Niseko’s Ginto Trail

Niseko is best known to international travellers as one of the greatest ski destinations in the world. It’s a winter wonderland. A delight in white. You know it, and we know it.

Yet for inbound domestic travellers, Niseko—like much of Hokkaido—is also seen as an incredible green season destination.

R.I.P Ace Family Lift Queues (1983-2017)

Since the current incarnation’s introduction in November 1983, little has changed for the Ace Family Lift – one of the most iconic lifts of the Grand Hirafu Ski resort.

Installed and popularised during the ski boom of the early 80’s, the Family lift has long since been the old warhorse of the slopes, providing slow but scenic trips to the top of the Family run for over 30 years.

Niseko Classic Festival

The long-awaited Niseko Classic 2017 weekend is finally here! We’ve checked the forecasts and it’s going to be a blinder!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Niseko Classic competitor looking to let off some steam before the big race, a tourist looking to see the sights and enjoy some local hospitality, or a local just looking for a fantastic event to attend, get yourself down to Niseko Classic Festival this weekend!

Summer is for the Soul

June and July have been absolutely packed with refined concerts, exhibitions, and viewings that demonstrate the cultural clout that Niseko and its surrounding areas can deliver.

In the last week or two, we’ve been lucky enough to see Yoko Arano, distinguished local calligrapher and some of her amazing artwork in the Kiyoe Gallery (being lucky enough to witness a live demonstration of the master working), as well as a brilliant little piano concert with player/composer, Hajime Fukuda.

Could this mean what we think it means?

Some talkative little birds have noticed a little increase in activity near the Family course area of the Grand Hirafu Resort.

One of Niseko’s most popular and sought-after spots in the winter for its easily accessible ski lift and gentle gradient, Family is largely empty in the green months, with most hikes and the summer lifts starting at the base of the Alpen run.

Spring Rafting

Once the Spring comes, the Niseko snow-generator goes into hibernation, and rising temperatures, longer hours of daylight, and a halted top-up of top quality powder result in a surprisingly speedy and contrasted change of scene.

At the end of the season, the copious winter snowfall makes way for rushing alpine snowmelt, allowing Niseko to transform into one of the greatest rafting locations in Asia.

Spring Sakura – Bloomin’ Soon!

Be it historical paintings, art, films, and even pop-culture, the flower of the cherry-blossom–or ‘Sakura’–is one of the most “recognisably Japanese” images I can think of.

I’ve seen plays and films referencing its metaphorical impermanence, and drunk wine and eaten chocolates infused with (or inspired by) cherry blossom nectar.

Top tips for Spring Ski fun!

We’ve had an interesting mix of  sun and storms in town lately, and last night, temperatures dropped low enough to provide some nice late April snow, helping to keep things soft well into ‘Golden Week’!

Only the frost-gods know how much more we’ll get in the coming days, but you’d better make sure to get your sunnies back out of storage, because bluebird sunshine is guaranteed to make a comeback this spring!