While a day on a cold mountain generally makes people envision the hot meal they’re going to have afterwards, there’s one gelato shop visitors to Niseko must visit. Ruhiel Gelato is located just outside Hirafu on the back road to Kutchan. Owner Koji Sasaki was formerly a ‘salaryman’ in Ebetsu, just outside Sapporo, and after visiting Niseko in the early 90s fell in love with the beautiful countryside and abundance of fresh spring water. He bought a block of land and dreamed of the day he could move here permanently. That day came in July 1997. With a love of sweets, Koji-san decided Niseko needed a gelato shop and opened Ruhiel to fund his new lifestyle. His gelato is all natural with no colours or preservatives and is based on seasonal ingredients – in winter they specialise in mandarin, apple and strawberry and in other seasons things like greapefruit, melon and persimmon. Catch a taxi or or ask your accommodation provider if they can take you.