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Are the Soaring Land Prices of Hokkaido, Beneficial for Foreign Investors?

Known for its powder snow and spectacular skiing adventures, Niseko is one of Japan’s most extraordinary destinations. Situated in Hokkaido, the country’s second-largest island, it’s no secret that Niseko has tempted travellers to splurge on a winter holiday here for decades.

But recently, developers and investors have realized that there is an untapped opportunity in the Hokkaido and Niseko.

The island is blessed with a plethora of flora and fauna, and an abundance of outdoor activities, such as cycling, rafting and golfing, are already excellent reasons to explore it all year round.

So, it’s no surprise that extravagant chalets and real estate properties are suddenly being sought out by foreign investors looking to earn a profit. Not just in Niseko, but the entire island.


The northernmost island of the 'Land of the Rising Sun', is sparsely inhabited. Yet it’s fast becoming the site of a booming industry of freehold and immediate rental returns - for foreign investors, skiers and golfing fiends. 


Kamori Kanko - the developer of the 'Vale Rusutsu', a 10-story structure being constructed in the Rusutsu valley - is relying on these foreign investors.

With the hope of earning a profit of $131 million, the company has sold 83 units out of a total of 156. Of that, 73 are still under-construction. The pricing ranges from $656,050 for single bedroom apartments, to about $5.2 million for elaborate penthouses.

The Rusutsu resort has been marketed as an all-season recreational play area on the slopes of Mount Yotei, a 1,898-meter volcano that dominates Hokkaido’s skyline. The real estate sales manager at Kamori Kanko, Toshimune Suto, mentioned that the establishment "owns one of the largest golf courses in Japan". What’s more, Kamori Kanko has four 18-gap greens, including one mapped out by Masashi Oaki himself, one of Japan's most illustrious golfers.

With 37 ski trails stretching over an impressive 40 kilometers, as well as 12 meters of snowfall each season, the resort has everything you could need for a winter escape - and more! It’ll also offer several pools, rafting adventures, and hot air balloon pursuits.

Kamori Kanko owns most of the land in this part of the valley, but many investors are eyeing the neighbourhood for their own ventures as well. They’re now looking at Niseko, a nearby sought-after and popular ski resort.

Riverhill Property, a Hong Kong real estate firm, have started building their newest project, 'Rusutsu Chalets - All Seasons Living'. The dealers got their hands on the area alongside Izumikawa golf course, and are building the only estate in the area within a golf course.

The 10 four-bedroom chalets, stretching 300 to 400 square meters (3,200 to 4,300 square feet) will have cedar-covered structures, scenic yards and large cookout decks. The complex will be valued at over $2.5 million and will be managed and rented by an external company.

The Turnkey Investment Business Model hold a monopoly on the commerce in this specific region. Turnkey Investments are risk-free deals and remarkably profitable. A popular spot for travellers to visit all year round, property owners who invest in Niseko are guaranteed a great return on their investment.

“Holidaymakers from Asia come here and fall in love with the place and start looking at real estate,” said Anthony Hand, the managing director of Riverhill Growth. He added, “Having a house on a golf course means buyers should be able to get rental revenue from it in the summer as well as during the winter skiing season.”


Home to an increasing number of budding golfing enthusiasts every year, Japan is focused on maintaining the standard of its astounding golf courses - some are even positioned amongst the best on the planet.

Hinako Shibuno, a professional golfer and member of the L.P.G.A. of Japan Tour who won the 2019 Women's British Open, proves herself to be an inspiration to the next generation of Japanese golfers.

Furthermore, the country will host Olympic-level golf at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Kamori Kanko, who at one time managed and administered ski resorts in Colorado and California, withstood Japan's financial crisis during the 1990s. However, not many golf course owners or financiers were able to buffer the situation.

Many entrepreneurs and investors lost their capital and around 200 golf courses were shut down over the last couple of decades.

The remaining courses were transformed into solar energy ranches, some into private and exclusive hangouts, and others kept functioning as general clubs.

In 2018, Golf Digest included four of Japan's golf courses in its list of the world's 100 best courses: Naruto and Hirono golf clubs in Hyogo Prefecture, Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East Course in Saitama Prefecture, and Kawana Hotel’s Fuji Course in Shizuoka Prefecture.

These days, a considerable number of golf course owners are attempting to sway tourists and foreign investors by inviting golfers from East Asia, Europe and North America.

Japan attracted 31.19 million international tourists in 2018, an incredible escalation from the 8.6 million it received in 2010. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, a large portion of these sightseers were from other Asian nations.

Koreans, however, made up the highest proportion of Hokkaido’s tourists.

“Koreans are fanatical when it comes to golf,” said Panch Ratnavale, the director of Niseko Village, a distinguished ski and golf resort of the region. “They can do 36 holes every day. Their priorities are different. If you want to talk about maniacs, I’ve never seen anyone more passionate than Koreans.”


YTL Hotels of Malaysia is the owner of Niseko Village. Arnold Palmer has designed one of the two golf courses in the village himself. YTL is, at the moment, building a 50-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve on the slopes of the Niseko Village ski hill.

Nihon Harmony Resorts are also hoping to coax golfers from around the globe. With its chain-affiliated hotel, the Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono - an eight-story hotel and independent unit structure to be completed by this winter - it could draw even more golf enthusiasts and ski lovers to the region.

The general manager of the resort, Yasuo Kato, has said “Niseko is well known as a winter resort, but we’re trying to push its summer appeal as well.”

With higher consideration being given to tourism and adventure sports in Japan, land prices are set to soar.

JNW Properties, real estate experts and developers based in Hong Kong, could help you invest in their properties, Snow Dog Village and Raku Ichi, with a guaranteed Return on Investment (ROI). 

SnowDog Village, located in Niseko Village, opened in 2017 just 200 meters from the ski slopes. Raku Ichi Apartment Chalets and the Soba Restaurant in Annupuri are led by world-renowned Soba Master - Tatsuru Rai. 

SnowDog Chalets are gorgeous alpine-style chalets and apartments set in beautiful woodland with magical views of Mount Yotei. Their apartments are perfect for families or groups of friends – whether you’re looking to invest in one for rental or personal use.

Get in touch with JNW to find out more about how you can make a great investment in Niseko, Japan.

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