SURROUNDED by mountains, Mount Yotei and flowing creeks, the Niseko area is an ideal spot to hit a few golf balls.
IMMENSELY popular in Japan, Niseko’s golf resorts not only let golfers bask in the natural beauty of the area, but they also offer a break from the oppressive heat and humidity found on greens on the main island of Honshu.
There are 172 golf courses in Hokkaido – a third as many as Scotland, the home of golf. Five of these courses are within 15-minutes drive of Niseko. Local favourites include Niseko Village Golf Course, Niseko Golf Course and Hanazono Tokyu.
Weekends are prime time for golf especially for business-men and women catching up with their golfing friends. The Japanese love golf and take it seriously, especially the grounds keepers. In the Niseko area, the greens are immaculate and fairways are smooth and plush.
Due to the lack of development on the outskirts of Niseko, each golf course makes you feel like you’re deep in the Hokkaido wilderness. Huge trees line the fairways, the grass is a deep green in colour and buildings can rarely be seen.
As the Niseko summer season gains popularity, there’s no doubting that the area will soon become a popular golf hub in Asia. Comparatively, the rates aren’t overly expensive and the conditions are excellent. There are many deals and packages available during summer that cater to golfers, as well as season passes, which are a viable option when used well
Whether it’s for a friendly or business golf holiday, keep Niseko in mind – it’s beautiful, not as hot as the rest of Asia and quiet.