The first ski slope in Hokkaido to open for the season.
This ski slope opened its doors at 11:11 on the 11th of November, making it the earliest to open in Hokkaido.
The "SnowCruise Onze" ski slope is located in the Zanibako area of Otaru, just a 30 minute drive from Sapporo. Here you can ski the slopes on artificial snow while enjoying the fall foliage. Every year on opening day there is a long line waiting to ride the lift up to the first day of skiing available in Hokkaido.
The name of the slope, Onze, is a French word which means 11. Each year, with the help of artificial snow machines, the ski slope opens on November 11th. Night skiing is available up until 11 o'clock, and every month on the 11th, or "Onze Day," you can get in at a discounted price!
Due to a decrease in the number of visitors, about half a year ago there was talk about closing the mountain but since then a separate company has taken over management of the slopes, meaning that this year's opening went off without a hitch.
The new management has brought a surge of ideas for new plans for the slopes. One example is the "Ladies Day" every Wednesday of this year. For women who come to ski on Wednesdays, lifts are half price and there are sweets available for free!
Additionally, a sports bar has been opened inside the restaurant. Along with sports activities there are plans to open exhibits of artists' works in the space as well. Of course there is also beer available for in between ski sessions.
While on the slopes you can also enjoy a splendid view of Ishikari Bay. On clear days it's possible to see along the coastline all the way to Ishikari City, and the location also provides the wonderful view of Mt. Shokanbetsudake in the Mashike mountain range.
After the sun went down I enjoyed an absolutely spectacular night view! There are several secret spots that are perfect for enjoying the night view so be sure to try and find them!
The slopes are located about 30 minutes from Sapporo by car and there is also a shuttle bus available. There are plans to hold many events at the ski slope from here on out, so for those passing through, or those here in Sapporo for sightseeing, it will be a great location to visit!
● 株式会社マックアースリゾート北海道 スノークルーズオーンズ
(Mac Earth Hokkaido - Snowcruise Onze)
357 Haruka-cho, Otaru
TEL : 0134-62-2228 Ski Slope Phone : 0134-62-2424
Hours of Operation : Every day from 9:00am to 11:00pm.
(Times may differ up until December 10th.)
(Hokkaido LIkers Writer - Nob Kawashima)