Niseko snowboarding holidays in Japan are quite simply the best in Asia, some would say the world. That may sound like an ambitious claim, with so many contenders, but Niseko does have some unique assets which others cannot match.
That’s probably why so many of the world’s best and most dedicated boarders make their way to Niseko each winter, and in many cases they keep coming back.
Niseko snowboarding holidays: Why?
Of course the number one attraction is the snow. Niseko receives more snow than (almost) anywhere else on earth – 20 metres of the stuff some years with an average of over 14m. And it’s amazing snow too, super light, almost weightless. It also keeps arriving day after day whereas in Europe or north America you’re lucky if it arrives for more than one day in a week.
The awesome snow is a consequence of the warm air currents that bring it being toasted ultra dry for thousands of miles as they crossed Asia. Before scooping moisture from the sea of Japan and quickly depositing the fluffy stuff in abundance on Hokkaido, Japan’s northerly island where Niseko is located.
But it’s not JUST the snow. A Niseko snowboarding holiday is a very different cultural experience to Europe and North America making the long flight well worth the effort. The resort is also a vibrant mix of Japanese and international clientele resulting in a great mix of après ski and dining styles from around the world.
And a visit to the onsen baths is a must during your stay. A public hot springs bath with a personal cleansing ritual before you go in – both spiritually and physically enjoyable.
The quality of the resort is excellent too. With wonderful cuisine, including the world’s best sushi. But it’s internationally less well known that Hokkaido is famous for its potatoes, it’s noodles and its dairy. Plus the chocolate is great.
Niseko itself is made up of four base villages, the largest of which is Hirafu, which has the lion’s share of shopping, bars and restaurants. The slopes above are inter-linked in the Niseko United lift pass system and there are 47km of runs and a nice terrain park, although the top attraction for boarders is that powder, access through gates from the main runs.
Snowboarding holidays in Japan
Anyone concerned about the language barrier on Niseko snowboarding holidays in Japan, can rest assured that this is the only truly international resort in Japan. All menus are shown in English and the majority of guests are non-Japanese.
However the resort still has a strong Japanese feel to it. You can just decide how far you immerse yourself into the local culture during snowboarding holidays in Japan.
Similarly those worried about radiation from Fukushima should be reassured that it’s hundreds of miles away on another Japanese island and resort staff say that radiation levels in Niseko are lower than in the UK. Furthermore the devastating tsunami hit a different part of Japan and all buildings in Japan are built to withstand earthquakes.
HT Holidays are the leading accommodation provider in Niseko with all its properties in Hirafu and the widest range in the resort. All of which have free wifi.
The company runs an exclusive Gondola Ski Valet service for its guests, allowing them to leave their boards and boots overnight in heated rooms at the resort’s gondola base station. This means that guests don’t have to take stuff back to their accommodation each day during Niseko snowboarding holidays in Japan.
There’s also an in-resort guest benefit program with the HT Holidays passport card which gives unique discounts for guests around the village in restaurants, onsens and on activities.