Let's start from Niseko, Hokkaido Japan!

Niseko Travel Blog

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Kutchan train station. It's the closest train station to the Hirafu ski resort.
Hokkaido is one of the most popular winter wonderland in the world, especially for ski/snowboard fans. There is a commercial ad in USA talking about some credit card benefit, "the power of using your credit points for travel". One of the examples of using the credit points is when the weather dumps tons of snow in Hokkaido, you can ski there right away using your xxxxxx credit card points. Well, the point is not the credit card though. The point is Hokkaido is well-known for its snow accumulation in winter. Since it is located right across to Siberia by Japan Sea. It picks up tons of snow when the cold front sweeping from Siberia absorbing the moisture from the Japan sea and dumps heavy snow on the mountains in Hokkaido. You can imagine that.

We spent 6 days in Niseko, one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan. The Hirafu ski resort is the biggest one among the four in Niseko area. But it's not just because it is the biggest one there that makes it one of the most popular ski destination. It's because the view that you can see from the top and the slopes of Hirafu, the view of the Mt. Yotei, which the locals named it asMt. Ezo-Fuji because it looks so much like the famous Fuji Mt.
Since it's so famous and so popular, so we couldn't waste any chance that we can to explore the powder world of Hokkaido. We arrived Sapporo, which is also the home to the famous Japanese beer "Sapporo", the day before we set our feet in the deep snow in Hirafu.
There is not much to say about Sapporo at the point since we would definitely spend a lot of time talking about the famous snow festival later on, so let's just say that we had a great time drinking and eating at one of the best restaurants in Sapporo. You shall definitely try the traditional local bar (いざかや izakaya) where Japanese drink and eat after work. It's fun and it's delicious.
So, we took an early train to Niseko and couldn't wait any second to ski/snowboard when we arrive Hirafu. The weather is perfect for skiing and snowboarding, the snow is good, the view is amazing, the only thing sucks is the food at the hill top restaurant. Literally, you have to wait in the line for 20 mins to buy the "food tickets" and another 30 mins to get your food. With the perfect snow outside, I spent 50 mins waiting for my food and finish it in 5 mins. 5 are you going to really taste the food? Well, unless you want to spend 90 mins or so sitting in a room while the perfect powder is exhausted by the crowds outside on the slopes. I bet you will also finish your food in 5 mins. I promise you. ^_^
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Kutchan train station. Its the cl…
Kutchan train station. It's the c…
Mt. Yotei.
Mt. Yotei.
Well, this pic was taken in Jan. 2…
Well, this pic was taken in Jan. …
The crowded hill top restaurant.
The crowded hill top restaurant.
The view of the hill top restauran…
The view of the hill top restaura…
Our snowboard gang.
Our snowboard gang.
After a days ski/snowboard, a bee…
After a day's ski/snowboard, a be…
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photo by: brybrys2003