Posted on February 24th, 2011 1 comment
Onegiri or rice ball..? I call them sushi-triangles and they save starving snowboarder’s lives! Those of you that are now in Niseko skiing or have been here -already know… but for the future Niseko explorer, here is a tip on eating decent when taking a break from the snowy slopes without breaking your wallet. These 100 yen rice-ball triangles are yummy, filling and as convenient as is the Seicomartt, Lawson or 7/11 convenience stores that sell them.
These amazingly packaged seaweed wrapped rice-ball triangles are usually filled with a variety of fish product. You can find vegetarian friendly fried rice or fermented sweet beans as well (vegie-heads watch out for minced salmon mixed-in). Seicomart in Niseko is the only convenience store that has descriptive photos on the packaging, making it too easy. When you end up at any other store, it can be a fun guessing game. With zero kanji skills and trying to dial in what is inside with the color coded system, I find that somedays the rice-ball is what ever they decide to roll in the rice that day. It could be Salmon, tuna(+mayo-), raw salmon eggs, spicey pork meat mix, large-sized baked salmon eggs, fried beef(+mayo-), some days a kimchi-mix, natto(fermented soybeans) or just fried rice. What ever you end up with, it’s all good because you are in beautiful Niseko!
So after shredding the slopes, chomp em cold outside the store or load your pockets for later. Maybe gift a microwaved rice-ball to a friend? A couple of them will get you through the afternoon backcountry mission, cruising the groomers or a day jumping in the park. Sushi-triangles are a good source of quick energy, usually made up that day and are ski-bum priced.
Onegiri rice-ball situations…
Is it the end of your winter holiday and one more family dinner will tap you out? Sushi-Triangles.
Spend too much cash in Hirafu’s bar circuit? Sushi-Triangles.
Onsen every night? Sushi-Triangles.
Forgot to buy breakfast groceries? Sushi-Triangle breakfast.
Had to buy new skis cuz you lost one in the snow (Niseko powder disaster garage sale)? Sushi-Triangles.
Accommodation was too expensive because you didn’t book with Holiday Niseko? Sushi-Triangles.
Triangles save lives -Holiday Niseko
Posted on February 19th, 2011 No comments
It’s been an snowy 2010/2011 winter season so far for everybody at Holiday Niseko and our guests staying in our accommodation. Snowboarding and skiing the inbounds powder on Niseko’s slopes has been awesome awesome awesome. Going on day tours, dropping lines in Hokkaido’s national park backcountry and riding the Hanazono park has been epic as well. It’s all good up here! We had so many bottomless days in January and February with our three week mega storm that piled us up past the 4 meter level in town. +Way more up top. With all the gnarly sasa(bamboo grass) covered early January and Niseko trees fully filled in, the mountain became a giant snow-pillow playground park. It’s been a motivating month of getting the house up early, digging the car out and beating the crowds to the lifts to rip the special zones. A lot of days have started early up on Annupuri riding powder lap circuits and circling like sharks until the access gates opened up the back bowls. Days of dropping high speed powder runs down steep bowls, hitting a drop or two, then slashing the best gully hits back to the bottom. Repeat.
Between Higashiyama’s steeps, Grand Hirafu’s and Hanazono’s trees, everywhere on the mountain was the right place to be. With all the fun in all the snow comes all the dangers and riding in good judgement is tough when the snow is so inviting. Trusting the ski-patrol signage at the gates and reading the daily avalanche bulletins helped keep us in the know with what the snow was doing. Always doing our best in trying to keep the group together even if there are “no friends on a powder day”(your friends are your enemy when too close while ripping through these trees). -Shredding until our legs were burnt, bodies were shaky and riding solely on the stoke, we carried on. Some days we would take that snow energy from the pow mornings and session the NisekoSnowRamsay backyard park after lunch and even shred under Hirafu’s lights at night. Never enough. We welcomed the few sunny days with mirrored lenses in the goggles, turning up the visibility knob to full blast and more full speed powder runs. It’s a nice relief to see the sun and mountains surrounding us… enjoy a biiru and talk a little smack about climbing Mt. Yotei.
Now we are back looking through yellow/clear/pink lenses on our faces and riding in a snow storm again.
