CNY 2019 PC Alex Bradbury 20

Celebrations in Niseko; Red, White and Gold

Every year thousands of people visit the snowy wonderland of Niseko in December, seeking deep powder and hard-earned turns, but for every guest that comes for the mountain, another guest comes to experience a snow filled Christmas and New Year, or to enjoy Chinese New Year just a few weeks later.

So, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones that make it for Christmas or either New Year (get in early, these dates book first every year!), you have a lot to look forward to!

Christmas Event The Maples 2018 17

Christmas is perhaps the most sought-after dates in to visit Niseko, and for good reason! For many, a white Christmas is something you will only see in movies, but here in Niseko you can expect to enjoy a white Christmas like no other, with some of the best powder in the world at your doorstep. Guests at The Vale and The Maples will be welcome to Hot Chocolate (and Mulled Wine for the adults) in the afternoon and can enjoy these nice warm drinks while Santa visits to hand out presents to all the good boys and girls!

A few days later, the whole town is once again ready to celebrate! Many parties that will last into the early hours of the morning can be found, as well as a beautiful firework display on the mountain once the clock strikes zero. Before this though you will also find events held in the hotels throughout town. This year The Vale will offer a traditional Sake breaking and tasting in addition to some traditional Mochi making, a Japanese desert made by smashing the ingredients repeatedly with a large wooden hammer! Over at The Maples, the atmosphere will be more relaxed with a live Jazz Band performance and more Hot Chocolate to keep you warm.

Only a few weeks later still, Chinese New Year is welcomed into the town and the festivities begin once again. During this time many restaurants have special menus and you will once again have no trouble finding a party going early into the AM, but if you aren’t one for the party, there is still something for you! The Vale Niseko hosts a Taiko Drum performance followed immediately by a Shishimai, or a Japanese Lion Dance using an intricately designed lion puppet controlled by a team of skilled lion dancers, which is guaranteed to draw a crowd every year.

Although Christmas, NYE and CNY are the most popular celebrations in Niseko, Japan also has a very unique festival, and if you happen to be here in March, then you may get to see, or even take part in, Hinamatsuri! Hinamatsuri, or Dolls/Girls Day in English, a day dedicated to celebrating girls and wishing for their good health. During this time of year, you will find many intricately prepared hina-ningyo, or ornamental dolls, displayed proudly throughout the town representing the Emperor, Empress and various attendants of the royal court during the Heian Period. To add to the festivities this year, The Maples is offering a Kimono Wearing Experience, and some of the staff will also wear Kimono for the day.

So if you are going to be in Niseko this year, or if you would like to include any of these fantastic celebrations into your holiday, you can find all the details in the schedule below.

Christmas Events: 25 December 2019

The Vale Niseko

• 15:00 - 18:00: Complimentary Mulled Wine and Hot Chocolate
• 15:00 - 16:00: Santa & Elf Visit
• 16:00 - 18:00: Face Painting

The Maples Niseko

• 15:00 - 18:00: Complimentary Mulled Wine and Hot Chocolate
• 15:00 - 17:00: Face Painting
• 17:00 - 18:00: Santa & Elf Visit

New Year Events: 1 January 2020

The Vale Niseko

• 17:00 - 18:00: Sake breaking & tasting
• 17:15 - 18:00: Mochi making

The Maples Niseko

• 16:00 - 18:00: Live Jazz Band Performance
• 16:00 - 18:00: Complimentary Hot Chocolate

Chinese New Year Event: 25 January 2020

The Vale Niseko

• 17:00 - 17:30: Taiko Drums Performance
• 17:45 - 18:00: Shishimai Performance (Japanese Lion Dance)

Girls' Day Event (Hinamatsuri): 3 March 2020

The Maples Niseko

• 16:00 - 18:00: Kimono Wearing Experience

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