The foremost symbol of the town of Kutchan is Mount Yotei, one of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. Looking up at Mount Yotei is another symbol of the town, developed through global capital — a cluster of luxury condominiums and hotels in its Niseko-Hirafu district. As numerous foreign tourists visit Kutchan, enchanted by the powder snow and magnificent views, the town continues to develop as a host community. In fiscal 2017, as many as 350,000 non-Japanese enjoyed overnight stays in Kutchan, and it is non-Japanese who own most of the 830 condominiums located in 73 buildings.
The town’s superb snow quality had simply been a given to the townspeople, but as this spread by word of mouth around the world, investors transformed the area into a resort locale demanding considerable attention. The Tourism Ministers’ Meeting will convene amid the scenic landscapes, environment, and facilities of Niseko-Hirafu. The venue is approximately a two-and-a-half hour drive from New Chitose Airport.
In order to prepare a resort environment in which non-Japanese tourists can enjoy themselves safely and with peace of mind, Kutchan provides a general hospital that accommodates patients in multiple languages, operates extra police boxes during snow season, and offers English-speaking shops and Wi-Fi coverage at a level that makes visitors’ stays essentially stress-free. By hosting the ministerial meeting, the town hopes to convey to people both in Japan and abroad its appeal in terms of being a resort area with a rich natural environment where various cultures coexist; it also offers facilities and an environment that can satisfy very high expectations.
Visitors can experience stunning fields of moss phlox, flowering potato plants, and other naturally scenic spots, cuisine using an abundance of locally harvested crops, and various kinds of “green season” activities. Through these experiences, Kutchan’s visitors can enjoy a highly memorable stay in Japan. The town hopes that people remember the name of Kutchan, on the island of Hokkaido.