Niseko

Nero is one of the latest properties to be added to the Holiday Niseko portfolio and it is an exceptional one. Nero is your Niseko gateway to indulgence, a no expenses spared snow chalet that can be seen to rival any other in the area. Spread over 3 luxurious floors this 4 bedroom property is your ultimate Niseko home away from home. 
If you have been to Niseko and stayed in Hirafu chances are pretty good you've been to the Burton Store. It is located on the ground floor of the Odin Place building located at the Hirafu Intersection. The store has been open for the last 5 years and it's patronage growing in leaps and bounds from season to season. For those who don't know The Burton Store is a snowboard shop selling Burton hard and soft goods with everything you need to outfit yourself for your time in Niseko.
One of the most popular day trips from Niseko is Otaru, a seaside city famous for fresh seafood, its architecture, a charming canal and sea views. Otaru lies just a one hour drive east of Niseko and draws visitors winter through summer. From Niseko there are a couple of different routes, one which takes the newly formed Yoichi IC expressway or the other over Keinashi Toge passing very popular Kiroro Ski Resort.
Last month we took a look the Toyoura / Okishi area to the south of Niseko and before this Kamoenai which is a stop on the way to the tip of the stunning Shakotan Peninsular. 
When people think of Niseko, they usually imagine incredible powder skiing, hot ramen and snowy vistas. Contrastingly few people associate Niseko with the ocean but surprisingly our snowy mountain town is just a 45 minute drive to closest coast and not much further to 7 distinctly different coastal areas including Toyoura, Shakotan, Otaru, Minato, Kamoenai, Noboribetsu and Shimamaki.
In our second part of a glance at golf we look at another 3 fantastic courses in the Niseko area, Fukui (Niseko Golf Course), Hilton and Niseko Golf & Resort. These 3 great courses are all easily accessible from Hirafu and the journey to Niseko Golf and Resort a charming scenic drive through rural Japan.
Tucked just below Niseko Vilage on the Higashiyama side of the tracks is a couple of hidden local gems, Milk Kobo and Prativo Restaurant. Milk Kobo not surprisingly is a bakery and icecream shop specialising in dairy based delights. The crowd favorites are their delicious cream puffs or shou-cremes, a delicious puff of delicate sweet pastry filled with a not too sweet creme custard that leaves you hanging on every bite.
Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom. You may heard this in the media recently because the people of Tokyo have not been able to attend the annual cherry blossom or Hanami celebrations due to Covid-19. Here in Hokkaido cherry blossom viewing and revelry comes later, this year it is forecast for April 20th but from around mid February there is another sought after sakura in Hokkaido too, the Sakura Masu or Cherry Salmon.
After a short fuel stop in town I continued on around the south side of Lake Toya, stopping only to take photos of active volcanic vents steaming from the top of Showa-Shinzan and other views of Lake Toya. The Eastern side of Toya has one of my favourite campsites in Hokkaido. The Nakatoya campground is a wonderful place to relax by the lakeside with a very convenient onsen located on site, and well stocked camp store.