The season is done and it has been emotional. Life goes on and in a desperate attempt to get some action and excitement flowing through the veins again hit the Ginto Trail in Hirafu yesterday. Mission accomplished….kind of.
It is no secret that Niseko has A) WORLD ClASS snow and B) WORLD CLASS accomodation. What we really do lack is WORLD CLASS mountain biking trails. With no disrespect to the local community support and people who built the Ginto trail it leaves us just wanting more. Besides the Ginto trail there is a private MTB trail managed by Tokyu resort but that will not open for weeks yet and it is not free. So, if you are in Hirafu looking to go mountain-biking this is IT for now. It is amazing that there is a great trail between Niseko Village and Grand Hirafu but rumor has it that Niseko Town and Kutchan town Vis-a-vis Niseko Village and Grand Hirafu resorts cannot agree on how the trail is managed and maintained so it has been rotting away over the last few years and is unridable.
It is not all bad news. Kutchan have “kind of” rebuilt the trail at Asahigaoka Park after is was famously bulldozed. There is talk of a new cross-country trail being built there. Let’s hope that this season something new happens. It is perplexing that after all of the development in the Niseko region that there are still very few facilities being built for the community. Let’s hope that a budget can be found to build new trails and attract mountain-bikers to the region and give the locals something to do. If you are into road cycling you will LOVE IT here. Quiet roads etc etc but we need mountain-bike trails and long cross country mountain bike trails that are free to use to make Niseko a WORLD CLASS summer destination.