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Japan: Niseko Skiing

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Niseko Skiing | Japan | Asia

[Visited: February 1999, February 2000, January 2001]

Unfortunately, I discovered the joy of skiing at a relatively late age. After having skied a few hours in Almaty in 1996, I got completely addicted a few years later when I went skiing a few days in Niseko, Hokkaido. The sheer beauty of the area, coupled with the addictive speed sensation, and the perfect snow conditions, made for a dangerous combination for me. Almost at once, I felt that this was not going to be the last time.

Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): View from the top of a slope

Now that I am writing these lines, I am already looking forward to the next time, although I don't have a clue when or where that may be. But it remains to be seen if I find an area as beautiful as Niseko. If you are lucky and the weather is clear, you can see a beautiful almost perfect volcano close by. And no matter the weather, as long as you come between end December and beginning of April, you can enjoy the sight of loads of snow.

Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Mount Yotei Volcano

The village is completely geared towards skiing, and since the Japanese seem to extract status from European names, bars and hotels can have very European names. Likewise, on the slopes many skiers have the names of European ski countries or resorts on their backs. But skiing in Niseko as a foreigner, you are definitely one of the very few. The last time I went, I was particularly lucky with the weather. And since many slopes are illuminated until 9 pm., days are very long. Après ski consists mailny of going to a local hot bath to warm up, especially nice when outside temperatures are very low and the wind is very strong. Apart from skiing, I was also very glad that I took the effort to climb Mt. Annupuri, because from the top of the mountain, the Japanese Sea can be seen.

Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Trees with snow in Niseko - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Ezo Fuji Mount Yotei-san - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Ezo Fuji Mount Yotei-san - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Niseko skiing - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Snow on tree at Niseko - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Ezo Fuji Mount Yotei-san - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Snowy trees at Niseko - Hokkaido
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Extinct volcano visible from Niseko
Picture of Niseko Skiing (Japan): Looking up one of the slopes at Niseko

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