Our Concierge team is always on hand to provide you information about all the places of interest in Hirafu and the wider Niseko area. They can also assist in equipment rental, transport arrangement and other requests that you may have. Do ask them about the closest ‘onsen’ you should visit, it is the best way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Whether you visit Niseko for its powder snow or to appreciate the blooming valley in summer, here are some of our favourite things to do in the region:
Hokkaido’s produce is renowned throughout the world and thus it is no wonder that Niseko has a thriving food scene. Meat lovers will appreciate the rare Kobe beef at Steak Rosso Rosso, and if you prefer seafood, we suggest trying out some of Hokkaido’s freshest catch at Ezo’s. Hirafu has not one but two Michelin-star restaurants – Kamimura and Ichimura, both serving exceptional fine Japanese dining.
Japan’s volcanic hot springs or ‘onsen’ not only soothe your aching muscles after a long day, but they are also known for their health and wellness benefits. Ask the Concierge team for the best onsen in the region and also some of the dos and don’ts in terms of attire and behaviour.
There are several art galleries in Niseko which are definitely worth a visit. Kiyoe gallery in Hirafu village showcases some of Hokkaido best artists, while Somoza gallery in nearby Hanazono also offers a beautiful place in which to relax. Our favourite remains Galerie Ram in Niseko Village, with its exciting collection of steel sculpture and woodwork. Inside the gallery, you’ll also find ‘La Cave’, a cellar with a great selection of imported wines. Now you understand why we love it, don’t you?
A little further afield, we can recommend a daytrip to the attractive seaside city of Otaru any time of the year. Less than two hours away by car from Hirafu, it is best-known for its hairy crab and seafood delicatessen, fish markets and historic buildings.
For a more urban experience, you can also visit Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital and central transportation hub. As a relatively recent city, it somewhat lacks the alluring architecture you might find in other Japanese cities. Yet, Sapporo is a vibrant and pleasant metropolitan with lovely tree-lined boulevards, excellent shopping and varied cultural activities, including the world-famous annual snow sculpture competition in February.
Experience some of the typically Japanese matsuri festivals any time of the year. The ‘Potato Festival’ in nearby Kutchan town and the Niseko Fireworks Festival are two of our favourites.