Niseko — My Winter Paradise

January, according to some people I know, is the most perfect time to visit Japan during the winter. And so, when I was offered to come to the Land of the Rising Sun for a bit of work, I didn’t think twice about agreeing. Japan has always been in my bucket list.

My journey to Niseko was a long one. My flight was from Manila to Tokyo which took five hours and ten minutes. I had a two-hour layover in Narita Airport until my flight to Sapporo which also took more than two hours.

Upon arrival at New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, I had to take the Hokkaido Resort Liner Bus and the trip to Hirafu Village lasted for more than two hours. It was good that I had my accommodation booked with Shiki Niseko Serviced Residences. They arranged my bus transfer from New Chitose Airport to the Welcome Centre in Grand Hirafu and from the Welcome Centre to their hotel. This made my trip even more comfortable and so much easier.

(TIP: If you booked a hotel in Niseko, you can ask them to arrange the bus transfer for you. It is more efficient and hassle-free. If you inform your hotel what time you are arriving, they can also come and greet you at the Welcome Center and then bring you to the hotel.)

I was lucky enough to stay at SHIKI Niseko. I had my 10-day stay with them pre-arranged before my trip and they were also the one who planned my bus transfers from the airport to the hotel and vice versa.

The very first time I saw SHIKI Niseko in pictures online, I was already amazed. And seeing it in real life for the first time, it felt surreal. I stayed at a 2-Bedroom Apartment with the Mt. Yotei view and a balcony. Of course, I chose to stay at the bigger room (one of the two bedrooms is the master’s bedroom and the other is a smaller room with twin beds). The apartment in general was very spacious. We had a kitchen, a living room as well as dining area close to it. My room (the master’s bedroom) had a large closet, a safe, a laundry basket, extra sheets and pillows, iron board and flat iron, my own flat-screen TV, and of course, a spacious bathroom. The kitchen was also fully furnished so if we wanted to make our own food, we could also do it.

On some days during my stay, I had the chance to also try SHIKI’s penthouse located on the top floor of the building. One of the penthouse apartments I tried had both the Mt. Yotei and the Annupuri view. The Mt. Yotei could be seen from both the master’s bedroom and the other bedroom, as well as the living room/kitchen/dining area. The view of the Annupuri could be seen from the hallway leading to the living room as well as from the living room itself. Some of the penthouse apartments also had its own indoor tub or onsen.

What I also loved about SHIKI Niseko is the location. It is super close to all the restaurants, bars, and shops. It is situated just in the middle of Hirafu. It could get a little expensive especially if you booked last minute, but if you book directly on their website, I found out that it’s a lot less expensive compared to booking it via other booking engines.

What I also loved about SHIKI Niseko is the location. It is super close to all the restaurants, bars, and shops. It is situated just in the middle of Hirafu. It could get a little expensive especially if you booked last minute, but if you book directly on their website, I found out that it’s a lot less expensive compared to booking it via other booking engines.