The projected opening date for Niseko Grand Hirafu Resort is only a month away with snowfall already occurring down in Hirafu village and surrounding areas. It’s officially time to get excited for Niseko Winter 2018!
With last winter yielding a little over 30ft of natural snowfall on the hill it was considered an “average” result for the season in these parts, so this year we’re praying to the powder gods to crank things up another notch for 2017/18. Don’t forget to pack that snorkel; you’re going to need it in the white room!
While you’re waxing those skis, perfecting that shred-list, and daydreaming of back-to-back powder days, check out a few of the latest developments here in (soon-to-be) powder paradise:
New Quad Chair Lift
The construction of the new Ace Family Quad Lift located outside Alpen Ridge and NBS is now well underway. Set for completion in December, the extra seating capacity and speed will boast an extra 1200 people per hour, significantly reducing congestion. At almost 100 meters longer than the previous Ace Family Pair Lift, all those extra turns will be fantastic for learners hoping for more ride-time.
Additionally, right next door at Niseko United’s Annupuri Resort, the aptly named “Dream #1 Quad Lift” is under construction with an estimated completion date of December 2017.
The 430+m lift will run adjacent to the base facilities, granting ski-in/ski-out access to Niseko Northern Resort An’nupuri, Nook Annupuri and Annupuri Rest House. Handy!
Local Medical Services
The Niseko International Clinic is set to open its doors in December 2017, providing all-English services to winter guests. Medical services offered include general practice, sports injuries, minor emergencies, paediatrics and women’s health. The facility will also offer a wide range of medical tests which will be of great convenience to local staff and guests, preventing the need to travel the extra distance into Kutchan town where translation services are often overburdened. Niseko International Clinic will be located near Yamada Intersection and operate 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.
Niseko Makes the Cut!
Will Niseko United take the title of Japan’s Best Ski Resort for its 5th year running? The finalists for the World Ski Award’s prestigious 2017 programme – the only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in ski tourism – were recently announced and Niseko has made the cut again. Fingers crossed for another gold badge announcement in November!
Ski School Branch Opening on Hirafu Zaka St
Niseko’s premier all-in-one Ski & Snowboard School, Kids Club, Rental & Retail centre is opening a brand new branch conveniently located opposite Hirafu 188. NBS Uptown – located on the first floor of the Piz Gloria building – will provide rental and retail services, as well as an onsite cafe providing delicious snacks and an energising caffeine boost for skiers and boarders heading to and from the Ace Quad Lift at .Base.
Take a Dip!
Aside from the top-notch riding conditions, Niseko also boasts a wide selection of naturally heated onsen facilities. Soaking in the mineral-rich waters of these Japanese hot-pools after a day of deep turns on the mountain is the perfect way to relax: surrounded by snow drifts, the steam rising up and melting the fluttering snow before it hits the surface… the only sounds are the light slosh of water and the steady clunk of a distant bamboo water hammer. Absolute bliss.
Take a look at our Onsen Guide for details (*subject to change)
Planning to visit Niseko this season? Check out the wide range of accommodation options available in the region: from deluxe penthouse apartments to quirky pensions and backpackers.