Posted on March 27th, 2011 1 comment
The people of Niseko, Kutchan and surrounding area rallied together on the snow with a charity ride and auction to raise funds for the Tohoku tsunami relief fund and Red Cross Japan yesterday. Local legends, companies, embassadors and professional riders all donated their time and gear to this great cause and event that has been touring from resort to resort around Hokkaido the past couple weeks. A small donation of 500 yen got you a respect-ribbon to tie on your goggles, a few hour ski or snowboard session with your pick of 37 Japanese pros and a chance to bid on gear in the afternoon auction. Two MC hosts gathered the attention for a long moment of silence in respect for the lives lost, homes and land in ruins, then organized everyone into freeride or park groups.
The level was raised on our first run by our leader and crew spinning 3′s, 5′s and 7′s off the catwalk on Roy’s run and cruising powder. Everybody was cheering each other on, buttering and getting fresh. Rome sds pro Hiromasa Ihara and friends were inspirational riders to rip with and follow through the pipe and park. The sun and snow came and went throughout the session and kept switching back and forth during the auction keeping it real. Everybody’s spirits were high and the general feeling of doing something worthy was felt through the crowd. Loud laughs and big smiles all around while the bidding wars were battled for loads of gear. It was a day to remember and a reminder to continue supporting by doing what we can.
Thanks to everyone who participated and donated!
Posted on March 23rd, 2011 2 comments
From Grand Hirafu’s opening day, our Holiday Niseko accommodation has been booked out with great people from all over the world this 2010/2011 season. January and February’s powder dumped through early March and the snow depth was all time! Stoke and hype was full power. Families and friendly groups of skiers and snowboarder’s were having a blast on their holidays- telling us that the snow has been some of the best they had ever skied or slashed. That’s normal for Niseko.
Then on March 11th things became not so normal with the earthquake outside the east coast of Sendai and the devastating tsunamis that followed leaving Fukushima, Sendai and other east coast cities ruined and waiting for rescue. Shaking the houses in Niseko and rocking the world, our eyes and ears have been tuned in to Japanese news every day since March 11th. With so many lives lost, families broken, homes and land destroyed, food shortages, nuclear reactors burning, radiation scares it’s been awkward and hard to be up here trying to enjoy skiing and snowboarding when the country is in pain.
The strong-willed Japanese people have rallied around each other trying to fix and rebuild rather than blame and compare. Their strength is inspirational. Locals in Niseko have helped out as much as possible by throwing many fund raising events in town and on the mountain sending relief-fund donations to Red Cross Japan and the Tohoku earthquake fund. The people of Kutchan and Niseko town have had donation and drop off centers for clothing and other necessities since the disaster struck. Some brave people have re-routed their lives to drive down, look for lost friends and roll up their sleeves to help out the poor victims that have been in our thoughts and prayers.
Some tourists stayed on and rode out their vacations but many foreigners cancelled their holidays and Niseko has been very very quiet as of March 11th. We have been safely tucked away in Niseko and Hokkaido has for the most part been spared from this disaster. Our hearts go out to the coastal cities of Honshu and the people in pain. Here is a few photos of what it’s been like up on the mountain since mid March. Enjoy the snow quietly
Posted on March 5th, 2011 2 comments
Niseko has had a snowy start to this “spring-season” of March and it feels more like early February with the temps and snowfall. With over 50cm of dry powder the first few days of the month, it’s been days of knee-deep early mornings and powder night sessions with no high season crowds. Day or night, ski or snowboard, it’s been sweet at all areas across Niseko from Hanazono to Annupuri. The weather is looking to stay snowy this week (as far as the forecast can predict) so all is good.
Looking back to last March 2010, Niseko boasted 3+meters of new snow and some March snow totals in the past have been even deeper.
It looks promising for good snow for the locals and our Holiday Niseko guests out enjoying the chill part of the season. We hope the powder keeps dumping through the end of March… then fades us into sunny corn snow cruiser runs with great park days until the lift’s shut down in May.
Posted on March 1st, 2011 2 comments
Along with setting you up with accommodation and ski packages, Holiday Niseko can also help in arranging a rental vehicle during your Niseko winter holiday. If you like the freedom of having your own wheels and enjoy exploring parts unknown, the roads around Niseko are ready for you to roll. All you need is an international drivers license permit from your home country and your set. Well… you will also need your passport, credit card and some behaving while behind the wheel. Toyota and BDL both have competitive rates, great selection from wagons to 4WD vehicles and are flexible with you in arrangement. The convenience of having a car in Niseko is a luxury for many reasons besides having crazy photos of digging it out from complete burial. A short drive from Grand Hirafu and you can check out Niseko town’s local farmers market and onsen or stock up on groceries at one of three supermarkets in Kutchan. Fire up the car and cruise to Niseko’s neighboring ski areas of Moiwa, Chise-nupuri or a take a drive to the coast and rest your legs for a day.
Not to take away from riding the free ski-bus (for ski-pass holders) between your accommodation and the resort. The bus system works well and runs often from early morning to late night getting you between Kutchan, Hirafu, Niseko Village (Hilton) and all the way around the mountain to Annupuri. Hanazono’s free-bus has you covered and runs every 30 minutes as well. Setting you up with a car rental is just another service that we offer. How ever you like to roll, we can help.