Aspen of the East

Luxury ski resort Shiki Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan

Niseko , known as The Aspen of the East, is fast gaining reputation for its regular champagne powder snow, after being voted as the snowiest resort in the world by Forbes Traveler in 2007.

Located in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, and surrounded by luscious mountain forests, the Niseko ski resort brings together over 47 kilometres of some of the world’s most sought-after snow, including the largest night skiing area in the world, not including 30 square kilometres of lift accessible off-piste backcountry. It’s big, accommodating over 300,000 visitors in 2011-2012.

Because of its northern location, Niseko is fed by weather streams that come from Siberia, meeting the moist, warmer currents rising of the Sea of Japan, and blessing the area with a consistently high quality and quantity of light, dry snow (15 metres average annual snow fall, 8 per cent water content; 351cm average snow depth
 by March).

This snowfall covers the area from late November through to late April with snow remaining on certain faces until as late as June. It also allows for a consistently long ski season despite the relatively low altitude of the area.

Launched in December 2012, Shiki Niseko is a luxurious maiden landmark condotel in the village of Hirafu. The partnership between established Asian hospitality providers Fairlane Hospitality and Tokyu Resort Group has made experiencing four seasons of luxury a reality.

Exclusive and unique, Shiki’s location is ringed neatly in the spectacular panoramic surrounding, whereby visitors get to indulge in its mesmerising beauty, while on their adventurous outdoor activities. All 68 of its luxurious and sophisticated 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments offer unparalleled, breath-taking views of either Mt Yotei or the steep slopes of the Grand Hirafu Ski Resort on Mt Annupuri.

Maintaining its contemporary Japanese aesthetic feel, the hotel-style condominium is built to fully satisfy the needs of guests. First-class facilities include fully equipped kitchen, scheduled housekeeping services and well-kept ski equipment storage as well as drying rooms for skiing enthusiasts.

A gourmet store of local organic fresh produce and deli, a Michelin Star-rated restaurant, a coffee bar and convenient car rental services are all obtainable without having to step out of Shiki.