Historical Footage Called On as Niseko Shootout Short FIlm Festival Goes Retro

Make a new film out of footage sitting on your camcorder or flash drive!

Due to limited numbers of videographers and filmmakers in Niseko this winter, organisers of the Niseko Shootout Short Film Festival are opening a potential Pandora’s box.

The Shootout team is reaching out around the world to ask professional and would-be film makers to help boost this year’s Short Film Fest with a retrospective Niseko cut.

As long as it is within five minutes, anything goes in this year’s Shootout format – just make sure it’s got plenty of Niseko soul!

Dig out your old footage – the older the better – and craft a cut that sings to a nostalgic Niseko audience in this time when we’re all dreaming of years gone by.

Registration and entry are free.

For inspiration check out last year’s entries HERE.

The Niseko Shootout Film Festival is the grand finale to this year’s Niseko Shootout series.

Finalists’ films will be shown on a big screen on Saturday, March 6. MORE DETAILS on the 2020-21 Short Film Festival actual event will be announced soon. Make sure to check out our WHAT’S ON section.

Winners will be judged and awarded on the night, along with the winners of the #NisekoShootout Instagram Contest.

JPY250,000 in cash and seriously cool prizes including 2021-22 Niseko United All SEASON Pass Roko skis and a Gentemstick snowboard are up for grabs.

Registration is free and simple Just submit the registration form; open from now until March 1st, 2021.


  • Palm d’Powder: ¥120,000 cash prize
  • Runner Up: ¥80,000 cash prize
  • Second Runner Up: ¥50,000 cash prize

Judging Criteria

• Niseko soul

• Story telling

• Innovation

• Cinematography

• Production & Editing

*The Niseko Shootout jury will select the winning films and no discussion into the final decision will be entered into.

*The entrant acknowledges and agrees that all matters not covered by these guidelines, and questions arising from them, will be decided at the sole discretion of Niseko Shootout organisers.

The is year the Niseko Shootoout is partnering with the European – based Mountain Film Awards. Winning films will be featured on their website alongside other great films from Morzine, Tigner and Verbier.

Niseko Shootout Short Film Festival Guidelines:

Registration is free.

Entrants must fill out the Niseko Shootout Short Film Fest Entry Form by March 1st, 2021.

Films must be submitted by March 1st, 2021.

Entries can be of any duration – max 5 minutes.

Films can showcase year-round scenery, not just winter only.

Foreign language films must be accompanied by an English translation or have English subtitles.

Films must contain footage filmed in and/or around Shiribeshi region.

Films must not depict scenes of action deemed illegal by Japanese law. This includes, but is not limited to trespassing and the damage of public/private property, i.e. Avalanche barriers, rails, public/private structure, etc.

If the films contain words, captions are strongly recommended considering the native languages of the judges panel (English & Japanese).

Entrants are responsible for ensuring films have all music (festival rights) and talent permissions required for public display. Please submit relevant documentation with your film entry.

Entrants are required to supply promotional materials: 3x still images and a 10-15 second teaser clip for the purpose of promoting the film and film fest.

Entrants will be judged by the below 5 criteria:

  • Niseko soul
  • Story telling
  • Innovation
  • Cinematography
  • Production & Editing

*The Niseko Shootout jury will select the winning films and no discussion into the final decision will be entered into.

*The entrant acknowledges and agrees that all matters not covered by these guidelines, and questions arising from them, will be decided at the sole discretion of Niseko Shootout organisers.

There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners only. Each winner can come from any category. For Example: All winners can come from 1 category.

Technical Requirements:

Entrants are required to provide an HD high-resolution version of the film.

Means of submission will be discussed via email upon entrant’s registration.

Niseko Tourism News

Niseko Resort Area Partners with Leading Tech Giant

Niseko Tourism has boosted its digital marketing power after partnering with one of the world’s largest technology companies, Salesforce.

Niseko Tourism is the official destination marketing organisation for the internationally renowned resort area of Niseko, and works to promote Niseko on behalf of its members.

The use of the Salesforce technology will allow Niseko Tourism to better understand the needs of visitors, and assist local government and business to better meet those needs.

Niseko is the most internationally renowned resort in Japan, with contemporary buildings, modern chair lifts and a primarily international visitor base.

The resort is making sure to stay at the forefront of the Japan tourism industry by incorporating cutting edge technology into their marketing strategy.

This decision is in line with the area’s goal of becoming a Smart Resort, with services and marketing on par with international resorts in the USA and Europe.

