High coun­try: where to go, what to do and where to eat in Niseko

YTL Life - - Contents - Words RENYI LIM

The plea­sures of Niseko Vil­lage ex­tend far be­yond the win­ter months, into the sea­son where the sun shines bright­est and the rolling land­scape brims with life and colour.

You don’t have to be ar­tis­ti­cally in­clined to ap­pre­ci­ate the riot of sum­mer colours that ex­plodes across the plains sur­round­ing Niseko Vil­lage ev­ery year. From mid-april on­wards, it is im­pos­si­ble not to stare in awe at the del­i­cate wild­flow­ers and rare alpine plants car­pet­ing the 462-hectare Ja­panese moun­tain re­sort. There are red­dish-pur­ple rhodo­den­drons in abun­dance, great swathes of white and yel­low chin­gu­ruma flow­ers, rows of tow­er­ing sun­flow­ers, and per­haps most breath­tak­ing of all, whole blan­kets of bright pink moss phlox.

Stay­ing at Niseko Vil­lage dur­ing the re­gion’s warmer months is an ex­plo­ration of all the senses. Whether you make the serene in­te­ri­ors of The Green Leaf Niseko Vil­lage or the chic, mod­ern Hil­ton Niseko Vil­lage your home, the scenic base of the 1,308m-tall Mount Niseko An­nupuri is yours to tra­verse to your heart’s delight. Those seek­ing the ul­ti­mate moun­tain sanc­tu­ary can take refuge in one of eight richly fur­nished, two-storey town­houses at Kasara Niseko Vil­lage Town­house.

Keen golfers will rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to con­quer the 6,845-yard Niseko Vil­lage Golf Course, while those who en­joy a chal­lenge can head for the un­du­lat­ing, rolling fair­ways of Niseko Golf Course, de­signed by Arnold Palmer, and primed for par 72 ac­tion merely 20 min­utes away by car. Seek­ers of a dif­fer­ent sort of green should ven­ture forth into the area’s great out­doors, where paths for bik­ing, run­ning, gen­tle walk­ing and hard­core trekking abound.

You will cer­tainly be fully de­serv­ing of a sooth­ing soak in Wakka Spa’s Hi­noki cedar wood bath at Hil­ton Niseko Vil­lage if you man­age the six-hour hike to the top of Mount Yotei, an in­ac­tive stra­to­vol­cano that punc­tu­ates the sky­line of Niseko Val­ley. If that is too daunt­ing a prospect, a 1.4km pul­ley-mounted tour on the coun­try’s longest zip line or a round of horse­back rid­ing and tree trekking at the Pure at Niseko Vil­lage na­ture ac­tiv­ity cen­tre will kick­start the adren­a­line in your sys­tem.

Young vis­i­tors with oo­dles of en­ergy to spare can go wild at Niseko Vil­lage’s Pure Ac­tion and Pure Ad­ven­ture in­flated ac­tiv­ity park, catch the wind over some kite-fly­ing, and work on their


putting skills at the Snag golf course. Leave enough time to chase the stun­ning views that the ter­rain of­fers: a 10-minute ride on the An­nupuri sum­mer gon­dola to a 1,000m-high ob­ser­va­tion deck will leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on your fam­ily’s va­ca­tion mem­o­ries. On a clear, tem­per­ate sum­mer’s day, you’ll even be able to spot Funkawan Bay and the Pa­cific Ocean.

If you have the nerve for it, a hot air bal­loon ride can be the crown­ing glory of your trip to Niseko Vil­lage, pro­vid­ing a bird’s eye view of the moun­tain range some 30m below. Once you are safely back on solid ground, em­brace the gifts of the ter­roir by sam­pling the sea­sonal del­i­ca­cies in the vil­lage. Stalks of ten­der asparagus, ripe and juicy mel­ons, and pearles­cent sweet­corn (slathered with Hokkaido’s fa­mously creamy but­ter) will have you wish­ing that sum­mer at Niseko could last for­ever.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.niseko-vil­lage.com

Tree trekking al­lows thrillseek­ers to tra­verse along the tree­tops with a safety har­ness us­ing zip lines, ropes, hang­ing bridges and nets, while a hot-air bal­loon ride af­fords a panoramic bird’s-eye view of the Niseko moun­tain range and Mount Yotei.

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