DESPITE fairly consistent rain throughout the event, there was no sign of the blues at the 20th anniversary Hanazono Music Festival over the weekend.
The weather kept numbers down but those who braved the elements made the most of it, dancing the weekend away in raincoats and under umbrellas.
British jazz fusion outfit Shakatak rounded out Saturday’s jazz-themed proceedings, while the biggest hits of the weekend came late on Sunday with Afra the Human Beatbox and Ryukodisko.
Fresh from performing at the Fuji Rock Festival the day before, Afra’s solo performance was a crowd pleaser, but then he came back on to support Shinco for the following act, and even made a cameo with Ryukodisko.
Saturday night’s after party, Electric Thunder at 308 in the Hanazono 308 building at the base of the ski slope, was also a great success with about 150 people partying into the early hours of the morning.
Check out Glen Claydon’s gallery of pics from the weekend here.
The Hanazono Kutchan Music Festival is just one of Niseko’s big summer events, with plenty more still to come, next in line the Kutchan Jaga Matsuri (Potato Festival) next weekend.
"Foreign guests used to have to travel 15 minutes to get to the closest international ATM to take yen from their bank cards because of the lack of international ATM in Hirafu," he said.
"It’s great that we now have one at the Hokkaido Tracks office and guests do not have to do that anymore."
Hokkaido Tracks Holidays is in the Yama Shizen East building in central Hirafu, and the ATM is accessible every day from 8am-9pm in winter. In summer Friday and Saturday 8am-9pm, and Sunday-Thursday 8am-6pm (April 28 – November 25).