Shouya Rebranding Hirafu

After creating one of the most talked about restaurants in Hirafu, and building a few elegant but low key developments in the lower village, Shouya Grigg appears to have officially launched the beginnings of ‘Empire Sekka’. At the forefront is the refurbishment of the old J-Second Hotel on the lower side of the traffic lights next to Downtown Café – rebranded J-Sekka.
The chic new exterior is just the beginning – the huge old building houses the new Sekka restaurant, a Japanese tapas restaurant, a high end lounge bar in the old hotel foyer, a french bistro in what was originally a huge disco hall, a massage space, four luxry holiday apartments, and the new Rhythm and Beats ski hire retail store. On the street front Sekka Deli is a much needed alternative to the local konbini – providing gourmet local fare predominantly from across Hokkaido.

UK Brand Surfanic Arrives in Niseko

Upcoming UK snowboard outfit Surfanic were so impressed with Niseko they plan to make the Japanese powder haven an integral part of their global marketing campaign. Surfanic pride themselves on making stylish gear for the hardcore boarder who’s going to go out and give it a damn good thrashing. They also reckon the most memorable and enjoyable snowboarding moments generally occur when your mates have major stacks – hence their advertising campaign heavily focused on big wipeouts. They’ve chosen the Niseko Photography team to be their official product testers because they spend most of their days jacket deep in powder and need a solid set of threads on their backs. Surfanic are giving away a complete outfit in return for a good stack pic. Email pics to ed@powderlife.com.

Bumper Season Forecast

After a low snowfall season (only 12m!?) an early start to winter 07/08 was an omen locals had been praying for – if history is anything to go by, early starts in Hokkaido equate to bumper seasons. And so far it’s right on track with over 2m before the end of the year. The resort opened on 23 November, the equal second earliest since the whiteout season of 02/03. In fact that year, it also opened on the 23rd, while at the start of all-time season 05/06 the lifts started turning on the 19th. Last year the resort opened on December 1, as it did in 01 and 04, while in 03 it opened on December 7.

Editor’s Note

 

Welcome to the very first issue of Powderlife!

It’s no secret Niseko has the best powder in the world, but there’s a lot you didn’t know about this amazing little corner of the world as well. Powderlife’s crew of local Japanese and foreign powderhounds are resident experts. Pick up.your Powderlife when you want to get up to speed with what’s going on in the village and on piste – we don’t want you to waste a minute of your holiday. Powderlife is printed every second week throughout the season so no matter when you arrive pick up a copy and you’re in the loop. We hope you enjoy your Powderlife!