Niseko Pension FULL NOTE | A Lodge Accommodation near Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

Niseko Full Note

Mr & Mrs Shimatani


About us

Built in 1982 by Hokkaido local and jazz musician Syouichi Shimatani (Tohsan), Full Note Pension was operated by Tohsan and his wife Kasan for 35 years, becoming one of the town's most well known and loved pensions (a Japanese-style bed and breakfast).

In 2016, Australian duo Paul Ellis and Ross McSwiney purchased the pension from Tohsan, and renovated the space over the Japanese summer. Sticking with the traditional style of the pension and still maintaining the historical significance of both the pension and Half Note — the adjoining jazz bar — the space has now been modernised into a fully equipped comfortable and stylish bed and breakfast.


Currently operated by live-in managers Yu Kondo and Tomoko Kamatsu (the new Tohsan & Kahsan), the pension has been updated but continues to operate with the gold class service Japan is known for. Clean, functional and situated at the heart of Niseko Village, Full Note is now one of Niseko's most popular places to stay all year-round.


Half Note, the original live music bar established by Toshi-san as part of Full Note, has undergone a total revitalisation and now includes a laid-back café style restaurant. Offering an impressive drinks menu, plus an experienced team, Full Note offers an in-house dining experience perfect for after a day on the slopes. The space is also available for events, and offers live music on weekends. 


Past Owners - Shoichi and Kazuko Shimatani

Shoichi Shimatani was born in Shimane prefecture and was raised in Tokyo. Shoichi, once a "salaryman", was relocated to Sapporo by the company he used to work for, and immediately fell in love with the breathtaking nature of Hokkaido. He later on decided to explore a new life in Hokkaido and moved to Niseko in 1982, where he had once visited with his loving wife Kazuko for their honeymoon.

Shoichi and Kazuko are one of the first people who started the lodging business in Niseko. "Back then there was no electricity, no water, with over 10 meters of snow to accumulate in the winter, we thought we came to the most isolated place on earth." he recalls.

Humble and big hearted, the couple is adored by everyone around here including their staff, the neighbors, and even the guests. They all call this caring couple "Mum" and "Dad".

"Opportunities to meet and connect with all these people. It is the most precious fortune."
Shoichi and Kazuko continue to help with the summer operation of Full Note and will often drop into Half Note for jam!

• Full Note Brothers (Article on