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Summer Stargazing - The 2017 Niseko Star Fes

Niseko's remote location in northern Japan creates a perfect setting for watching the stars at night. Being away from major sources of light, Niseko's night sky is filled with millions of stars. On a clear night, you simply need to head up to the base of Mt. Annupuri to see meteor showers, constellations and even the Milky Way!

In a desire to bring this activity to a wider audience, the famous Japanese astronomical telescope maker Vixen has partnered with Niseko Town to create the annual Star Fes. On July 21st and 22nd 2017, people of all ages were invited to take part into this event to experience the wonders of the universe in a professionnal setting. The festival was held for the 2nd year in a row.


Niseko Star Fes
The entrance to the annual Niseko Star Fes in Annupuri

Throughout summer, the Niseko Annupuri Gondola is operating during daytime to take people to the 1,000 meters high observation platform. The platform was removed last year after extensive damage had been made by a typhoon. This year, the platform is much larger and can now welcome more observers at the same time.This vantage point lets you admire the whole Niseko region and offers breathtaking views on Mt. Yotei and Lake Toya.

For the week-end of the Star Fes only, the team at Annupuri worked hard to make it possible to operate the Gondola at night to reach the 1,000 meters observation platform, going as far as practicing special nightime search and rescue exercices in the weeks leading up to the event.

Among the activities that were offered for free was the observation of the starry sky with telescopes and specially designed binoculars under the guidance of professionnal astronomers. For young kids, a free "Make your telescope" workshop was also organized. To help other people get started with this fascinating hobby, free night sky photography classes were also available.


Niseko Star Fes 2017
Kids had the chance to build their own telescope!
Source: Niseko Star Fes Facebook

To keep the atmosphere lively, Niseko's famous Klass Kitchen food truck was on-site during the week-end. Offering the best hamburgers in Niseko, Rhys and his wife put together quality ingredients to create some of the best available street food in town at an affordable price. The Klass Kitchen food truck frequently appears at Niseko's finest events or at the always busy Niseko View Plaza Michi-no-Eki. Be sure to check-out theKlass Kitchen Official Facebook page to discover where you can get to experience one of the best hamburger of your life!


Niseko Star Fes 2017 - Klass Kitchen
The Klass Kitchen foodtruck offers the best hamburgers in Niseko!

The main event was held from 18:30 when participants who purchased the tickets gathered at Nook Annupuri. Under the guidance of professional guides, a lecture about night sky observation was conducted. At 19:30, participants boarded the Annupuri Gondola to reach the 1,000 meters station. At this observation platform, the guides helped identify constellations from a usually unaccessible location. By standing at this altitude, the sky appears clearer and less disturbed by the light emanating from Kutchan and Niseko town. This wonderful week-end left many event goers impressed and sparked a desire in many kids' minds to discover more about space.


The Niseko Star Fest is just one of the many events that are held throughout summer in the area. Be sure to keep an eye on our Events Page to discover what makes the region such a charming destination at all times of year! If you fancy a trip to Niseko, be sure to contact our friendly reservation staff that will help you create a memorable holiday!

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