A month after the catastrophic Japanese earthquake, Niseko, one of some 600 ski areas in the country and arguably the best known internationally, has commented on the event, how it has affected the resort which is located on the separate northern island of Hokkaido and 500km from the epicenter.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support that Japan and we here in Niseko have received in response to the disaster that struck Japan’s east coast one month ago. As you surely know, the earthquake and tsunami that followed have left entire towns missing in northern sections of Honshu, Japan’s main island. These areas continue to struggle to provide shelter, food, services, and other supplies to residents who have been uprooted, but the displays of support in the form of donations, kind words, and volunteers has been truly inspiring.” said a statement from The Niseko Promotion Board.
On the direct impact of the earthquake on Niseko the resort says, “There was almost no direct impact from the event. Despite concerns about food shortages in affected areas, Niseko neither expected nor experienced supply issues. Additionally, our power grid is completely separate from Tokyo Electric, so the rolling blackouts affecting large chunks of the main island do not extend toward Niseko and Hokkaido is not included in travel advisories in Japan.” “We know many people are concerned about the impact of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant on Niseko’s developments and operations, so we’d like to quell as many fears as possible. Radiation levels in Hokkaido have remained at typical background levels for the last month and radiation at sites across Japan has been dropping steadily.”
The resort itself has raised two million yen to help with earthquake relief.
The resort notes that in light of the continued stability of Niseko, many development projects in the area are scheduled to proceed from this spring as planned including on mountain improvements for the 2011-12 season, which will be the resort’s 50th.
The biggest news is that the Hirafu gondola will be converted to a high-speed, eight-passenger-cabin lift, increasing speed and capacity on the route. The whole trip will now be only five minutes.
More new accommodation will also be built including Shiki, next to the Mountain Side Palace; The Rocks development on the site of the demolished Hotel Scot and the construction of the M Hotel on Momiji-zaka Street. Most of this work is already underway.
Additionally, a new ski centre will be built next door, complete with restaurant, ski school, rentals, and ski shop. A new kid’s space will be constructed, as well. “When the first ski guests arrive late this year, there will certainly be new and exciting changes to see.” said the resort statement.
If you’re interested in a ski holiday to Japan visit our website to find out more or call 0131 243 8097 and speak to one of the team.