THIS is the last issue of Powderlife for the 2011/2012 season and those who decided to spend the winter in Niseko instead of Europe or the US have been rewarded with record snow, as Hokkaido was swept with some of the heaviest snowfall in decades.
First tracks were in mid November and the beginning of December saw the best early season dump of powder in 50 years, according to Japanese media. Word spread quickly, with visitor numbers picking up fast in late December and January.
While non-stop snowfall for weeks on end is not uncommon here, we’ve had some quite unusual cold snaps with temperatures hovering around -20 degrees Celcius. Niseko, like other parts of Japan, was pounded with blizzards a few times, but we also had more bluebird days in January and February than in previous years. All in all the conditions have been – and still are – fantastic.
Local businesses are profiting and say that March is also looking to be busier than expected, with lots of last-minute bookings coming in. The weather is usually more stable in March, so if you’ve decided to come now you can enjoy the meters of snow that have piled up, warmer temperatures and no queues at the gondolas.
While you’re relishing the last few weeks of powder, some might already be making plans for after the melt. Niseko offers a great variety of outdoor activities in all four seasons and we’ve listed some popular ones for springtime on our Discover Hokkaido page.
Whether or not you decide to stick around here, we hope you’re having a
great time in Niseko and will catch up with Powderlife next season.
Kerstin Winter, Powderlife Managing Editor, email@example.com