IF you’re walking up Hirafu-Zaka Street on your way to the slopes, chances are you’ve spotted the Ice Bar. It’s hard to miss a frozen piece of art with titanic towering snow spires and a huge hulking bear out the front.
Skillful sculptor Hiro Takenaka (pictured with one of his ice princesses) has carved up another Niseko winter masterpiece next door to blo*blo bar – and it’s pretty darn cool, pardon the pun.
Inside, walk through a lit-up maze into an ice wonderland, as you try to find your way through an ice labyrinth to the bar for a chilled beverage – literally.
Hiro-san has scrawled some philosophical English words on a wooden sign inside the bar: “In spring, this ice will melt and soak back into the ground,” he writes. “The water holds the memories of human beings of this winter, and takes them back to the earth. It appears in the ground again to nurture all living things.” A lovely sentiment, we think.