Home > Travel > Snowy Niseko@ Hokkaiddo – Japan

Snowy Niseko@ Hokkaiddo – Japan

The Japanese are humble cultured so when they call themselves number two ski resort in the world that really says something. I have been skiing / snowboarding in Australia, Austria, Italy, France, China, USA and now Japan. Each time it’s a completely different experience depending on your age, fitness, weather, accommodation and of course people you go with as well.

This time was absolutely awesome. We stayed in a self serviced apartment with laundry and kitchen facilities which is always convenient. It is a little bit further from the chairlift and gondola but they have free and frequent shuttle buses to take you around so it’s manageable with all the gear.

I’m impressed with how they have organised their resort with good transport facilities like buses to nearby shops and supermarkets for your essential needs. Nightly buses to nearby towns so you don’t have to be ‘stuck’ in Niseko all day or all week. They even offer excursions to the nearby Sapporo and Otaru city for those who want to do some sight-seeing or souvenir shopping.

The weather was out of my comfort zone. Since it is famous for its powdery snow, it snowed pretty much everyday that we were there. But visibility was extremely low and it was hard for me to navigate where I was going. On the day where we decided to embark on a cross mountain adventure, I could hardly see 10m ahead of me with fog. Lucky everyone was dressed in very sharp red, yellow and green gear so it stands out a bit. Lucky their slops are very wide compared to the European mountains which is a big plus especially for beginners who want to learn and not be afraid of falling off the cliffs.

They have three mountains areas offered although if you are only there for a few days just Hirafu would be good enough. I’m impressed with the variety on ski passes as well, you can purchase by hours or days depending on your needs with a selection of just Hirafu area or all three mountains.

Japan has top-notch service with always well-mannered staff even on the chair lifts they treat you like royalty as you get on. After a tiresome day of highly active sport, you can relax in one of their hot spring or bath houses. Of course everyone knows I love Japanese food, I had my fair share of sashimi, sushi, sukiyaki, ramen, curry rice and ice cream made with Hokkaido farmed milk was the highlight.

There was a funny thing – I saw and met so many Australians there in the few couple of days I almost thought I was in Australia. Even the apartment owners and some shuttle staff were Aussie. I suppose Australia’s snow mountains aren’t that great and Japan would be an ideal easy to reach option.

Everything added together made a great trip but something complimented my week even more. We had 20 of us which were a fun, active, out-going, adventurous bunch. We had great laughs even on the 5 minutes chairlift rides. We sharing quality food during all three meals of the day and most nights we cooked which was quite homely. After that we had alcohol infused poker nights.

Nice apartment. Good food. Nice slopes. Good snow. Great company.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

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