Evolving into One of Japan’s Preeminent International Resorts
The town of Kutchan, located a two-and-a-half hour drive from New Chitose Airport, is one of Japan’s top ski resorts. Kutchan has become internationally recognized for its high-quality powder snow and scenic landscapes, and the number of foreign tourists has risen dramatically over the past 20 years. Luxury condominiums are being built in rapid succession thanks to foreign direct investment, transforming the town into an international resort.
Kutchan supports the development of luxury condominiums and hotels, while enforcing strict environmental standards.
Kutchan Mayor Eiji Nishie explains, “In order to prevent disorderly development, we take the landscape into account in our planning, for example by restricting the height of buildings to that of local trees. This has benefitted our town’s reputation overseas and attracted more foreign investment.”
The town has worked hard to make life easier for non-Japanese visitors, including by providing foreign language services at its general hospital. Since tourism is a highly seasonal industry, Kutchan has also implemented measures to attract conventions during the off-season and become an all-year resort.
“The entire town has made great efforts to become even more hospitable towards our guests, putting up additional guidance signs and enhancing Wi-Fi coverage. We’ll be able to treat everyone to a stress-free stay for the upcoming G20 ministerial meeting, and we hope to make the meeting an opportunity for all participants, including ministers, to share examples of their own difficulties and successes in promoting tourism,” says Mayor Nishie.
Mayor of Kutchan
Born in Hokkaido in 1963. Became mayor in 2015, after serving as Kutchan’s Construction Section Manager and in other positions.
* Interview of former Mayor Nishie recorded in April 2018
Information & Access
|Population||:||15,343 (as of September, 2017)|
|Access by Air||:||Tokyo (100 min.), Seoul (165 min.), Shanghai (3 hrs. 15 min.), Hong Kong (4 hrs. 35 min.), Bangkok (6 hrs. 25 min.), Singapore (7 hrs. 25 min.), Honolulu (9 hrs. 30 min.)
*Flight time to New Chitose Airport
|Access by Train||:||Sapporo (150 min.)|
The Town of Kutchan
3-3, Kita-1-johigashi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0001, JAPAN