NISEKO, Japan -- Once a little-known ski resort way off the beaten path in western Hokkaido, Niseko has blossomed into a favorite destination for well-heeled domestic and foreign travelers. The visitors have spawned a wave of creative entrepreneurs, who have transformed the sleepy town into a charming enclave of fine art galleries and top-shelf restaurants.
Shouya Grigg is one of them. Born in the U.K., Grigg long ago recognized Niseko's distinctive allure. In 2006, the enterprising Brit purchased a crumbling pension in the area and remodeled it into a restaurant that he christened Sekka Dining. The fine-dining establishment was a rarity in Niseko at the time, but helped spur Grigg into new endeavors.