The indigenous people of Hokkaido were renowned for their reverence for the environment where the owl is seen as the guardian of the forest while the great brown bear is regarded as sacred. The remarkable environment and forests around Niseko are home to a diverse range of wildlife, some of which may appear to greet you.
  • Hokkaido Fox

    hokkaido fox

    This small fox roams from the coast to sub-alpine areas and usually spotted by the roadside. Once seen on the Niseko Village Golf Course, it stole a golfer’s ball, mistaking it for an egg!

  • Japanese Hare

    japanese hare

    Also called a snow rabbit, its brown coat changes to white in winter for camouflage against the snow. A nocturnal creature, it feeds in the evenings and early mornings around Niseko.

  • Sika Deer

    Sika Deer

    A creature with dainty legs and white spots on its reddish to golden-brown coat, Japan is the only country where they exist in large numbers.

  • Siberian Chipmunk


    This furry animal resembles a striped squirrel and is only 15cm or so in length. It can be seen while exploring the lower slopes of Mount Yotei or hiking in the Niseko-Annupuri range.

  • Hokkaido Red Squirrel

    red squirrel

    Possessing long, upright ears that makes it look rather like a small rabbit; this squirrel does not go into hibernation.

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker

    great spotted

    This striking black and white bird with a brilliant red abdomen and under tail coverts with the male topping it off with a red patch on its nape is also Niseko's mascot.

  • Japanese Huchen


    Shiribetsu River is home to this member of the salmon family and is Japan's largest freshwater fish. Sadly, the numbers are greatly reduced today.

  • Japanese Raccoon Dog

    raccoon dog

    This curious creature, also known as tanuki, is popular in Japanese folklore and the only dog-like mammal that hibernates during winter.

  • Red Crowned Crane

    red crowned

    This rare crane, also called the Japanese crane, is known as a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity with a resident population nesting in eastern Hokkaido’s wetlands and rivers.

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