HIROSHIMA & HOKKIADO
THE ASIAN SERIES PT17
I arrived in Hiroshima and was due to spend a few days here before heading up north to meet the family. This city interested me for two reasons; the food and the history.
YOU HEAR EVERYTHING BUT SEE NO FURTHER THAN A FEW METRES
In 1945 two Atomic bombs were dropped in Japan, one in Nagasaki and the other here in Hiroshima killing almost 400,000 people. Until now they remain the only nuclear weapons used in armed conflict.
WHERE IS NISEKO?
Skiing & Snowmobiles in Niseko
HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL
One of the few buildings to remain was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall which has since been renamed as the Peace Memorial and a clear reminder as to where Japan came from. The bombs all but ended the war and Japan agreed to sign a surrender. Had it not been for the memorial I wouldn’t have known there was ever a bomb dropped here.
SEEING THE FAMILY
The best skiing in Asia is without doubt in Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island. The powder here is like none other and the secret that has so far been kept from Europe is slowly getting out. I surprised my parents and sister in Tokyo when they arrived in Tokyo airport and then made our way to our flight in Sapporo where we would stay a night before getting the bus to Niseko.
We decided to stay at the Hilton, purely because it allowed for ski in, sky out and didn’t want to waste anytime in catching a bus. The hotel was perfect and the facilities were great. Anytime I’ve gone skiing I’ve always chosen a cheap hotel with a good location, there’s never any need to pay over the odds for somewhere you are really only using for a sleep. However, as the parties here are not yet at the level of the ones in Europe we knew investing in a better hotel was a good call.
First things first, download the app, available on Android or Apple. It’s very handy to have and has all the information you will need; updates on current conditions, ski lifts, maps and transport. It’s very typical of the Japanese!
When it comes to powder, there are few places that rival Niseko in the world, let alone in Asia. Niseko is famous for it’s fresh snow and is the only thing you can guarantee, besides Ramen of course!
We arrived at the end of March which is near the end of their season so it was very quiet. In fact so quiet that the longest queue at a ski lift I had in the 5 days was only 5 people. This obviously has it’s benefits but it does have it’s downfalls. The Après Ski was nearly none existent at times but we just put that down to a mix of things. The fact it was end of season and that a drinking culture doesn’t exist here in the same way it does at home.
The joy of Niseko is the opportunity to do so manty other activities than just skiing.
- Snowshoe tour
- Climb Mt Yotei
We had 5 days skiing here and as we had the slopes to ourselves we managed to fit in more skiing than anyother trip I’ve been on. It was almost as if it wasn’t real at time, like it was your own private ski resort. What made it extra special was the constant view of Mt Yotei, what many people think resembles Mt Fiji!
To break up the skiing we signed up to a snowmobile tour at out hotel. None of us have been on these machines before so were keen to give it a go.
Anyone is capable to do the tour as we only go as fast as the slowest person (I’ll not mention any names). At times it was a little timid but once we reaches an open area we were able to have a proper go. The guide was also happy to switch machines and after getting used to my own, his was a completely different level! I didn’t think it was possible for something to be so powerful on snow! If you are here for any longer than 4 days, I recommend this as a good way to spilt your week up.
Skiing & Snowmobiles in Niseko
Are you tired of the same old skiing and atmosphere in Europe or America then be sure to think about Niseko. It doesn’t have the insane Après Ski of the former but it tops the bill with great good, epic off-piste adventures and friendly locals to boot.
After another few days eating and skiing we made our way back to Tokyo to continue our Japanese adventure! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you been to Niseko?
- Did you enjoy the skiing?
- Was it busy?
- Where is your favourite ski destination?
Let me know in the comments below . . .