Niseko, a popular high-end city ski resort in Hokkaido, Japan has emerged as the top pick for winter destination in Asia. Famed for its “champagne powder” snow that blankets the city for an average four-month stretch each year, Niseko bested key contenders in China, South Korea, India and Kazakhstan, according to the South China Morning Post.
The Hong Kong-based publication named Niseko on the recommendations of skiing expert and SkiAsia.com founder Rupert Orchard, who declared that the ski resort in Japan “has all the hallmarks of a great day skiing … loads of fresh powder, deep blue skies, and a sumptuous Japanese meal at a restaurant overlooking the resort.”
New ski haven in Japan
In Niseko, “there always seems to be fresh tracks that can be found, even well into the afternoon,” the long-time ski instructor in China and Japan said, adding the emerging winter destination serves as a solid proof that “when it comes to the sheer quality of resort skiing in Asia, it’s hard to beat Japan.”
It helped too that Niseko is right smack in the middle of a winter hub in Hokkaido, which gives holiday makers the opportunity to try out other forms of snow-based recreational activities other than skiing. Of note as well is that the resort town is equally known for its all-year round action offerings such as hiking and mountain biking during the summer period.
It is likewise noteworthy that significant improvements seen in recent years have put Niseko on the international tourism map. With the ready availability of world-class accommodations, the ski resort has steadily gained attention from travellers around the world.
“In Niseko you can now expect to find luxury hotels and condominiums, Western-style restaurants and international ski schools, many of which are staffed by Australians, Kiwis and Britons,” Orchard said.
The report by SCMP also highlighted the fact that Niseko has become more accessible thanks to the new infrastructures constructed recently, further fuelling the ski resort’s rising popularity.
And per the same report, numerous flight options are available to travellers from Hong Kong as major carriers like Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific fly between the special administrative region (SAR) and Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. For visitors coming from other countries, the ideal way will be via Osaka en route to Sapporo through the domestic flight services.