Although we didn't ski or snowboard this time, we could tell the quality of the snow, it was really powder snow. No wonder this place is so popular. It is a bit crowded though, maybe because it was also the holidays. You can see mostly foreigners here, especially Australians. The ambiance is a little bit different compared to Rusutsu for example, where more locals go to and is more family oriented. Of course, the size of the resort and mountain is different. Niseko is much bigger and Niseko Village Ski Resort area is just one of the few main ski resorts here.
Special Snow Activities
We chose Niseko Village Ski Resort for two very specific activities, that is the reindeer sleigh ride and the snow rafting. We wanted to try out other snow activities aside from ski and snowboarding as we've already done that. So our local guide called a few days earlier to book the activities. Based on her feedback, the establishment was easy to deal with, they were very clear about the description of the activities, the limitations if any and the price and terms. Like for the reindeer sleigh ride, they only had 2 reindeers, but only 1 for sleigh riding as the other one is a young reindeer. So for the day, they could only accommodate 4 rides. Anyway, we just wanted to take photos, and we drew lots for the kids who wanted to ride the reindeer sleigh. To me, it was nothing really special since there was actually a guy pulling the reindeer or rather walking him forward. I was actually sad for the reindeer since it had to do so much work. But for the kids, it was an interesting experience, so it was worth it :-)
While waiting for the kids to take turns on the sleigh, I went to photograph what seems to be a crystal house just beside the area. When I went closer, I saw a sign that says Closed and won't be open until 2pm, but as I was photographing it, a staff came out and told me it was okay to go in a look. She just said that there were no activities now. Apparently, we read that they had some activity for igloo making, which we initially wanted to try as well if the other activities weren't available. It was interesting to go in and see the ice shards and the whole igloo structure. This is my first time to see one, definitely a good surprise :-) The staff was actually cleaning up inside and she didn't mind that I go in and take a look. That was nice of her.
Our snow rafting activity was cancelled, unfortunately, at the last minute, cause the snow fall was too strong at the time. We actually walked over to the area, feeling like we were walking through a snow storm. Although we were disappointed it got cancelled, it was good to know that they consider the safety of the people as well. We got a refund back too.
We would have also done our snowmobiling here but we opted for nearby Hanazono which offered a bigger area dedicated for snowmobiling and had two seater ones which we preferred since we were a big group. According to our local guide, the snowmobiling area here at the Niseko Village is ok, but smaller.
Hilton Niseko is in the same area, offering accommodations and restaurant options.
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