As one of the top resorts in Japan, the Niseko area is blessed with incredible nature. While Niseko is famous for its powder snow and snowsports during the winter season, the green season, which is from spring to autumn,offers other various outdoor activities as well.
Known as the Fuji of Hokkaido, or “Ezo Fuji”, Mt. Yotei is a central point to the nature and scenery of Niseko. However, to truly enjoy the nature in Niseko, just looking isn’t enough. You’ve got to experience it firsthand! So what kind of things can you do? Here are our top 5 picks for outdoor activities in the Niseko area.
*Special thanks to Jetro Hokkaido and Niseko Tourism.
1) Nature Experience at Pure
Behind the Niseko hotel is the outdoor activity center Pure. Whether you come with family or friends, there are different activities for all to enjoy.
From mountain biking to zip lining to tree trekking, there are many way to take in the nature of Niseko. The majestic Mt. Yotei is also right in front of your eyes.
You can choose to participate in just a few activities, or pick up a Super Passport and enjoy everything to your heart’s content!
2) Rafting at Niseko Hanazono Resort
Located at the base of Mt. Yotei, the clear waters of Shiribetsu River is popular for rafting. Starting at the base, you’ll listen to an explanation, put on your wetsuit, and head to the river by car.
From there, the guide will explain thoroughly how to paddle, what to do when you fall in, and also explain the various wildlife and scenery as you paddle down the river. You’ll even get the chance to jump into the river!
The conditions of the river change depending on the season, so make sure to pick the conditions that suit you best. In spring, the freshly melted snow means a ton of water and a more exciting experience. In summer, the water calms down and is great for families with children. Finally, in autumn, the temperature drops, but you can enjoy the scenery of the beautiful red leaves.
3) Pizza Making at Niseko Farm
Located right in front of Mt. Yotei, Niseko Green Farm is an organic farm which provides local produce and products, as well as pizza-making and farm experiences.
The pizza making takes about 2 hours, which starts with picking the toppings you’d like on your pizza, directly from the fields. Along with a guide, you’ll get to choose from a large variety, including white corn, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, chili, basil, and others. Then, with the provided dough you’ll knead your own pizza, place your toppings, and bake it in a stone oven.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying your very own freshly baked pizza while you gaze up Mt. Yotei!
4) Cycling at Rhythm Japan
One of the major ski rental shop In Hirafu central, Rhythm Japan offers various bike rentals during the green season.
Cross, road, mountain, there are all kinds of bikes to choose from, and if you reserve ahead of time, you can also ask for a guided ride. If it’s your first time in the area, this might be a good idea, especially if you’re short on time.
Take in the scenery of Mt. Yotei as you feel the breeze biking along the base of the mountain. Sandwiched between the mountain and the local potato fields, there’s endless scenery to stop and take a snap as you cycle.
5) Adventure Park at NAC
The newest facility of the Niseko Adventure Center (NAC), the adventure park is an obstacle course located 5~13 meters off the ground in the trees, with the goal of clearing obstacle courses as you move through the trees. The largest of its kind in Japan, the park offers 4 difficulties, from first-timer, beginner, normal, and advanced.
Upon arriving, the staff will explain the rules and how to use the equipment, along with a practice session to get used to everything. Then, you’re off on your own to try and finish the course yourself. Enjoy the cool air as you scurry from tree to tree, overcoming obstacles, and before you know it, you’ll forget the heights as you enjoy the view of Mt. Yotei from within the woods.
For first-timers or people short on time, the first-timer course is a good choice. For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the normal course in the most enjoyable. Finally, for those looking for a thrill and are confident in their fitness, the advanced course will be just right.
This concludes our top 5 picks for outdoor activities. Whichever you choose, there’s no need to bring anything and each activity is welcoming to first-timers. Also, every facility offers English support, so reservations are hassle-free as well. Different from the powder snow winter, the green season of Niseko is yet another way to experience the great outdoors of Hokkaido while you move your body!
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