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Kiroro

Kiroro is a smallish ski resort on the Northern island of Hokkaido. Close to Niseko it enjoys mountains of snowfall (approx 12m per year), without the crowds and has that family friendly feel. Less well known, Kiroro is the hidden gem of the region, only an hour North-East of Niseko. Usually receiving more snow than its sibling resorts, locals come to Kiroro to escape the lift lines and find deep untracked tree-skiing. Lift lines are rare and even when the snow does stop falling, fresh tracks can be found for days. There are 21 runs ranging from 400m-4,050m in length, with a good spread of difficulties, split almost evenly between green, red (blue), and black. ​Kiroro is situated in the southwestern part of the Shiribeshi subprefecture of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. It is conveniently located approximately 90 minutes away from New Chitose Airport, the primary gateway to Hokkaido, making it easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers. The resort provides shuttle services from the airport, ensuring a seamless journey to this winter wonderland. One of the most compelling reasons to visit Kiroro is its legendary snowfall. Known as the "Champagne Powder," the region receives an average of over 20 meters of snow each winter. This light, dry, and fluffy snow creates excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions, attracting winter sports enthusiasts of all skill levels. Kiroro offers a range of ski slopes catering to different abilities. From gentle beginner slopes to challenging advanced runs, there is something for everyone. The resort features over 20 ski trails, including wide-open groomed pistes, thrilling tree runs, and steep off-piste areas for the more adventurous skiers and snowboarders. Additionally, the resort boasts an excellent snow park with jumps, rails, and other features for freestyle enthusiasts. Kiroro offers a variety of accommodation options, including luxurious hotels, condominiums, and cozy mountain lodges. The resort's hotels provide direct access to the slopes, allowing guests to ski-in and ski-out with ease. Many accommodations feature hot springs, known as "onsen," where visitors can relax and rejuvenate after a day on the slopes. The onsens provide a traditional Japanese bathing experience and offer stunning views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. In addition to exceptional lodging, Kiroro offers a range of amenities and services to enhance visitors' experience. The resort boasts several restaurants serving delicious Japanese and international cuisine, ensuring that every palate is satisfied. Visitors can also indulge in après-ski activities, such as shopping for local crafts and souvenirs, enjoying live music performances, or simply cozying up by a fireplace with a warm drink. While Kiroro is primarily known for its superb skiing and snowboarding, the region offers a myriad of off-slope activities for those looking to explore further. Guided snowshoe tours allow visitors to immerse themselves in the serene winter landscape and discover hidden corners of the area. Snowmobiling adventures provide an adrenaline rush as riders navigate through the snow-covered forests. For a more tranquil experience, visitors can take a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. For those interested in Japanese culture, Kiroro offers opportunities to partake in traditional activities such as tea ceremonies, calligraphy lessons, and kimono dressing experiences. Visitors can also learn about the local Ainu culture, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, through workshops and cultural performances. Beyond winter activities, Kiroro's location makes it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding region. Visitors can embark on day trips to nearby attractions, such as the charming port city of Otaru or the vibrant city of Sapporo, famous for its annual Snow Festival. These excursions provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and culinary delights of Hokkaido. One aspect that sets Kiroro apart is the genuine warmth and hospitality of its people. From the moment visitors arrive, they are greeted with friendly smiles and a genuine eagerness to make their stay unforgettable. The staff at Kiroro's resorts and facilities go above and beyond to ensure guests feel welcome and well taken care of, adding an extra layer of charm to the overall experience.

Kiroro Accommodation

There are two hotels at Kiroro, both part of the Sheraton group. We stayed at The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, the other is Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort. The Sheraton is a ski-in/ski-out hotel, while the Tribute is 1 km down the road from the slopes. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the Mountain Centre and the Tribute every 10mins between 8am-9pm. Then after 9pm it is every 30mins until midnight.

The Staff were very friendly and helpful, and there is a good mix of English speakers. The rooms were a good size for Japan, and quite functional. The Wi-fi was good throughout the hotel, with only minimal slow periods during heavy use. 

