AYA Niseko - Summer Inspiration
Over a quarter of Japan's arable land can be found in Hokkaido, which is renowned for its abundant produce, and the delicious dishes they create. Much like the rest of Hokkaido, Niseko is well-known for its fresh local seafood and farm produce and its eclectic restaurants. Taste Rakuichi's delicious soba, western-influenced fine-dining at Kamimura, or even delicious breads and cakes at café Graubünden or Lupicia.
With access to some of the finest ingredients in Japan, Hokkaido BBQs are always a highlight of the summer, and local meats, Hokkaido corn, asparagus, squash, carrots, and delicious kutchan potatoes are an amazing treat to enjoy freshly cooked with friends and family.
Farmer's markets like Niseko View Plaza are perfect for gathering a selection of Hokkaido’s delicious seasonal produce, bringing together fruits, vegetables, craft shops and local drinks and dishes from over 50 farms and regional suppliers.
Sightseeing & Souvenirs
Visit art galleries, flower gardens, and local attractions, and even learn new crafts from skilled local artists.
For a surprising but rewarding local sightseeing spot, Daini Arishima Ostrich Farm rarely disappoints. Feed these majestic birds as they run and play in fields that boast the stunning backdrop of Mount Yotei, then choose from the selection of fresh ostrich produce for sale to take home with you.
Immensely popular for its fresh flowing mineral water, Fukidashi Park in Kyogoku is often referred to as the “home of Mt. Yotei water”, where visitors can collect and drink icy-cool mineral water directly from the gushing springs.
Takahashi Dairy Farm's Milk Kobo create incredible creamy treats made from the milk of their very own cows. With such offerings as tasty cheesecake tarts, eclairs, ice cream, castella sponge cake and of course, their famous choux cream pastries and yogurt drink, Milk Kobo is a summer favourite. While you are here, be sure to visit Niseko no Mori located opposite to browse gorgeous hand-made crafts and souvenirs.
There are also a range of art galleries and museums in the area, including Kiyoe Gallery which is located within AYA Niseko and exhibits a range of inspiring artworks, or the Shu Ogawara Museum of Art in Kutchan.
If you are interested in creating your own souvenirs to take home, there are many local artists that run craft workshops. Try your hand at beer brewing or jam making with local suppliers, or make something beautiful under the tutelage of ceramic art or glass art experts.
With its diverse landscapes and cool, temperate climes, Hokkaido offers a huge variety of fantastic hiking terrain, winding cycling roads, exquisite golf greens, and much more.
During the summer, the Grand Hirafu Gondola is in operation, granting visitors easy access to some fantastic walking routes, and providing wonderful views of the surrounding areas. From early June, the Mt. Yotei hiking trails are also officially opened, giving visitors the chance to explore the region's most recognisable stratovolcano.
Another unmissable walk can be found within the Shinsen Numa wetlands — a delightful mix of wildlife, nature, and colour. Experience a relaxing hike over forest trails and wooden-boardwalks while you take in the the sunshine and enjoy the cool breeze. If you are lucky, you may spot some of the many rare and beautiful bird and insect species native to the area!
Rapidly becoming famous for its meticulously maintained, silver-birch framed greens, Niseko is also home to a wide collection of World-class Golf Resorts. Events take place throughout the summer, and boast a variety of difficulty and terrain surrounded by breathtaking views.
Thanks to the roads that wind through its diverse mountains and forestland, Niseko is an unparalleled cycling destination for both casual and competitive cyclists. On July 9th, Niseko hosts the 2017 Niseko Classic which brings riders from abroad and from all over Japan to compete in Hokkaido's biggest cycling event.
After a long day exploring Hokkaido’s greenery, relax and unwind in some of Hokkaido’s finest onsen. Rich in various volcanic salts and minerals, every onsen is a new experience.
Perfect for a post-hike soak and hidden away between Mt. Annupuri and Mt. Iwaonupuri, Goshiki Onsen has fragrant, sulphuric water and a peaceful mountain backdrop.
Located conveniently in house, the AYA Niseko onsen is stylish and serene. Choose from public and private onsen, with geothermally heated water tapped from more than 700m below.
Other notable onsen include Yugokorotei, a beautiful outdoor onsen in Niseko Annupuri; Rankoshi’s Yukichichibu, which boasts skin-revitalising mud-packs; or even the decadent indoor baths of Kanronomori, or one of the many others that can be found within Niseko and the surrounding areas.
A popular base for exploring some of Hokkaido’s most popular day-trip locations, which include Lake Toya, Shakotan, Otaru, and regional capital, Sapporo.
Easily accessible by car, why not spend a day fruit-picking cherries in nearby Nikki? Also famous for its fruit harvest and home of the well-known Nikka Whiskey, the neighbouring town of Yoichi is less than an hour’s drive from AYA Niseko, allowing you to sample mellow whiskeys at the Yoichi Whiskey Distillery and Museum.
The port town of Otaru is well worth a day trip to taste the amazing seafood and beer, and to explore the boutique bazaars that line its roads. With its canal, distinctive victorian architecture and repurposed port warehouses, Otaru is a regional haven for restaurants, souvenirs, and ainu crafts shopping.
For those interested in experiencing the rugged coastline of the sea of Japan, a visit to the Shakotan peninsula rarely disappoints. Around 90 minutes away and renowned for its onsen resorts, fresh sea-produce, and incredibly clear blue waters, Shakotan provides a stunning contrast to the inland forests and mountains of Hokkaido.
To save up to 60% on AYA Niseko Summer long stays, click here.
To book your summer stay or to learn more about any of the activities or destinations featured in this article, please do not hesitate to contact the AYA Niseko team.