That’s A Wrap For Winter 2023/24

‘That’s it, pack ‘er up boys, we’ve shredded all the gnar. There’s nothing left to shred.’

As we all know, all good things must come to an end, and after another epic season in Japan, it’s time for Rhythm to close up for the winter season. 

Before you start freaking out about where you’ll get all your top-of-the-line mountain goods from over the coming few months, rest easy knowing that Rhythm Hirafu, Rhythm Furano and Rhythm Summit, Hakuba, will all reopen as of June 1st to kick off summer operation. 

Until then, we bid farewell, although in typical Rhythm fashion, instead of being upset at it all coming to a close, we’d rather celebrate how good the 2023/24 season was. 

So we decided to look back on the mammoth season that was 2023/24, reflecting on what made it great, the standout events, and the overall trends we noticed around the village over the past few months. 

Key Stats

Snowfall Information
Location Total Snowfall Days of Snowfall Most Snowfall in One Day Date of Most Snowfall Snowy Days in March, 2024
Niseko 12m 70cm January 7th 14
Hakuba 5.6m 61 35cm January 8th 15
Furano 6.1m 77 31cm December 15th 7

Trends

As one of Japan’s key retailers for high-end mountain outerwear, we noticed a few things being favourites amongst the steeze crowd, park rats and fashionistas this season. First of all – baggy is back in, well and truly back in. And we aren’t just talking about slim or straight fit pants – we’re talking Jared from the early 2000’s Subway commercial baggy fits. You know the ones– where he holds his pre-weight loss pants up to the camera and they are big enough for eight men to stand comfortably in one of the legs…that’s how big we’re talking… 4XL fits, oversized jackets, pants that bunch up by the ankles… it was truly baggy mania around the Japanese slopes this winter. 

Secondly, both Arc’teryx and Burton AK. While they are always highly sought after outerwear, they absolutely flew off the shelves in 2023, distinguishing themselves as clear favourites from the beginning of the season and maintaining their prevalence the whole way through. 

Lastly, black, black, black. Sure it’s timeless, there’s no denying that, but long gone are the days of colourful Neff, Picture and Foursquare outerwear, it was all about the sleek black techwear in 2023/24. 

Events

Yukimi Film Festival

After months of hype building around town, the inaugural Yukimi Film Festival saw the local Hakuba crew turning out in droves to support local creatives’ take on ‘the Hakuba experience.’ Beers were flowing, the BBQ was fired up, and so was the audience – with over 300 eager punters showing their support in the biggest celebration of art, creativity, and ‘the Hakuba experience’ that Rhythm Wadano has ever seen.

Yukiita

With the help of the ‘Make Yukiita’ crew, Rhythm’s debut Yukiita event saw the construction of a full-fledged terrain park out the back of Rhythm Hirafu, where riders of all ages could come out and try the unique sport of ‘no-boarding’ for free. With hundreds of eager punters trying out over the course of the two day event, and subsequently falling in love with the unique combination of snowboarding and skating, Yukiita left Niseko with hundreds of new converts to snow-skating. 

Niseko Shootout

A staple of the Niseko events calendar, the Niseko Shootout was back in 2024 and this time it was bigger than ever, taking over both the auditorium and outdoor garden at Hanazono’s Park Hyatt resort for a huge celebration of local Niseko filmmakers. A large-scale event, showcasing the creativity of Niseko photographers and videographers, the Shootout proved to be a massive talking point around the town, with many locals (both seasonal and year round) showcasing their hidden talents behind the lens in front of thousands of stoked spectators. 

Rhythm Rail Jam

After a 3 year hiatus, the Rhythm Rail Jam was finally back and we are still reeling from it.

50 of Niseko’s best riders turning out to deliver the most impressive selections from their bag of tricks in front of 2,000 spectators, how could we not be stoked?

After months of preparation organising performers, curating our riders list, and preparing the iconic Sunsports Land for a fully fledged park makeover, 2024’s Jam marked the biggest and best event in our Rail Jam history. From the assortment of local food trucks, to a variety of local performers such as dancers, taiko drummers and ninjas, there was something for everyone.

Mad Dog Jam

The term ‘send it’ is well and truly engrained in ski and snowboard culture, but nothing quite sums it up like Moiwa’s Mad Dog Jam. A competition without the competitive edge, Mad Dog saw Niseko locals coming together to send the biggest and most ludicrous tricks in their playbook, all with the intention of having fun. Some were hitting rails on kids boards, others were stomping kickers with only one foot strapped into their board, it was truly something that needed to be seen to be believed.

Banked Slalom

No matter what style of rider you are, you’ll always appreciate a solid carving technique, making Moiwa’s Banked Slalom event a huge day out for riders of all ages looking on to see local shredders showcasing their tight turning ability in a specially designed course. It may not have been the best day for punters to stand outside braving the elements, but that didn’t stop crowds turning up in bulk to support local riders.

big air off kicker

Chanmero Freeride

Being one of the main locations around the world to host the Freeride World Tour, it makes sense that Hakuba was also home to the Chanmero Freeride, where a curated collaction of Japan’s best free ride professionals came together to shred Hakuba’s extensive backcountry terrain.

Waku Waku Jam

Anyone who rides park in Hakuba knows that Jigatake is one of the valley’s best kept secrets. While 47, Tsugauike and Iwatake have the established reputation of hosting Hakuba’s biggest terrain park, Jigatake’s ‘Hike Up Park’ hosts a collection of kickers, waves, rails and boxes that riders of all skillsets can enjoy, making it the perfect place to host a high energy springtime event for Hakuba’s best park riders to come out and showcase their bag of tricks.

If you missed out on making it to Japan this winter season, it’s not too late to book a trip for this summer. Get out and enjoy the best mountain biking that Niseko, Hakuba and Furano have to offer this green season, you won’t regret it. We’ll fire up the BBQ’s and see you there on the 1st of June.

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