On the odd occasion the legs will let you know that they need a day off snow. Or perhaps it’s the sore head after a night that lasts a little longer than you were planning. Maybe you’re just looking to save the energy for a big night skiing session under the Niseko floodlights. Whatever it is, here are 5 great activities for when you’re taking a rest day in Niseko.
1. Hit the onsen
The Niseko area is particularly famous for the quality of its spring water, coming from deep within the Mount Yotei interior. With plenty of options to choose from, spending an hour or two at the onsen is a perfect way to unwind, relax, and give the legs a well-deserved break from riding. Your body will thank you, though it may be a struggle to pull yourself out of the relaxation-induced stupor you find yourself in!
2. Discover Kutchan
Just an 8 minute drive from Hirafu, Kutchan is a fantastic little town with great shopping, eating and drinking. In spite of its close proximity to Hirafu, it has kept a very local feel and will give you the real sense you’re in the heart of Hokkaido. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly empty streets – push through the doors of a local izakaya or noodle house and you’ll be greeted with smiles and activity.
Our tip: don’t miss Bistro Kutchan Sakaba, a Japanese fusion/tapas restaurant with a heap of character, a very tasty menu and a surprisingly diverse wine list.
3. Enjoy a massage
There are few better ways to help tired muscles recover quickly than a professional massage. For the most professional of the lot, Niseko Massage is your answer. Their highly qualified, experienced massage therapists will soothe your muscles and freshen your mind in preparation for the next big day on the mountain.
They are based conveniently opposite Seicomart in the centre of Hirafu. Best of all, for an additional ¥2000 per therapists you can arrange a house call, so there’s no need to leave the comfort of your Niseko Central luxury apartment!
4. Try a snowmobiling tour
Admittedly, this one involves a little more movement, noise and adrenaline than your typical rest day activity. Nonetheless, it’s a chance to rest the legs and give yourself a bit of thrill while you’re at it.
White Isle Snowmobile Park is a great place to try your hand at snowmobiling for the first time, and offers a selection of tours in a range of times and locations. Kids have an option to do a twin ride with an adult driver, and they’ll even pick you up from your hotel! For more information, click here.
5. Soak in the view at An Dining
An Dining is a newcomer to the Niseko bar and restaurant scene, but its location gives it an advantage right off the bat. Perched above the town in Niseko (inside Ki Niseko, next to the Hirafu gondola), the restaurant and bar presents customers with a panoramic view of Mt. Yotei and the surrounding landscape.
Head there for dinner and sample Head Chef Shinichi Maeda’s Hokkaido produce-inspired menu. Or simply relax with a coffee, glass of wine or local sake at the An Café and Bar and lose yourself in the beauty of Niseko. You can even have your friends and family swing in to meet you as they finish their day on the ski slopes.