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Hokkaido Road Stations

The Michi No Eki's in Hokkaido are a must stop on any road trip, with something unique and often delicious in every one. So what is a Michi no Eki ? It is a government designated road station or rest area where you will always find a clean bath room and quite likely fresh vegetables, souvenirs snacks, possibly a restaurant, road information and maybe even a ski field! The Michi no Eki`s will often be stocked with fresh produce from the area and showcase whatever tourist attraction the region is famous for. 

Maruyama Park Sapporo

Many people who travel to Hokkaido will often not see much more than Chitose Airport and the resort area of Niseko. While this is in fact more than enough adventure for most and makes for an incredible ski holiday, with just a little deviation from the more well trodden path there is a whole island of adventures to embark on. Just an hour and a half by car lies Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido and 5th largest in Japan. This vibrant metropolis is of course a detsination of its own full of fantastic eatieries, restaurants and shopping opportunities.

Autumn falls in Niseko

Autumn is a welcome season here in Niseko, a rest from the heat of the summer and step further toward the incredible snow the area recieves in winter. Everywhere you look there are beautiful autumnal scenes to enjoy, even right here in Hurafu vlllage. This makes the autum a great time to visit the area enjoy the coulurs, the restaurants and the onsens.

Shimamaki Snow Cats

Shimamaki Snow Cats is said by many to be one of the best cat skiing operations in Hokkaido. Run by Hokkaido Back Country Club they provide access to some incredible terrain and of course acres of bottomless powder.

Combine this with its unique oceanside location with incredible views of the surounding peaks and the Sea of Japan you have an experience not to be missed.

If this wasn't enough just imagine a 2 or even 4 day tour with a Japanese Ryokan style hotel stay, onsens and an incredible dinner of freshly caught seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

Relaxing Onsens in Niseko

  When you are here enjoying your holiday in Niseko, you have to kick back and relax in one of Grand Hirafu's onsens. The Niseko area is famous for many beautiful onsens (sulfuric hot springs) and the social ediquette surrounding them. Most of them are built outside in the open-air and usually have separate male and female baths. There is a mixed gender set up in the village if guests want to bathe together and most onsens have mineral baths and massage options's all here in Niseko for you to relax and experience all year long.

Changing Seasons in Niseko

It has been only 3 weeks since a busy last week of season, Golden Week, and the lifts closing here in Niseko but in that time the landscape has changed from a snow covered white one and slowly transformed, going through an almost autumn colour palette to an almost entirely green one. In a few more weeks Niseko will be fully green and summer holiday makers will be enjoying the cooler summer temperatures that Hokkaido has to offer people from the hotter southern climates of south Japan or Asia.

Run from the hills, run for your lives

There are currently 108 active volcanoes in Japan (ten percent of the world’s total). On average eruptions or abnormal phenomena are observed at 10 volcanoes a year in Japan. In Japan an active volcano is defined as “volcanoes which have erupted within 10,000 years or volcanoes with vigorous volcanic gas and water vapor releases.” In Hokkaido 19 volcanoes fit that description and there have been 16 large-scale eruptions in the last 350 years (3 were of an equal scale to the 1980 Mt Saint Helens eruption).

As high as a kite in Annupuri

If you are driving near the Annupuri ski resort around dawn or dusk during the summer months you may have noticed a strange yellow object in the sky.  It is the Niseko Balloon and recently I got the chance to check it out. I headed out to the Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort at 4pm as I wanted to see the whole process of setting up a hot air balloon.


Hokkaido Government Travel agent Licence No. 3-777
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