A Niseko Life

A Life
to Savour

“Mary-Terese, you forgot to pack Benjamin’s hat!
Now I’ve to go out to Rhythm to buy one for him”
“Sorry Ma’am I thought you packed already”
“Luckily Rhythm is close by to Maples”

“Mary-Terese, you forgot to pack Benjamin’s hat!
Now I’ve to go out to Rhythm to buy one for him”
“Sorry Ma’am I thought you packed already”
“Luckily Rhythm is close by to Maples”

Nothing like family bonding over toboganning in the hills of Hirafu.


Usually Mary-Terese is very good at this sort of thing, better than I am. It was such a last minute decision to come over to Niseko to ski. Lincoln had a window of downtime for a few days and suggested that we fly over to get in a couple of runs on the slopes. Luckily, we bought the 3-bedroom unit at The Maples and it was available. Usually it’s rented out because of its location and Lincoln says the yields are good. I leave that sort of thing to him. Had to scramble for tickets — convenient also that Cathay Pacific flies direct from Hong Kong to Sapporo. What I love best is there’s no jet lag, especially for Benjie. Nothing worse than a tired jet-lagged toddler to spoil a vacation!

Too bad, I had to bring my last season’s ski suit — too late to buy anything new as everything in my size had already been sold out. Just hope being almost end-of-season, no one I know is here in Niseko — hate for anyone to see me in dated clothes! Luckily I have new clothes for this winter season to don as après-ski wear!

I heard that a new French dining room’s opened in Hanazono called Asperges, led by 3-star Michelin chef Nakamichi. I managed to make reservations for the last night they’re open for the season — what sheer luck! Looking forward to it.

School’s out. Snow’s in. Best time and terrain for the young ones to decide if they love skiing or boarding more.


Over half of Japan’s milk is produced in Hokkaido – famous worldwide for its smooth, creamy taste. While over half of that’s for drinking, the rest is made into some of the freshest, most delicious treats you will ever savour. Just like this perfectly churned scoop of ice cream.


Linc loves Niseko because of the dining options. Being a bit of a wannabe chef himself, he likes the fresh seafood and his favourite dining haunts for this are Hanayoshi and Ezo Seafoods. James, the owner of Ezo, has become a great pal and always recommends the best seafare he has for the day. We even do takeaway some days when we’re just too tired to go out to eat. Mary-Terese will go with Benjie to pick up a seafood platter for us and stop by Seicomart to get Benjie some Japanese snacks. The other firm favourites with Lincoln are Kamimura, Steak Rosso Rosso, Abucha 2, Izakaya Raku and Crab Canon, all within walking distance to The Maples!

Sometimes we go to Annupuri for the soba at Rakuichi, the pasta and pastries at L’ocanda and the cream puffs at Milk Kobo! Benjie loves them! I think he looks so cute when his face is all slathered with fresh cream! Linc and I make it a point to have one special night to ourselves where we’ll venture further and Linc will usually take me to Maccarina or to Moku No Sho for dinner. Lincoln also loves his Kurabito Shu sake from Niseko.

Late spring weather in Niseko’s gorgeous — we can almost ski in our t-shirts! The snow’s a bit wet but up in the slopes around the King Bell Hut, it’s still good especially very early in the morning once the lifts and gondola open. It’s a good break for Lincoln — he’s really been working his ass off the last few months with so many M&As to handle! I’m not complaining — my new 3-carat Tiffany canary diamond ring’s a beauty! Benjie’s having a good time with Mary-Terese in the snow! Life is beautiful!

The slower pace in Niseko translates into a tastier way of living, with artisans and farmers sharing a passion for quality produce.


At Sobatei Rakuichi, one would not be faulted for thinking soba master Tatsuru Rai-san has elevated the art of soba making to divine perfection. Freshly handcrafted to order using local ingredients, the almost poetic process is often witnessed silently in awe by diners at the counter seat-only restaurant that serves just 12 persons each time.

「そば処 楽市(らくいち)」の店主 頼立(らい たつる)さんがそば作りを神業の域までに完成させたと言っても誰も咎めはしないだろう。地元の食材を使い、注文されてから手打ちする、そのほとんど詩的なプロセスを、わずか12人のカウンター席の客達が畏敬の念をもち沈黙の中にそれを見守る。

Owned by Takashi Dairy Farm, Milk Kobo is renowned for producing the most luxuriously rich cream puffs, cheese tarts, soft-serve ice cream and other delectable pastries. The magic, as many fans will attest to, lies in their use of impeccably fresh ingredients. Most notably, the creamiest of milk squeezed by hand daily from the farm just next door.


On a clear day, you can savour stunning views of Mt Yotei with a side of cream puff and coffee.



The Maples Niseko