Whilst a way away from Wimbledon, there's certainly no reason not to get in to tennis here in Niseko this summer.
We spoke to Niseko-based tennis coach George Perry, about this popular summer pastime.
What is it that makes tennis in Niseko so fantastic?
Having grown up playing tennis in London, I was used to playing tennis with the sound of cars beeping their horns, trains whizzing by and aeroplanes roaring over my head.
Niseko is the complete opposite.
In Niseko you play with Yotei in the background, perfect temperatures and very little distraction (although the crickets can be a bit noisy sometimes!).
I think this is what makes tennis here so special, it's certainly different to elsewhere in the world.
Is tennis a growing sport in Niseko and in Japan more generally?
Without a doubt, this is a great period for Japanese tennis.
Naomi Osaka is a two-time grand-slam winner who's mother is from Hokkaido! And Kei Nishikori is ranked 7th in the world on the men's side.
If you go around the local tennis courts on a weekend you will notice lots of people who get together for a social game, inspired by these two stars of Japanese sport. That’s the great thing about tennis in Japan. It’s a very social sport and is always played in good spirit.
Tell us a bit about your background in tennis
I have been playing tennis since I was five years old. At school I was a ranked LTA player and played first team tennis. After leaving school I carried on playing tennis at university. Whilst at university I worked as a part time tennis coach for 4 years, coaching both adults and children.
I also took part in a sports leadership program for UK Sport in Arusha, Tanzania. This was an amazing learning experience for me as a coach. I was put in charge of the kids tennis programme for 2 months and the trip ended with us taking the kids to an international tournament (East Africa Cup).
What can people expect from a tennis lesson with you?
When coaching kids, I follow the LTA kids program and use specialised equipment for kids of different ages.
The equipment allows kids to play in a small space by using mini nets and larger red balls which help slow the game down by decreasing the speed and bounce compared to a normal yellow ball. This gives kids a great platform to learn more about tennis and develop their skills. My main aim for the kids is to make sure they are enjoying tennis and learning through playing fun games and getting involved in every aspect of the lesson.
The games and drills I teach are designed to help kids develop their Agility, Balance and Coordination (ABC’s), as well as their tennis skills.
I tailor adult lessons to the individual using the many different tennis drills and games I've learnt and developed over the years. I always ask students what they would like to improve and then I design a session to meet that request.
I have taught many beginners who just want to be at a standard that allows them to play a social game of tennis as well as having taught intermediate/advanced players to improve their match play skills in competitive rallies.
When, where and how?
Lessons start from ¥5000 plus court fee for a 1 Hour lesson (up to 3 people) and can take place anywhere in the greater Niseko region. George supplies all of the equipment for the lesson, offers a 10-lesson package deal and can arrange pick-up and drop-off for an additional cost.
To enquire or book a tennis lesson this summer, simply send an email!
Local rock climbers chase the torrents of Hokkaido water that the summer heat unlocks. Check out the video here.