It the resort of Niseko Chinese visitors used to take a simple view of après-ski: head to the nearest izakaya and scoff as much Hokkaido crab as possible. Nowadays, after the last run of the day, they go to the nearest estate agent.
The Chinese who come to this resort generally have money, are hungry for luxury and find a Japan that, increasingly, is for sale at knockdown prices. At the moment the Chinese are buying small-scale property, a small firm perhaps, or a few retail outlets.
To the delight of the wealthy skiers who come to Niseko from Hong Kong, Shenzhen or Dalian, lodges below Asia’s best ski slopes are not only surprisingly affordable, but sit next to lovely golf courses after the snow melts. Which is why, to the dismay of some Japanese, Chinese companies have also recently bought two of Japan’s leading makers of ski-wear and golf clubs. Both targets, Phenix and Honma Golf, fell to the Chinese after running into financial difficulty.
Times Online recounted who In an outraged article on the subject, Japan’s widely read Sapio magazine despaired across several pages. “Why were there Chinese new year decorations outside the stores?” it wailed. “This is Akihabara, not China.”