Spectators shout words of encouragement as the horses struggle to climb the obstacle slopes. Horsepower has always been an important requirement for these sturdy work horses, and it is strength, not speed, that is the deciding factor in these races. At the starting line. Jockeys urge their horses forward. There is no final spurt in this race of power. These figures soon dropped, however, as the Japanese economy began to stagnate, and it was not long before the racetracks were operating in the red.
The city of Obihiro has a number of tourist attractions, prominent among them the confections produced by a local company, the Rokkatei Confectionary Company, but visitors are certain to find a side trip to the racetrack well worthwhile. Since , when it became the only city holding the races, Obihiro has been carrying out major PR campaigns focused on local events. For those who do not participate in the betting on races, there are regular events held within the racecourse grounds, as well as a petting zoo where visitors can observe the horses up close.
Races are generally held on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. A road-heating system keeps the race track clear even in the winter months, and races are held regularly, except in cases of heavy rain. In June , lights were installed for night races, and an online betting system now allows fans to place their bets from home. A paddock in the rain. This fiscal year the big race will take place on Sunday, March 24, Restaurants also begin to open their doors with those closed during the winter waking up and offering delicious local Hokkaido fare. Many of the popular restaurants that typically require advanced reservations or have long wait times are also less busy.
There are usually many promotions on accommodation during the spring months and Hokkaido Ski Club can definitely help with any accommodation enquiries and recommendations. During this time, Hokkaido Ski Club also introduces their spring programs. With longer and warmer days, our lessons extend to 4 hour morning programs usually 3 hours and full day 7 hour programs usually 6 hours to maximise your time on snow.
Get in on the fun and show your competitive spirit thanks to the resort. Have your friends and family cheer you on as you show off your racing and freestyle skills for a chance to compete for the prize money. Kids can enjoy learning new skills, taking their skiing and snowboarding to the next level. Details will be released in late February. Firstly, congratulations on getting married!
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Why have you chosen to settle in Niseko and what is your plan for the future? Thanks so much. Previously we were moving back and forth between Niseko, Sapporo and Sydney throughout the year and it was taking its toll. We both felt the need to have a base, somewhere to call home, so we put down roots in Niseko. We love the contrast of seasons, the food, nature, people and of course the powder. I can surf in summer and snowboard in winter, happy days. Plans for the future… I want to snowboard and share my love of it through coaching and guiding.
I also want to open a bar so after riding powder all day I can welcome everyone in for a whiskey and share stories. Having worked for large resort operated ski schools, why did you decide to join a small size team at Hokkaido Ski Club? When they are stoked, we are stoked. Your passion is snowboarding but you also teach skiing. Which one would you recommend to your first-time student and why?
Snowboarding is my passion, but actually I started skiing before I started snowboarding, and still enjoy it today, so I have love for both. If they are surfers or skateboarders, perhaps they will pick up snowboarding quicker. For little ones, say under 5 years, skiing is definitely easier to get the hang of.
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My next mission is to master free-boarding and telemarking. What makes the perfect ski vacation and why Hokkaido? The perfect vacation has to hit a few spots for me. Delicious food, culture, beautiful surrounds, relaxation, something fun to do and good company. Being the most requested instructor in Hokkaido Ski Club, what is your secret? My secret is not telling anyone my secret… ha. Tanya has been skiing and snowboarding with the coaches of Hokkaido Ski Club for the last 4 winters in Niseko.
Sometimes even two trips in one year! With so many years of winter travel experience, we asked Tanya for a list of her top 10 winter travel essentials that every holiday-goer should bring with them when going on a winter holiday. A Beanie Not only does a beanie keep your head nice and warm but it also covers up that helmet hair!
Hand Cream A definite must-have to moisturise your hands and prevent frostbite. Without it, your skin will start to crack and become sore. Lip Balm Like hand cream, lip balm will stop your lips from cracking because of the cold wind that is always coming at your face. It also helps to prevent cold sores!
Phone I always bring my phone with me so I can take pictures and capture all the great memories from my time on the mountain. And share all your mountain stories on Instagram with japowstory of course! Money I will always carry money with me for lunch and other necessities. Extra Mittens Sometimes it can get super cold in Niseko, at other times it might rain.
So the extra mittens are great in case your other gloves are frozen or wet. There is nothing worse than trying to ski or snowboard with frozen or wet gloves! Heat Packs My hands often get cold because the temperature can be very low. Heat packs are a good way to keep your hands and body warm. Extra Snood neckwarmer Like mittens, your snood can become frozen and cold. Or sometimes it might get dirty.
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So it is always to good to have an extra one handy. Little Snacks eg. KitKat and Hi-chews — When you ski and snowboard all day, you will definitely get the munchies. They will definitely make your trip a much more enjoyable one.
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For more tips or advice for your next trip, contact us at bookings hskiclub. This coming season will be your 11th season in Niseko. How does present-day Niseko compare to when you first arrived? When I first arrived in Niseko, it had a much more Japanese feel to it. The village, buildings and restaurants were of old Japanese styling and there were only a few main establishments.
