The Niseko Local Rules have been in place since 1999 and have helped to put Niseko on the map as one of the ultimate powder destinations in the world. The implementation of the rules were at the time of their inception ground breaking in Japan, opening up back country and off piste terrain that had previously been off limits. 
As you read this many southern hemisphere ski resort chairlifts have already begun spinning, a positive sign for the ski industry the world over. Here in Niseko we are hoping that the resort opening will also go ahead as planned too and that travel to Japan will be possible and practical.
In the last look at the seaside adventures close to Niseko we headed north west to Kamoenai, this time around we head south west to the Toyoura District and the beaches around Okishi and Rebun. Here we are greeted by long sandy beaches and a sea speckled with sunshine and fishing buoys that mark the oyster and scallop farms stretching accross Uchiura Bay.
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.
After what has seemed like an eternity, the possibility of international travel has finally begun to show promise with talk of select borders opening accross the world. If that wasn't enough to get you fizzing about a potential ski holiday the news that the majority of Southern Hemisphere ski fileds will be opening this winter is very exciting indeed.
International travel is currently an uncertainty but we are still getting a great number of people enquiring about the possibility of a trip to Niseko. The most common query we receive is, "what is your cancellation policy?" This is something we have recently revised to add more flexibility to and hope that this will provide our guests with greater peace of mind through the booking process.
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.
Hiking options in Niseko are endless, whether you enjoy hiking trails in the summer or you are looking for a bottomless powder experience in the depths of winter. We recently went for a mix of the two, hiking Mt Weiss in the last week of April. Weiss is a smaller mountain to the north west of Mt Annupuri which is home to the Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri ski fields.
Tucked just below Niseko Vilage on the Higashiyama side of the tracks is a couple of hidden local gems, Milk Kobo and Prativo Restaurant.
Across the world the Niseko area has become famous for it's incredible snow and fantastic resorts but there is more to Niseko than just amazing skiing. In the summer time golf is a pastime enjoyed by locals and tourists a like and for good reason. Niseko is home to a great number of fantastic courses and spring through autumn the opportunities to play a wide variety of courses abound.