Every year, the Ministry of Villas team heads out to sniff out the latest trends in Niseko. While the ski town has been going through some major changes and developments, some things remain the same. Year after year, most properties in Niseko, both old and new, are sleek, chic and dominantly monochrome – but not Kitsune House. This funky chalet is bright red on the outside and filled with colour and cool design on the inside. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
A Japanese Welcome
Driving down the snowy streets of Lower Hirafu Village, it doesn’t take us long to spot Kitsune House. Surrounded by streamlined chalets and cosy ski cabins, our lodging for the night stands out with its bright red walls and modern angular shape. The chalet’s name – Kitsune means “fox” in Japanese – describes the playful feel of the property perfectly.
Upon opening the front door, we’re in for a quintessentially Japanese welcome: a meticulously arranged row of powder blue slippers to wear inside the house. We slip on our new footwear and set out to explore the house which looks particularly inviting thanks to rays of winter sun flooding the rooms.
A Tale of Three Storeys
Kitsune House is built over three floors – actually, make that four if you count the loft space above the living room which works as an office space. If you really need to catch up on some work while you’re in town, this cosy nook is the perfect place for it. Like everywhere in Japan, the Wi-Fi in Kitsune House works like a dream. If you’re free to turn on the “out of office” auto reply, the loft also has a good collection of board games.
The living room (which also incorporates the chalet’s dining area and well-furnished kitchen) is light and spacious, with a strategically positioned balcony looking out to Mount Yotei. Forest green sofas are dotted with deep red cushions and the walls are covered with unique wallpaper. Besides the groovy design, Kitsune House is fully fitted with all the creature comforts you could ask for, including Apple TV, private parking, well laid out ski room and full laundry facilities.
Moving from room to room, we discover that statement wallpapers and colourful tiles are consistent across all three floors, adding a distinct pop of texture and colour to each and every room. There’s a colourful surprise waiting behind every door, with unique wallpapers adorning the walls and cool and colourful tiles accentuating the bathrooms. Kitsune House is definitely ready for its close-up!
Bedrooms Filled with Colour
In keeping with the chalet’s quirky cool design, every bedroom in Kitsune House is unique. There are three bedrooms on the middle floor, all furnished with king-sized beds. Two rooms can also be set up with two single beds if needed, which was perfect for our team.
The fourth bedroom is located on the ground floor, next to the cosy TV room. This room comes with two sets of bunk beds and sunny yellow wallpaper with elephants roaming across the walls. With two roll-away beds available at an extra fee, Kitsune House can accommodate up to 12 guests in total.
Out and About in Hirafu Village
Kitsune House sits pretty in Hirafu’s Lower Village, surrounded by other chalets and mountains of pure white snow. We spotted a couple of cool izakayas just down the street – the well-rated Rin Restaurant is just two blocks away. Another local landmark, the very popular Yukoro Onsen (which supposedly closed down in 2018 but as of 2019 is still going strong) sits about 200 metres from the chalet.
For a greater variety, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the Upper Village, though there is a shuttle bus stop right around the corner. This is ideal when you’re lugging around heavy ski equipment. During our stay at Kitsune House, we were treated to sunny blue skies which made visiting the local restaurants and snapping endless photos of Mount Yotei all the more pleasant.
Our sojourn in Kitsune House definitely added some life and colour to our latest adventure exploring Niseko. From the laidback surroundings to the colourful design and family friendly features, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for this Hirafu standout. If you have any questions, our villa specialists have first-hand experience of staying in Kitsune House and travelling to Niseko – and we’re here to help.