No matter what time of year it is, Niseko is a fantastic place to visit. Here is a list of our top five things to do when the snow melts and temperatures are on the rise!
1. Enjoy the Summer Festivals During Summer, Niseko receives around eleven hours of daylight per day. That means plenty of time during the evening for festivities. The Niseko area is home to numerous events like the Hirafu Matsuri and the Kutchan Jaga Matsuri (potato festival). Both of these are favourites with the locals who love the games, rides, parades and fireworks on offer. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try local food and produce. Kids and adults alike also enjoy the Niseko Town Tanabata Fireworks Festival, which is home to one of the biggest fireworks displays in Hokkaido.
2. Grab a Bike and Go on Tour. Or Watch the Professionals! Discover the beauty of the Niseko area on two wheels! Rhythm’s guided tours will take you across parts of the south-west of Hokkaido so you can ride alongside stunning lakes and magical national parks. Challenge yourself by riding up some of the mountain passes and enjoy the thrill of riding down. You could also time your visit to coincide with the Niseko Classic, which normally takes place in July. The best road racers from Asia and around the world compete in races up to 140km as the event winds from the mountains to the sea.
3. Eat the Best Food in Hokkaido! Summer is the perfect time to sample the best produce Hokkaido has to offer. The region is naturally rich and fertile, which means cafes and restaurants have access to plenty of locally grown ingredients, including vegetables, dairy products and grains. It’s also close to the ocean, which means fresh seafood in abundance! Many restaurants and Izakyas in Hirafu, Kutchan and Niseko Town specialise in local dishes so make sure you book and enjoy.
4. Shop ‘till You Drop Just because the winter crowds aren’t around doesn’t mean shops aren’t open! This includes Zaka, which is Hirafu’s only high-end boutique specialising in athleisure wear, including a range of golf clothing from Bogner and Kjus. Zaka is also home to Moncler, Asia’s favourite Italian luxury snow and leisure brand. Burton is also open, stocking a range of streetwear along with camping and outdoor essentials. And finally make sure you check out Rhythm for all your mountain bike, road bike and SUPing needs!
5. Surf Secluded Breaks Niseko is situated close to both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Hokkaido itself is home to many kilometres of rugged coastline, much of which is sparsely populated. This means plenty of quiet beaches and surf breaks to explore. Around an hour from Niseko you can find easy access breaks in Shiraoi and Tomakomi (Pacific side). On the other side of Hokkaido is the seaside city of Otaru, which is also home to great waves!