Starting in the Niseko area, spend four days skiing some of the area’s dormant and not so dormant volcanoes. Then travel inland to Japan’s largest national park and ski the highest volcanoes in Hokkaido.
On 3 nights you will stay in a traditional hot spring lodge in the mountains and experience the Japanese culture of hot-spring bathing and staying in rooms with tatami flooring and futon bedding.
This will be a truly memorable Japanese backcountry ski journey and one we hope you can join us on.
Niseko region is in the west of Hokkaido and is renowned for huge accumulations of snow and for exceptional tree skiing. The Daisetsuzan National Park is in Central Hokkaido and contains the highest peaks in Hokkaido.
Backcountry focus trip. Up to 1,200 meter vertical ascent days with 2 days of lift accessed backcountry.
Terrain and Snow
Expect to be skiing alpine and tree skiing terrain. Low humidity levels produce some of the lightest consistency powder in the world.
From Sapporo’s Chitose Airport you will travel to Niseko. Transfer to Niseko, the powder skiing capital of Japan. Check in to your hotel and enjoy a hot spring before dinner.
Twenty minutes drive from Niseko, on the backside of Niseko Resort are the mountains of Chisenupuri and Nitonupuri. The area is known for its bubbling volcanic pools and sulphurous thermal springs. Our day starts by catching an early morning cat to 800 m before skinning to the peak at 1,134 m. A descent takes us to Nitonupuri and then another descent, before looping back to the mountain base and the bubbling ponds. We finish the day soaking in the hot springs.
Niseko regions oldest onsen area is located along the Annupuri Range and thirty minutes drive from Niseko. From here we have access to a number of circuit options. The snow quality is always superb, and the views out to the ocean on a clear day are stunning.
Ski Mt Yotei, the ‘Fuji San of Hokkaido.’ It is a huge cone shaped mountain that rises from just above sea level to 1,898 meters and is 9th on the list of ‘Hyakumeizan,’ or Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. If we are lucky and have a fine day you will be able to ski in to the crater before descending the other side of the volcano. Finish the day in an outdoor spring with views of your ascent route.
The last day in the Niseko region, we will traverse along the Annupuri Range to the Sea of Japan coast. There are magnificent views of the ocean along the way. You will be staying in a traditional hot spring ryokan hotel for the night. Upon your arrival sink in to the hot spring before enjoying a traditional 'kaiseki' dinner and sampling some of the freshly caught local sashimi.
You will travel to Daisetsuzan National Park for the next three days. On the journey we will stop at Nikka Whiskey Distillery and then the port town of Otaru for a sushi lunch. For the next three nights you will stay in a hot springs hotel in the heart of the Daisetsuzan mountains. This area is sometimes referred to as ‘Playground of the Gods,’ and you are surrounded by Hokkaido's highest mountains and volcanoes.
Ski the live volcano of Mt Tokachi. Peer in to the crater before skiing one of the gully runs feeding from the summit. We will typically ascend another aspect on the cone shape mountain for another run, before finishing in an outdoor hot spring with views of our lines. The day will finish with a soak in a forest hot spring which is reputed to have healing qualities.
Our last day we travel to the third of our volcanoes which is Asahidake. The is the largest mountain in Hokkaido. On clear days you can see plumes of white smoke billowing from its many vents. If we have good weather, we will ski from the roof of Hokkaido. In case of bad visibility, we will ride the ropeway from treeline through the old growth spruce forests.
Transfer in to the valley where we will be tree skiing in the lower ranges accessed via snowmobile. The last day you will ski the highest mountain in our backcountry terrain. This has one of the longest verticals in Hokkaido which is around 1,500 meters from the peak. Even if we don't make it to the summit, there is some amazing tree skiing at the lower elevations. We celebrate the last night at a local traditional restaurant.
Farewell and airport transfer.