Japan Border & Immigration Status

Japan Border & Immigration Status

Covid-19 has completely upended global travel, tourism and the winter sports industry. The pandemic started impacting travel towards the back-end of last season and few people expected this pandemic to linger for so long. A black cloud of uncertainty has descended on ski resorts across Europe with lockdowns and surging transmission rates. But what about Japan, and how can I get there? While there is still a long way to go before cross-border travel and ski holidays resemble anything close to normality, Japan has taken some welcome, pro-active steps to gradually restart inbound cross-border travel. Last month (November 2020) Japan […]

8 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Niseko

Fun Facts You Never Knew About Niseko - Rakuichi Niseko Soba Master

On the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Japan lies the snowiest place on the planet – Niseko. This place is the premier destination in Japan for the global ski community. The massive amount of snow that falls daily makes it stand out from the other ski destinations globally. People of all age groups enjoy the Niseko winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, heli skiing & cat skiing, backcountry tours, snow mobile tours, snowshoes tours and more. More than perfect powder and unlimited skiing, Niseko also has a vast ancient heritage. The place has a wealth of remarkable cultural experiences that are conveniently […]

Best Daytime Activities to do in Niseko When you are not Skiing

Best Daytime Activities to do in Niseko When you are not Skiing

It’s easy to see why thousands of ski enthusiasts flock to Niseko, Japan’s famed winter wonderland. Blessed with a favourable climate, pristine slopes, soft light powder snow, vast skiing terrain, and a magnificent backdrop, Niseko boasts one of the best winter holiday experiences in the world. There’s no arguing that Niseko is synonymous with skiing, but are the alluring slopes the only attraction? Is there nothing else to do besides shredding powder? You’ll be surprised! The picturesque town has plenty of options for cold weather junkies who want a break from the slopes. Here are some off-mountain activities that visitors […]

An Ultimate Guide to Hakuba’s Bars & Nightlife 2020

An Ultimate Guide to Hakuba Bars & Nightlife 2020

Planning a trip to Japan anytime soon? Before you say “Konnichiwa!” to the vibrant culture of The Land of The Rising Sun, here’s a pro tip: Do not miss out on the fun in Hakuba. This quaint valley nestles in the heartland of the Japanese Alps and has something to offer every tourist. Apart from skiing, onsens and visits to the various temples, Hakuba is a popular hub for adventurous night-outs. Read on to find out about the key hotspots where you can make the most of Hakuba’s bars and nightlife. ECHOLAND About a 1.5 km walk away from the […]

Sake for Newbies

Sake for Newbies

If you ask for sake in Japan, you’ll mostly find people enquiring as to what “type” you would prefer. This is because, in Japan, colloquially, all alcoholic drinks are referred to as sake. However, in this article, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s national beverage, nihonshu or more commonly referred to as, sake. What Is Sake? Traditionally, sake is a two-ingredient drink, consisting of rice and water. Although it is referred to as rice wine, the processing is similar to that of beer. Sake has different variants, each ranging from floral, fruity, savoury and umami notes. The earliest […]

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Kiroro on Your Next Holiday

Kiroro Resort

Kiroro, located in the heart of Hokkaido’s Golden Triangle offers the most authentic Japanese skiing experience and some of Hokkaido’s lightest and driest powder snow. Keen to shred powder at a world-class ski resort that is not overrun with visitors? Head towards the quieter, uncluttered pristine slopes of Kiroro! The charming town located in the heart of Hokkaido’s Golden Triangle offers the most authentic Japanese skiing experience. But wait, Kiroro is not just about mesmerising vistas of the Yoichi mountains, snowy bounty, and après-ski action. The breathtakingly beautiful spot offers plenty of family fun, off-mountain adventures along with a host […]

