It will be a magical glittering White Christmas in in the winter wonderland that is Niseko this December 2018 and true to form as the ultimate year-round holiday destination, the bustling ski resort town in Hokkaido is open for business and all set to unleash a festive Yuletide season. In this part of snow-covered Japan, the possibilities of realising that priceless holiday cheer are simply unlimited.
The moment the peak of Mt Yotei gets its initial snow dust at the onset of the winter season each year, the Christmas bells in Niseko starts on their gentle pealing, further building up as December begins to roll by. And on the weeks and days leading to Christmas Day, Santa Claus is certain to ride on his sleigh, roam around Niseko and bring joy to the children on their holiday stop to the glitzy town.
This has been the case for years and it will be the same for 2018 as surely “the four major resorts and local hotels in Niseko will definitely be decking the halls and getting Santa Claus to entertain the children,” according to The South China Morning Post.
A Different White Christmas
Make no mistake though, Christmas in Niseko is quite different. Absent are the usual flavours of western celebration but the essential fun or spirit remains nearly the same. At least in form, the Japanese have fully adapted to what the December holiday is all about. In Niseko for instance, the celebration of Christmas has gradually picked up on international elements that have been fused with local traditions. The result is a Niseko holiday that appears instantly familiar to guests and visitors from across the globe but is still distinctly Japanese.
Santa will be on his skis to remind Niseko tourists of the holiday. In previous years, the favourite Christmas icon has been seen going around the hotels that dotted the town and hanging out on the slopes of the Niseko resorts – Annupuri, Grand Hirafu, Hanazono and Niseko Village – to spread the holiday spirt. This 2018, old Santa will carry out the same jolly duties.
There will be fireworks as well to usher in the holidays. The past celebrations saw such spectacles courtesy of Niseko Grand Hirafu Resort and Hotel Niseko Village, and the good thing about the showcase was the night sky lit up 8 to 9 PM in Christmas Eve. The early schedule was deliberate as organisers want to make sure that children will enjoy the show.
And for those who plan to bring home reminders of their Niseko Christmas, the best place to head to are the supermarkets and convenience stores around town, where novelty seasonal goods, themed wrapping paper and gift cards are abundantly available.
Definitive Christmas Feasts
Dining out when in Niseko is just plain fun, and the same applies during Christmas time. Blogger Cheryl Tay has attested to the fact that in Hirafu alone there are too many good options for a memorable dining experience even for the busy White Christmas season. It is best that reservations be made to ensure of having a table on the appointed day, Tay advised.
Among the dining choices available, it is Kamimura that arguably is the most popular choice. PowderLife.com described the fine dining resto as an iconic Niseko place. For Christmas and New Year, Kamimura offers multi-course menu with paired wines – opulent servings that were designed to make for an unforgettable holiday.
Swinging by on The Vale & Bar Grill is likewise highly recommended. Noteworthy of the place’s holiday servings is that the menu includes treats that kids will readily binge on.
Then there is the Hilton Niseko Village where diners hunting for something special will not get disappointed. To be sure, the bevy of restaurants on the resorts have made preparations that will suit to the holiday cravings of diners.
For the adventurous, however, eating out could prove more rewarding by trying out the small and lesser known joints. Again in Hirafu, Cheryl Tay discovered a row of spots where the food is both amazing and cheap. Ramen, gyoza and fried rice in generous servings can be had starting at 1000 yen, Tay shared, concluding too that relishing food for the holidays is mostly a matter of choice.
We simply couldn't go without mentioning our very own restaurant "Upashi Seta". Our waiting listing since opening is already filling up from just 2 weeks ago as our very own Snow Dog Village restaurant oozes charm, culture, delicious heart felt cuisines and friendly staff. Authentic Japanese cooking with a little European charm. What more could one want? Book with us by messaging us on Facebook.
Best Christmas Ever, Only In Niseko
It is crystal clear that White Christmas, in unique Asian serving, is possible and doable indeed in Niseko. Whether the choice is to try out the winter sports activities like skiing or snowboarding or just to immerse on what the resort town organically offers – such as great cuisine experience and incredible setting – the likelihood of having a grand time in Niseko is immense.
For those who had a taste of the phenomenal Niseko experience, fun time in the town happens all year but Christmas time is even better as it coincides with the powder season – that time of the year when the fascinating japow never seems to run out.