Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 28 : May/June 2009  > Columns  >  Living Style  >  Resort Hot Spots: Niseko, Hokkaido


Living Style


Resort Hot Spots: Niseko, Hokkaido



Life up North

Work   ★★★
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Niseko’s goal has long been to become the Aspen of the East, and with what many consider the best powder in the world, it’s easy to see why. Niseko is made up of multiple ski areas (Hirafu, Annupuri and Hanazono) with others nearby. Development has been spurred by significant interest from overseas, particularly Australia, helping Niseko develop into Japan’s premier international ski destination. It is also quickly developing into a year-round resort with summer activities including agri-tourism, hiking, mountain biking and whitewater rafting.

Work opportunities mainly range from the service industries to resort and property management to real estate development. In recent years interest in Niseko has spread from Down Under to wealthy Asian neighbors such as Hong Kong and Singapore looking for a piece of the country lifestyle Niseko affords.


Access: It’s a 90-minute flight from Tokyo to New Chitose International Airport. From there it is about a two-hour drive to Niseko from the airport and about the same distance from Sapporo (pop. 1.9 million). There are plans to build Shinkansen line from stop at nearby Kutchan (20 minutes away) after it is extended up from Hakodate to Sapporo. Bus and train service is also available, but as with anywhere in Hokkaido, the best way to get around is by car.

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