Kiroro Snow World! Never heard of it? It's a really underrated, under-the-radar (i.e. less crowded) Hokkaido ski resort with snow that's plentiful and powdery. It's just 28km from Otaru, and 43km from Sapporo. Powderhounds rates this a 4 our of 5 for its snow, lift infrastructure and lack of crowds.
Our hotel Grand Park Otaru has packages that include daily shuttles to this skiing wonderland. It departs at 8:30am and returns 4:30pm, so you'll get about 7 hours of ski esort time.
My girls were so excited about playing in snow. We arrived amidst some snow flurries. It was cold but we loved it. And thank god for Uniqlo winter wear. We didn't need thermals but the fur-lined coats and down jackets served us well. Gloves however got soaked through, so we had to rent heavy duty ones.
Kiroro Snow World is a medium sized resort, with various slopes and activities that suit beginners and intermediates. If you're an advanced skier, there are a couple of mogul courses that will really test your knees.
Well, we weren't ambitious. We prefer snowboarding over skiing. Even simple snow sledding is good fun.
We took the gondola up to the Asari peak. They have nine lifts here, and this one is the ultimate one. Among the others, there are five detachable fast chairs with hoods.
The gondola takes only 15 minutes, but it is a lovely and scenic ride.
All the skiers coming down...this must be the L plate course for newbies. You can also ski amidst the trees if you are confident.
It's a good thing it is toasty warm inside! Outside, it was -5 degrees C at the resort base, and about -12 degrees on the peak. Negative C! I love the sound of that. We came from 32 degrees C in Singapore, so that's a 40-degree dive in temperature. YAY!
The scenery on the way up to the peak was just stunning. Monochromatic hues from snow and trees made the landscape so surreal.
And that is my iPhone photo (actually all shots here are taken with the iPhone cos I was just not going to risk my DSLR).
It's a different world up here! The rat race and crowded city is so far away.
Actually a lot of people came up, including little kids who seemed really pro already despite their age.
There's a restaurant up here where you can watch in warmth.
The cafeteria there serves all kinds of stuff from Western to snacks. The Hamburg steak came with a lot of shredded lettuce. Nice touch. There's also freeflow coffee and tea.
Don't know if the cold made us extra ravenous or what, but food tasted so much better here at the resort. We had two helpings of this Sapporo miso ramen. It was just what we needed after freezing ourselves out there.
Well, the sun sets pretty early in winter, so around 4:30pm it already looks like night.
Grand Park Otaru has a Kiroro Ski Package that includes 7 hour ski lift passes for two persons, complimentary shuttle service between hotel and Kiroro Resort and buffet breakfast for two persons at Terrace Brasserie.
Promotion Period: 4 December 2015 – 2 April 2016
Mountain View Room: From JPY9,650 per person
Ocean View Room: From JPY10,450 per person
To find out more on the package, please call 81-134-21-3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
KIRORO SNOW WORLD
128-1, Tokiwa, Hokkaido, HO, Japan
Tel: +81 135-34-7100