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Warming Hearts in the Winters of Niseko

The following are some reflective thoughts from the current owner Winter Haven.

Our Niseko journey began in 2009, when nine of us set out for the promise of snowy adventures and winter escapes in Hokkaido. Defined by our cherished time as a family, these Niseko trips became a biannual tradition, and our tribe grew to twenty-one as we explored the winter wonders Niseko had to offer.

The first few trips were spent nomadically shuffling around Hirafu Village from one rented house or ski retreat to another. Though we always had fun visiting, it felt like we just never quite had our place here. In 2011, a last-minute accommodation cancellation thrust us into a shared bed-and-breakfast with all the hallmarks of an old ski pension experience: shared baths, freezing toilets, and just a bit of longing for something a bit more accommodating.

But Niseko kept calling to us, and it was our trip the following year when fate intervened.

During a chance moment in Hirafu, we met Eddie, the CEO of MnK Niseko. He spoke of his newest community development, The Orchards, which had just broken ground, and his love for Niseko poured through as he excitedly described his vision for the resort. By the end of the conversation, we realized that we could finally end our search for the perfect accommodation—we had the chance to forge our own.

Driven by our deep-rooted appreciation for family and friends, we set out to create a place where our loved ones could gather, bond, and revel in the joys of a Niseko trip: good food, incredible skiing, soothing baths, and spirited evenings filled with whiskey and sake. The result was our own personal Winter Haven, nestled in The Orchards.

Winter Haven boasts six en suite bedrooms, enough for all of our families and friends, and an array of amenities built for the perfect ski retreat: a Japanese-style bath, a spacious family room for after-dinner karaoke or mahjong, and a cozy TV room for movie nights. At the heart of Winter Haven lies the home's focal point: a handpicked, handcrafted dining table where we've shared countless home-cooked meals, skiing stories, and a lifetime of memories.

Owning a home in Niseko has been a dream beyond compare for our family, and it's been a comfort to know that the dedicated management team at The Orchards has always treated it like their own as they take care of it throughout the year.

Winter Haven–where the magic of a winter retreat meets the comforting embrace of home—is more than just a name; it symbolizes the enduring bonds within its walls. The family dinners and laugh-filled game nights, the love shared and priceless memories made. It's where the stories of our winters unfolded and where new chapters await to be written by others, with laughter and love echoing on into the future.

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