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Niseko Property – The Investment Boom in Japan’s Niseko Ski Resort

06 Mar
Alpine Property Search March 6, 2018 1

Niseko Property – The Investment Boom in Japan’s Niseko Ski Resort.

The Niseko Property boom.

Niseko property is experiencing a big growth boom with investment pouring into the resort. Let’s look at the reasons why you should be seriously considering buying in this flourishing resort.

With much talk of “The Beast from the East” this week in the UK, we’d like to draw your attention to another very large and snowy “Beast from the East”, the Niseko Ski Resort, Hokkaido, Japan.

With one of the longest ski seasons in the world, and a yearly snowfall between November and April of over 15 metres this is a snow-sure resort which is famous for its quality powder skiing through tree lined runs and incredible open powder bowls.

Also, because off-piste and back-country skiing is permitted, it opens up a vast terrain for intrepid powder skiers and boarders. An added bonus is that many ski runs are open until 8.30pm every night of the season.

Niseko is located in the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. The resort itself lies at the foot of the dormant volcano Mount Yotei, but the skiing centre of Niseko is to the west of Mount Yotei, on the slopes of Mount Annupuri.

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Hokkaido – it’s All About the Volume of Snow.

Niseko gets a HUGE volume of snow in one season. For example, the amount of snow that has fallen in the 2017/2018 ski season so far (end of February 2018) is a whopping 1198cm.

There is an explanation for the volume of snow. In brief, the winds blow over from Siberia, much the same as “The Beast from the East” that we are currently experiencing, however on a much larger scale and in the opposite direction of course. The winds coming from the land mass of Siberia are cold, dry and persistent. They pick up moisture from the slightly warmer Japanese Sea and this drops as snow on the island of Hokkaido which lies directly in their path.

The snowfall and the geography are what make Niseko a fabulous, long season skiing mecca and, whilst holidaymakers from Asia and Australia are regular visitors, it has recently seen an rise in numbers of skiers from around the world. As a result, there has been an explosion of investment into Niseko as developers take advantage of the small amount of land that is available, by building modern luxury accommodation amongst the finest in the world. Recent residential developments are close to the ski lifts and often have protected, awe-inspiring views of Mount Yotei.

An Unprecedented Level of Investment in Niseko.

One of our local developers Hokkaido Tracks wrote the following in their recent Spring update:

“It’s not only the Niseko marketplace that is sizzling at the moment, but key areas across Hokkaido are experiencing a broad-based tourism and investment boom not seen before. Proving not to be a passing fad, major international hotel brands & investment groups are pouring money into the region with a long term, year-round focus on luxury living at its finest.

With a shortage of premium housing in the Hirafu Village, current property owners are holding firm on their selling prices and are in no rush to sell, causing the Niseko focus to move towards purchasing the limited prime land still available and building your own luxury residence, hotel or condominiums.

Driven by the success of the Niseko market growth and limited land, other areas in the region (Higashiyama, Moiwa, Niseko Village and Furano)  are emerging  as hotspots for international players including Park Hyatt, Ritz- Carlton Reserve, W Hotels, EDITION, Zekkei Properties, and Simon Cheong’s SC Global group from Singapore. It’s not only Niseko and Furano experiencing exponential growth, but also the surrounding areas of Higashiyama and Moiwa, all seeing unprecedented investment from major international companies and high-end brands providing distinct opportunities.”

Some of the new players and projects already committed include:

Skye Niseko, The Pavilions Niseko, SC Global Development, Panorama Niseko

Foxwood Estate, Ritz- Carlton Reserve, W Hotel, EDITION, House of Machines, Enso Estate

Park Hyatt Hotel & Residences

New Master Plan Development, AMAN Resorts (TBC)

Indeed, it’s not just property developers but also the hotel industry that has been backing long term investment into Niseko. For example, back in 2008, Hilton opened The Hilton Niseko Village, a 506-room luxury hotel after recognising the long term investment potential of the area and Oded Lifschitz, Hilton’s vice president of international operations for Japan recognised Niseko as being an area:

“With an ideal plan and position to offer a year-round attraction, we see great potential to develop a tourism destination throughout the year.”

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How to Get to Niseko Ski Resort.

Its accessibility has enabled the resort to grow at a steady pace making it a ripe long term investment hot spot for both hotel and property developers alike.

By Air/Train/Bus

You can also take the train from New Chitose Airport to Niseko. The express train is 35 minutes to Sapporo. You then take the train from Sapporo to Otaru which is 32-35 minutes. Otaru to Kutchan, Niseko’s rail station, is a 1 to 1 ½ hour journey. Taxi transfer to the Niseko Ski Resort is 15 minutes.

Tokyo to New Chitose Airport, Sapporo is a quick 1 ½ hour hop. Bus transfer is the most convenient and economical way to get from New Chitose Airport to Niseko. The Niseko bus takes about 2.5-3 hours depending on road conditions and your drop off point within the resort.

Tokyo to Niseko by Train

In 2016 a grandiose project commenced to develop the bullet-train Shinkansen service connecting the north and south islands of Japan and connecting Tokyo to Sapporo (completion 2030). The Shinkansen service has currently been extended to Hakkodate on the south coast of Hokkaido, and will eventually stop at Kutchan (completion 2024) which is the closest station to the Niseko Ski Resort.

TokyoHakkodate train journey time is 4 ¼ hours.

Onwards (currently) HakkodateKutchan is up 2 ½ hours depending on express train/local train.

Now that Alpine Property Search have opened your eyes to the wonderful opportunities in Hokkaido, we will be following up with further news with information on the numerous opportunities and activities that the resorts have to offer both in the summer and the winter…

    Interested In Learning More?

    One Comment

    1. Rp

      Is Kuchan shinkansen station still on track to open 2024? I heard it all may be significantly behind schedule unfortunately


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