The Vale Rusutsu has been awarded the World's Best New Ski Hotel 2021 in the 9th edition of the prestigious World Ski Awards on 17 January 2022.
With winter just around the corner, we have been asking ourselves what we are looking forward to the most, and, the obvious answers aside (JAPOW!). The heated debate has arisen as to how to make the most of the winter season in Niseko.
Here, we have compiled all of the best answers into one place to share the best of the Niseko community’s winter plans for all of the guests who can’t wait to arrive and experience the best winter in Japan!
Starting off with the most obvious answers: most, if not all, locals are intensely looking forward to taking out their favourite skis or board and getting waist deep in some of Japan’s best powder. Niseko is home to some of the most consistent snow fall in Japan, and this means that, for lovers of off-piste action, there is more than enough to go around. On any given day, you will see skiers and snowboarders head into the trees and away from the piste to experience their share of Japow, and among them you may also spot some brightly-coloured instructors, happily sharing their favourite spots with locals and guests alike. For more advanced riders, you may see them with one of the many experienced guides, heading out to a ‘secret spot’ or going to ski or ride a favourite line. Every year is an opportunity to improve skiing and riding ability, and every day is the perfect day to experience riding for the first time as well! No matter what level, Niseko will have a ski trail perfect for you, and an instructor or guide who can help take you to the next level.
Another favourite for locals and guests alike seeking the ultimate powder day is taking a CAT for the day, and we’re not talking about our furry little friends either! You can spot CAT’s making their way up the side of a mountain in the distance, and everyone we’ve asked has always given the same answer: “If you can go, then go”. CAT skiing (or snowboarding) is one of the best ways to experience Niseko’s hidden trails that most don’t get to see, away from lift lines and crowds and on a clear day encompass the expansive mountain views. Companies like Weiss Powder Cats and Black Diamond will offer CAT tours daily and involve spending the day being shuttled to the top of an empty mountain and let loose, to shred, pump, and play in some untouched powder heaven!
Last on our list of Powder Thrillers is something you won’t see on the mountain while you are shredding, but something that any local will tell you to experience at least once—snowmobiling! Going out with White Isle Snowmobiling or Hanazono Snowmobiles will give you the chance to charge your way through a field of powder with an experienced guide—one of the ultimate thrills, for those who ski and board and for those who don’t. There are several beautiful trails running through Niseko which perfect for snowmobiling, and locals will tell you the hardest thing about it is wiping the smile from your face when you are finished. For thrill-seekers and families alike, this is a must do activity!
If speed and thrills aren’t your cup of tea though, that doesn’t mean that Niseko has nothing for you. For those who want to experience the glory of snow in nature, many locals suggest snowshoe tours, which will take you out into the peace and stillness of the natural area and show a side of Niseko that you just can’t see from a car or hotel room. As far as tours go, snowshoe tours are the best way to experience the awe of winter in Niseko, and can be suitable for singles, couples, families, and friends—perfect for anybody.
If walking isn’t your game, then head on down to Hanazono and jump in one of NISS’ snowrafts and be towed through the trails around Hanazono in comfort and style, another amazing way to experience the winter we love here in Niseko.
From the simple pleasures to the extremes, there is so much to do and see in Niseko that even locals don’t take advantage of, but that won’t ever stop them from trying! So, if you will be visiting us this winter, remember that there is something for everyone, on and off the mountain. We hope to see as much enjoyment as possible this winter, and if you would like a recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact our Gust Services Team, who will be more than happy to share their favourite winter activities with you. See you soon!
Check out the operating schedules at three Hokkaido Ski Resorts you must visit.
The brand new The Vale Rusutsu and Fenix Furano have has just been named as finalists for the World’s Best New Ski Hotel 2021.