Niseko is fast becoming known as a wellness and healing destination, with a growing number of onsen accommodations, spas, massage and therapy clinics, yoga classes and retreats. Indulge yourself this winter.
TEXT: KRISTIAN LUND
PHOTOS: AARON JAMIESON
APPEARS IN: POWDERLIFE 2017 WINTER EDITION
If you’re missing your regular yoga sessions from home, there are now plenty of opportunities to take part in classes this winter. With snow falling silently outside, Niseko makes a unique backdrop to practice to. Spring, summer and autumn here are even quieter than winter, and there are more and more yoga retreats popping up throughout the year. For class locations and times in winter, pick up What’s On Niseko, and if you want to come back for a retreat, keep an eye on PowderYoga.com and SanctuaryNiseko.com/Yoga.
Every serious ski resort needs a luxury day spa, and now Hirafu can call itself a serious ski resort. Niseko Spa opens this winter in new condo Haven in the Middle Village. Designed by worldleading Tokyo spa designers, Takara Design, the spa sits on the edge of the village overlooking the tranquil shirakaba (silver birch) forest. Niseko Spa’s offerings include facials and body treatments designed to combat the harsh dry weather in Niseko. They also offer massage, hair treatment, waxing, and nail art.
Yugokorotei Onsen is a little bit hard to say, so many foreign locals simply call it Annupuri Onsen. It’s a rustic old place with a simple indoor bath but an exquisite rotenburo (outdoor bath). When you’ve finished, there is a relaxation lounge with free massage chairs and kids play area.
Weiss Hotel Onsen
Weiss Hotel Onsen near the Hanazono ski resort is somewhat of a local secret, but one of the most elegant onsen in Niseko. There are several indoor baths in a range of styles and temperatures that will suit adults and children who don’t like extreme heat, and there is also a small outdoor bath.
Goshiki Onsen is an ancient old bath house located high up on a pass behind Mt Annupuri. It’s not easy to get to but if you can find a way, bathing in the milky, turqoise water is most certainly an experience you will never forget. You can also ski there, but you have to hike or get a lift back.
Hilton Niseko Village
Ski straight into the Hilton Niseko Village, put your skis in a rack, stroll through the decadent lobby and head on out to the onsen. The indoor bath here tends to be quite hot, but we recommend jumping in before making the dash downstairs to the must-try rotenburo overlooking a carp-filled pond.