2016 Hokkaido Winter Holiday - Day 5 in Niseko (Hirafu)

Click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7day 8day 9 trip report

We signed up ski lesson with GoSnow. We took their adult first timer pack at ¥20,000 per pax and it included all rental gear including outer wear, helmet, goggles, gloves and ski equipment, lift ticket and full day adult group class. It's a pretty good deal for people who has never skied before. If you do it a la carte, a full day adult group lesson cost ¥13,000, full set of ski equipment (from Grand Hirafu) cost ¥7750, one day pass lift ticket (Grand Hirafu) cost ¥5200, total of 3 items cost ¥25,950 and you save ¥5950 from signing first timer pack.

They call it full day lesson but in actual is only a 6 hours session including 1 hour lunch break (lunch on your own expenses). The lesson started at 10am with all the gears ready, so we had to be there at least 1.5 hour before 10am to collect lift ticket and try out ski attire. The journey from our accommodation to Grand Hirafu mountain center looked short in the map so we thought we could walk. However that was not a wise choice. It was snowing, thick snow piling up at the side of the road and it was chilly to walk in such weather. At the end of the lesson then I realized there was free shuttle bus pick up from Hirafu Intersection where the nearest bus stop to my accommodation.

There were 6 of us in the class, and 1 instructor. Lesson was conducted at gondola base for the first half of the lesson. We all started on magic carpet (a conveyor belt brought people up to a gentle slope) and progressed to ski lift with instructor to uphill after lunch.

It was not easy to walk with ski shoes and lunch break was only an hour, so we just settled our lunch at Tanta.an Restaurant. That's the nearest restaurant to Gondola base. Restaurant list on Grand Hirafu ski slopes.

Overall, it's an interesting experience for first timer like us. 1 day lesson for sure was not enough and we should have spent more time here. 

We had dinner at Bang 2, it's 2nd restaurant of Bang Bang. Excellent food, great atmosphere. It is popular so advanced booking is recommended. Menu varies from sashimi, skewers, Hokkaido wagyu beef. I wanted to order wagyu beef but I did not because it was very expensive, about SGD100 for a piece of A5 grade 250g cut. I used to order Japan wagyu beef from a supplier in Singapore who sells A5 grade wagyu at SGD70/250g. 

It was not a cheap dinner but worth a visit. 

Here is my Hokkaido trip video 

Interested to visit Hokkaido? Check out my itinerary and click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7day 8day 9 trip report

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