Onsen for Newbies

The Vale Niseko Penthouse Private Onsen

A low-down on onsen etiquette for newbies to enjoy the quintessentially Japanese experience with confidence. Nestled deep in the mountains of Hokkaido, Niseko is a powder haven renowned for its mesmerizing views, and stunning skiing conditions. While the small Japanese town is undeniably a skier’s paradise, it is also famous for its steaming onsens, the volcanic spring baths that contain a multitude of medicinal properties. Onsens come in many forms. They can be gender-exclusive, small, large, indoor, outdoor, simple, luxurious, free-standing, or attached to a hotel. A dip in the thermally heated mineral waters can soothe aching muscles and invigorate […]

8 Cool Activities In Japan For Your Winter Holiday

8 Cool Activities In Japan For Your Winter Holiday

Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, Japan extends a heartwarming and exciting experience for everyone on every visit. Its rich cultural tapestry, scientific innovations, humble mannerisms and hospitality never fail to enthrall the visitors. Niseko is a one-stop solution for all your touristy dreams to come true. In Niseko winter activities are strewn about like gems in a treasure hunt. Each one is precious and rewarding in its own way. When in Japan, these are the 8 activities you just can’t miss for a well-rounded travel experience. Winter Rafting Picture a beautiful winter morning with snow-capped trees […]

5 Ways to Make Your Ski Holiday COVID Safe

5 Ways to Make Your Ski Holiday COVID Safe

If you are craving for a winter getaway, but are hesitant to plan ahead due to the current Covid-19 situation, scroll down to read five preventative measures to enjoy a secure, stress-free ski holiday. Covid-19 and the lockdown it has warranted have surely caught everyone in a conundrum. For people who are into exploring new locations, the current pandemic scenario has dampened all travel plans. For any winter sports lover, the perfect location to go on a vacation is Niseko in the Shiribeshi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. The deep powder snow cap over the volcano offers a surreal view. The best […]

4 Luxury Ski Hotels in Niseko Japan

Niseko Resort Japan

Dreaming of a picture-perfect ski holiday in Niseko this coming winter? When it comes to skiing, the Japanese mountain countryside, dubbed as the ‘Aspen of Asia’ is touted for its ideal conditions, awesome variety of terrain, magnificent peaks, stunning scenic beauty, fantastic backcountry, and off-trail runs. But after a tedious day on snowy steeps, we all yearn for luxury and comfort to kick back and unwind right? Remember, accommodation is just as important as spending time whizzing down the slopes of the freshest powder. The right lodging can have a huge impact on your holiday and truly transform your experience. […]

Top Reasons to Enjoy a Holiday Vacation in Niseko

Top Reasons to Enjoy Holiday Vacation in Niseko

When you picture Niseko, what is the first image that flashes across your mind? A spectacular winter wonderland that boasts the world’s best powder resorts right? While there’s no denying that Japan’s famed destination is a haven for ski enthusiasts, there is so much more to this enchanting village than just providing the adrenaline rush of riding down powdered steeps. The captivating countryside has mesmerising vistas of snow-capped mountains, lavish retreats, soothing hot baths, gourmet cuisine, vibrant bars, and a whole bevy of fun activities that will make you fall in love. If you haven’t yet visited Niseko, here are […]

Your Ultimate Guide To A Romantic Escape in Niseko

Hirafu Night Lights

There’s no romance like snow romance so we have a few ideas of how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Niseko. Here are our special recommendations for your romantic escape. Activities Begin the day with an on-snow activity. Outdoor activities are the best ways to release those happy endorphins and are an ideal winter date. So goggles on and boards up! Here are some winter activities that you can explore : 1. Get a Private Lesson  In the words of our previous guests, “private lessons are cheaper than a divorce”. Leave it to the experts. Don’t ruin your holiday by trying […]

Kiroro: Touring the Local Backcountry with Jackson Sloss

Jackson Sloss sending it off an avalanche barrier

In February, we spent a day out in the Kiroro backcountry with Niseko rider and ski-instructor Jackson Sloss. Jackson was born and raised in England and has chosen to follow his dream of skiing year round. He has now accumulated 15 seasons of experience under his belt. He calls Niseko home during the Northern Hemisphere winter and has a few words of advice for your own Niseko adventure… How long have you been in Niseko? This is my 5th winter season in Niseko. Where do you work? I work for Niseko International Snowsports School, an awesome ski school based in Hanazono Niseko for […]

