This article is part of Ski Asia's Perfect Day series, in which we ask locals and business owners how they'd spend a "perfect day" in their home resort. 

Andres and his wife arrived in Niseko in 2015 for what he thought was a stop-over season on his way back to the Canadian Rockies – the destination that made him first fall in love with the mountains. Little did he know that he would be hooked by Hokkaido’s powder and quaint charm. Seven winter seasons and four summers later, the Colombian-Australian now calls Hokkaido home year round.

Snowboarding powder Niseko

Andres was “hooked by Hokkaido’s powder and quaint charm”

In winter, you will find him deep in the backcountry or weaving in and out of Hokkaido’s famous tree runs in Niseko, Rusutsu or Furano. In the summer, he enjoys Hokkaido’s slower pace, which can include hiking, rock climbing or camping in the wilderness.

How Andres would spend a “perfect day” in Niseko


Hiking Mt. Yotei

“The four hour hike [up Mt. Yotei] is worth every turn”

My perfect Niseko day starts nice and early, clearing 20cm of fresh snow from the car and then heading straight to Green Farm Cafe for a coffee and breakfast sandwich. Then it’s off to the trailhead, to hike up one of the many peaks in the Niseko area.

Although I still really enjoy lapping the tree runs that Niseko’s ski resorts are famous for, when the conditions are right there is nothing like doing a top to bottom run on the famous Mt Yotei. The four hour hike is worth every turn!

Niseko backcountry

“These days I usually opt for the peace and freedom that an untouched backcountry run has to offer”

Lunch / Onsen

As the morning hikes can sometimes leave one body weary I usually head straight to the closest onsen for some hot spring therapy and food. My favorite onsen is Kyogoku Fureai Koryu, as it has a great outdoor pool and also a fantastic katsu curry.


Niseko cabin

Andres’s home in Niseko – snow clearing is a necessity!

After lunch and an onsen, it’s often time for a nap or some snow clearing (a necessity in Niseko). However, if the sun is shining, I like to strap on the snowshoes and walk through the forest trail to Hangetsu lake at the base of Mt. Yotei.

I can’t recommend enough the afternoon or evening snowshoe tours run by NAC (Niseko Adventure Centre), a unique activity for the whole family, and a really special experience to walk through the snow-covered forest at sunset or under the stars.

Snowshoeing in Niseko

Snowshoeing with the family


After such a big day, my family and I like to enjoy a relaxing dinner in neighbouring Kutchan. An old-time personal favourite is the Korean restaurant, Tomone Pocha, for some spicy fried chicken and Korean hot pot to warm the soul and fill the belly.


After dinner, its back home for a good night sleep, ready to do it all again tomorrow!

When friends and family come to stay I recommend that they stay as close to the mountain as possible. Always Niseko is a great budget-friendly spot with everything you need, including breakfast, a free shuttle bus to the lifts, and a comfortable bed to rest your head after a big day.

The Maples Niseko

The Maples Niseko. View more images

For bigger groups I tend to suggest one of the many Nisade 3-bedroom apartments. The Vale Niseko has private onsen rooms overlooking the slopes or Mt Yotei and is positioned perfectly at the base of the lifts. Plus, it’s just footsteps to the main street in Hirafu. Alternatively, the ski-in ski-out access and central location of The Maples Niseko is hard to beat.