Back in Niseko after two years. Fond memories were somewhat disappointed. It is still a very pleasant place to be (especially on sunny days with lots of fresh powder), but has its downsides.
The ongoing separation between the various "resorts" on the mountain is hilarious. A lot of lifts are in need of upgrading. The whole place has an air of stinginess. The schedule of the shuttle bus is a joke: 90 minutes on average. The grooming of the slopes also leaves room for improvement. And there still is no half day pass for the whole mountain (it is not THAT big - a good skier can manage to ski it all in an hour or two).
Stayed at the Higashiyama Prince: extremely convenient for skiers, very well organised, but otherwise nothing special (and run with a very bureaucratic mindset). The restaurants in the hotel are one trick ponies, like so often in Japan. They basically get through the whole winter season on about three different menus.
Will certainly be back in Niseko (after about 4 years or so) and will stay in a different place next time.
From 03 February, 2006 To 07 February, 2006
Snow condition on visit:
Some excellent powder on top, ripples underneath
Things I liked:
Light, wonderful powder; nice scenery
Things I didn't like:
Not enough steep runs, the various areas of niseko are not very well connected, intervals of shuttle bus much too long, no half day pass for the whole mountain