Niseko Skiing

Lovey's First Ski Holiday (5 - 8 Feb 2013)
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I was so excited as I peeked out of the plane and saw all the snow capped fields in Sapporo. It wasn’t that cold just about -3 degrees by the time we got from the airport to the rental car location, where TW was the official driver and drove us for 3 hours plus to Niseko.

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SUIBOKU

http://suibokuhirafu.com/

We rented a 5 room apartment in Suiboku, which belongs to a friend of YW and AL’s. So we got it at a less crazy rate. The apartment was large spanning over 2 floors, modern interiors with lots of faux fur throws making it look really luxe and cosy. They even had a hot bath for us to soak our achy muscles after our skiing daily. There was a fabulous kitchen fitted out with Miele equipment and plenty of pots, pans and cutlery, which was great as we were planning to cook up a storm every day.

This is me on my lovely master bed that I will share with Y. This is me on my lovely master bed that I will share with Y.

Rise and shine, so excited to see all the snow coming down on my first day in Niseko.

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Suiboku is just located behind The Vale, a very popular place with Hong Kong and Singapore tourists, but it’s not far, just gotta walk down a slope for 1 – 2 mins and I arrive at the ski rental shop.

That's me walking behind SH and YL downwards a slope to where the start of the ski lifts are. It was a bit tough on the 1st day getting down the slippery slope, but I got quite good at battling this slope by the 3rd day. That’s me walking behind SH and YL downwards a slope to where the start of the ski lifts are. It was a bit tough on the 1st day getting down the slippery slope, but I got quite good at battling this slope by the 3rd day.

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We rented our skis from Niseko Sports Rental at The Vale, just located behind Suiboku. The staff were really helpful in advising us on what sort of skis we should wear and all. I accompanied Y for the fit out and I just lounged around on my own after her ski instructor, Trevor came to meet her.

View of the bunny slope where Y start learning on her first day.
View of the bunny slope where Y start learning on her first day.

Enjoying the view on a typical afternoon on my own while the rest are out skiing.
Enjoying the view on a typical afternoon on my own while the rest are out skiing.

Tea break - we had giant Hokkaido crabs that we bought from the Sapporo Airport.
Tea break – we had giant Hokkaido crabs that we bought from the Sapporo Airport.

EATS

We didn’t go out to eat much, but here’s 2 yummy places I remember.

1. Ezo Seafoods
http://www.ezoseafoods.com/

Just a short walk down from Suiboku, this was a wonderful seafood recommendation from Y’s pilates instructor who comes to Niseko every year. We had fresh oysters, and many many other fresh fish, crustaceans which the Australian owner recommended. Just didn’t have crab, as we were crabbed out from all the Hokkaido crab we bought. This is a great place to have dinner if you want reasonably priced and fresh seafood.

Ezo Seafood collage


2. Milk Kobo

http://www.milk-kobo.com/

I researched fervently before my trip to Niseko to see where I could get lovely cream puffs, or milk, and other dairy products and came across this Milk Kobo that’s in Niseko. The lovely concierge Takeshi drove me and Y down one afternoon after Y returned from skiing. Since we were the only ones at home in the afternoon, we thought of surprising the rest with some yummy cream puffs when they return from skiing!

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I was salivating peering into this display shelve of cream puffs, cheesecakes and more.

Our takeaway cream puffs in a box.
Our takeaway cream puffs in a box.

Soft ice cream that I shared with Y. Yummy! It's strangely perfect in cold icy weather.
Soft ice cream that I shared with Y. Yummy! It’s strangely perfect in cold icy weather.

View of Mount Yotei, the tallest mountain in Hokkaido. Snapped it on the way to Milk Kobo. Looks so majestic.
View of Mount Yotei, the tallest mountain in Hokkaido. Snapped it on the way to Milk Kobo. Looks so majestic.

There were lots and lots of cooking happening in our apartment, here are some great snapshots from the cookouts.

Most of the cooking was done by AL, YW, TW and Y. But the rest like SH, YL and LH were happy to help with the dishes.

Sizzling wagyu beef steak on the pan.
Sizzling wagyu beef steak on the pan.

Getting ready for Sukiyaki with the beef bought from Harijyu Osaka.
Getting ready for Sukiyaki with the beef bought from Harijyu Osaka.

Suki Suki…
Suki Suki…

AL cooked Nigel Slater's Beef bourguignon recipe.
AL cooked Nigel Slater’s Beef bourguignon recipe.

Beef, beef, beef - Beef bourguignon, Japanese steak, with pasta, and homemade salad.
Beef, beef, beef – Beef bourguignon, Japanese steak, with pasta, and homemade salad.

Yummy softest sponge cake from Daimaru Osaka and Milk Kobo ice cream.
Yummy softest sponge cake from Daimaru Osaka and Milk Kobo ice cream.

I wish I didn't have to share the dessert hee hee.
I wish I didn’t have to share the dessert hee hee.

One of our memorable lunches was Prawn Tempura with Uni Butter Pasta – prepared by Chef AL and YW. Yummy! Y also cooked a lovely yakiniku don for some of them for 1st day lunch, think she was so hungry she forgot to snap the dish.

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Me lounging around after a filling meal of Hokkaido crabs, Japanese sukiyaki and salad.
Me lounging around after a filling meal of Hokkaido crabs, Japanese sukiyaki and salad.

Lastly, am so proud that Y managed to learn to ski on her own by her last day and got some confidence in skiing. Here’s her posing on the Annupuri slope on her last day of skiing. It was such a blizzard that day, felt like I was getting a fur exfoliating facial. I think for first timers to learn and perfect skiing well, I was told by my many skilled skier friends that Niseko is probably the best place for it honestly. The powder conditions are good and there is always so much snow.  Niseko skiing pre Chinese New Year has to be one of the best things I have done for a travel trip. Niseko – we will be back soon!

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