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A New Hirafu Gondola for Winter 2024-25

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  • A New Hirafu Gondola for Winter 2024-25

Winter 2024-25 will welcome the opening of a new Hirafu gondola, which will replace the Ace Quad Lift #2 Center 4 quad lift that currently sits at Dot Base.  The Center 4 holds the title of the oldest quad lift in Japan having opened in 1985, so this can be seen as a timely improvement, especially given the plethora of new Niseko accommodations now located around the Ace Family run, whose guests stand to benefit most from the new gondola. But nostalgia around the old lift is rife, and a goodbye ceremony together with auctioning off of the old seats, which fetched up to JPY150,000 each, took place this spring. After 30 years of servicing some of Niseko’s best terrain, the Center 4 holds a lot of memories.

 

niseko center 4 night skiing

snowboarder looking at hirafu center 4 on powder day

last day of operations of center 4 quad lift to be replaced by new niseko hirafu gondola

Center 4 Last Day of Operations

 

Those most familiar often hold a fondness for Japan ski lifts, not because of the latest technological advances, but the impeccable service of the lift attendants who wipe the snow off and thank you as you sit down, the old school charm, and the infamous nature of some of the more precarious.

 

hirafu single chair

Grand Hirafu Pizza Box Single Chair Lift

 

Sentiment aside, the development of Japan ski resorts as international destinations necessitated improvement, and nowhere has this been achieved better than in Niseko. Including the Symphony Gondola which opened in Hanazono in the winter of 2021-22 and the existing Hirafu Gondola, the new gondola will be the third in Grand Hirafu. It will be a new model 10-person gondola with a running speed of 6m per second, 1.5 times faster than the Center 4. The new gondola will be able to carry 2800 people per hour, a significant increase from 1800 people per hour. With accommodations including Sansui, Kyo, Aya and The Maples having been developed around the Ace Family run in the past few years, this gondola will be appreciated by many visitors for winters to come. The below image shows the course of the old Center 4 / the new gondola.

 

New Hirafu Gondola location

new hirafu gondola

Source: www.grand-hirafu.jp

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2024-25 BOOKINGS OPEN

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE!

(Limited Time Only)

 

Booking early is especially important for big groups and those looking to travel over peak dates as availability disappears fast.

 

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