While many people visiting the Niskeo region are more than content to stay in Hirafu and explore the four zones that make up the United Niseko field, I wanted to explore. John, from Niseko Izumikyo, took me to other ski hills nearby which were amazing. Looking at the trail map, I wouldn't have even considered it—a single chair and two or three runs didn't look worth it. However, from a single chair there proved to be access to countless private bowls and fresh tracks through the forest all day.
After 4 or 5 hours of that my legs were burnt, so the "compulsory" visit to a hot spring was called for. Hot springs can be founded dotted throughout the Niseko area. For about $5 (sometimes free) you can soak as long as you like and emerge feeling refreshed and keen for more.