While most travelers understandably tend to head to mountainous Niseko in winter for its fresh powder snow and world-class ski resorts, here’s why you should consider visiting during fall, too: The annual Niseko Autumn Food Festival showcases the very best of the area’s cuisine while giving you the chance to explore the natural beauty of this temperate season. 

Hoping to attract more than 6,000 guests, based on last year’s attendance, the 2020 event marks the festival’s third anniversary and is set to be held over the Silver Week break from September 17 to 21. Guests can look forward to sampling freshly harvested produce along with delicious dishes and menus from 15 popular local restaurants and bars (many of which are usually booked out during peak season), all at affordable prices and within a casual, friendly atmosphere.

This year, taking into account the impact of Covid-19, there will be more standing tables to allow for appropriate social distancing and each vendor will offer an immune-boosting dish.

Impressively, the festival employs a no-plastic policy, aiming to support the community’s commitment to reducing waste, protecting the environment and reaching sustainable development goals. Guests are encouraged to bring along their own takeaway containers so that vendors can offer leftovers free of charge after 9pm each day. There are also bicycle racks, enabling visitors to easily access the area by bike, which helps to reduce carbon footprint. In addition, for those staying in Sapporo, there will be a free shuttle service between Sapporo Odori Park and Niseko Hirafu Rhythm Japan, which is just across the road from the festival venue. 

Chat with locals, enjoy live music performances and get to know more about the unique aspects of Niseko’s gastronomy before moving across to Masu, the official after-party venue, which serves up fresh tunes and tasty beverages from 9pm each evening.

More information at www.nisekotourism.com

4 More Things To Do In Niseko

While you’re there…

1. Stay in an Alpine Cottage

Looking for accommodation? Koho is a beautifully renovated wooden cottage located in the tranquil lower village of Niseko Hirafu.

2. Take a Dip in an Onsen

Situated at the base of dormant volcano Mt Yotei, Niseko boasts plenty of natural, mineral-rich hot springs. We recommend the 100-year-old Kombu onsen.

3. Book a Rafting Adventure

Beginning at the foot of Mt Yotei, you’ll paddle for around 90 minutes through the crystal-clear, peacefully flowing waters of Shiribetsu River.

4. Play a Round of Golf

Home to three main golf courses, Niseko lets you enjoy the game you love amidst striking, lush scenery. 

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