New era, new gondola for Niseko

Niseko-based Peter Murphy Managing Director of is very excited about the reopening of the resort's gondola this weekend.

"The new -eight seat Grand Hirafu Gondola has the double capacity and twice as fast as the original gondola it has replaced. This will provide a quicker and more comfortable ride, it will reduce morning bottlenecks and it offers quicker access, particularly on powder days, to ski or board iconic runs.”

Hirafu Gondola is the first new lift to be built at Niseko. It replaces a slower, four-speed gondola and the new cabins will provide sensational views of Mt Annupuri, the Mt Fuji-looking Mt Yotei and the ski town of Hirafu.

This is definitely the start of a new era for what was once the domain of the powderhounds but now entices Australian families and lots of first-timers from other, nearby countries such as China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

"Niseko is becoming more family-friendly after the powder boom a decade ago when the powderhounds put Niseko on the map," said Anthony Trovatello a key member of's team based in Niseko.

"There's a special energy right now. A lot of people here are dedicated and want to support Japan. It is the best start to winter I've seen in the four years I've been here. The amount of snow and the snow quality is amazing.”

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