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How many Foreigners Live in Niseko?

As part of our research on Niseko real estate, we present some data on the estimated numbers of foreigners in Niseko, as well as the percentage of foreign born population from each country.

Foreigners in Niseko

As we say in our more detailed reports on The Niseko Story and the population of Niseko, what people call “Niseko” varies from person to person. Niseko is a small town, but statistics about Niseko commonly include the surrounding towns of Kutchan and Rankoshi. Other statistics might include the broader Niseko “region,” including residents living in the surrounding territory.

Population of Foreigners in the Niseko Region, by Year

Data on the foreigners and international residents in Niseko is commonly incomplete, and can vary within the same year due to seasonality. With that in mind, here is some current data to consider:

Foreigners Living in Niseko, by Year

YearEstimated Foreign Population
Source: From demographic data reported for Kutchan Town

This table presents data for foreign and international residents in Niseko only. For more complete data about the total population of Niseko, see our report on the Niseko population by year.

The Percentage of Foreigners in Niseko is Growing

While the overall population of Niseko has declined in recent years, it appears that percentage of foreigners living in Niseko is growing.

Over 95% of the population in Niseko is made of Japanese nationals. And while residents of Niseko from other countries is relatively small, the percentage of foreigners in Niseko is increasing.

According to our own research here at Find Hokkaido Agents: as recently as ten years ago the population of non-Japanese in Niseko was approximately 1% to 2% of the total population, but recent data shows that approximately 4% to 5% of Niseko residents are foreigners. That number is estimated to have been as high as 7% in 2020 (pre-pandemic), but may have contracted to the current estimates of 4% due to travel restrictions and the impact on tourism.

As pandemic travel restrictions have been lifted and the general sentiment around travel improves, we might expect Niseko to see a surge in foreign residents in the coming months and years.

For more detailed data, see our separate report on the foreigners in Niseko by country.

Niseko’s Population by Country

The primary country of origin for foreigners living in Niseko is Australia (33%), followed by England (13%). New Zealand is tied for third (5%). From our work with real estate clients, we can report that we are regularly contacted by buyers and investors from these countries that live in Niseko, or own property in Niseko and live abroad. The Australians (of course) make up the largest population of foreigners involved in Niseko real estate activity.

For Asian countries, many people from Taiwan report residency in Niseko (5%), as well China (4%), and the Philippines (4%). When we have requests for property in Niseko, we are also regularly contacted by interested parties from Hong Kong and Singapore, many of which already own property in Niseko.

In a separate report we provide more detailed statistics for Niseko’s foreign population by country.

Niseko Demographic Information

As you can see in Niseko population estimates, Niseko is a relatively small place. And as we describe in our profile on Niseko, it is a highly seasonal place, focused primarily on the winter season, with most visitors and many of the working population arriving in Niseko for those winter months. Because of these factors, and other details about infrastructure and housing in Niseko, the population varies and strictly accurate statistics can be more difficult to determine.

Foreigners Buying Real Estate in Niseko

While the Japanese are the largest population in the Niseko region, there are many foreigners that own real estate for personal use or investment purposes. Much of the attempt to make Niseko an international destination is driven by Australians. We see their presence in the local population statistics, as well as ownership of local businesses and real estate in Niseko. There is also a lot of money coming from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, some for personal use and some based on speculation about future real estate prices in Niseko.

As the shinkansen “super train” helps connect Niseko with the much larger city of Sapporo, we will likely see even more attention on the area, greater overall visitors, more international interest, and even more foreign real estate investment in Niseko.

Real estate introductions are our core focus, and we have helped many clients with questions about loans and property for sale in Niseko. For help finding local real estate agents in Niseko, please contact us. We are happy to help.

We work for you, not the real estate companies.

We provide person-to-person introductions to prescreened agents that help you sell, buy, lease, or rent property in Hokkaido. We search our custom database to connect you to real estate professionals that speak your language, address your needs and are available now to help you find what you want.

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For More Information:

— Our Profile on the Niseko Region
— Some details on the Average Rent in Niseko
— A comparison of the Average Cost of Land in Niseko (vs land in Sapporo)
Niseko Population, by Year
— Estimates of Foreigners Living in Niseko
— Our report on the Current Population of Sapporo and Foreigners Living in Sapporo by Country of origin
Renting an Apartment in Sapporo
How to Rent an Apartment in Sapporo
Buying Property in Hokkaido as a Foreigner
— Find Lawyers in Hokkaido
— Our Taxes in Japan page
Otaru Population, by Year
— Find Lawyers in Hokkaido
— Our Taxes in Japan page
Buying Property in Hokkaido as a Foreigner

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