Niseko Journal – Dumping, Dating, and Dining
I began the second day of my trip to Niseko in the hotel gym at the Hilton in Niseko Village. I was hoping that some exercise would help with my jet lag. They had a blood pressure machine and a scale at the entrance and after checking both, I confirmed I was healthy enough to begin to jog on the running machine to views of it continuing to snow and snow and snow. After about 20 minutes on the running machine and a few sit ups and push ups, I ran upstairs for a quick breakfast, then made my way to the conference room. Today we had a chance to basically “speed date” all of the resorts, hotels, and tour operators in Niseko. I got the inside scoop on a new hotel opening in December 2014 called the Ki www.kinseko.com/stay, I drooled hearing about Hanazono’s new restaurant called Asperges which is led by 3 star Michelin Chef Nakamichi www.hanazononiseko.com and chatted with tour operators about luxe options when visiting Niseko.
Since it was still dumping outside, I felt compelled to ski a bit more before touring the resorts. I skipped lunch and met Colin Hackworth the Representative Director for Nihon Harmany Resorts for a ski. He was a great and passionate skier who had the unique distinction of being the first ever Australian Ski School Director in Australia. Up till then only Austrians held that role. He had been living in Japan for quite a while and was a past owner of the Hanazono Resort. He shared some secret powder stashes with me and then arranged to have me caught up to the group of people touring the resorts. The rest of the day was spent getting a closer look at all the different base areas and hotels in Niseko. I bid my group Sayonara and went off to have a bit of a Portillo, Chile reunion with James Winfield who teaches in Niseko for SkiJapan.com and Chino Martinez, Mans Persson, and Alex Duret, all international jet setting ski pros to the rich and famous who were in Niseko with their clients. James suggested we go to The Barn www.nisekobarn.com. It was a classic Alpine Bistro in the middle of Hirafu. We just met for drinks, but next time I’m making a reservation here for sure.