A challenging new sport in an unfamiliar country is a daunting experience for some, but for Ki Niseko guest Jeff, it was an experience that will not be forgotten. Jeff and his wife travelled from Birmingham to Niseko earlier this season after winning a Ki Niseko-sponsored competition at the London Ski and Snowboard Show.
We caught up with Jeff after his holiday to find out how it all went and collect his tips for future guests. He had plenty of good things to say and some great advice!
What were your expectations coming to Japan (both for winter sports and more generally)?
I had a pretty open mind with regards to winter sports, as I had not done any before. My thoughts about Japan generally were that the language barrier would be a big issue, but I was pleasantly surprised that nearly every Japanese person I met was better at speaking English than I was at speaking Japanese
What was the best part about staying with Ki Niseko?
My wife would say the onsen/spa facilities. I would lean towards the ski valet.
How were your GoSnow lessons? What was the best piece of advice you had from the GoSnow instructors?
The GoSnow lesson/instructors were brilliant, very patient and always got the right balance between praise and constructive criticism. The best advice was at the start of the lessons, they advised you to go into the group where you felt most comfortable.
What was your favourite activity besides skiing or snowboarding? Any suggestions on bars or restaurants?
We both enjoyed many of the bars and restaurants, we really enjoyed nipping down to town for a cake and hot chocolate after a day on the slopes. We also enjoyed playing darts at Wild Bill's.
What 3 tips would you give to travellers coming to Niseko for a ski holiday?
1) Definitely use the onsens
2) Even if you are not fluent in Japanese, learn the basics e.g. hello, thank you and goodbye. It goes a long way and is appreciated.
3) Even if you can ski, consider a ski lesson with GoSnow, they can improve everyone from novices to advanced skiers.
Tell us about the number one moment from your trip
Learning to ski - If anyone had told me I’d be skiing down the slopes without falling over by the end of my holiday I would not have believed them.
Any funny stories, experiences or thoughts that you'd like to add?
We met a couple of Japanese lads late one night, after a chat about football, we had to pose for photos with them. It summed up our experience of Niseko - a really friendly, fun place.
Will you come back? We hear summer here is pretty good too!
We will definitely come back, would be nice to see Niseko in summer.
To arrange your stay with Ki Niseko, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.