Spring is back here in Niseko and its awesome, soft snow, stunning views and sunshine!
I has been a fantastic easter, with easter egg hunts, free passes and rentals for the kids, uncrowded slopes and great spring skiing for all.
Well worth the journey for those who took advantage of our super cheap March rates!
It's been another epic winter here in Niseko and to celebrate Lava Lounge and Holiday Niseko have something for you!
Want to win a brand new Slash Snowboard signed by our buddy Will Jackways.
All you need to do is tell us why you should win and like the Lava Lounge Facebook page and you are in to win!
The importance of good goggles can easily be over looked especially by first timers who will for not knowing better accept second-rate vision, sometimes for days on end, it doesn’t have to be this way! Quality goggles and the vision they provide can really improve your day on the mountain especially here in Niseko where snowy days can be the norm. Below are a few tips to keep your vision clear and one step closer to that perfect powder day.
Extra lense - Buy the best quality goggles you can and if your are planning to come to Niseko shelling out for that extra lense is a purchase you will not regret. Buy one lense for the dark and snowy days and one for the bright and sunny. In recent years lense changing has gone from a chore to a breeze and there are some excellent systems available.
Nice and dry – We’re not just talking about the Niseko powder here, when you have finished for the day don’t leave your goggles in your jacket pocket or back pack for the night. Wet goggles equal foggy googles so dry them properly at night, removing the lenses can make things easier here.
BYO – Renting goggles should be avoided at all costs, they will often be scratched and won’t come with that all-important spare lense. Plus washing goggles is near impossible and you’ll be sharing the last customer tears and whatever other horrors may have been soaked into the foam.
Dab don’t wipe- Inevitably snow will get on and into your goggles and you’ll need to clean them, where ever possible dab don’t wipe especially the inside of your goggles. This way you will avoid scratches and be able to soak up more water especially if you end up using tissues.
On your face – Goggles go on your face not on your head. As soon as you put your goggles on top of your head the inside lense will start to gather moisture, moisture that turns into fog and as we know foggy goggles can turn a good day to a bad one. This point is especially important if you are hiking. If you take your goggles off keep them in your hand lense up and if they are wet and snowy on the inside wait until you can dry them before putting them back in their bag and in your pocket.
Summer time is so far removed from the Niseko winter it is sometimes hard to imagine that you’re even in the same place! The black and white landscape so many of us know is transformed into refreshingly lush hills of rolling green. It is not only the lansdscape that comes to life here but also the people as summer is festival time. Brightly coloured costumes, busy stalls, plenty of beer and of course to top it all off fire works aplenty.
The whole region has festivals staggered through out the month of August from Kuthchan to Kiowa, Hirafu to Iwanai and everywhere in between.
As you can see at every festival you will find a celebration of colour, a celebration of food and a celebration of summer.
Above the Iwanai seafood festival's grand finale.
Above scarecrows in Kyowa below Hirafu's own festival coming to life post rainstorm.
Cow parade- If you are visiting Niseko any time till October the cow parade quite literally can’t be missed!
It all kicked off way back on Friday July 3rd at the Niseko Village, Two Sticks area with a delightful opening party that included fine wine, great beer, live Jazz and of course plenty of cows!
Today 47 Cows adorned in a varied assortment of artistic expressions can be found enjoying the sun (and the rain) through out the village and surrounds.
Each cow is sponsored by a local business and will eventually be auctioned off for charity. Pictured above Holiday Niseko's own bovine beauty Dorothy.
If you are in the area come and enjoy the largest public art event in the world running June through October.
What Niseko’s summer of 2015 has lacked in terms of sunshine it has made up for in terms of progress. Quite literally everywhere you look there is a construction project going on some big some large some dauntingly huge.
One that can’t be missed on the road into Hirafu is Irenka, which translates as Utopia in the Ainu language. This heavenly development boasts parks, ponds and promises plots for hotels and other large-scale accommodation along with residential properties and other commercial interests and opportunities. Potential developers are sure to make the most of this exciting opportunity that boasts a 6 story maximum height restriction and impressive 25 hectare area.
In central Hirafu things are just as busy with new developments popping up on very corner. Not least being the latest addition to Holiday Niseko portfolio Flow, an exciting, new and stylishly appointed apartment complex boasting incredible views of Yotei, welcoming 2 bedroom apartments and convenient studio units.
More on Flow here.
In other Holiday Niseko construction news, the view from the office has also improved or more accurately the view from Hirafu Zakka with the removal of those ubiquitous power lines from the Seicomart / Bakery corner all the way to the Alpen. These are now safely underground ground leaving us with vastly improved views of the Hirafu slopes.
On the road out of Hirafu one can’t help but notice AYA a ski in ski out hotel of grandiose proportions and promise. This one will be big folks and feature a wide array of accommodation, onsens, an art gallery, a fitness center and much more.Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until the 2016/17 winter for this one.
2015 is undoubtedly the year for progress here in Hirafu and is most certainly a sign of great things to come. Investment opportunities are definitely on the increase here and maybe this is the year for you to see what all the fuss is about.
The second annual Niseko Classic was held on Saturday July 11th supported by new sponsor Boardman Bikes. The event was a huge success with over 300 keen lycra clad bodies vying for the fastest time in either the 70 or 140km categories. Competitors journeyed over the hill, down to the sea and back again on what at the time may have been the hottest day of the year! The big news for Holiday Niseko was our own Ashley Nichols coming in 40th over the finish line in a 200 strong field and an impressive 10th in the 40-50 year old section. The days champions seen below on the 140km podium.
1.Dow Wei – Team GRCC – Malaysia
2. Masato Ishitsuki – Aprica/WCU – Chiba
3. Ken Shimizu – Team Niseko – Kutchan
Well, what can we say! It has been a long dry and warm summer here in Niseko, with temperatures being above normal but finally they have dropped with the first flakes settling on the mountain tops and the landscape turning gold and red as we write. The main reason for this blog however, is to thank Waza and crew for the great Hangi (wikipedia link) , a traditional Maori meal cooked in a ground oven, we put on 3 weeks back in the backyard of Yukon Apartments. We must also thank all who turned out to enjoy the great fare that was dug out after 5 hours in the oven. Thanks Waza and crew, that's all who helped and came to eat! Check below for some photos from the day and for more photos check Simon's flirkr set. (link below) Hope to see you all soon, Holiday Niseko Team
Waza making a basket
getting the vege ready
Waza preparing the food
red hot iron and rock
meat spiced and ready
Hangi on the table
time to eat
Simon's flickr set of the Waza and Holiday Niseko's Hangi
With the kick off of the Sapporo Beer Festival last weekend and a great day there on a journey back into Niseko it has made us think of what there is locally to do this weekend? And lucky for us, in amongst the planned swims in the river and tennis, we are going to go down to Kanro No Mori for a few beers, festive Latino dancing, fireworks and great Japanese festival fare. Also luckily for us the weather is looking like it will be fine with a bit of cloud cover. Kanro no Mori Summer Festival starts tonight and goes till Sunday, it is from 6pm to 9pm. As mentioned the Sapporo Beer Festival is also on at present and runs for about 3 weeks, if you are planning a summer trip to Niseko to enjoy great outdoors activities such as golf , tennis, hiking or a bit of trout fishing you should make sure you stop in at Sapporo on you way through for a few local brews. Japanese only flyer but I think you can get the jist.. Enjoy and maybe see you there!