Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, is home to a hidden gem, an exclusive, pristine alpine resort destination that offers skiers and snowboarders some of Japan’s deepest snowfall, the lightest powder, the longest ski season – November to May – and plenty of off-piste tree skiing. In fact, Kiroro has plenty to offer nature enthusiasts of all ages all year round, as well as high-end accommodation to elevate your holiday, whether it’s a family trip or a romantic interlude.
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido is nestled in the heart of Kiroro and offers an unrivalled boutique hotel experience with sleek décor, mountain views from every room and plenty of world-class facilities to keep guests happy. The choice of rooms runs from standard through to both oriental and Japanese suites, culminating in the 149sqm Mountain Suite, which sleeps four in comfort with a master and twin room, separate living and dining room with kitchen, marble bathroom and glorious views.
The hotel is home to a selection of high-end restaurants, including the dinner-only Alla Moda Italian restaurant, which serves fresh, authentic Italian cuisine crafted from the finest ingredients sourced from Italy and Hokkaido, including its ever-popular homemade, hand-rolled pizzas and the local globally renowned scallops. The Alpine Brasserie, meanwhile, offers lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, with a menu of international favourites that range from set menus for lunch to stylish à la carte dinners, and an extensive buffet breakfast can be found at Pop World Buffet.
Perhaps the most notable of all the restaurants in the area is next to The Kiroro – Ice Star cafe, restaurant and bar, a sub-zero experience where everything, from the walls to the tables and chairs, is constructed of water and ice for a unique experience. Enjoy your favourite tipple served in an ice “glass”, sit atop an ice stool with a fur cushion and indulge your taste buds with the restaurant’s famed cheese fondue, or grab some ice skates and show your friends your moves on the rink.
Considering all the energetic pastimes available, in addition to a swimming pool, fitness centre and infrared sauna, the hotel’s Kitanoyu Spa offers relaxation and revitalisation with its spa bath, massage and treatments. Of course, no trip to Japan would be complete without a soak in the natural hot springs. Perfect for some Japanese-style après ski, Kiroro Onsen has warm, mineral-rich waters in a natural caldera with pristine forest views.
In addition to being a powder paradise, with 22 perfectly groomed ski runs, hundreds of hectares of tree skiing, and a terrain park – all without the long lines usually found in resorts – Kiroro has much to offer, including a whole host of outdoor activities, great shopping and superb dining with international array of cuisines to please every palate.
Adventure and fun are the name of the game at Kiroro Nature Center with a Snow Park for sledding, tubing and building snowmen, open snow fields that are ideal for the snow banana boat, buggy and raft, and winter forest tours where guests can snowshoe while marvelling at the crystalline beauty all around them or get an adrenaline rush on a snowmobile. In the summer, meanwhile, you can hike from the Asair to Yoichi summits, explore the waterfalls and waterways of the mountainside forests, play golf, enjoy the bungy-trampoline, play tennis, go cycling, fishing and much more. It is even a superb MICE destination thanks to the ample upscale meeting facilities.
For guests who want to explore beyond the idyllic charm of Kiroro resort, just 30 minutes away is the port city of Otaru, which is packed with charming shops, intriguing restaurants and local crafts, including glassworks by local artisans and sake from local brewers.
With all its stunning scenery, incredible facilities and incredible snow, Kiroro is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s best all-season destinations and has something for people of all ages.
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido
128-1 Tokiwa, Akaigawa, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido, 046-0593, Japan