Today, Niseko is one of the best ski destinations in the world, offering some of the most abundant sources of light powder snow, attracting winter sports lovers worldwide. Niseko Central has created an infographic to present curious skiers the history of Niseko.
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4,000 years ago
A stone circle built during this time close to the Niseko-Higashiyama ski area reveals that the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. Like us, the inhabitants would have enjoyed the sight of Mt. Yotei and the surrounding scenery.
Turn of the twentieth century
Settlers in the Niseko region began building temples and shrines, which they used to watch over each other’s lives. The most remarkable temples were Daifutsu-ji, famous for its ceiling paintings, and Konpira-ji, which held autumn festivals.
Skiing became a newfound passion for the Japanese after the Olympics in Sapporo. New ski resorts started opening up all around the country.
The 3rd resort to form Niseko United (now Niseko Village) began offering the first lift operations in the area. The Japanese travelled in packs to experience the fresh powder snow and to see the new development in the area.
Niseko was still widely unknown outside of Japan. Foreigners rarely visited the area and the very few Japanese skied elsewhere.
Australians Peter Murphy and Dale and Glenn Goulding skied the region and saw the opportunity for regular powder skiing. They began offering tours of the area and soon their client base was steadily growing.
After seeing the reliability of Niseko’s winter conditions, developers started building apartment-style accommodation, most specifically for the Australian market.
International interest in Niseko spiked, contributing to the diverse culture of the Niseko region.
Niseko won World Ski Award for Best Ski Resort in Japan.
Niseko is still one of the fastest growing ski destinations in the world, offering some of the most abundant sources of light powder snow, attracting winter sports lovers worldwide.