Ecol Ecology Center in Hirafu

The interactive ecology center in the Ace Hill rest house at the top of the Hirafu gondola boasts an impressive collection of insects, mushrooms, feathers, beehives and more. In operation during summer months only, Ecol is hands down the best place to learn about ecology of the Niseko Range.


The center’s guru of all things nature in Niseko is Kiyoshi Nakashima. Also known as the mushroom captain, Kiyoshi holds a forest instructor certification from the Japan Forest Recreation Association, and has been active in the Niseko ecology scene for many years. Kiyoshi guides the ecology tours on Mt. Annupuri, holds nature crafts workshops, and operates Ecol. Not only does he bring his fresh mushroom finds into the center for viewing, he hand-crafts detailed models of Niseko area mushrooms. Kiyoshi definitely takes mushroom education to the next level.


Ecol will wrap up it’s 2015 season on September 27th, which is the last day of summer gondola operations. Just over one week left to get up on the mountain and experience this unique opportunity in Niseko.

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