Inside Golf Travel : Inside Golf Travel March 2015
12 INSIDE GOLF TRAVEL | March 2015 Golf in Niseko, JapaN For years, Japan was branded as an expensive and hard-to-navigate place to play golf. Green fees started at $200 and visitors were extremely rare, especially on a golf course. Times have changed. These days Japan is welcoming record numbers of foreign visitors and becoming steadily more international. This is part of a campaign by the government to encourage more visitors to the shores of Japan in the run up to the 2019 rugby World Cup and the Summer olympics in 2020. Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, has long been a popular place to visit. As well as its scenic beauty, the northern island is a refuge from the excessive temperatures and humidity of the south. In addition, you have outstanding local cuisine and soothing volcanic hot springs all over the island. It is also a fantastic place to play golf with 170 courses for its 5.5 million population. Just a two-hour drive south from capital city Sapporo (and the airport), Niseko has become very familiar as a winter resort but is increasingly gaining ground as a green season destination. The Niseko area offers an array of summer activities for golfers and non-golfers alike including white water rafting, mountain biking, road biking and hiking. Niseko boasts many high quality courses in a relatively small, easily– accessible area. There are seven within 40 minutes and three very close to Niseko. Courses are well-kept, interestingly routed and offer something for everyone with a good sprinkling of different hole types and challenges. The views are spectacular, with Mt Yotei and other mountains looming at various points in the round, guaranteeing that many holes will stick in your memory long after you leave the area. onsens are one of the “must try” experiences for any trip to Japan. These natural hot springs not only help soothe the muscles after a round of golf, but also help revitalise your body. Niseko and the surrounding area boast a variety of onsens to choose from, many of which are located at the golf course and are included in the green fees. Packages can include rental cars with English GPS systems. Driving is easy - on the left-hand side, with roads built extra wide to allow for the metres of snowfall every winter. Bookings for rounds of golf, summer activities and restaurants can be made in advance or in-resort via the English-speaking staff at Niseko Powder Connection. A variety of luxury self-contained holiday apartments are on offer in Hirafu Village, just 10 - 15 min drive from the following courses. by John Barton Niseko Tokyu Hanazono Golf Course 5th hole Niseko Tokyu Hanazono Golf Course 14th hole The world’s most beautiful playground is calling. Play at Jack’s Point championship golf course then relax in luxury at The Rees Hotel Queenstown. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org .nz for golf stay, play and dine packages.
IG Travel February 2015
Inside Golf Travel April 2015