Skiing in Niseko is unique in many ways, with an average of 15 meters of snow each winter, the ability to ski at night thanks to floodlit slopes, the unique Japanese culture and the fact that you ski on the side of a volcano.
It really is THE place to ski Japanese powder and by all accounts no other resort in the world can compare. For those who aren't as powder-hungry, it still has a very strong pull because there is ample skiing for everyone, including total beginners, and the fact that the experience is so different to skiing in Europe makes it a truly memorable destination and a tick off the bucket list too.
Skiing in such a different and unfamiliar setting can be daunting but our PB ski guides, in the red jackets our clients are so familiar with, will be in Niseko throughout the winter season to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that clients make the most of the legendary slopes, stopping at the finest restaurants, all while leaving their piste map untouched.
Niseko is also ideal for family skiing and we've partnered with an excellent ski school to offer fantastic English-speaking ski programmes for children.
Many of our clients who travel in the winter choose to stay on a few days at the beginning or end of their time in Niseko to explore some of Japan's incredible cities, the most popular of which to combine with skiing in Niseko are Tokyo and Kyoto.
Our exciting new division Inspired Japan draws on 25 years' experience in the Japanese market by collaboration with our colleagues at Powder Byrne Overseas, meaning we have in depth and intimate knowledge of this unique destination and its intricate culture. As with all our Air and Space adventure holidays, itineraries are crafted based on our client's interests and preferences, all with English-speaking local guides to make sure travel is stress-free and to give clients insight into the culture and history that only a local could provide. Specifically for families, we strike a delicate balance when creating clients' itineraries between action and adventure (to keep the children enthralled) and culture and history, so that parents don't miss out. The result is a varied and exhilarating itinerary for all the family.
These are some of our clients' favourite highlights.
EXPERIENCES BEYOND THE SLOPES
In Tokyo there are a lot of the well known cultural destinations as well as the famous shopping districts with the electronics and robots it is so famous for.
A fun and popular family activity here is “sample replica making”, which involves making impressively realistic sculptures of food. Tokyo is known as the 'fake food capital of the world' thanks to the activity's popularity. It is always a big hit with children!
While in Tokyo, the Skytree tower is well worth a visit. As the tallest tower and the second tallest structure in the World, after Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the views from the restaurant and observation deck are spectacular.
Another very memorable experience while in Tokyo is attending a sumo wrestling tournament accompanied by your guide and translator who'll ensure you don't miss out on any of the excitement.
A family favourite is always a trip to Disneyland Tokyo for a very exciting and fun-filled day out.
The trip between Tokyo and Kyoto couldn't be easier thanks to the bullet train and there's so much to experience in Kyoto beyond the more traditional stops like the Golden Pavilion.
If the weather is mild, a perfect activity is to explore the city on a guided cycling tour to get the lay of the land and insight into Kyoto's fascinating history.
Children love the soba noodle and sweet making experiences, both famous industries in Japan with long histories. Lots of creative fun will be in store for all.
While in Kyoto, we highly recommend the Samurai experience where families (children 6 and up) can learn more about the samurai's, practice their zen meditation techniques that allow them to stay calm during battle, dress in their traditional clothes called 'Hakama' and practice sword skills using a wooden sword before progressing to a real Katana, even testing the sharpness of the sword by striking a goza mat. It's one of our clients' favourites.
Osaka is about an hour's drive from Kyoto and is also well worth a visit for highlights like Osaka Castle, Universal Studios and the aquarium.
Less than an hour's drive from Kyoto is Nara where around 1,000 wild deer roam Nara Park as well as the city itself because there are no fences. The deer are very friendly, letting people feed and pet them. Because the deer are protected and even seen by some as sacred, they have no reason to fear humans so they're very tame.
For more information on incredible city and ski escapes, click here or call 020 8246 5300.