ONCE again, Niseko has been transformed into a winter wonderland. The streets are busy, the restaurants are packed and everyone is full of energy. It’s great to see so many excited locals and visitors making their way down the mountain.
Niseko wasn’t always this busy; it’s interesting to hear the stories about the area’s transformation from people who have lived here for a long time. Many individuals and businesses have helped Niseko grow over the last few years. Adding their own creative style to the area is Hisashi and Ioanna from Gyu+ Bar, aka Fridge Door Bar (interview page 19). People thought Hisashi was crazy when he bought land in Hirafu’s lower village 12 years ago to make a bar. Now, the couple has this and a summer business in Kutchan, Pelican Burger, and live here year round.
During the interview Hisashi mentioned how having a balanced life is beneficial to your business and how he uses skiing/snowboarding as a way to relax. In between all the emails, meetings and social events, sometimes we (myself included) forget why most people live and visit this part of the world – to experience Niseko’s powder. Seeing all the visitors in town sure makes us realise how great the area really is.
Our travel story profiles a place that’s the very opposite of Niseko – Gunkanjima (Battleship Island). Once a bustling coal-mining island, it is now unoccupied and abandoned. People visit this island to see what is left of a city when people disappear and nature takes over. We hope you enjoy this issue of Powderlife – our third for the season.
Lizzy Hoo, Powderlife, Managing Editor, email email@example.com