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Niseko Ski Weekend – Photos

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Wow. What can be said about Niseko that isn’t all good?

- Some of the best powder snow in the world, and certainly
the best in Asia
- 3.6M snowbase with regular top-ups daily!
- Great quality & affordable Japanese food & beer
- Decent length & huge wide open runs
- Skiing between the trees
- Skiing view a view of an active volcano (Mt Yotei-san)
- Making first tracks

 

The snow absolutely dumps on Niseko, really DUMPS. This is due to super chilled air that blows off the Siberian plateau, picks up moisture over the Sea of Japan and then falls in buckets as fluffy white powder, all over the mountains of Niseko.

On a Friday afternoon we headed out to Tokyo’s Haneda airport for the flight up to Japan’s largest northern island of Hokkaido.

Two silly gaijin (foreigners) and 300 or so Japanese packed into a Boeing 747 like sardines for the 60 minute flight north.
After landing at Sapporo Chitose airport, we had 2 hrs to kill before our bus departed for Niseko. Dinner at a noodle bar, before jumping on the bus for the 2.5 hr ride up to Niseko.

The entire 2.5 hour trip we were driving through snow. Deep enough snow to require the roads to be cleared, we passed through intersections where we could’t see around the corner for the height of the snow, and were weren’t even on the mountain yet!
We arrived in Niseko at around 11:30pm, and straight to bed. We woke on Saturday morning to a light dusting of snow, and reports that the previous 2 days skiing had been knee-to-waist deep powder.

We skied hard all day Saturday, apart from a short break for lunch, skiing opposite an active volcano was a real sight to see.
At the end of the day we headed to an Izakaya for beers and

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a feed that could not be beaten.
Hokkaido is known for it’s love of good food and commonly referred to as the food bowl of Japan. In particular the humble potato takes pride of place in Hokkaido, even the logo of Niseko is a potato on skis!
After dinner, we visited an Ice Bar.  Yes, it was cold. The vodka came served in a ‘glass’ made of ice.  The walls, table, chairs, made of ice illuminated by lights internally.  It was quite an experience. (at a price to match)

Day 2 and we were up early and first 2 skiers on the lift, which meant first tracks through fresh powder down the mountain. Skiing that morning was unlike anything I have ever skied before. So deep, snow so dry & light, making wide fast turns down the mountain devoid of any other skiers.
Of course there were a few huge falls, goggles lost, skis all over the mountain. :-) but thats all part of the fun.

Sunday afternoon had us skiing the Hanazono ski area, on the Strawberry Fields run through the trees. Again, amazing deep snow and tight turns through the trees.
At the end of the day, as the snow continued to fall, we made a visit to the sento (public bath) to soothe those tired leg muscles before back on the bus, and sleep for 2 hours before boarding the flight back to Tokyo.

Photos from Niseko can be found here in the gallery and the moblog.

8 comments

8 Responses to “Niseko Ski Weekend – Photos”

  1. Nicholas says:

    I am so jealous – even more so given the crapy ski season we had in Europe..

  2. y says:

    Thats the life (sigh)! Great writing too…at least we can live it vicariously (sigh again) :)

  3. Nigel says:

    NICE very nice

  4. Jacqui says:

    Nice photos, looks cold!! I’d rather be on the beach, 26 degrees today and hanging to hit the surf :P

  5. James says:

    And you said you were working!!!! Bugger must get job it IT.

  6. LD says:

    I was! Had to have at least 1 weekend off :-)

  7. Buddy says:

    Glad you enjoyed yourself… try to make it back sometime!

  8. LD says:

    I’ll be back. :-) for sure.

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