- Lyndell Daniel
Hokkaido Japan - Niseko
In Winter, after landing at Chitose airport Hokkaido, it's a quick 2 1/2 hour drive through beautiful snow cladded trees and mountains on the way to Hirafu snowfield. Depending on the weather you can be presented with beautiful blue skies or heavy snow falls, which can make your trip a lot longer.
We plan our road trip so that we arrive in Niseko before dusk, especially if there are heavy snow falls on the drive from the airport.
A rental car provides the best transport option for us, as we are constantly searching for fresh powder to snowboard in. Aside from hiring a car, there are several bus companies that will take you from Chitose to Niseko at a very reasonable price.
Our road trip always involves a food stop around the midway point, where we enjoy eating our favourite cheese imo mochi.
The drive takes us past Lake Shikotsu, a caldera lake (crater lake). The lake has an average depth of 265 metres. Red salmon (Shippu) were introduced into the lake, as such this is a popular fishing spot in summer. The lake is absolutely stunning.
A herd of deer we spotted on the side of the road, just near Lake Shikotsu.
Views on the way into Niseko Village.
I love the snow clad trees - Annupuri.
Looking back to Hirafu.
Just outside Kutchan.
The mountains surrounding Niseko Village.
Niseko ski field.
Day time view of Mount Yotei.
Night time shot of Mount Yotei.