Ryunosuke Ohkoshi

Born in Kutchan, Hokkaido, he is affiliated with Tokyu Resort Service.
(Niseko Grand HIRAFU is managed by Tokyu Resort Service.)
Having built up his training at HIRAFU since childhood, he is now an alpine skier who competes on the global level.
Training hard to reach the and keep a high World Cup ranking.

Ohkoshi Ryunosuke Official Website

He’s a polite young man, and a passionate athlete full of fighting spirit.
We hope you’ll cheer him on.

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Gen Sasaki

He’s a freestyle skier with Niseko Grand HIRAFU as his home ground, and he’s aiming to enter major global competitions such as the X-games.

He first started freestyle skiing because of my older brother. Together with him and friends, He’d often ski the many mountains of the Niseko resort, working on my ski technique.

He began to take the sport seriously when he was in junior high school, when he started training in parks with many jumps and jibbing opportunities. In his second year of high school, he received an invitation from the Shirakawa Ski School. He went to Shirakawa, where he learned to ski all over again, starting from the very basics.

A year after that, in recognition of his achievements in domestic competitions, He was selected for the Junior National Team. During that season, He participated in the World Junior Championships. Presently, He’ve reached the level where he can contend for the No. 1 position in Japan: He’ve kept the No. 1 FIS point ranking for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons and will participate in the World Cup. With the ski skills gained among Niseko’s grand nature and the Shirakawa’s freestyle skiing technique as his weapon, he is training to become a top competitor on the international level.

Gen Sasaki Official Website

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Yoichi Watanabe

Yoichi Watanabe is the first person that comes to mind when you think of a Niseko photographer.
He’s one of the photographers who represent Japan in the field of ski photography.
Yoichi is a skier himself, and travels the world’s mountains with Niseko as his base, in addition to presenting his numerous works.
He has also revealed his own personal photo collections, featuring incredible snow-covered mountains across the world including those in Alaska, Canada and Europe, as well as countless slopes that hold a powerful attraction for skiers.
In particular, his collection entitled “Yukiyama o Suberu Hito” is an absolute must-see for all those who love the mountains.

Through his photos, Yoichi sends out images of the skiing, snowboarding and scenery of Niseko, his base of activities, around Japan and overseas.
While outdoor sports is the main subject matter of his photos, he also continues to capture the topography and lifestyles of snowy regions, and has made a huge contribution to the current international development of the Niseko area.
He values the fact that he is a skier above being a photographer, and his charismatic personality means there is always a crowd of people around him.
Yoichi’s activities are not only limited to ski photography - he also holds his own photo exhibitions as an artist.
Recently, his photography featured in “Expressive Photos, Hokkaido”, a special exhibition by the City of Sapporo Photography Culture Promotion Project, a project run in coordination with Sapporo International Art Festival 2014.
He’s active in a range of other different fields, too.

Yoichi Watanabe Official Website

This photo was taken by Joe Kobashi.
He’s photographer of various sports with a focus on skiing, and is regularly featured in magazines and publicity materials.

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Takanori Nagata

Here’s a guy you’ve been waiting for – the snowboarder Takanori Nagata.
He qualified as a pro in 2007, and is active in multiple JSBA All Japan snowboard cross competitions.
As well as his appearances in multiple forms of media, he’s busy with diverse activities as a rider, a guide, and more.
Takanori serves as the director of Pleasure Associates, the organizer of Niseko Pleasure Camp held every season in late March.
His friendly, open personality attracts a lot of like-minded people, and the Pleasure Camp, with its top-class coaching team, always has a wide range of participants from kids to adults.

Takanori Nagata Official Blog

Niseko Pleasure Camp Official Website

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Hiromi Tatsumi

Hiromi became paralyzed in his lower body in a snowboarding accident in 2008 and has since adapted to life in a wheelchair.
Despite this, his incredibly positive attitude has led him to keep pushing himself at sports including kayaking and chair skiing.
It was not long before he received the support of GENTEMSTICK to become a chair snowboarder.
Hiromi energetically keeps up his activities in summer as a paracanoe athlete and rafting guide.

”Youtei Outdoor”, official web site.

Hiromi Tatsumi Official Web Site.

The distinctively-shaped snowboard is the GENTEMSTICK.
It’s pretty famous among snowboarders.
The tools Hiromi is holding in both hands are called “outriggers”, which help him keep his balance in all directions.


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Yamasemi-kun & Kawasemi-kun

Niseko Grand HIRAFU Brothers: Yamasemi-kun & Kawasemi-kun

The gray one is “Yamasemi-kun”, and the blue one is “Kawasemi-kun”

One of the former staff here really loved fishing, and when he was fishing nearby he chanced upon the sight of a real “yamasemi” (crested kingfisher).
It was so adorable and extremely rare to see one in the wild, so we started using the “yamasemi” as our main character (back in the days when Grand HIRAFU was called Niseko HIRAFU International Ski Resort).
After that, when the resort’s name changed to Grand HIRAFU, the “kawasemi” (crested kingfisher), which hadn’t been seen around here for a while, came back to Niseko - so he joined his brother to become our two mascot characters!

[Favorite Things]
Powder snow, potatoes, corn, salmon

[Least Favorite Things]
Hot places (they don’t appear in summer), crunchy snow on the slopes, bears

English conversation, Yamasemi likes skiing while Kawasemi likes snowboarding.
Outside of winter they go fishing together secretly, apparently.

Yamasemi is 180cm, and Kawasemi is 170cm. But they get smaller in a blizzard!

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