Sake' , Sushi, and SNOW!!
So after our Big Bear TUNE-UP Session it's time to hit some real POW. A world-wide snowboarding trip would not be complete without a visit to the great nation of Japan. Anxious to ride, we decided to hit Japan first. Renown for the rich culture, intriguing heritage, and unbelievable visual appeal, the country is calling us to visit. Unlike most other cultures, the Japanese seem to perfectly combine their history with modern day progression. This is astutely depicted everywhere from the city's architecture to the mountain's resorts. Combine that with the fantastic cuisines and the fastest trains in the world, and we got ourselves some incredible options to occupy our time. With sake, sushi, and millions of tourists traveling around the country, Japan is expanding at an atomic rate. This can be seen from the cities to the mountain resorts, not to mention the fact that Japan has highest number of resorts per capita than any other country in the world. Put simply, in Japan you can shred untracked powder, ride perfectly groomed trails, hit a precisely-cut park, and then experience boat loads of culture, all on the same day!
Of all the resorts in Japan, Niseko was the obvious. Ask almost any professional rider if they have been there and the answer is usually the same, "I'm headed back there this year." Niseko is situated on the Island of Sapporo which is home to the country's most snowfall. Local riders claim they haven't edged their boards in years for at times they are riding "nipple deep." If you are traveling here then you best bring the biggest powder board you can handle. Rarely argued, Niseko has the deepest and most predictable powder accumulation on the planet. For any freeriding, powder seeking, adrenaline junkie there is no better place in the world to get your fix than Niseko. You are all but GUARANTEED to be shredding powder from sun up to sun dawn. Oh and did I mention that the mountain is covered with flood lights so you can ride until 9 at night? I didn't think I had too!
On a side note, we are set up with Scott Bowman for some pretty serious Cat-Boarding and road trip excursions to Japan's back country. All of this is being arranged by Hirafubackpackers and GO-NSA. What a great way to start the TRIP!
Town Altitude: 650 m
Highest Lift: 1308 m
Vertical Drop: 658 m
KM of Pistes: n/a