As the old platitude goes, you should never judge a book by its cover. After staying in Fubuki, we would also suggest that you never judge a chalet by its austere concrete exterior, because you might find a warm and cosy surprise waiting inside.
Located in the Hirafu ski village in Niseko, three Fubuki chalets sit side by side, cutting an angular shape against their snowy backdrop. Upon arrival, we assumed we were checking into yet another exceedingly modern and impossibly sleek Niseko chalet. But as we were about to discover, Fubuki offers a world of warm comfort hidden beneath a concrete exterior.
Fubuki chalets offer the option between three and four bedrooms. Each chalet is built over three floors, so there’s a great sense of space about the properties.
Due to all those stairs, Fubuki is not the best option if you’re travelling with young kids, but the chalets are ideal for families with older children. There’s a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing après-ski snacks and an espresso machine for parents who need a caffeine fix before hitting the slopes.
Fubuki’s split-level layout means everyone in the family will have their own space when they need a little me-time. All the bedrooms have split beds which can be set up as a king-sized bed or two singles as needed, which offers great flexibility.
Despite these family-friendly features, Fubuki also offers a comfortable stay for those of us travelling sans kids. Our chalet’s comfy sofa deserves a special mention and of course, you just can’t go wrong with Apple TV. All too often, it feels like these cool designer chalets are decorated without anyone actually sitting on the furniture or slouching down on the sofa, but in Fubuki, comfort reigns supreme.
Fubuki sits on the border between Hirafu’s middle and lower village. We clocked our walk from Fubuki over to the Hirafu Gondola at about 10 minutes, though Fubuki’s free shuttle service made hitting the slopes that much easier. The shuttle service to Hanazono also stops just around the corner from Fubuki, so exploring the larger Niseko area is also made easy.
Besides skiing, our favourite part of staying in Niseko was trying out restaurants. Hirafu’s unofficial Eat Street, Momiji-Zaka, is only a short walk away from Fubuki and offers countless dining options: Ezo Seafoods, Yakitori Yosaku, The Barn… There are also some great restaurants in the lower village, including the popular Rin and Nagomi which serve authentic izakaya cuisine. A Niseko life hack from those in the know: Rin’s steaming hot sake is just what the doctor ordered after a day spent out in the snow.
In the past decade, Niseko has really established itself as a powder destination to be reckoned with. As the crowds have discovered what was once a well-kept secret among die hard powder hounds, the prices have skyrocketed.
Or have they?
A ski getaway in Niseko might sound like an extravagance, but the price tag really depends on your travel dates. Fubuki is the perfect example of just how much you can save by timing your trip strategically.
During peak season in January 2019, the three-bedroom Fubuki is priced at USD $889 per night. Fast forward to March and the price drops to just USD $515 per night. That’s a price drop of almost 400 dollars! Before you lunge for your credit card, it’s important to note that every season in Niseko is different and there are no guarantees of pristine powder in late March. Still, if you can be flexible and adjust your travel dates to fall ever so slightly outside the peak season, that ski getaway suddenly becomes a lot more affordable.