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Let It Snow!
Given its many mountains and its long winter season, Hokkaido has no shortage of great ski resorts, but Niseko enjoys clear pride of place at the top of the pantheon. Boasting an average annual snowfall of over 15 meters(!), Niseko is Japan's — and perhaps the world's — number one ski-bum mecca. Don't be surprised if you hear Down Under accents while riding the ski lifts, since there are often as many powder-chasing Australians here as Japanese! Skiers and boarders of all levels, from beginner to advanced, have a mind-boggling number of runs to choose from. The interconnected resorts here, and the large number of conveniently located mountain chalets, huts, lodges, and dining facilities also mean it is easy to ditch the slopes at any time for a refreshing cup of tea or a hot meal.
The Niseko ski season typically occurs from late November to early May but Niseko is not just a snow lover's paradise. In the summer, hikers can hoof it to the top of Niseko's surrounding mountains, including the volcanic cone of Mt. Yotei, and relax in an invigorating hot spring afterwards. Alpine flowers and sweeping views over both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean make Niseko a rewarding stop during any warm-weather outdoorsy holiday in Hokkaido.