Niseko’s epic winters and abundant snowfall have been attracting skiers from all over the world for years. Its summers, on the other hand, have remained one of Japan’s best kept secrets–a haven for travelers in search of adventure, relaxation and natural beauty.
Here are 5 our reasons the Niseko summer should be in your plans for 2015.
Niseko’s Shiribetsu River is the destination for some of the best white water rafting in Asia. A melting snowpack creates an exhilarating spring rafting experience, which becomes a little more mellow and relaxed during the summer. Stunning alpine scenery, gorgeous seasonal colours and crystal clear water make for a truly memorable day. Find out more.
If moving water is not your thing, head to Niseko Hirafu Resort, which opens its trails to mountain bikers during the warmer months. Conquer the mountain on two wheels!
Health – it’s an endurance sports paradise
Niseko-based triathlete Jess Ripper describes Niseko as an endurance sports paradise, offering “endless stunning alpine scenery, volcanoes, pristine caldera lakes, lush forests, and quiet smooth roads.”
Ripper, who is currently in training for the 2015 Ironman World Championship, says that Niseko has “the perfect mix of flat, rolling, and mountainous terrain makes the Niseko region perfect for all level of endurance athletes.”
Fancy taking your fitness to the next level in 2015? Niseko might just be the place for your next overseas adventure.
Fresh Hokkaido cuisine
International attention and a reputation as one of the leading tourist destinations in Asia have led to the emergence of a lively restaurant and bar scene in Niseko, attracting top chefs from around Japan and elsewhere. Among the best is Japanese celebrity chef Shinichi Maeda, whose innovative “Japanese new style” cooking is inspired by Hokkaido’s fresh produce and unique local flavours.
Maeda is head chef at An Dining, where he has just released a particularly mouth-watering spring menu, from which you might try fried Suttso monkfish marinated in malted rice, Shiretoko wild venison tataki with white truffle and eggplant puree, or Jingisukan-style slow braised Hokkaido wagyu beef cheek. Wow!
Cow Parade Niseko
From June 18 to October 1, Niseko will be home to some 47 life-size model cows, designed and painted by a select group of amateur and professional artists from all over Japan. Cow Parade is the largest public art exhibit in the world, and we think there’s no better place for it than amidst Niseko’s beautiful Natural scenery.
For many of us, summer holidays are a time to enjoy life, relax and re-energize. Soaking in one of Niseko's many mineral-rich natural onsens ticks all the boxes, in addition to being a uniquely Japanese experience that dates back thousands of years.
For a preview of what you might expect to find in Niseko, take a look at Mountainwatch's list of the top 10 onsens in Niseko.