Published: February 24th 2010February 24th 2010
A ski trip to Niseko seemed the perfect way to end my 2months of working in Perth's 35+ degree weather, after just hearing by word of mouth how good the snow was there I booked my flights and accomodation in about august and didnt really think twice about it till about a week before i left.
I arrived in Sapporo late tuesday afternoon and caught the bus up to Hirafu, when i arrived in Hirafu it was about -20 and i was just wearing my trackies and a jumper. The kind staff at the welcome centre called the backpackers and they came and picked me up, which worked really well.
After a good nights sleep, i woke to about 20cm of fresh powder, the lady at the reception had told me that they knew of somebody who did cheap ski hires, so i went over there after breakfast and got that sorted. The man from the ski hiring company came and collected me from the backpackers and decked me out with a nice snowboards and some comfy boots, after that they dropped me at the ski lifts and then went back to the backpackers and dropped my shoes off
in my room : ). So i was on the snow by about 10:00 on my first day, the snow was great, there was soo much fresh powder and it was sooo light and dry.
There is no where in Hirafu where you can withdraw cash with a Mastercard so after a couple of days when my funds were running low, i had to catch the bus to Kutchan, which is the neighbouring town,it is about a 15min bus ride which is free after 5. So after about 20mins of walking in kutchan i managed to find an atm and get some money out which was a relief, i then proceeded to the supermarket where i purchased my food supplies for the next 8days or so this consisted of eel, rice, lots of pasta, eggs and other japanese products which i had no idea what they were.
On the 5th day, i had a rest day which consisted of an onsen which was amazing, and a trip into Sapporo to check out the ice festival which was pretty spectacular. After my day off the slopes, i was keen to hit the get out there again and spent the
Night skiing was amazing, visibility was great and there was no one on the mountain
next few days checking out annupuri and the gates, most days there seemed to be at least another 15cm of snow and the sun even popped out for a few hours on a few days which made for pretty incredible skiing.
On my last day they oppend the peak gates which hadnt been open for a few days and after the 20min treck to the top i had a beautiful ride down in waist deep powder down to Hanazono, this run was so great i decided to the peak hike twice more.
This was my first holiday on my own, and Japan was a great place to visit, i felt very safe and every body certainly went out of there way to make sure that you were alright. As for Niseko, the snow was great and even after 10days on the slopes i still feel that there is plenty of terrain that i didnt get to see. Im more than certain i will go back there, and hopefully ill be able to stay for a month or so, it was a seriously wicked place.
There are more photos below