RUNNING pensions runs in the family for Pension Berg owner Miwa Hirokawa. Miwa-san was born in Sapporo and later moved with her family to Sounkyo – a famous hot spring resort below Mt Kurodake in central Hokkaido – to run a pension there, before moving to Niseko in 1990 and opening Pension Berg in the centre of Hirafu. After she finished high school she moved to Tokyo and studied to become a professional koto (a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument) player. She later moved back to Niseko to take over the pension from her family. She and her husband now have three kids and continue to run the pension.