When Zekkei Properties first visited Niseko, we saw the potential to embrace the unique setting and push architectural bounds to redefine luxury living in the area. We immediately purchased two plots of land in Hirafu village, the centre of the Niseko ski area. We sensed that the sleepy village of old houses and pensions would attract more visitors from Asia and the rest of the world if only it improved its accommodation offerings.
That potential proved to be a genuine demand for luxury properties that inspire through their design and esteemed natural setting and led us to develop the largest ski house in the village of Niseko. The six-bedroom, six en-suite bedroom chalet, which we named Zekkei, “the ultimate view”, enjoys an unobstructed outlook of magnificent Mt. Yotei and a picturesque rice field.
Chalet Zekkei, the first home with an eco-friendly geothermal system to heat the house, roof and driveway, remained one of Niseko’s most significant and best-known ski houses for many years. It became the definition of luxury – a state of great comfort and elegance, with some neighbours thinking it was an extravagance in this little village. In truth, the property was a turning point for others to follow. It inspired, and many use it as a checkpoint before designing their own ski homes.
We invited Japan’s world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma to masterplan our project, Elevation, Upper Hirafu’s first gated estate. Some of Niseko’s finest homes are now located in this forest enclave, where owners appreciate the masterplan’s design control that ensures the value of the neighbourhood, respecting each other’s privacy and protecting their views.
We began developing Hirafu’s first private onsen estate – Intuition, which comprised ten villa sites and a 5,000 sqm luxury condominium hotel with Niseko’s first six-bedroom penthouse, including its own outdoor onsen. We believe it’s a true “Zekkei” penthouse, enjoying 270 degrees of unobstructed views of Yotei, Hirafu village and Annupuri ski hills.
We started investing in the Furano region, becoming the first mover in central Hokkaido. We completed and successfully sold out Fenix Furano, Furano’s first luxury condominium project within months of the sales launch in Kitonomine village in 2020.
The Furano property has become one of the fastest-growing markets in Japan. In 2022 we completed Fenix West, the phase two development of the Fenix brand and launched Intuition Furano, the sister estate project of Intuition Niseko, at the top location right by the Kitanomine ski runs.
This year we are excited to announce the first branded residence in Niseko’s populous Hirafu village, a 15,000 square-meter condominium hotel, to be operated by Hoshino Resort, Japan’s prominent hotel operator, under its flagship brand Hoshinoya. This is also the Hoshino group’s first branded residence under management.