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 year
羊蹄山Youtei-zan (pronounced Yoo-tay and not you-tie or ute-tee) dominates the surrounding Hirafu-Niseko skyline. Mt Yotei is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan and the name can be translated as sheep’s foot. Standing 1898m tall, Mt Yotei is also known as Shiribeshi-yama, Makkarinupuri and Ezo Fuji (Hokkaido Fuji). Mt Yotei is an active stratovolcano less than 100,000 years old.
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.
In winter many international guests often ask us what we do over the summer months. “Do we remain open?” and “Who visits Niseko in summer?” are also common questions. Yes, we do stay open, and we are kept relatively busy providing accommodation for the domestic market.
One of the more popular summer tour destinations in Niseko is Milk Kobo in Higashiyama,(on the road to Niseko Hilton).