Niseko these days has become extremely international. The number and sizes of hotels have grown year on year and the quality has improved as well. The resort now caters to a much higher level of standards than before. What is it about Niseko that has kept you coming back every year? The snow. The snow quality in Niseko is some of the driest and lightest I have ever experienced. Then there are the Japanese people, who are so friendly and polite, and of course, the food.
In all your years as a ski and snowboard instructor, what is the most common problem that your students have faced? The most common problem I have seen is when beginner skiers and snowboarders look at their equipment and the ground. This causes them to lose balance. As soon as I get them to look in the direction that they want to travel, then there is much less falling and much more smiling. Students often forget to have fun.
They are so focused and nervous that they become tense. I make them laugh to help them relax and enjoy the moment. Which season would you call the season of the decade, and why? Season — was amazing from start till finish. I will never forget how much snow there was. There was so much of it…it was definitely by far my best.
Last season was also one worth mentioning. Finally, what is your best advice for new visitors to Niseko? Try to get deep in that famous Niseko powder. Even if you have never tried skiing and snowboarding, there is no better place to take a lesson and learn. Then reward yourself with the delicious Japanese food by visiting as many different local Japanese restaurants as you can. And be sure to have at least one onsen visit during your trip before you go. If you would like to learn more from Tim about Niseko, book a private snowsports lesson or powder guiding session with him this winter.
Just send your enquiry to bookings hskiclub. Booking ski and snowboard lessons for your holiday can be an overwhelming experience. Just how do you decide? One of the most frequently asked question by guests is whether to book Private Lessons or a Group Lessons.
There are pros and cons for both so we will list them here to help you decide which one is best for you. The format of a group lesson is where a bunch of random people come together with an instructor. You join a group according to your level, with group numbers usually of a standard 6 persons for adult groups and for children.
Group lessons will start at a particular time in a designated area. Price: Group Lessons are cheaper than Private Lessons. They are priced on an individual basis and when travelling by yourself, can be a more financially viable option. Meeting different people: Group lessons are a great way to meet other people. Grouped according to ability level, you will find yourself bonding with other people in your group as you share the same experience of learning new things. Group Lessons are a great way to meet other people.
However, there is always a participant in the group who is less skilled than others. For instructors, the rule of thumb is to never leave the least skilled behind.
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If you are one of the stronger skilled in the group, this means you will be given less time and attention to your skills. No flexibility with start time or location: Group lessons start at a particular time and designated area. If you miss the start time, the group will not wait for you and you will miss out.
If you are a punctual and organised person, this will not be a problem. However, if you are after a relaxed holiday where you do not want to be defined by a schedule, the lack of flexibility will become an annoyance. No consistency : Unlike Private Lessons, Group lessons will usually have different instructors assigned every day. If you plan to have lessons over a few days, you will not have the same instructor. Your skill level will have to be re-assessed and with different teaching styles for every instructor, results in a lack of consistency and continuation.
Solo travellers on a budget who want to meet new people and are not too concerned about the learning process or seeking rapid improvement on their skills. As the name suggests, Private Lessons are conducted in a private setting. Guests choose who they want to have together in the lesson, or if they want to have anyone at all. A dedicated instructor is provided during the course of the lesson booking. A private instructor will be committed to your learning. The range of flexibility will vary depending on the lesson provider but in general, aspects such as starting time, location and number of people are up to the choice of the guest.
You can also make last minute changes if needed, which for most holiday-goers, is highly favourable. Unexpected events will always occur on a holiday. Or sometimes even a simple decision of wanting to sleep in a bit longer one morning. Dedicated Instructor: Having the same instructor with you or your group for the duration of your trip has a significant impact on both the technical aspects of the lesson as well as the experience.
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On the first day, a relationship is established between the instructor and the guests. The instructor assesses both skills and learning styles of each person so that the best teaching approach can be provided. As the next few days of lessons progress, the instructor helps them to continually grow and develop, building on what has been learnt the day before.
Trust is an important part of the teacher-student relationship in snowsports; to have someone who knows you, your strengths and weaknesses. It takes time for trust to be built and it cannot be achieved when there is a continuous change in instructors. Should you wish to take an early break during your lesson, you can do so. Or arrangements can be made if you want to ski together as a family. Private lessons are designed to tailor the lesson to your preferences.
For example, not taking a much-needed rest because you want to keep up with the rest of the group. Different lesson providers will have varying levels of personalisation; it is finding the one that can give you what you need. If you are in a bigger group, it is not much more expensive than if every individual in the group took a group lesson.
But if you are by yourself, a Private Lesson is much more costly. Private Lessons are more costly but you have great flexibility. Private Lessons suit those who want to have a more personal experience. Whether it be receiving more focused coaching on technical aspects of skiing or snowboarding, or being able to design your lessons the way you want it, Private Lessons are for those who want flexibility and more.
If you prefer to join a Group Lesson, we would be happy to assist you in booking with our trusted partner.
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Please contact us for more details or to make a booking. You are on a powder holiday at a resort famed for the fluffy white stuff. But every powder pocket you end up at is tracked out and that excitement quickly turns to frustration. The problem with the best powder resorts, is that they are also the most popular places to go. It is almost a definite guarantee: If a resort gets a lot of snow, people will show up to enjoy it. Places like this usually have a combination of interesting terrain and a fairly certain amount of snowfall throughout the winter.