As the sunny days stretch out and the first signs of spring whisper by, we’ve been tiptoeing ever so slowly towards the Hokkaido summer season. At last the bare branches are sprouting green, and suddenly every window beckons with the celebrated rite of passage that marks the official launch into the summer – the bloom of the cherry blossoms. Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the thick winter carpet that brings out the inner snow angel in all of us, and at the same time sends us scurrying back indoors away from the cold? Taking inspiration from the green foothills and alpine flowers, the town springs to life in the summer with a host of activities to enthrall you. Niseko may be modern in its accommodation and facilities, but this Japanese village remains classic in its small town charm and downright old-fashioned in its dedication to a green lifestyle.
1) Locals refer to majestic Mount Yōtei as ‘Yōtei-zan’ out of respect and reverence for the “Mount Fuji of Hokkaido’. In the summer time, the white slopes turn into carpets of alpine flowers that include the rare Ezo Violet of the region. What better way to check out this floral landscape than with an exhilarating hike up the volcano? This is just one of countless summer hikes that await you and your family.
2) One of Hokkaido’s primary industries remains agriculture. Join an EdVenture outing to learn how generations of farmers have dedicated their livelihoods to cultivating fresh, organic produce in Niseko’s backyard. Make a visit to the seasonal Niseko Farmer’s Market to sample the fruits of the green season and exchange a gentle bow with the kind, weathered face of a Hokkaido farmer.
3) Had your fill of local fruits and veggies? Community favourite Milk Kobo is a fully functioning dairy farm where delectable treats are served up fresh in front of your eyes. Homemade ice cream anyone!?
4) The Shiribetsu River that runs through the Niseko region is one of the clearest rivers in all of Japan. Get a totally unique perspective of the river as it cuts through the vibrant hills, forests and farm fields on an exciting rafting tour. Rafting tours are available for families and adventurers of all ages.
5) There 15 different natural onsens in the Niseko area, each with unique mineral content to soothe your soul and wash away everyday troubles. Don’t feel guilty about over-indulging on your onsen visits…Japanese tradition recommends an onsen a day for three full weeks to experience the complete benefits!
6) The green season in Niseko means a world of ‘green menus’ to explore at our famed restaurants. Or, if an over-indulgence of fresh mountain air has your family ready to relax at your home-away-from-home, then take advantage of the MnK Barbeque rentals to grill yourself an open-air feast as you watch the sunset illuminate Mount Yōtei.
7) Unleash your inner speed demon on a cycling tour of the Hokkaido hills. The Niseko region is renowned for road cycling and mountain biking, and is home to international cycling events like the Niseko Classic in July. Countless rental options await with special discounts for MnK guests – whether your noble steed of choice is a curve-hugging road bike or a more stable bike of the training wheel variety!
8) Few other cultures value hand-made craftwork as the Japanese do. While your EdVenture campers are off building craft of their own, take in local arts such as glass blowing and leathercraft making.
9) Niseko’s latitude puts us on about the same parallel as sun-inducing locales like Nice and Monaco with warm, dry weather. Which present ideal conditions for – golfing, of course! Our golf options, including an Arnold Palmer designed course, offer challenging courses surrounded by stunning views.
10) An active volcano is mesmerizing to the young ones, and the young at heart! Watch the steam curl from the top of Mount Usu as you spend a sunny afternoon on the shores of the volcanic caldera Lake Toya.
Wondering how to book these activities and make the most of your summer escape to Niseko? We have plenty of ideas for you, whether you’re an adrenaline-seeker, an activity-oriented Energizer Bunny, a foodie or a soul searcher who needs some serious disconnect.Contact our Guest Services team for custom getaway packages designed to immerse your family in the charms of the laidback Hokkaido lifestyle. Itineraries include a full program of activities and amazing restaurants, and are very flexible.