Janne skiing Niseko trees
Japan, the land of the rising sun. It’s a fascinating country with a culture that’s
so different that we are used to. It’s very well organized, efficient and the people
are so polite. It’s not that often you have the people taking care of the ski lifts
bowing and thanking you for using the ski lift.
Due to the short time in Japan and the time to travel between places, we decided
to just ski one ski area and not two as earlier planned. Our choice was Niseko.
Niseko consist of one mountain (Mt Niseko An’nupuri) with 4 ski areas
(An’nupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu and Hanazono) that are connected.
Jocke ripping the trees
The combination of a rather low mountain (summit at 1308 meter with approx.
900 vertical meter) and the closeness to the ocean would make you think that
the snow is not that good. But that’s not the case for Niseko; the snow is
amazingly light and dry. It’s also snowing a lot in Niseko and we had so much
incredible snow during our visit. The weather is weird and it changes rapidly.
You can have sunshine, then 3 minutes later it’s snowing and then 10 minutes
later you have sun again.
Richard ripping Niseko powder
The skiing is very good with all this fluffy dry snow and we had some of the
best skiing so far on our journey. Especially the tree skiing is fantastic with
nice space between the trees and all these snow pillows on the trees.
You’ll get the best skiing by traversing through the gate next to the King Lift
in the Hanazono area. Traverse as long as you can and then head down through
the open areas and the trees until you reach a traverse road that you need to
hike up to get back to the ski lifts. Yes, you can hike to the summit and get
some good skiing on the back of the mountain, but then you need to prepared
to hike a lot when you get down.
Janne skiing the back bowl of Niseko
If you like night skiing, Niseko is the place to go to. It’s open until 21.00 in
the evening and they have a lot of lights that gives good visibility.
It’s not that much action going on in the Niseko Grand Hirafu village where
we lived, except for a lot of Aussies partying hard. You can though find a
number of really good small Japanese restaurants with very good food.
Sapporo Snow Festival
We spent a day resting and going to the Snow Festival in Sapporo. Some
amazing snow and ice sculptures were displayed in a 1200-meter long area.
The festival is well worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Tokyo is an interesting city with a great buzz. You’ll find a lot of things to
do and if you are in to Japanese food, expensive shopping and karaoke, it’s
plenty of it.
Karaoeke on a high level, maybe the next James Hetfield
A place you need to visit is the fish market that’s the busiest fish market in the
world. It’s huge and totally crowded with people and small trucks. You’ll find
any kind of fish, squid and clams, but tuna seems to be the king. Having sushi
for breakfast in the fish market is fantastic and most likely the best sushi in the
Tokyo fish market
Some small pieces of stunning tuna
Breakfast sushi at Tokyo fish market - The best sushi in the world
Now we’ll have a short brake from skiing when traveling to China and Tibet.
First stop is Beijing to be followed with a 3-day train ride on the highest
altitude railroad in the world to Tibet.