Sep 29, 2009
On what can only be described as a spectacular day, the Niseko Powder Pigs Rugby Club set out to try to wrestle the title back from the invading hordes from Sapporo alongside the challengers from all over Hokkaido.
The games, played at Korropokoro fields with an outstanding view of Yotei, were fast and entertaining. The first round saw the mighty Powder Pigs 1 fall to the Pigs 2 while the Sapporo White Fright dispatched the team made of English teachers from around Hokkaido .
The second round was even more intense, as the winners of these matches went on to the finals. Again the Powder Pigs 1 came up short, this time to the Sapporo team again, While the JETS were handled by the PowderPigs 2.
The Final Round
The Powder Pigs 1 faced the JETS ina battle to avoid the wooden spoon, and thanks to a couple of late recruits, managed to edge out a 5 tries to 2 win.
The stage was then set for the Grand Final. Would the age and experience of the veteran Powder Pigs 2 hold off the young legs and pace of the Sapporo interlopers? Would the trophy finally rest on Niseko ground? Would Craig Miekle`s lungs actually explode during the game. These questions and many more waited to be answered.
The game began quickly , with the PP2 jumping out to a quick lead, thanks to some quick counter play and the quick legs of the young Englishman Mike Robertson and a brilliant intercept by Rett Roylance. The White Fright of Sapporo , lead by the playmaking of Barney Lee and the running of Toby Washer, struck back at the stroke of half time and the game was knotted heading into the second half.
The Sapporo boys jumped out to a quick lead and seemed to have the gave well in hand until a couple of costly errors and mental mistakes put the game back on level as time expired. Sudden Death overtime!
The pace and intensity of the game was now showing on the faces of the Niseko team and despite a few valiant charges to the line, the gaps finally appeared and Johnny Silieli broke through for the game decided. The wee tanuki returned to his Sapporo home for another long winter while the Niseko teams once again sulked home to lick their wounds and plot their revenge next year.
Big thanks to Niseko Pizza for putting on such a great after match spread, the JET players that travelled from all across Hokkaido , and the fans and family that came out to support on such a perfect day.
Sep 25, 2009
Japan has just celebrated its second major holiday period of the year, the now named ‘Silver Week’ after the major holiday period in May, ‘Golden Week’. Niseko was packed during the week with lots of holiday makers touring around the area. The week was blessed with perfect weather, possibly some of the nicest days all summer.
Autumn in Niseko is a great time, the leaves start changing colour, the days are clear and crisp and the nights are chilly but clear. Perfect for hiking and getting in some last outdoor activities before November and the chilly weather starts.
Hiking in Niseko is very popular with the whole area of the Annupuri ranges open for hiking. Either ride one of the gondolas at Grand Hirafu or Annupuri or head out to the smaller mountains out the back and hike up. I headed out to Goshiki during Silver Week and hiked over to Onuma. There are a range of hikes from 1 hour to all day so there is something for everyone. Make sure you wear suitable hiking shoes though and most Japanese carry a bell to ward of bears.
You can finish your hike with a soak in an onsen, Goshiki has some of the most famous onsens in the area. Goshiki onsen is the highest onsen in the area with unique water (only 2 onsens in Hokkaido have this type of water) and is situated within the national park.
The leaves are just starting to turn in Niseko and soon the area will be covered with red, green and yellow leaves. Make sure you check out the
SL Niseko steam train that runs during autumn to ensure you get your full Niseko changing of the leaves experience!
Sep 24, 2009
The local Hirafu trivia night was back on by popular demand, and is now a monthly event at Paddy McGinty’s. The second Hirafu trivia night was held on Friday September 11, and saw a good strong consistent turnout with about 56 participants.
The trivia night continues to improve and impress each time. The improved sound system, new categories, and the bonus point round added a bit more excitement to the night.
12 teams battled it out over six rounds to claim the jackpot prize.
The double points round saw most locals nominating the TV and movie round as favourites, when they should have picked the Logos Round. Over half the field scored full marks on the Logo picture round. The Political round did not fare well and was the lowest scoring round of the evening. The highest score in that round was 5 points.
Lots of prizes were up for grabs with generous donations from Ski Japan(2 bottles of wine), Niseko Cycle Week t-shirts from the crew at Niseko Promotion Board, a giant jar of muesli goodness from Sekka deli, meal voucher and more alcohol from Paddy McGinty’s and onsen vouchers from the Niseko Alpen Hotel.
Chris Pascoe took home the individual prize for the halftime riddle.
After a night of TV, sports, science and nature, and other various potluck questions, The Best Team Name came out on top to take the jackpot and title of the second Hirafu trivia night winners. They took home wine and a cash jackpot of over 20,000yen.
Second Place getters was team Chasing Nimmo a new team to the event.
Two teams coming in third place saw a Janken-off between All Saints Femme and Captain Awesome, ultimately going to All Saints Femme.
The two teams represented by Ski Japan – All Saints Femme and The Saints A took home the Best Team Costume prize by dressing in a white theme.
For those of you out there who would like to come along next time but don’t think they have what it takes to win, not to worry. This time there was a prize for last-place getters, a participation prize of sorts – an onsen voucher.
A big thank you to everyone in attendance, the crew at Paddy’s Pub and to Ski Japan, NPB, and Sekka for their prize donations.