Salesforce has collaborated further with Niseko Tourism by creating a video about the area and its use of the technology. The video features the stunning Niseko landscape as well as local businesses.

Niseko Tourism Representative Director Takanori Kikui, Managing Director of Chuo Bus company, which owns and operates Niseko’s Annupuri International Ski Resort, was also featured in the video.

“Our goal is to delight visitors in Niseko and inspire them to come back again and again. We’d like to make sure visitors to the area are satisfied as well as developing services by digitising data and unifying the area to make Niseko even more attractive.”

The project has gained local and international attention. A Salesforce speaker featured the project and video in an online seminar in December 2020 organized by the U.S. Embassy in Japan, which was also supported by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA).


Niseko Tourism was able to undertake this ambitious project with assistance from Niseko Tourism Zone and support from Kutchan Town, Niseko Town, and Rankoshi Town.

Link to the video on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIJmsjKN9yw 

Contact us for image gallery.

Download the official press release PDF here.

About Niseko Tourism:

Niseko Tourism is the official destination marketing organisation for the Niseko area. It is a non-profit, member-based marketing organisation that was established in 2007 and now represents over 400 members in the region. It was selected as the 32 important DMO of Japan Tourism Agency in August, 2020.


[email protected]



Kamimura Take-out Now Available!

For all the foodies out there, now you can enjoy Michelin-star meals at home!

It is with great pleasure that we present KAMIMURA AT HOME – a sophisticated home-dining experience with their tasty dinner menu. Everything is prepared by their experienced chefs, there is little bit of preparation left for you and whole decoration is up to your creativity or you can be inspired by their ideas.

Simply click HERE and place your order!

Please note there is a two-day preparation period from the time you place an order to the pick-up or shipping of the product.

Pick-up is available between 1:00 pm & 6:00 pm, excluding Mondays, at KAMIMURA or KITCHEN.

Please contact KAMIMURA team if you have a specific date and time for shipping. Also please note that the shipment will be frozen.



[email protected]

Niseko Grand Hirafu - Operation Changes

Niseko Mt. Resort ​Grand Hirafu has announced the following changes to its lift operations.

These changes will help to ensure the resort is able to maintain quality service for the rest of the season.

Importantly, the changes do not make a significant impact on the amount of skiing area available.

Summary of changes:

  • Ace Family Quad will close at 16:30 from Wednesday, January 27, except on Saturdays when it will close at 20:00.
  • Holiday Pair #1 will now only operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 to 15:30.
  • Swinging Monkey Chair will now only operate on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from 8:30 to 15:30.

Check out the full announcement from Grand Hirafu here.

The Barn by Odin Will Start Serving Lunch from 27th January.

Also providing delicious Local Course. Don’t miss it.

The Barn by Odin, a bistro restaurant in lower Hirafu that is striving to be the fireplace of Niseko, is introducing its new lunch menu as well as Local Course for local staff and residents from the Kutchan area.

To curb the spread of the Coronavirus, The Barn is operating on shortened operation hours. Enjoy your dinner with loved ones between 6:00P.M.~10:00P.M., with your last orders at 9:00P.M. Remember to place your dinner reservations by 3:00P.M. on the day before!

The Barn Lunch Operation will be launched on Wednesday, 27th January 2020.

Day of Operation     : Wednesdays and Thursdays

Period of Operation : Until End of February 2021

Time of Operation    : 11:00P.M.~2:30P.M. (L.O.2:00P.M.)

Menu Offered           : Pasta Lunch Set (Bread+Salad+Pasta) ¥1,200

(Choice between 2 types of pasta dishes)

*Local discount of 20% is applicable for lunch.

The Barn Local Course will be launched on Friday, 22nd January 2020, .

Days Available        : Reservation-only, up until 3:00P.M. of the day before

Period of Operation : Until End of February 2021

Time of Operation    : 6:00P.M.~10:00P.M. (L.O. 9:00P.M.)

Menu Offered           : Today’s Appetizer+Main Course (Meat or Fish)+Today’s Dessert ¥3,000

*Please take note that operation hours may differ depending on the reservation status.

For more information, please visit their homepage or stay tuned to their Instagram page.

**Local discount is NOT applicable for guests who order the Local Course.


Tel: 0136-23-0888

Email: [email protected]

Introducing H2Group

Your Lifestyle Real Estate partner in Niseko and Furano.

We are excited to introduce to you H2Group.  

