Hokkaido’s pristine, sparkling white snow cover makes the area a paradise for skiers, snowboarders and powder hounds of all levels
Hokkaido’s pristine, sparkling white snow cover makes the area a paradise for skiers, snowboarders and powder hounds of all levels.
With the swift arrival of colder weather, it’s time to look towards the Japanese island of Hokkaido, where the interaction of Siberian winds with moisture from the Sea of Japan produces exceptional ‘champagne powder’ from December to May.
Given Niseko Village’s prime position at the foot of the 1,308-metre-high Mount Niseko Annupuri, it’s an opportunity for guests to make the most of the season at what is arguably Japan’s best ski resort, whether it involves traversing the mountain’s stunning off-piste terrain or simply taking in the wild, dramatic scenery surrounding the Village.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the endless powder: 70 groomed runs are available for skiers from beginner to expert level, while the multilingual instructors at Niseko Village Snow School (NVSS) and Niseko Kids Snow School provide a gentle introduction to the slopes, marking the start of what will hopefully become a lifelong hobby. Advanced skiers and snowboarders can test their mountain skills on the NVSS All Mountain Explorer course, or venture onto the extreme terrain area known as Mizuno No Sawa, where avalanche-control operations are employed daily. Risk-takers willing to push their experience to the extreme might want to consider snowshoeing up the mighty Mount Yotei and attempting a mindblowing stratovolcanic crater skiing expedition at the summit.
This year has seen Niseko join The Mountain Collective for the 2017-18 season, which offers a Mountain Collective Pass to four interlinked ski resorts on Hokkaido: Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and An’nupuri. The lift ticket includes two days of riding at all partner resorts and 50 per cent off additional days at each resort, which means you’re sure to be kept in your skis and on the 2,191 acres of skiable terrain for most of your holiday.
Just remember to treat your hardworking legs every now and then to a soothing après-ski soak in a traditional Japanese onsen. Two serene hot spring baths are available at Niseko Village, including The Green Leaf and the pine tree-framed onsen at Hilton Niseko Village with unbeatable views of Mount Yotei in all its magnificence.
For more information, please visit www.niseko-village.com