#NiseCREW: Raymond Gutierrez in Niseko, Japan

He’s the Philippines‘ very own ‘it’ boy, part of the coolest barkada in town and our fitness inspiration! You may have seen snaps from the #NiseCREW last winter in Niseko and some behind the scenes vlog action from Erwan Heusaff. Read on as we managed to track the man of the hour down to share his side of travels with us.

Read this too: It Girl: How to Travel (in Style) Like Georgina Wilson

First things first… skiing or snowboarding?
Niseko served as the backdrop for my first skiing lesson. I still have a lot to learn but hopefully, I will get an opportunity to try snowboarding next season.

How did you find out about Niseko and why did you want to go there?
Instagram! It looked magical and I knew I had to make a trip.

Did you get to do any shopping while you were in Niseko? If so, what stores would you recommend?
I had to buy some last minute snow gear at Rhythm Niseko. I would definitely recommend that shop, it has a wide selection to suit all needs.

What would you recommend packing for a trip to Niseko?
Thermal underwear! Layering becomes an art form when dressing for winter in Niseko.

What were your favourite bars and restaurants in Niseko?
I loved the the vibe at Bar Gyu+ also known as the Fridge Door Bar and I suggest getting there as early as you can. It gets really busy at night and you would not enjoy it if you had to wait outside in the freezing cold.

With @jesswilson
From left to right: @jesswilson, @mond, @ilovegeorgina, @isabelledaza, @annecurtissmith

What are your top things to do in Niseko?

  1. Try skiing lessons with GoSnow in Grand Hirafu. It was a great experience and the teachers are really patient with beginners like me.
  2. Niseko is known as a foodie town so make sure to try as many restaurants as you can. It has the freshest sashimi and seafood.
  3. Don’t count your calories here as the Japanese soft serve ice cream is a must on your skiing trip.
  4. Be adventurous and rent their snowmobiles. You and your friends will be guaranteed a good time!

Any tips for first-time skiers going to Niseko?
Be patient and know that skiing doesn’t come easily the first time round. Just have fun and enjoy the ride and of course, take lots of photos to remember those crazy times!

The onsen at Ki Niseko

How was Ki Niseko and what did you love about your suite?
The best thing about Ki Niseko was the location. It’s right next to Grand Hirafu if you want to hit the slopes and also a short walk away from all the shops and restaurants. My suite had an awesome view of the mountains and the Onsen was an elevator ride away.

What’s on your travel playlist?
It really depends on my mood but I’m currently listening to the album of SZA.

Where are you travelling to next?
I’m back in the tropics and hitting Bali next!

Let’s make plans.

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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