Archive | Fluff

Records Tumble in Historic Season

While it’s far from done, season 2011/12 is winding down – and what a season it has been. Here in Niseko, and all over Japan, the record books have been rewritten. And for those of us lucky enough to have skied and boarded here we’re not likely to forget the last few months for a […]

Yes, it’s Chocolate Beer!

WHAT happens when Hokkaido’s leading brewery and chocolate makers decide to collaborate? Beer-flavoured chocolate?! No, believe it or not, chocolate-flavoured beer!

Sapporo beer and Royce chocolates joined forces to brew a limited edition beer that’s apparently ‘bitter with the smell of chocolate everywhere’.

In other beer news, Japan’s beer consumption has dropped by 13 per cent. That can’t be the case in party town Niseko, so kanpai!

Paddy’s turns one with birthday bash

NISEKO’S year-round residents love a good party in the off-season, and Paddy’s first birthday bash raised the roof with locals gathering to celebrate their new local pub.

Paddy put on free drinks and food to get the party started and it lasted well in to the night.

Late October/early November is traditionally a quiet time in Niseko as many businesses take a few weeks off before the busy season, however there’s plenty going on at the moment.

With the first ‘snow’ icon showing on our snow report page today, it’s a good reason to celebrate and there’s plenty of festivity going on this Halloween weekend.

100 X Y100 Otaru beers at J-Sekka // 3 – 10pm
Paddy’s Trivia Night at Paddy’s // 7pm
Avalanche Information Evening // 7pm at the Yuki Bar

Niseko Halloween at Annupuri // 3 – 8pm

Brews of Japan: the Beer in Review

LIKE many countries, Japan takes a great deal of pride in its national beers – or ‘biru’, in the local dialect. Whilst its wines have not reached the heights of other countries like Australia and New Zealand, Japan’s premium beers are often ranked up with the best in the world in their categories. It may be something about the formulaic process of brewing that suits the country that invented and perfected the production line, that sees all its major brewers rolling out near-perfect lagers.

Thanks for the snow, sis’

While it hasn’t broken any records yet, signs are still good we’ll have a bumper season this year. The prevailing El Nino weather system of last year – which meteorologists blamed for what was believed to be the lowest snowfall in 80 years – has backed off and in exchange we’ve got its snow-friendly sibling.

El Nino is Spanish for little boy and describes a weather pattern that often severely affects the climates of countries in and around the Pacific Ocean – generally in the form of droughts, floods, and temperature extremes.

La Nina on the other hand, means little girl, and brings very different but similarly extreme weather patterns to the same areas.

In Japan, cold northwest winds typically blow over the Sea of Japan and form snow clouds as they meet the warm water vapour off the ocean, thereby bringing heavy snowfall to areas along Japan’s western coastline.

Mazda releases MX5 named after Niseko!

Mazda UK have introduced a special edition Mazda MX-5 Niseko model to leverage off the burgeoning global reputation of Niseko.

Named after the ski resort, the MX-5 Niseko is meant to point out the cute roadster’s all-weather abilities and warm up the gloomy winter for UK-based motorists.

On sale from the beginning of 2008 for £17,995 on-the-road, the Niseko offers up to £2,000 worth of additional or exclusive extras over and above the equivalent standard models.

Buyers are treated to Niseko badging on each front wing, and Niseko embroided floor mats, front fog lamps, an icy blue limited edition colour, unique dark brown premium cloth for the fabric roof, dark brown heated leather seats, with matching door trim, steering wheel, gear knob, and handbrake.

Niseko owners will also enjoy a degree of exclusivity as production of this latest Mazda MX-5 model will be restricted to 800 units and will be released exclusively in the UK.

ACL injuries: from tear to repair

I have an interest in knees and while staffing Niseko Physio in the 2006/7 season, decided to begin an extended research program into the biomechanics of snowboarding and the strength of the knee ligaments. As part of this study, I decided to further test the ability of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial co-lateral ligament (MCL) to withstand a blunt force blow – delivered by a tree – to the lateral aspect of the shin while travelling over 30km/h. As I suspected in my hypothesis; the ACL and MCL were unable to withstand this force. The research has continued through the surgical reconstruction phase and now into the end stage rehabilitation. This has been an invaluable research experience for all concerned.