26 2013 Dec

At the beginning, it was apparent getting to Niseko, Japan was going to be arduous. I was recovering from a very bad sinus infection. It was a week in and all my symptoms got worse. Mental note, see the doctor early when there’s a vacation involved. Stupid me thought I’d be over this in a week. Unlikely. What’s been going around this season has been brutal. And this “sinus infection” was of course, my own self diagnosis. But let’s move on, onto other issues you’re more interested in. Here are things I found out on my journey to Niseko for snowboarding:

  • The time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is crowded. Book a hotel early and be prepared for crowds.
  • Late December is when the consistent snow starts. We were lucky to get the amount of snow and quality that we got. It started off as heavy powder, then became lighter and fluffier. Though not a light as February snow.
  • If you want to reserve a shuttle from Chitose to Niseko, you need to book it at least seven days in advance. Not to worry, there are some shuttle companies at the airport that do take you for around the same price, but depends on available seating. White Liner Ski Shuttle Bus were the ones I went with. ¥2300JPY was the cost per person.
  • Getting the All Mountain pass gives you access to the Niseko United shuttle which does stop one too many times, but takes you between resorts when the top isn’t open.
  • If you have a board, bring it. There’s a demo place in Hirafu, but it’s super crowded. Bring your board and get first tracks on the mountain.
  • Out of bounds equals great snow. Just pay attention to where you’re headed so you don’t get lost.
  • Niseko is getting popular. Get here before it becomes a madhouse.

From the airport at SFO though, all things were pointing to a good time in Japan. They had some Japanese comic display going on. From Speed Racer to Ultraman to even Hello Kitty, they must have known I was coming down the corridor. Great way to kill off an hour before my flight. I was ready to be in Japan. Only I had over twenty more hours to go. But once I got to my hotel at midnight, I was ready for some pampering. And oh boy, was One Niseko Resort Towers, the place to do it. I’ll let you read up on the amenities, like the wonderful onsen (it smells sulfuric, so it’s got to be legit right?) to the rather large traditional rooms meant for families. No, what I’d like to point out are the small things. Like how helpful the staff reacts to situations. For instance, the morning bus was full and left a minute before several of us got there. They got a second shuttle ready for us within half an hour. Like I said, it’s a busy time of year for Niseko. Then there’s the extra pillows and blankets you’ll find stashed in the room. It’s like I have my second bedroom in the tatami area, where I’m writing this article. Oh it’s so warm and fluffy in here with all these comforters lying around. That’s how you sleep on these tatami mats right? On top of layers upon layers of these blankets. It’s going to be hard leaving this place.

One Niseko Resort Towers
455-3 Niseko
Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 048-1511
0136-50-2111

Verdict: I’d definitely come back with a larger group. It’s expensive.

More Anime Displays @SFO

I'm not sure what characters these are. I should have paid more attention to the history.

Hello Kitty Display @SFO

That's some old nappy looking kitty. Can't believe it's made it way as a global staple character. Can't seem to get away from this toon.

Ultraman in the Hallway of SFO

Heading to my gate I get all these distractions. Thankfully, I have a couple hours to spare to check out some of these stands. I sure hope I got my characters correct. This is Ultraman right?

The Snow @One Niseko Resort Towers

The snow felt like it never let up. Cover them tracks for tomorrow! I need some powder in the mornings.

Onsen Gear @One Niseko Resort Towers

Garments awaited us in the room. They know the perfect thing to do after a long trip or a long day boarding is an hour in the hot springs.

Halls @One Niseko Resort Towers

Pretty cool reading hall. Pretty cool place to wait for your ride or to hang out, but everyone always hung around the lobby.

Breakfast @One Niseko Resort Towers

My daily dose of sashimi and bacon and miso soup. Breakfast of champions, hell yes. What would top this off is if that was a beer. Unfortunately, it's apple juice. Still champion grade.

Ox Impressions: 

The OxPosted December 26, 2013 By the hungry ox


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