CONSIDERED the Holy Grail of powder in Niseko, the strictly controlled Mizuno-no-Sawa is somewhere everyone should experience once.
Access to this powder haven in Niseko Village is strictly controlled. To be able to enter, you must first attend a 20 minute, ¥2,000 lecture on avalanche safety that is held twice daily (9:30 am and 12:30 pm) at the top of the speedy wonder rope tow. Each lecture is limited to 30 attendees, and immediately following the lecture, riders and skiers are granted controlled access to the some of the steepest and deepest terrain on the mountain. After you have attended the lecture, you’re given a pass that allows you to skip it for the remainder of the season.
The area was closed to public after fatalities in the area in the past. It is now closely monitored by ski patrol, with dynamite blasting and ski-cutting as required.