Japanuary in Niseko

The Illustrations

From skiing to world famous hot-springs, Niesko Japan is a hot spot for foreign tourists. Due to border restrictions from the pandemic international guest travel temporarily declined resulting in a strong need for Niseko Tourism to seek campaign creative. “Japanuary” is also used to refer to the peak season for ski tourism in Japan, which occurs in January. During this time, many ski resorts in Japan are filled with tourists from the US, Australia and New Zealand who come to enjoy the snow and take part in winter sports activities. The focus of this project was to highlight some of the best things to do on and off the mountain. For me it was the snow, the hot springs and of course the food.


The Snow

Some of my own personal memories are around the snow quality and backcountry skiing and exploring the sidecountry outside of the world-class resorts. When the views of Mount Yōtei aren’t obstructed by the clouds and snow you can catch a glimpse of the massive volcano in the powder lined trees and there is no wonder why I fell in love with this place. When you look at the snow quality comparing Utah to Japan you will see that there are similarities between both locations. The similar environments produce ample amounts of snow making making this island a great ski and snowboard destination. In Japan, the snow is often characterized as being light and dry, with good visibility and a stable snowpack. The country is well-known for its deep powder snow, which is a result of its cold, dry climate and high elevations. In addition, many ski resorts in Japan offer extensive backcountry terrain and tree skiing, which are popular among experienced skiers and snowboarders. In Utah, the snow is often described as being fluffy and abundant, with a large number of ski resorts that offer a variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Utah is known for its long ski seasons, with many ski resorts staying open well into spring and offering excellent snow conditions.


The Hot Springs

Immersing yourself after a long day on the mountain in a hot spring is the way to rest, relax and rejuvenate. In Niseko there are tons hot springs or onsens where you can soak yourself in volcanic natural mineral water. Not every onsen is the same and the water used in an onsen have have a wide variety of mineral compositions that associate different health benefits. One of my favorite times at night was to sit at the Goshiki onsen where fresh water poured in from Iwanopuri.


The Food

From street food to fine dining there is something for everyone in this town. On snow eateries and off snow restaurants, there is no shortage of delicious food in Niseko and my favorite is a full belly of ramen on a cold day. Some of my favorite off piste memories is the wonderful smells and delicious food and the culture while eating in Niseko. Of course I also captured a detail of eating while being surrounded by good friends at one of my favorite izakayas.