The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel (formerly the Piano Hotel), is a reasonably lavish hotel with 282 hotel rooms across 13 floors. There are a range of western room standards and Japanese/western combo rooms. All rooms are well appointed, spacious and have ensuites, and the upscale Hollywood rooms have mountain views from the bathtub! The hotel has a range of restaurants including a delightful Italian restaurant, a sushi restaurant, and a casual buffet eatery. The hotel also has loads of facilities including a day spa, swimming pool, onsen, entertainment complex and a few shops.

Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort, whilst not as glamorous, the Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort also provides a high standard of accommodation, and the ski-in ski-out convenience is fantastic. The Mountain Hotel has 5 floors with 140 rooms that provide a spread of Western and Japanese style accommodation. The hotel has an upscale buffet restaurant and easy access to the facilities of the Resort Centre.

The Tokiwayu Spa is directly connected to both the ski slopes and hotel and is fully equipped with indoor baths, cold-water baths, open air Jacuzzi and saunas. Best of all it is free to guests staying at the Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort.

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 Kiroro Restaurants

The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

There are five restaurants at the Tribute;

  • POP - is a buffet restaurant. The nightly buffet is ¥5,000 (as at December 2016) and has a good mix of Asian and Western foods. For seafood lovers, there is a huge bowl of crabs legs. The meat choices are is excellent, tender, and very tasty. For me the best bit was the soft serve ice cream dispenser!

  • ALLA MODA - Italian.

  • FUGA - Japanese

  • YANSYU - Charcoal Grilled Dishes

  • SYUNSAI - Japanese

 

Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort

There are three restaurants at the Sheraton;

  • Rivierouge Restaurant - is a buffet restaurant. The nightly buffet is ¥4,800 (as at December 2016) with a similar offering to "POP" at the Tribute. In fact, for the sake of an extra ¥200 POP is a better choice.

  • Robata Grill "Hokki" - Japanese. This restaurant has a Robatayaki (Japanese-style) grill counter seats, where you can enjoy watching the creative cuisine of a master chef. Choose from various seating options including tables, raised tatami-floored seating, or even a private Japanese-style room. These rooms can also be used for traditional Japanese "Kaiseki" banquets (a sumptuous traditional set meal served on individual trays). In addition to full-course meals, enjoy creative À la carte dishes and seasonal specialties.

  • Cafeteria "Lumiere" - this food court style cafeteria offers heart-warming local favourites such as Hokkaido ramen, bowls of seafood-topped rice and Japanese curry. Lumiere is also well stocked with beverages including Hokkaido-only Sapporo Classic Lager, wines, and non-alcoholic drinks. Lunch 10:30 to 16:30 *Open during ski season only

The Tribute Buffet

Kiroro Skiing

Kiroro is a ski resort located on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. It is known for its powdery snow, stunning scenery, and variety of terrain. The resort has four main areas: Kiroro Peak, Nagamine, Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro, and Fractional Base Kiroro.

 

Kiroro Peak is the highest point in the resort, and it offers the best views of the surrounding area. The slopes here are challenging, with plenty of steeps and chutes. Nagamine is a good option for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, with a mix of groomers and blacks. Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro is a great place for families, with a ski school and plenty of beginner terrain. Fractional Base Kiroro is the newest area of the resort, and it offers a variety of terrain, from beginner to expert.

 

One of the things that makes Kiroro special is its snow. The resort averages over 21 meters of snow each year, and the powder is some of the best in the world. The snow is light and dry, making it perfect for carving turns or floating through the trees.

 

In addition to the great skiing and snowboarding, Kiroro also has a variety of other activities to offer visitors. There are several restaurants on the mountain, as well as a number of shops and cafes. There is also a hot spring hotel located at the base of the mountain, where you can relax after a day on the slopes.

 

Here are some of the things you can do at Kiroro in addition to skiing and snowboarding:

  • Take a snowshoe tour through the forest.

  • Go ice skating on the lake.

  • Visit the nearby town of Otaru, which is known for its glassblowing industry.

  • Take a day trip to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.

Kiroro 2016 Ski Gallery
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