Release | Isao Tanaka
Enjoy empty-handed skiing and snowboarding in Sapporo!
One of the best attractions during winter in Hokkaido is skiing and snowboarding! Because it is Hokkaido, you don’t have travel all the way to ski resorts. There are many ski slopes around Sapporo, and you can reach there instantly from hotels in central Sapporo. In addition to that, ski slopes offer rental services so you can experience skiing and snowboarding even if you don’t have the equipment and ski wears! Why not try? Wakaba and Momoko from Hokkaido Likers Tokyo team experienced empty-handed skiing!
An extensive collection of rental ski wear!We visited Sapporo Bankei Ski Area. The ski area is located at only 8 kilometers from JR Sapporo Station. However, there is total of 17 courses from beginners and family courses to intermediate and advanced courses. The ski area is also often used for international competitions.
There is a bus departing from metro stations to Sapporo Bankei Ski Area. The most convenient bus stop from central Sapporo is Metro Tozai Line Maruyama-Koen Station. From JR Sapporo Station to Maruyama-Koen Station is 15 minutes by the metro, and to the ski area, it takes 15 minutes by bus; which means it is only 30 minutes to the ski area. This is extremely close comparing to other cities in Japan.
▲Get on the bus from the bus terminal. Wakaba (left) has experienced skiing before, and Momoko (right) has experienced snowboarding but not ski. Both are excited to learn!
▲Get off at the bus stop, walk up the stairs a bit and arrived at the center lodge of Bankei Ski Area!
Let’s register for rentals first. You can borrow bindings, ski boots, ski poles, ski wears, goggles, and helmet. You can’t borrow knit hat and gloves, so you have to either bring or buy at the shop.
▲Write down your height, shoe size, etc., on the Rental Application Form. They have rental packs which include rental wear and equipment, meal ticket, and lift ticket. The costs are 4 hours 11,000yen, 7 hours 12,500yen, and nighttime 9,700yen (all the prices are for an adult).
Bankei Ski Area is proud of their rental wear collections! You can choose whichever ski wears you want to wear from different brands and colors.
▲They looked really serious when choosing what to wear.
Let’s change and proceed to equipment rental. The staffs will provide ski boots, bindings, and ski poles according to the size you wrote down on the application form.
We are ready! Let’s hit the slopes!
Leave ski tracks on beautiful snow! And get better by taking lessonsThe highest part of Bankei Ski Area is 482 meters above sea level. You can get the view of the city of Sapporo if the sky is clear.
▲Photo provided by Sapporo Bankei Ski Area
Night time is also beautiful as you can get the night views.
▲Photo provided by Sapporo Bankei Ski Area
Ok, the two girls took the center lift and started to challenge the center C course for beginners. Although the ski area is close to central Sapporo, Hokkaido's temperature is low. The two girls looked thrilled at the quality of snow here.
Those who experience skiing for the first time can take lessons to get better quicker. Bankei Ski Area has Bankei Ski School, and they provide group and private lessons separated according to your levels. (You need to make a reservation in advance)
Wakaba and Momoko took the lesson.
▲The teacher of the day was Mr. Tada, a well-experienced instructor! According to him, you will learn incredibly quickly if you understand the logic.
▲Shift the weights as Mr. Tada told them…
▲“Momoko, you look good!” Momoko looked happy when Mr. Tada complimented. According to Momoko, the sense of skiing changed after Mr. Tada taught her.
It was close to the lunchtime already so let’s head to the center lodge, where the restaurant is. They both look like they are used to skiing now.
Lunch is available at the restaurant in the center lodge called Berghütte. The specialty here is ban.K MOGUL Special Curry (1,100yen) which depicts bumps on the courses with rice! There are plenty of choices such as ramen, curry, and carbonara pasta (850yen), etc.
▲The pieces of fried chicken topped with MOGUL curry depicts bindings! The amount of the dish was so much that it would satisfy big eaters as well.
“If the ski area is near like this and we don’t need to bring anything, it is really good to stop by here after my business meeting.” “They also open during night time so you can stop here after work or sightseeing and go to Susukino afterward…” Wakaba and Momoko were talking like that. They seem to like the style of skiing in Sapporo, which is not common in other parts of Japan.
▲Berghütte is a lodge-style restaurant with a fireplace and log benches. You can completely enjoy the meal here.
The work is done now and when I was about to tell them to go back…
They said since they are here, they should hit the slope again. Wow, they have so much energy!
This is how empty-handed skiing and snowboarding is like in Sapporo. If you are planning to visit Sapporo for work or vacation during winter, this is one of the most recommended activities from Hokkaido Likers that all people should experience once!
RelatedSapporo Bankei Ski Area
Text / Isao Tanaka
Photo / Tateyuki Tabuchi
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