WHILE late February and March usually see fewer visitors in Niseko, this year will be different because one of the most important events of the season is about to start.
Hundreds of airline employees are beginning to arrive, with many of them preparing for the World Airline Ski Championships (WASC), which will be held in Niseko Village. It’s the first time Niseko will host this event, and it will be a good opportunity to showcase the assets of the area to the well-travelled participants. It’s likely they will spread the word about skiing destination Niseko.
While participation in the WASC is closed to airline members only, you are of course encouraged to come and cheer. If you would like to show off your own skiing or snowboarding skills and win prizes from Burton and Oakley, head to Hanazono for the straight jump competition, which is open to everyone. After watching or taking part in the competitions, treat yourself to a good meal in some of the unique restaurants we’ve reviewed in our Eat & Drink section.
The owner of Korean restaurant Manpukutei gets most of his supplies sent from his family in Osaka’s Korea Town and only uses his mother’s old recipes from Jeju Island. If you would like to eat European cuisine with Hokkaido ingredients, try the organic farm food at Italian inspired restaurant Prativo or have an authentic Japanese dining experience with homemade Udon noodles at Houzuki.
For those who have time to explore other parts of the island, read about some of the lesser-known getaways on our Discover Hokkaido page. Have a go at indoorwave- surfing on the banks of Lake Toya, marvel at the natural beauty of remote Shirogane and Uryunuma or take the bus to nearby Kutchan and learn about the area’s history and wildlife. But most of all enjoy your holiday!
Kerstin Winter, Powderlife Managing Editor, email@example.com