Skiing in Japan: The best ski areas in Hokkaido

It's looking like an amazing ski season is underway in Hokkaido. Niseko, an area in northwest Japan 500 miles away from Fukushima, is having great snowfall and is doing good business with Asian tourists. 

Suite_Livingroom_2Japan's snow is legendary. Even regular slopes are comparable to the best untouched wilderness in North America. Last year, the ski season went all the way to mid-May. This season, December's fresh snowfall was the best it's been since 1964. 

What's better, even during crowded holiday periods there are no waits for lifts and resorts keep their Japanese roots despite a constant influx of tourists from major Asian cities like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hokkaido's also a destination for foodies, according to the New York Times travel section:

Katherine Bont … [and] chef Kim Wejendorp, said they had always relied on local ingredients, from “white asparagus grown in Kyowa-cho under the snow in the winter months” to “sausages and bacon from farmers who smoke them in their fireplace during the winter” to seven types of jam just from the fruit foraged in the summer. They also serve Yoshino salmon, roe and monkfish liver pâté from the coastal town of Suttsu along with cheese and dairy products from farms less than 15 minutes away.

This year, she said, “We are keeping our stance on using as much Hokkaido produce as we possibly can."

Want to join the skiers in Hokkaido? Fly from inside Japan (or within Asia) with Sapporo's New Chitose airport and catch a bus to Hirose using the Skybus service. You can book your bus online and in English.

If you need help booking your flight, be sure to check the Konnichiwhoa Guide for how to book flights.

via NYT

An extra bit about hotels

The hotel pictured above is the Greenleaf Niseko Village, near the skiing area. Make sure to read the Konnichiwhoa guide to booking Japan hotels.