Starting with the Snow Expo in Sydney we attended a series of events following Hokkaido’s local government bodies, Hokkaido snow and ski resort representatives who were promoting tourism and ski and snow activities in Hokkaido, Japan.
This started with the Snow Expo in Sydney, where a number of big name ski and snow resort companies, equipment retailers, hotels and the like, gather to promote their countries of origin, businesses and tourism to the general public.
The Japan-focused booths were all lined up along one wall, decorated with lanterns and it was almost like a little Japan Street. Each company had representatives at each booth ready to inform the potential customers about their resorts, local area or services and tell them everything they need to know!
Representatives had brought various attractions to the booths such as traditional dress, games, origami, costumes and the like to show the people of Australia a little bit of culture from their own prefectures and local areas.
The event was bustling with attendees from about lunch time and started to slow down at around 4pm, when the crew started to pack down. Overall the Hokkaido team had a successful day.
Following the events of the Snow Expo in Sydney, a networking event was held at Izakaya Masuya in Sydney, thanks to company president of Izakaya Masuya, Ken Sadamatsu, who graciously offered up the venue for the event. The purpose for the Japan Snow Meeting 2017 in Sydney was to connect snow and ski resorts based in Hokkaido and Tohoku with Australian travel and airline businesses.
Outside of the larger, more retail-focused events, which is more targeted at general customers, this event presented an opportunity to get to know and speak directly with representatives from the companies and local government bodies from Tohoku and Hokkaido that had come down to Australia to attend various snow and ski events.
Among the companies and government bodies from Hokkaido, we had Rusutsu Resort, the Westin Rusutsu Resort, Niseko United, Niseko Promotion Board, Kamui Ski Links, Kiroro Resort, Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Sahoro Resort, New Furano Prince Hotel, Furano Tourism Association, Furano Snow Tours, Hokkaido Ski Promotion Consulate and Hokkaido Tourism Organisation.
The event kicked off with some Sapporo Beer, Hokkaido sake or a cup of Japanese tea for those who had to go back to work after the midday event. After a short greeting from the event’s MC, Jessica Waugh, canapes inspired by Hokkaido cuisine were served with Hokkaido brewed sake.
Three types of canapes were served around the start and the end of the event. The first type of canape consisted of Hokkaido-sources scallops which were grilled and served with miso-infused cream cheese. The second was Tasmanian salmon marinaded in Izakaya Masuya’s homemade yuzu marinade. And finally, the third canape was inspired by Hokkaido’s famous Jingiskan dish, made using Australian lamb. The Jingiskan sauce was kindly brought down to Melbourne by Ms. Sakamoto, one of the key organisers for the event.
The canapes were specially made to be paired with the sake of the day, Kokushi Musou’s Tokubetsu Junmai ‘Retsu’ and Junmai-shu ‘Kokuu’. ‘Retsu’ goes well with any type of cuisine and is a dry wine with a rich taste, while ‘Kokuu’ has a slightly lower alcohol content, it is great for first time sake drinkers or for those who had to run back to the office after the event. It is dry and has a hint of the taste of apple in the mix.
If these names sound familiar, it’s because we wrote about these in our articles about Craft Sake Week! You can check it out here!
A number of attendees from local Sydney and Australian businesses that already work with Japan packages or were looking to expand to include Japan packages in their tours or services. The Tohoku and Hokkaido representatives had the time to talk about their beautiful natural attractions and prefectures at a length and really give attendees an idea about just how beautiful northern Japan is.
Ross Findlay from the Niseko Promotion Board also made a short presentation about the wonders of Hokkaido and Niseko in particular, and what sort of life he has lived there and the things he has seen. His presentation was thoroughly enjoyable and he was a lovely person to chat to.
Apart from canapes and the sake of the event, Ms. Sakamoto had also brought along Yubari Melon Jelly, Royce chocolates and a number of other sweets famous to Hokkaido.
Overall, the event was very enjoyable and gave attendees an insight into what Hokkaido is all about! One of the great parts about Japan, and Hokkaido in particular, is that they have fabulous powder snow! However, its summers are comfortable temperatures with a cool breeze and less humidity than other areas of Asia, the scenery in autumn is truly a sight to behold, with seas of yellow, red and orange in the forests and in the spring, the trees turn to pink as the cherry blossoms bloom. On top of that, Hokkaido has activities all throughout the year due to its spectacular range of comfortable seasons.
The following Sunday saw the opening of the Snow Expo in Melbourne, the team had come down a few days in advance to see the sights in Melbourne before preparing for the event.
The Hokkaido team had another successful day with very receptive guests from Melbourne who were very interested in visiting Hokkaido for more than just skiing and snowboarding, but also for summer and spring activities too!
Akira from Nozawa Onsen in Nagano, presented at both the Sydney and Melbourne Snow Expo events and entertained both crowds with his hilarious outline of how to enjoy Nozawa Onsen, with Ski, Onsen and Bars.
The exhibition had many different companies come in from many different countries, however, Japan was a particularly popular destination as always. There were also other exhibitors from other regions of Japan too, and some local travel businesses who work closely with Japan as well. Below are some additional photos from the event.