I dream of skiing down the side of a mountain, untouched light fluffy snow, and not thinking about anything but where I should do my next turn. We made that dream come true with my friend Emil and Lofoten local Rasmus.
After having this dream both while I was awake and asleep I decided it was time, tickets to Sapporo were booked. We booked hotels online and hoped it looked like the pictures we saw on the website. Walking distance to food and shopping. Shuttles to the lifts every morning, it was all very simple online.
And surprise, it is pretty simple, it was amazing and everything we booked was delivered. Japan delivers when you order or book!
A couple of pointers:
Japan is just opening up after a long time of Covid lockdown, we all uploaded our vaccine cards and filled out the forms. Just so it’s clear, you have to do this before you leave and you need to be approved on Visit Japan before entering the country or else you might have to spend 3 days in quarantine instead of shredding pow IMPORTANT. You have no pow days to lose…
The snow in Japan is light and very shred-friendly, but that does not mean that there’s less of an avalanche danger than any other place with snow. Please bring avi gear and always have a beacon on you with you on the hill. Even if you are only riding around the resort, you never know and it is better to be able to save someone or be saved than the opposite.
If you plan to eat out at restaurants, you should book before you leave. We booked a couple of dinners while we were there but it was very difficult to get any reservations.
- If you plan to rent gear, you must book it before leaving.
- Do an afternoon at an Onsen Spa and treat yourself!
- Visit the GENTEMSTICK House and have a beer, a local snowboard brand!
- Eat local food as much as possible, there are plenty of food trucks in Niseko!
- Go to The Fridge bar and have a nice cocktail!
- If you want to go touring, I recommend a guide. It will be worth it!
These are all things that I learned in Niseko, the after Covid effect is very much ongoing there and they are at 50% capacity at most places. Book as much as you can before going! We ended up having pasta and bar snacks most nights, but who cares about food when it snows 40 cm every night?
Japan is an amazing place to visit and the snow is lighter than anywhere I’ve ever been, I would go back tomorrow if I could.