IN Japan, Christmas isn’t widely celebrated, but New Year’s Eve (shougatsu) is the most important holiday, and a spectacular cultural experience.
Niseko Village, Annupuri and Hirafu will all celebrate New Year’s Eve, with the main event taking place on the front slopes of Hirafu.
The night kicks off with traditional Taiko drum performances, fireworks and music just outside the Kogen Hotel.
Closer to midnight, revellers will spill out from the surrounding bars and head nearer to the event to welcome more than 100 skiers carrying torchlights down the mountain to form a number 10 to mark the new year.
This spectacle is not to be missed!