra-convenience of staying in a ski-in ski-out property when it comes to saving time and maximising access to that amazing powder snow in Japan. And there are plenty of options whether you are staying or looking to invest, but if you’re prepared to jump in the car for a short drive you could be saving a serious amount of money.

With ski-in ski-out properties trading for millions of dollars, Uchi founder and CEO Chris Pickering has giving us his thoughts on how value might lie just a kilometre away!

“There is no doubt that ski-in ski-out is the pinnacle in terms of location and these properties get both the highest occupancy and highest rate – both important points when it comes to investment”, states Chris. “But if you move just a short distance away from the slopes you can find some real gems at a fraction of the price. A good example in Niseko would be the St Moritz area of Kabayama which is less than 1,000m from the lifts of Niseko-Hirafu.

Kenobi House, Niseko

Kenobi House is less than 1,000m from the lifts at Niseko Hirafu, but is priced at just US$5,500 per sqm. View more images

“In this friendly community you can find houses like Kenobi and Mountain Butterfly. Both these 3 bedroom homes have space for parking and offer over 110 sqm of internal space. Kenobi is priced at less than $5,500 USD per sqm, whereas a ski-in ski-out apartment just up the road would more likely be around $16,000 USD per sqm, almost 3 times the price.

Mountain Butterfly, Niseko

Mountain Butterfly is a new 3 bedroom modern house located in the beautiful St Moritz area of Niseko. View more images

“While the convenience and rental income from those ski-in ski-out properties is never in doubt, many investors love the freedom afforded with a car. In the Niseko area it’s easy to pick the best resort for the day depending on snow and wind or even head out to Moiwa or Rusutsu.

“And it’s not just properties, land is also much more affordable with a short drive. A plot of land in Hirafu is likely to start at around $1,500-2,000 USD per sqm, but these plots in Niseko-Soga, which are a 2-3 minute drive from Niseko Village and Annupuri, are closer to $400 per sqm.

Annupuri Soga Meadows land

Plots of land in Niseko-Soga are close to 20% of the price of a plot in Hirafu. View more images

“When it comes to finding the perfect spot for your ski resort home it is definitely worth thinking about what is important to you as a user and investor!”

Head to Uchi ( for all the best real estate options for Japan’s top ski resorts.


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