Hokkaido Tracks and HakuLife, recognized as the best in their respective fields, and bringing to you nearly 20 years of experience and success stories in Hokkaido, have joined forces, rethinking the way owners and guests buy, sell, build, invest and stay in properties.

These two company’s capabilities combined will bring an elevated experience to real estate, property development, property management, and hospitality to anyone seeking to achieve aspirational lifestyle goals.

H2Group’s mission is to create sensational memories for their owners, guests and clients alike. Through their positioning of Lifestyle Real Estate, all areas of real estate, may it be someone purchasing a new property, building a dream home, having one’s property managed and kept in pristine condition, and holiday seekers simply renting a room or property, H2Group’s focus is to overlay all our products and services with a lifestyle element to it, and delivering the highest level of customer service, ensuring a seamless, enjoyable customer experience throughout their journey and interaction with H2Group.

Lifestyle Real Estate products and services will be delivered through our 3 key business units below:

Key Busines Units Service & Product Details
H2 Real Estate With amongst the largest real estate portfolio in Hokkaido, we are your team in Hokkaido. Property hunting can be fun and stress free as we will hold your hand, while we source, negotiate and carry out due diligence on your dream property.
H2 Projects Building your dream home, a large scale development or anything in-between, has never been easier. With more than 200 properties in our CV, and the most experienced and qualified team in the region, you can leverage on our wealth of knowledge to bring your project into reality. We are here with you every step of the way from concept to completion to create that magical space you have always wanted.
H2 Life Continuing the thread of making your life stress free while enjoying your investment in real estate, H2Life provides both Property Management Services (to owners) and Hospitality Services (to owners and guests)
Under the Property Management umbrella, we will look after every aspect of your property while you are away, from bill payments to grounds keeping, and everything in-between. This ensures that your investment is well looked after and attracts the yield it deserves over time.
As to Hospitality Services, we have more than 60 properties from the HakuLife Collection, H2 Luxury Collection and the Signature Series to cater to all guests with different preferences and expectations for their holiday accommodation, coupled with personal butlers, itinerary curation, All-Niseko Pass privileges amongst many other services.

They look forward to being your Lifestyle Real Estate partner in Niseko and Furano whenever you are ready!  Drop in and visit them at their Niseko office to find out more, or email them at [email protected] anytime if you would like more information on any of our offerings.

We invite you to Rethink Real Estate, Rethink Development Management, Rethink Hospitality – think H2Group.

About H2 Group

H2 Group, your lifestyle and development partner in Japan,  is a merger of two disruptive Niseko pioneers, Hokkaido Tracks Resort Properties and HakuLife. With over 20 years of combined experience, the H2 Group mission is to deliver sensational memories to our owners, guests, and clients.

We invite everyone to Rethink everything Real Estate!  Rethink Buying and Selling properties, Rethink Development Management, Rethink Property Management, and Rethink Hospitality.

We do this through our expertise in developing and building luxury homes and commercial projects and through curating exquisite holidays that evoke the senses. We elevate the experience of buying and selling real estate, and work with our owners to protect their investments via our leading asset management capabilities.

With the one single focus in helping owners, guests and clients achieve the aspirational lifestyle they deserve, our prized team is passionate in creating sensational memories for them.   Our team comprise of talent from 17 countries, speaking 20 languages, and each of them has the passion and expertise to achieve this mission, both through their in-depth local knowledge of Niseko and Furano, and delivering unparalleled service to everyone under their care.

H2 Group services include:

  • Project and Development Management
  • Real Estate Sales
  • Asset Management
  • Holiday Rentals and Lifestyle Experience Curation

For more information, please contact:

Hideo Okada

Assistant General Manager

Email: [email protected]

Niseko Community Wins Big in Niseko Shootout ProAM

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the teams who joined us!

The second Niseko Shootout ProAM has wrapped up, with the ¥120,000 Judges’ Choice prize awarded to photographer Kentaraw Matsuda & snowboarder Daisuke Watanabe, and the ¥80,000 Public Vote prize awarded to photographer Chris Smith & skier Josh Fawcett.

This year’s four-day ProAM and the following week of judging generated thousands of social media “likes” and hundreds of “shares”, and many more impressions around the world.

In this difficult time for the Niseko community and the world, this event drew much attention to Niseko and the fantastic snow we’re having here in an incredibly positive and uplifting way. It gave everyone involved here and abroad much to smile about.

