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okkaido is the most northern of
the four main islands that make up
Japan, and is recognised as having
some of the best powder skiing in
the world. In 2010, a year when Europe to Canada
and even the Winter Olympics experienced
some of their worst seasons on record, Hokkaido
was metres-deep in the white stuff. In January,
Niseko had two-and-a-half metres in just eight
days, but an overnight snowfall of 30cm (a foot)
during the season is normal. All the Australian
instructors based there say it makes it pretty
hard to ski at home, such is the difference in
snow, facilities and value for money.
Japan itself is an endlessly fun and fascinating
destination, plus it’s full of surprises. And, in my
book, it would have to be the friendliest, cleanest
and safest place to visit in the world. While I’m
biased, having lived in Japan for four years and
being able to communicate in the language, I’m
still yet to meet a single traveller who hasn’t said
Japan and its people exceed all expectations.
While English is not widely used, the country
is still a relatively easy destination to get around
for the non-Japanese speaker. Both the Club
Med and Niseko resorts make it even easier,
with facilities in place to provide an exciting
and pain-free holiday for families and kids of
any ages. We were away for 16 nights: overnight
flights to and from Japan, plus seven nights
at Club Med Sahoro, six at Niseko and a final
night in Sapporo. I would recommend this as
the ultimate itinerary, particularly for anyone
with a young family learning to ski. There is no
easier place for families than Club Med, but, once
orientated, there is no better skiing than Niseko.
Boasting some of the world’s finest powder, it’s the ultimate
ski escape for adults and children alike. David Hogan
takes a two-week family holiday in Club Med
Sahoro and Niseko in the Hokkaido region.
scoop.com.au Explore WA
AT A GLANCE
WHO Groups, couples or families with kids (three
years and older), plus first-time to expert skiers.
WHERE Hokkaido, Japan: Club Med Sahoro and Niseko.
WHEN December to April.
(Best to book now for premium accommodation.)
WHY The world’s best powder skiing, the perfect family holiday,
to experience an amazing culture, for rest and relaxation.
WE BOOKED THROUGH SkiJapan.com and Club Med.
Powder skiing in Niseko,
considered the world’s best.
78 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
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