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Niseko News

Gearing Up To Winter In Niseko

The locals in Niseko, Japan prepare each year for the ‘powder season,’ which runs from December through late February. It’s that time of year when the snowfall is at its peak and there appears to be no break in the onslaught of the winter chill. Fuelled by the Siberian wind that for months incessantly blows from up north and the moisture that emanates from the Sea of Japan, snow will eventually blanket nearly all of Hokkaido. The Niseko landscape will be soon covered in Japow – the powdery snow that the area uniquely generates – and when that happens party time in Niseko Village and the surrounding areas officially starts.

Last season, it snowed for 165 days, straight. Niseko did not disappoint as residents, guests and visitors experienced between 26cm and 50cm of snowfall on almost daily basis. The circumstance then called for non-stop skiing, snowboarding and other electrifying things to do under the Niseko sky. And it’s highly likely history will repeat or even exceed itself. With Mt Yotei getting its early share of snow last October, there are strong indications it will be another record 2018-19 season.

Winter Has Come To Niseko

In the past week, the mercury plunged to a bone-chilling average of -3 degrees Celsius, which justified totally the decision to open the gates of the major Niseko resorts last November 23. Those who flew in – coming from Asia, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere around the world – got what they came for. The entire stop in Niseko was simply perfect for that Instagram moment.

In the same period, the highest temperature was registered at 13 degrees Celsius but dropped rapidly to -1 by the end of the week. It was clear to skiing fans that the off-piste terrain is set for them, and they need to gear up as the ski runs from Hanazono to Grand Hirafu await.

Let It Snow, Niseko

The forecast for December up to early January 2019 indicates winter in Niseko will result to stretch of sub-zero months. The lowest that the Celsius metre can get is -14 and there will be snow and flurries for morning, noon and night time. A few time for specific days, the sun will have a peek but for the most part in the month up to the whole of January, an overcast will be in full effect.

Meteorologists are saying that winter in Niseko will be nothing short of glorious, and not only for the next seven biting cold days but also for the next few weeks or even beyond. December last year, the sky poured down 50cm-thick of powdery snow on the area and the chance is high there will be welcome replications. It’s not impossible to see snowfall that lasts for good 10 days or more as such occurrences have been witnessed before and the recent episodes happened during the 2017-18 powder season.

Forecasters are convinced skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts have plenty of reasons to pick Niseko as their winter holiday destination this season, foremost of which is the assurance that there will be no shortfall of snow.

The Mountain Is Ready For Business

As of November 23, Annupuri and Grand Hirafu are open for guests and visitors. Hanazono and Niseko Village followed suit on December 1. With all four ski resorts bustling as of writing, it’s safe to say that The Mountain – used by the four as their base of operations – is open for everyday business. And this will be the case until the last of snow start retreating, an event not happening until March of April 2019.

In line with The Mountain now ready to welcome customers, it follows that the area’s lift system is already online as well. Operators said the lift services will be offered daily, which commenced this week, and will stay open until 8:30 PM. The plan is to keep the lifts running in the mentioned mode until late March 2019. For optimal use of the system, Niseko resort operators do offer All Mountain Pass that provides easy access to all four mountain resorts through the lift rides. The package draws in customers with competitive pricing and discounts for children.

No Dull Moments In Niseko

When done skiing and snowboarding or even summiting the majestic Mt Yotei, which is highly recommended to be part of Niseko to-do list, know that Niseko boasts of unlimited possibilities, attractions and distractions. For a taste of the resort town’s après and nightlife scene, the places to be include Brick Bar, Wild Bill’s and Barunba. The latter gained fame for serving drinks that bear the names of action superstars Bruce Willis and Jet Li.

Not to be missed is the Onsen experience, which is regarded as the second most popular tourism activities in Niseko, next to skiing. Simply put, Onsen is communal outdoor bathing on a hot spring that is a Japanese tradition. It is believed that Onsen heals the body and is best experienced after a day of taking a spin in the ski/snowboard runs. But bear in mind that to enjoy Onsen one has to be ready to strip naked and bathe with strangers.<

Stay In Niseko

In terms of accommodation concerns, Niseko has a wide array of choices that surely will suit the most discriminating taste. Name it and most likely Niseko has it – pensions, hotels, independent condominiums, apartments, chalets, and houses. One good example is Snow Dog Village that has apartment rooms available for renting and function too as solid investment instruments.

And in the area of dining, the options are practically overwhelming. The local cuisine, as one can imagine, is expectedly Japanese but with Hokkaido/Niseko twist be it in seafood, vegetable, meat and any other form of preparations.

Eat In Niseko

Upashi Seta Restaurant! Yet for the best possible dining experience in Niseko, there is no need to venture beyond the confines of Snow Dog Village. Built within Building C of the property development is Upashi Seta that will open its doors beginning on December 15. The fine-dining place welcomes reservations, walk-ins and take-outs.

World-Class Winter Paradise

It’s easy to see now that from a serene backwater town, Niseko has magically metamorphosed into an award-winning vacation destination. For holidaymakers, Niseko has become a one-stop option that offers luxurious fulfilment in a year-round package. The bonus that comes with the enjoyment is the promise of having a reliable investment vehicle.

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