Keep your eyes and ears out for the next trivia event in October.
1. The Best team name
2. Chasing Nimmo
3. All Saints Femme
4. Captain Awesome
5. Soaring Arrow
6. The Known Unknowns
7. The Saints A
7. Get Smart
9. Bunch o Kuntz
10. Chocolate salty balls
10. E for Idiots
12. Tri Nations
Sep 18, 2009
Do not miss this one.
SUNSPORTS 4=6 PM FRIDAY
The Niseko Golf Week Chip Comp and After Party
presented by LJ hooker and Downtown cafe.
3 balls 500 yen
closest to the pin wins 50,000 yen.
EVERYONE has a chance.
after party at Downtown Cafe
dress for success.
all the info at www.nisekogolfweek.com
Sep 15, 2009
This is not something you see everyday!
Check out the new Jagata-kun outfit, the 2009 edition!
Sep 15, 2009
Winter is coming and the Niseko Promotion Board is running a competition to guess which day the first snow will arrive on the top of Mt. Yotei!
Submit your entry by entering a comment below (don`t worry, this will not be published to others!) Only one entry person and winners will be notified by email.
Definition of the first-snow in this competition is when the snow can be seen by the NPB staff for the first time. (eg even if it starts to snow late at night on 1 Oct, the staff will verify it in the morning of 2 Oct so the winning date will be 2 Oct.) The NPB staff takes a photo of the snow to upload it on the blog within 3 days from the first snow and chooses the winner. The prizes will be sent out to the winners within a week.
The first snow in the past:
24 Sep 2008
10 Oct 2007
9 Oct 2006
3 Oct 2005
Average date between 1971 to 2000 = 2 Oct.
This year Mt. Kurodake of the Taisetsu mountain range in Hokkaido had its first snow on 10 Sep and Mt. Kitahotaka in Honshu had its on 14 Sep.
Good luck and pray for snow!
Sep 14, 2009
Snow has arrived early in Hokkaido this year, with 2 of the island’s mountains receiving snow over the weekend.
Here`s a taster to remind you of what is to come in Niseko this year!
Sep 14, 2009
The early morning rains gave way to cool and good conditions as the Ladies Park Golf Open got underway at the Alpen Hotel course on Sunday.
The players were in high spirits as the tournament began.
Hana O`Connor gets into the swing of things.
Overall winner Tomoka shot a one over 34 to take home the top prize .
Thanks to all our sponsors and supportyers for making the day such a great kick off to Golf Week.
Sep 10, 2009
Niseko Cycle Week 2009 kicked off under sunny skies and great conditions on Sunday, August 30th. The morning road ride was picture perfect and the large contingent of local and overseas cyclists were blown away by the spectacular scenery enjoyed on the Higashiyama –Niseko Town area route.
The Cross Country race held at Niseko Village featured Cyclists being blown away again- but this time by the challenges of the hilly and long course. After the event, the recovering cyclist recharged with some delicious BBQ provided by Hokkaido BBQ College.
The road rides throughout the week continue to highlight the great vistas and perfect cycling terrain the Niseko area has on offer. On Wednesday, at the downhill runs on the D-sen course, born from the sweat and dedication of the local mountain bike community, riders flew over the berms, jumps and transitions.
Wednesday also saw the introduction of a new feature, Bike 2 Work, where local company employees road bicycles to work to promote ecology and healthy living. Over 20 local companies and 100 employees participated and we hope this event will continue to grow as more and more.
Friday night saw the return of the Fire and Dirt Jump Jam at Black Diamond Lodge. Clayton put together a great set up this year. The music, coronas, jumps and atmosphere made for a wild and memorable party. Congratulations to Teppei Nakajima for pulling out the run of the night and walking home with the all-leather, Adidas tracksuit.
The final weekend began with a road tour around Yotei, followed by practice runs on the downhill course from the Grand Hirafu Gondola and lastly speed races down the Hirafu Family Course. It was great day of cycling, with riders flying all over the Niseko terrain, enjoying all the resort had to offer. The evening’s entertainment- the Cranked Movie Night -mountain bike films over burritos and tacos at Northfield Lodge, was a good chance to meet with like-minded enthusiasts and talk about the upcoming days races.
Sunday was the week`s finalise with the morning Niseko Mountain Tour fast paced and full of alpine assaults.
The Mountain Bike Timed Downhill featured an exciting finish as riders jockeyed for the positions throughout the day. Congratulations to Koji Takeuchi for taking home the prize for fastest on the day, with Orie Watanabe and Taiga Fujii winning in the women`s and junior divisions respectively. Afterwards, Dragon restaurant put on a sumptuous barbeque, while Yotei Daiko, Nachiko and Roger entertained the large crowd enjoying the late summer afternoon with their music.
The weather was perfect and the potential of Niseko as a world class cycling destination was revealed in full throughout the whole week. The hard work and countless hours of preparation put in by the road cycling and mountain bike organizers paid of in the smoothness of the events. All involved, from the organizers to volunteers to participants should be commended for their efforts all week long.
Congratulations to everyone involved and see you in 2010!
Sep 09, 2009
9 Hole Park Golf Tournament- Women Only
Free Lessons and Child Minding on Site
Prizes for Top Finishers
300 yen includes club rental
Check out www.nisekogolfweek.com for more info and to register.
Spaces limited – sign up TODAY!