Posted on February 15th, 2011 No comments
Antti Autti and crew have been up in Niseko on holiday this past week ripping the powder and filming for the “Antiout” movie. Antti snowboards here every year with his Finnish crew and hits up the Sapporo big air in the end of February. Enjoy this clip of this past week! Holiday Niseko
Posted on February 12th, 2011 No comments
A few of us from the Holiday Niseko team made the journey to Sapporo for the 62nd snow festival. We jumped in the car with NisekoSnow-Simon and made our way through the mountains and along the coast via hwy 5 to the city center of Sapporo. Parked the car, enjoyed some sushi train and hit the main festival site mid-afternoon. Starting at Odori park, we slowly walked through the 140 snow and ice sculpted statues and temples in complete awe. The impressive work that these artist’s carve into ice and snow was rad to see in the daylight and amazing illuminated at night.
From the open air ice skating rink and walking to the ice museum’s dinosaur world, the next stop was the HTB Park Air snowboard jump show. The local rider throw-down was on. We were told that the winners get a wild card draw to the Toyota Sapporo big air. cool. On the next block was the Kingdom of Tourism sculpture, a warm welcome to Hokkaido with this collaboration between Hokkaido and other Asian countries. A sculpture to promote good relations between locals and visitors.
The Lion King musical sculpture was on the way to the amazing ice city of science and technology, the City of Daejeon in the Republic of Korea. At 7 chome, stood one of the two most impressive pieces in the festival, the HBC Beijing square. Named the temple of heaven and the hall of prayer for goods harvests, it was sculpted in pre-celebration for next years 40th anniversary of good diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Japan. Awesome scale and detail!
In between two functional large sculptured snow slides and the snowman’s festival of citizen’s square was another very impressive piece. The Hiunkaku pavilion of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple from Kyoto. The national treasure of Japan was sculpted close to actual size and the detail was something you have to see in person. Next we walked to the massive family square statues of the Japanese animation Sazae-san. Sculpted in celebration of the 65th anniversary of the original comic strip, Sazae’s entire family was there.
There was an international gourmet food corner and sake huts to keep people happy and warm, live entertainment on multiple stages and crazy music and lights on some of the statues and sculptures. At the end of Odori park we watched the talent in progress as the 16 international carving contest teams put some finishing touches on their work… Lithuania took the prize and Finland was runner up this year. All layed out under the Sapporo TV Tower free of admission to check out for 7 days every year in early February. This is a must do and see snow festival.We knew of the two other festival sites close by named Tsudome and Susukino that together host another 108 sculptures, but didn’t have time to check them. With so much to see and over 2 million people visiting the festival in the 7 days, it was a lot to take in. Must do it again next year. Enjoy our photos! Holiday Niseko
Posted on February 5th, 2011 No comments
It’s very forward thinking for Niseko Village (Higashiyama) resort to educate and promote avalanche safety on a zone and it’s dangers, snowpack and terrain traps before allowing access to shredding it. Other resorts around the world should follow in their boot-steps. The steep and deep Mizuno-no-Sawa area is controlled and patrolled, but does not keep you out of powder covered crevasses or self sluff-slide trouble. Having some basic avalanche safety and snowpack knowledge helps in making the right decisions when shredding into gnarly terrain. Sign up for an avalanche skills training course and make a habit to check the Niseko avalanche forecast before venturing out. Enroll in the Mizuno-no-Sawa lecture and rip it! Powderlife magazine has a nice write up on the lecture schedule, costs and general information. HolidayNiseko
Posted on February 4th, 2011 No comments
With all the powder we have had fun skiing and snowboarding in, there also comes a lot of work to deal with it. The Niseko Grand Hirafu city snow removal crew has been working 24/7 to keep up with the snow this season. Our Holiday Niseko team has been putting in a ton of shoveling as well. With dangerous roof slides constantly filling in our walk-ways, we are always on alert and looking up as we clear snow. There were even days last week when we had to mark the car so the plow would not hit it! Niseko city did a great job in cleaning up the street in front of our Holiday Niseko office, Asuka, Yukon and the Seshu. Now our guests have a little more space to walk about, cars can pass by each other again and we are ready for more snow. Sweet!
Posted on February 2nd, 2011 No comments
The storm settled and the sun is showing us what the huge snowfall has done to our Hokkaido landscape. Mt. Yotei is looking loaded with snow as is the rest of the Niseko area. After riding days of tree lines through the storm, it’s so good to see where we are snowboarding again. The backcountry access gates in Hanazono, Hirafu, Higashiyama and Annupuri opened up and skiing and snowboarding here is all time! We are enjoying the sun because the forecast is more snow tonight and through next week. Holiday Niseko