Niseko is a skiing town so the tourist destination is usually popular from December to February. All other times, there is nothing much to see. We were there in November and stayed at Hilton Niseko Village.
On Hilton’s website, they state that they have a ski-in, ski-out access, meaning that you can start skiing from the hotel. But since we weren’t skiing, we didn’t check about this. Furthermore, it seems rather unlikely they have this ski-in, ski-out access, mainly because the hotel is situated at cul-de-sac, far from the skiing lodges.
In any case, although it’s at a corner of Niseko, the drive in is beautiful with nature. We drove under a small stone bridge. Picturesque.
For the rooms, there are a few categories, some of them you can’t see Mt Yosei from. Those rooms are cheaper, but come on, we didn’t come all the way to Niseko to not see the mountain. So we splurged a little and the Mt Yosei room.
But it’s not necessary for you to splurge. You can dine at the restaurants here which give a view of the mountain too. In any case, you can’t see the mountain at night.
The room itself is big but the toilet is small. When you first enter the room, the sink is on your left and the toilet is on the right. I say the toilet is small but by Japanese standards, having a bathtub in it, it can be considered luxurious.
But here’s the main highlight:
Ok, a video view of the room here:
The room view is absolutely stunning. When we saw a view like this, our hearts immediately expanded. Mt Yosei is known as the Mount Fuji of Hokkaido. When I said it, I thought, “What have I do in my life to deserve such good fortune? I need to do more good work.”
There was a park just at the hotel and after checking in, we went to frolic there. It was probably the most fun we had on our trip, leaving a trail in the snow, posing and taking photos, throwing snowballs. The snow is soft and powdery and the snowballs didn’t hurt a bit.
If you see the photo closely, there is a placid lake there, so peaceful!
So after walking in the snow, we had a hot welcome tea. When we checked in, the receptionist gave us vouchers for the tea at the lobby. Really warming after the snow.
For the sake of a complete review, I should list some of their summer activities besides skiing: whitewater rafting and canoeing; hiking, biking, and paragliding ; horseback riding and hot air ballooning; and golf.
There is also a convenience shop at the lobby but they don’t have many things.
Pretty spacious gym.
The other thing we did was to visit their rotenburo, or outdoor onsen.
Their outdoor onsen is absolutely gorgeous. The air was cold but they wet the stone steps with a constant stream of warm water until you reach the rotenburo which oversees Mount Yosei. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by fir trees and seeing the majestic mountain in the cold, while soaking in hot water.
Compared to Oyado Kiyomizuya at Hells Valley whose onsen smells like sulphur, this onsen smells like mud. I bet the minerals are super great for the skin. When I saw my friends after they visited the onsen, they looked fairer. No wonder Japanese are so fair!
We woke up the next morning and the snow had melted. It’s still not a bad view, and it allows you to imagine what summer, with all the verdure, would be like:
This hotel stay is fantastic and I highly recommend it. We paid for our own hotel stay; I think it’s about ¥44,000 (S$520) a night for our room. And we didn’t get complimentary breakfast! Think next time, I’ll come during summer.
Hilton Niseko Village
Niseko-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 048-1592, Japan
tel: +81 136-44-1111
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Photo Credit: The two photos of onsen are taken from the hotel’s website because no photography is allowed in onsen.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.