WE’VE come to the end of another season of Powderlife, but the ski season in Niseko is still far from over. Locals and tourists alike will be enjoying the ski slopes of Niseko until early May, almost six months after the lift switches were flicked in late November last year. From here on in, Niseko’s famous powder is unlikely to make much of an appearance, but there’s still a solid 4m base caking the top of Mt Annupuri, which will take a good six to eight weeks of warmer weather to melt away to the bare earth.
Although I love the powder season, there’s a place deep down inside me that that secretly loves spring. After months with only a handful of fine days, the sight of blue skies and the unfamiliar feeling of the sun warming my skin are welcome sensations. Although it must be said that this year, we got the best of both worlds – plenty of powder and more bluebird days than usual. Summer is just around the corner, when it will be time to indulge in all those other pleasures that have been put aside for winter. And for those who haven’t seen a Niseko summer, it’s still somewhat of a local secret, but there are few nicer places in the world.
In this issue of Powderlife we put a bit of a wrap on the season and take a little look at what’s ahead. Other than that, it’s still winter and we’ve still got all our regulars, as well as a couple of feature articles: one on Hokkaido’s indigenous Ainu people, and long-time local Dale Riva introduces us to Kurodake in central Hokkaido, which is actually closed for most of the winter because of too much snow! Sekka Dining chefs Kat and Kim review local favourite Restaurant Yo, and we’ve done up a handy guide to help visitors stay safe and on-track off the slopes in Niseko. We hope there’s something of interest in there for everyone.
Well, until next season we at Powderlife wish you all the best and hope to see you back here happy, healthy and enjoying the powdery slopes of Niseko once again. Happy sliding, and happy spring, summer and autumn… and winter in the southern hemisphere for all you bloody Aussies!!
Kristian Lund, Powderlife Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org