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Shiki Niseko – 343 Winter Market Opens!

The 343 Winter Market has opened at Shiki Niseko, launching a new chapter in retail for the Niseko Hirafu area. Visitors to the village have been hungry for more shopping options, and in particular options for food. The 343 Winter Market introduces theAbucha Sweets shop, selling cakes, bread, and other confections. Abucha is of course already famous locally for the Abucha Restaurant.

Niseko Farms is a local farmers market, selling local produce from the Niseko area, for those who want to taste the quality that comes out of the rich volcanic soil.

Ogasawara Shouten is a well known Omiyage Gift Shop, making a triumphant return to Niseko after a brief hiatus. They will be selling famous brands such as Hokkaido’s Royce Chocolates, and Shiroi Koibito cookies.

Starting in January, Rebunese Seafood will be offering the best of Hokkaido’s seafood. The headquarters are based on Rebun Island, on the northern tip of Hokkaido, and they specialize in sourcing direct from local fishermen. Rebunese can also take pre-orders for their shop at Chitose Airport, which makes for a more seamless trip home.

A first for Hirafu, also located in the market is a nail salon, a nice addition for women who want to buff up nails that have been cramped in cold boots all day.

Also in Shiki Niseko is Demo Rental for Ski and Snowboard rental.

Toyota Rental Car has also increased their presence in Niseko with a small fleet, to answer an increasing need by repeat visitors who want to venture further afield.

Last but not least, the cornerstone of the Shiki Niseko retail area is Kamimura Restaurant, Hirafu’s first Michelin Star restaurant. Fine dining at its best.

Higashiyama (Niseko Village) Log House Sold!

Located close to the Niseko Village and a future development by YTL of Malaysia, this log house in Higashiyama was a great entry level purchase with potential for capital gains. The new owner is renovating the house to show its true alpine potential.

Radiation Levels Low in Hirafu Village and Around Hokkaido

The Hokkaido Government has begun taking radiation readings in Hirafu Village, in front of the Welcome Center by the Alpen Hotel. The Japanese government says the acceptable national limit is 3.8μSv/h, and radiation levels taken in Hirafu Village show levels of under 0.05μSv/h. This tiny amount is actually lower than residual radiation levels in many major overseas urban centers.

You can see monthly updates on the radiation levels on the Hokkaido Government website, which shows tourism areas around Hokkaido. Hirafu Village in Niseko is listed the third from the top, and the radiation reading for October is 0.036μSv/h:
http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kz/kkd/monitoring-tourism-chinese_k.htm

360Niseko has been doing their own independent radiation readings in Niseko, and you can read them here:
http://360niseko.com/blog/category/radiation/

Daily readings from Kutchan Town are available as well:
English
http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/sm/gat/zenndoumonita_eng.htm
Japanese
http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/sm/gat/zenndoumonita.htm

Part of the reason to publicize these readings was to address a great concerns from overseas tourists. With handheld radiation readers easily available, it is also easy to confirm these readings. With these low radiation levels, hopefully anyone planning a trip to Niseko will feel at ease.