Powder Skiing: 5 tips to help you this winter

James Winfield sending it at Furanodake

James Winfield, fully certified instructor/trainer and avid freerider with some of the best local knowledge of the Hokkaido area, shares his 5 tips to ski powder this winter. To find the best snow and improve your skills get in touch with us to ski with James at Hokkaido Collective. There aren’t many sensations in skiing (or life) better than skiing a run covered in fresh snow; the excitement as you wake to the sound of avalanche bombs, anticipation as you ascend the lift, the acceleration, the sensation of your skis floating up in the transition and diving down into the […]

Working Holiday Visa Japan

Japanense Visa

Your step-by-step guide to submitting your Working Holiday Visa Japan Application… Okay! So you’ve decided to head to Japan for whatever reason and you now need to figure out how to get a Visa for a country where you don’t speak and can’t read the language. Don’t stress! Japan is one of the easier countries to obtain a working holiday visa for, and best of all, the application is FREE! How to apply Before applying, make sure you are eligible. Japanese working holiday visas are available to nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, […]

A Night at IKI Restaurant Niseko

IKI Teppan Bar & Wine Selection

***EDIT: IKI Restaurant no longer exists*** IKI Restaurant Niseko offers one of the most convenient dinner locations in Hirafu, without the crowds. Not feeling the reading?  Click here for the photos! Situated inside the Shiki Building on the main street, IKI is tucked away behind Niseko Supermarket & Deli. Here you can dine in a casual, relaxed atmosphere while you watch the snow fall outside through the floor to ceiling windows. IKI was opened three years ago and serves an infusion of Asian & Western style foods. Head Chef Richard Robbins has put together a beautiful menu that serves up fresh […]

Premium Powder Board Rental Niseko

Snow Surf Japan - Powder Board Rental

Want to ride Japanese powder but not sure if your regular board will cut it? Don’t want a typical “rental board” that’s been thrashed by multiple users.  Rent a powder board without compromising on quality & performance.  Snow Surf Japan, is a recently launched premium powder board rental service that cuts costs for guests by providing only the essentials, the board itself. It provides intermediate/advanced riders a rental option without compromising on quality and performance. Snow Surf Japan offers a premium range of Burton and Jones’ powder boards. Keeping in mind that those seeking a powder board to ride are […]

New Years Eve in Niseko

New Years Eve Fireworks in Niseko

Our Top Picks to celebrate New Years Eve in Niseko… The Vale Niseko Perfect for the New Year’s Eve family celebration. Kicking off at 3pm, kids will be entertained with a Colouring Competition, Face Painting & Lolly Bags. In true Japanese tradition, there will be Mochi making and the cracking open of the Sake Barrel. Enjoy the last sunset of 2015 as you sip on sake and enjoy the entertaining performance by the Taiko Drummers. Night Riding Grand Hirafu What better way to begin the biggest celebration of the year than scoring freshies under the lights in Grand Hirafu. We’ve […]

Luggage Forwarding: Travel Hands-Free

Luggage Forwarding

Luggage Forwarding? What’s that… Most of us love to travel, but no-one enjoys dragging around your suitcase, or even worse a board bag when their lost in a new city. Luggage Forwarding allows you to send your luggage direct to your accommodation in Japan. Imagine walking out of the airport with nothing but hand luggage, and being free to explore from the moment you land in your newest destination. After having dragged our bags all over the country on our first trip to Japan, we now know all too well the convenience of luggage forwarding. Save yourself the hassle of […]

What’s the Best Run in Niseko

Skiing in Niseko

What’s the best run in Niseko? What’s the best run in Niseko? As someone who feels hard done by if I don’t get 366 days of skiing a year I get asked pretty frequently “where is your favourite place to ski?” Given that the question is normally posed by middle-aged businessmen it can be pretty confusing. If you’re still struggling to get your skis parallel then what you think is the best fun in the world isn’t going to cut the mustard for the pro-teams that pop into town a few times each season. So why did you come to […]