Hokkaido – Niseko
Hokkaido is is the second largest island of Japan, and the largest and northernmost prefecture. The name Hokkaido literally means Northern Sea Circuit. The largest city on Hokkaido is its capital, Sapporo, which is also its only ordinance-designated city. About 43 km north of Hokkaido lies Sakhalin island, Russia, whereas to its east and north-east are the disputed Kuril Islands.
Tourism is an important industry in Hokkaido, especially during the cool summertime when visitors are attracted to Hokkaido’s open spaces from hotter and more humid parts of Japan and other Asian countries. During the winter, skiing and other winter sports bring other tourists, and increasingly international ones, to the island.
Here’s Why Niseko in Hokkaido is a World-Class Tourist Destination
Japow – Unique Japanese Powder Snow
Hokkaido is praised for having the best snow in the world. The geography of the area combined with the weather conditions of cold air and snow clouds formations are the key secrets to Hokkaido’s powder snow. From December to May, snowfall averages an incredible 18 meters annually. Siberian winds interacting with moisture from the Sea of Japan provides a snow cover for Niseko that is among the driest and lightest in the world. The resulting “champagne powder” is internationally acclaimed.
Due to Hokkaido’s extreme climate and the difference in temperature between day and night, the quality and sweetness of fruit and vegetables from the area is world renown. The primary agricultural products include potatoes, rice, melons, asparagus, tomatoes and lily bulbs. The potatoes and asparagus are world famous for their taste.
A taste of the Japanese culture
Affluent tourists appreciate Hokkaido’s food and the Onsens (hot springs). The region is famous for its seafood (Including UNI and CRABS) and agricultural products. Onsens have healing particularities that are in high demand among Asians.
Niseko is distinct for its Après Ski culture, perceived as the town’s chief advantage over other ski resorts in Hokkaido.
Main features of the new Chitose International Airport, to which Niseko is well-connected
The airport, which is Hokkaido’s largest, has been refurbished recently and flights have increased significantly.
- Current annual passenger capacity stands at 20.5 million users as of 2015
- The airport is 45km from Sapporo city center or a 2-hour drive to Niseko
- Direct international flights from 14 major Asian cities and 31 domestic routes
- Five bays in international terminal (additional 3 expansion plans)
- Number of passengers on the Tokyo-New Chitose route exceeds 9 million annually, making it one of the world’s busiest routes
- Adjacent to Chitose Air Base and permitted to use each other’s’ connected runways
- Airport averages a total of 42 hourly arrivals and departures during peak travel times