70 TRUCKLOADS of dirt and a payload of hard work by a talented team of enthusiastic locals has brought the Hanazono Bike Park to life.
The bike park is one of the exciting new components of the Hanazono Activity Centre, which is set to open on June 26, coinciding with the first Niseko Hanazono MTB Competition, a Japan Cycling Federation-certified event.
As well as the mountain biking facilities, the new activity centre boasts a wakeboard park and ‘Bag Jump’ air bag for landing aerial tricks on mountain bikes as well as skis and snowboards off a dry ramp.
The final touches are being put on the MTB skills park (pictured) which is designed as a training ground to hone skills like jumping, braking, cornering and balancing for the real mountain bike trails.
Starting from behind the Hanazono 308 Day Centre, 3km of trails have been built through forests and down the main ski slopes of the Hanazono resort.
There’s also a kids mini-downhill course in the Hanazono bowl just below Hanazono 308.
Groove Cycles owner Paul Butkovich and local mountain biker Martin Tse designed and project managed the creation of the parks and trails.
Paul said this was the first commercial mountain bike park he was aware of in Hokkaido and hoped it would inspire more local people to take up the sport.
“Hopefully it motivates people to get a mountain bike now and actually want to get into the sport,” he said.
“There’s nothing in Hokkaido like this, there’s a spot in Sapporo where there’s a jump park but it’s private. As far as I know this is the first real commercial mountain bike park opening in Hokkaido, and hopefully it will encourage people to get into the sport.
“Hopefully there will be training sessions and mountain bike clinics. This is a really good place to train people how to ride mountain bikes properly before going out on the trail.”
Niseko Hanazono MTB Competition
To be held on one of the new cross country trails, with 12 categories for entrants ranging from a 400m preschool event to a 20km ‘J3’ registered athlete event.
Entry fee is ¥2500 for adults, ¥1500 for children Child and ¥500 for Preschoolers. Entries close 16 June.
Hanazono Activity Centre
Open 9am-4pm from June 26 – October 11
Tickets: 2 hours ¥2500 / 4 hours ¥4000 / 1 day ¥5000
Tickets: 2 hours ¥4000 / 4 hours ¥6000 / 1 day ¥8000
Tickets: 2 hours ¥2000 / 4 hours ¥3500 / 1 day ¥5000
More information 0136 21 6655.