Thank you to all the 10 judges who mostly took part remotely from around the world – Alex Yoder, Aline Bock, Eric Pollard, Lena Stoffel, Mattias Fredriksson, Neil Hartman, Taro Tamai, Torah Bright, Tsutomu Nakata and Yoichi Watanabe.

Keep an eye on @NisekoShootout and Niseko Tourism website  to find out more about the Niseko Shootout Short Film Festival coming up in March.

Check out the Award Video below!

Niseko’s Powderlife Magazine Combats COVID-19 with Japanese Print Edition

This winter Niseko’s coffee-table feature magazine Powderlife has been printed in Japanese to help introduce modern Niseko to the domestic tourism market.

Powderlife is usually printed in English, with digital versions online in Japanese and Mandarin.

With international tourism closed this winter, Powderlife Managing Editor Kristian Lund said Niseko business advertisers supported the initiative to print a Japanese edition.

“Niseko is usually filled with skiers from across Asia and all over the world which has been our focus over the past 14 years with the English publication,” Mr Lund said.

“This winter, rather than put the magazine on hold, we decided to print a Japanese edition with the hope of getting Japanese travellers interested in what is going on up here.

“I don’t think there is much awareness across Japan that billions of dollars of international investment has transformed Niseko into a truly world-class ski resort.

“There is literally no other ski resort like Niseko in Japan – from new modern chairlifts and gondolas to ski-in Michelin-pedigree restaurants, and literally Japan’s best luxury resort accommodation.

“Japanese people can’t travel overseas at the moment but they can travel over the Tsugaru Strait to the island of Hokkaido and enjoy a taste of international ski resort style in Niseko.

“And this is the best year to do it – usually accommodation is booked out at premium prices but this winter Japanese can take their pick of accommodation at greatly reduced rates.”

Powderlife aims to introduce visitors and potential visitors to the Niseko powder lifestyle – everything that makes up life and holidays in Niseko. This of course revolves around skiing and snowboarding, but also includes culture, food, people, businesses, greater Hokkaido and more.

Powderlife is a 160-page coffee table style that can be picked up free in tourist hubs and accommodation and across Niseko as well as selected international locations.

The magazine is also available in digital format free online in three languages – English, Japanese and Mandarin.

The digital magazines are loaded onto the Official Niseko App – download the app to read on phone or tablet, or to read on desktop go to Powderlife.com/magazine.

A hardcopy of the Powderlife Japanese edition can be ordered and posted anywhere in Japan for ¥990 by emailing [email protected]

Join the iGate Lucky Draw Today!

From January 1st, iGATEIKEUCHI is holding a lucky draw for those who shop at their shop or download their APP.

Buy 1 item and you will get one lucky draw ticket.

You can also download the APP when you go to the store and you will get a lucky draw ticket.

From January 1st till January 31st.

■iGATE niseko hirafu  10:00~20:00

hirafu188 2F​

■iGATE AYA niseko 8:00~18:00


Among those who shopped at the store, 20 people will get a prize, and it will be announced after February 6th.

A special new year sale is also happening.

Stop by after skiing and snowboarding!

Niseko Vibes - Winter Mixtape 2020/21 Released!

Good vibes brought to you by Pyram Organics & Plants.

A new mixtape for a new season!

It may be too late to call it “a new season” since we are already buried in snow (crazy amount of snow this year!) but here is something to enjoy for those who rather stay inside the house and watch snow-falling and wood fire burning with a cup of coffee (well, that’s exactly me).

As usual, come grab free CDs by shopping more than ¥1,000 at Pyram Organics & Plants or check out link HERE.

The same option is valid through online shopping as well. Just write a note saying, “I want that CD!” and they will include it in the shipping box.

Tracks list:

1. Suzanne Kraft – Flatiron

2. Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – You Make Me Feel Brand New

3. Glenn Astro – Homespun (w. Ajnascent)

4. Madison McFerrin – No Room

5. (Liv).e – You The One Fish In The Sea

6. Cleo Sol – Her Light

7. Surprise Chef – Deadlines

8. Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection – Dieterich Buxtehude

9. Jahari Massamba Unit – Etude Montrachet

10. Zero7 – Distractions (Madlib’s YNQ Remix)

11. Azymuth, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge – Cat Jump

12. Brother’s Testament – Icarus Live at Jazz re:freshed

13. Candeias – Palmeiras

14. Kyle Hall – Katastematic Pleasure

15. Culross Close – Intrinsic Value

16. mfp – Kite Flyer (feat. Natalie Slade & Stan Smith)