There is no doubt why Hokkaido's Niseko is also called the Japan's St. Moritz. What attracts the affluent Asian skiers from Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai as well as Australians and lately even travelers from Europe is the quality and consistency of fresh powder snow. With at least a foot of light and fresh powder snow each day, this is the best snow skiers and snowboarders can ever dream of.
With an abundance of international winter visitors, Niseko's businesses now cater to English-speaking tourists and the real estate here is booming. Although, Niseko is the most used name for the mountain area, Niseko town is not the real center of this wonderland. Instead, Hirafu is the main town and the central location where all of the world-class restaurants, bars and shops are located.
A-Bu-Cha 2 - By far the best restaurant (izakazya) in Niseko serving a variety of popular Japanese dishes. Try their minced chicken & pork with soft egg on rice. Simply delicious!
Rin - After A-Bu-Cha, Rin is one of the best dining spots in Niseko. Located in Lower Hirafu not far from Aspenwood, this traditional, family-run restaurant serves authentic Japanese cuisine.
The Alpinist - Formerly The Niseko Suppply Company with it's new location serves Alpine-themed cuisine, featuring crepes, galettes, fondue & raclette, whilst showcasing dramatic views of the Annupuri mountain range to the crackle of an open fireplace.
The Barn - For those who'd like to change it up a bit, this place serves French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
Ezo Seafoods - Another popular restaurant in Niseko that only serves the freshest Hokkaido and North ocean cold water seafood.
Yummy's Pizza - On lazy nights, we usually go to the closest restaurant to Aspenwood, which is Yummy's Pizza. Located in a wooden Japanese log cabin is this Italian restaurant with great ambiance and a bar.
Shokusai Hirafu - Our favorite sushi place in Niseko serving fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. They have a great variety of sake, too.
Grocery & Shopping
The Niseko Supermarket & Deli - The only supermarket carrying international imported high quality goods together with locally sourced produce. They accept credit cards, have an ATM, and they deliver, too!
Seicomart - Japanese convenience store full of snacks, alcoholic beverages and everyday essentials. It's the most popular supermarket in Hirafu (Niseko).
Gyu+ Bar - Entrance to this coolest and speakeasy bar in Niseko is through an old Coca Cola fridge door. During the peak season, expect to be squeezing in with other guests, because the atmosphere and their well-crafted drinks are worth it! They're open 5pm till midnight every day in winter.
Yukoro Onsen - Famous onsen (Japanese hot spring) conveniently located on the same street as our chalet.
Green Leaf Spa and Onsen - Relax and rejuvenate your body after a day of skiing in this spa, or dip in an indoor and outdoor onsen with a 100% natural mineral spring water.
Sports & Activities
Niseko, one of the most popular winter destinations in the world, offers a wide variety of sports and activities from skiing and snowboarding, to snowmobiling, horse riding, snow rafting and snow shoeing.