What's the Weather like in Hokkaido in March
The winter weather stubbornly persists into March in Hokkaido, although snow revellers don't seem to mind one bit. Daytime temperature averages hover about the 1°C mark and, whilst the average high this month is 5°C, it is not unusual to enjoy sporadic days in the double digits, especially towards the end of the month. For this reason, the Japanese call March the 'layer month'. The climate this month is a little erratic, so follow the lead of those in the know and layer your clothing to best deal with the substantial differences between day and night temps.
Spring doesn't arrive in Hokkaido until April, so even with the heightened temps of some days you'll find the northern ski fields still abounding with fresh powder. Whilst cherry blossom season is making a tentative start in southern Japan, you'll find Hokkaido still basking in full winter glory.
Roads still get icy after 4pm and you should definitely pack non-slip shoes even if you're just planning to stay a few days in Sapporo. The average rainfall for this month is 64mm, making the snow a little wetter than in previous months.
Night-time lows of -3°C are the norm in March, whilst the average amount of sunshine creeps up to 5 hours per day. The average sea temperature in March is a frosty 6°C. If coming from northern Europe you'll find March to experience very similar weather patterns to home.
Hokkaido Hotels in March
Black Diamond Lodge
Niseko is the place to head to in March and home to Hokkaido's finest ski resorts at this time of year. The Black Diamond Lodge resort is a brilliant choice for serious skiers and snow boarders, who revel in the back-country tours the resort runs on a daily basis. A very comfortable and no-nonsense resort, this is a place run by ski-mad folks and caters for equally ski-mad guests, so if that's what you're after you'll find it infinitely appealing. Unlike the below mentioned Hilton resort, which literary has the ski lift outside its front door, the BDL is a little way off the main drag, yet the friendly staff will be more than accommodating and ferry guests to and fro all day long. Greta food and therapeutic hot baths complement the impeccable service here.
Hilton Niseko Village
Speaking of the Hilton Niseko Village....now here is a place which offers a little more luxury. Its outdoor onsens are arguably some of the best you'll find in the whole country, and the service and included extras an absolute delight for a no-hassle skiers experience. Unlike the Black Diamond Lodge, this place caters for beginners and younger guests, so if you're travelling with your family or are a novice skier, this may be a better option for you.
Hit the Slopes
Snow, snow and more snow, that's what's on the cards for Niseko in March. If you want to experience the very best snow fun in Japan you will definitely be in the right place.
Experienced skiers will need no guiding to finding the best runs in Niseko, yet if you want to discover all the hidden trails of this fabulous place, consider hiring a local guide for the day. Your resort can set you up with a local expert who will keep you out of avalanche danger and straight into the least visited trails on the mountains. You can also join a backcountry day tour, most of which start from the base of Mt Annupuri, although there are plenty which will take you a little further out if you wish for a change of scenery. Novice skiers and snowboarders can also organise private lessons on their first day, to make sure they get the most fun out of their stay. Nisdeko is also a brilliant cross country skiing destination, so if you want to enjoy the quieter side of the resort town, book a cross-country day out instead.
Bars and Restaurants
The great food on offer in Niseko is arguably its biggest appeal, after the snow fields of course. Local specialties of seafood and intricate potato-based dishes are among the most popular, and the village actually boasts some divine eateries of varied cuisine, including Italian, Nepalese, Indonesian and Thai among many others.
Pizza del Sole
Craving a pizza after a full day on the slopes? Then head to Pizza del Sole in Annapuri Village (a short drive away from Niseko) and savour some of the best delicacies this side of the Mediterranean. You'll find your wood-fired oven pizza topped with authentic buffalo mozzarella and Parma ham, and you can complement your meal with a perfect, steaming espresso.
Niseko Cheese Factory
Cheese lovers will delight in all the offerings at the Niseko Cheese Factory, which offers mouth-watering cream puffs and creamy delights of all sorts. For a totally wicked taste explosion, do try the camembert cheese soft cone, it's utterly delicious.
Pick up a detailed restaurant map from your resort concierge as soon as you arrive and although you may find it difficult to leave your hotel after a full day skiing, you may find plenty of delectable reasons to do so!
Things to do in Hokkaido in March
Niseko is possibly the only ski resort in Japan which offers the enticing service of genuine geishas at you accommodation place. For a truly unique experience, you can ask your hotel concierge to book a geisha banquet evening, and you can enjoy an evening of intrinsically Japanese entertainment and feasting, something which all first-time visitors ought to experience. Although geisha bars and restaurants abound in Kutchan, having them come to you, whilst you enjoy the comfort and services of your chosen resort, is an infinitely more enjoyable choice.
Horse Riding and Snowmobiling
Niseko has much to offer the adventurous visitor and not all of them necessitate you donning a pair of skis. Horse riding and snowmobiling are two fantastic ways to enjoy this winter paradise. Although snowmobiling has age restrictions, horse riding is ideal for the whole family and you'll find experienced guides who will take you to some of the hardest to reach spots you'd otherwise never get to. Seeing this incredible place in the height of winter, on the back of a horse, is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing activities on a sunny March day. Suffering a very overcast or rainy day in March? Then head straight for the Niseko Bowling Alley and enjoy a day of family fun in warm and cosy surroundings.
All of these activities can be easily arranged directly though your resort's activities desk.
If you want to enjoy a sunny day away from the slopes, do note that Niseko village is a shopper's paradise and it is here where you can spend endless hours meandering through gorgeous boutiques selling everything from the latest ski gear, to authentic Niseko glassware (something for which this city is well renowned) and local hand-made souvenirs. The delightfully charming architecture and perfect Japanese service makes a shopping trip here very enjoyable indeed.