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The Vale Niseko: Niseko, Japan

Often dubbed Japan’s answer to Vail, we’d argue that Niseko is much more. With its international vibe, luxury hotels, medley of gourmet restaurants and more than 400 inches of annual snowfall, it’s any snow-bunny’s dream. This jaw-dropping ski destination has always been a point of national pride, but it didn’t hit the radar until Australian travelers began seeking its plentiful snowfall. Fortunately, Niseko’s inconvenient geography (two hours by train from Sapporo) keeps its slopes swarm-free. This month, LUXE City Guides released an iPhone application travel guide to Niseko. Its editor, Kee Foong, suggests that Departures readers may particularly enjoy staying at the Vale Niseko and dining at Kamimura, a seven- to 12-course gastronomy restaurant. thevaleniseko.com; kamimura-niseko.com

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