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Hokkaido Japow
Hokkaido Japow

Fri, 03 Feb


Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido Japow

Experience the best powder snow by sliding on Japanese volcanoes.

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Time and location

03 Feb, 08:00 – 12 Feb, 19:30

Hokkaido, Japan

About the experience

Quick facts

  • Activities: ski touring and freeride skiing
  • Base camp: mountain lodge in Niseko
  • Where: Hokkaido (Niseko, Rusutsu, Sapporo)
  • Level: good skiers
  • Participants: from 4 to 6
  • Period: winter
  • Days: 10
  • Nights: 9
  • Skiing days: 7
  • Scheduled dates: 3-12 February 2023

Price: from 2.650€ per person

General presentation

Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido is considered by many to be the ski capital of Japan. With its massive powder dumps in Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Sapporo, and the renowned dry powder of central Hokkaido, there aren't too many places in this world which beat the lift accessed powder provided by Japan's snow world, Hokkaido. ​​

If there is one word that sums up central Hokkaido’s most important feature and it is this, consistency. Many places in the world and throughout Japan have great powder snow.  What sets central Hokkaido apart from the pack though, is that the odds here favour deep, light, soft, powder snow. Powder snow is the norm here.

On average there are from 8 to 15 metres of powder snow. The mountains are not high, between 1200 and 2200 m, but you ski from altitudes as low as 300-400 m, often a short distance from the sea.

The lines of descent run from the open spaces of the peaks to the birch forests.

There are several areas of interest for freeriding and ski mountaineering; we are going to ski mainly in the Sapporo Niseko area in the west of the island, which is exposed to sea disturbances from the west and therefore has large amounts of snow.

Niseko is the largest skiable resort in Japan: 58 lifts, 79 slopes, and elevation differences between 256 and 1156 m. The slopes mainly descend the eastern slope of Annapuri volcano, where there are 5 main zones: Moiwa, Niseko Village, Annapuri, Hirafu, Hanazono, all skiable with the same ski pass.

On the north side, it is possible to descend wild off-piste lines with arrival on the Moiwa - Hanazono road.

Our base camp will be a lodge in or around Niseko. Each day, also depending on the weather and mountain conditions, we will choose whether to go on sealskin rides or just freeride.

At the end of the day, for those who wish, the legendary onsen, hot spring water pools in the best Japanese tradition, are available on site.

For travel, we will use cars or vans rented at the Chitose airport.

Day-by-day programme:

  • Day 1: Departure from your hometown
  • Day 2: Arrival by international flight at Tokyo Narita. Domestic flight to Sapporo Chitose. Transfer by minivan to Niseko.
  • Days 3-4: Niseko is the resort offering the largest amount of off-piste trails in Hokkaido, and one of the world's top powder destinations. It was also among the first resorts to have modern and functional facilities, as well as offering all kinds of services.  Here we will do 1 or 2 days of ski mountaineering with partial use of the lifts plus a day dedicated to Mt. Yotei 1898 m, a large volcano that offers a long and steep descent, to be tackled only in favorable weather conditions.
  • Days 5-6: Tours to peaks on the 1300 to 1600 m elevation on the north coast between Otaru and Mashike. These are uncrowded elevations where beautiful virgin snow descents with ocean views are guaranteed.
  • Days 7-8-9: Tours to the most interesting peaks in the Daisetsu-san range, east of Furano, including Asahi-dake 2290 m, the highest elevation on the island. This area has several active volcanoes and offers beautiful open slopes, but the weather is often severe.
  • Day 10: Return to Chitose and board for return flight.

Variations or ski touring extensions

Endless variations to the program are possible, for example, visiting one or more of the following areas:

  • Skikotsu Lake, south of Sapporo, offers beautiful trips including Mt. Eniwa 1320 m;
  • southwest sector of the island (Oshima);
  • eastern sector: there are several mountains over 1000 m, but not many have ski interest; the most attractive targets are the volcanoes between Akan National Park and Shiretoko Hanto Peninsula;
  • Wakkanai Peninsula (northeast): there are peaks around 1,000 m, then in the far north the unique Rishiri Island with its namesake peak, a spectacular target offering steep lines of great interest;
  • the Hidaka Range, south of Furano, is very little visited in winter and has no lifts.

What is included

  • 7 days of skiing
  • 8 nights at the mountain lodge in Niseko
  • Certified Mountain Guide for the entire duration of the trip
  • Van/Car rental
  • Pre-departure online meeting with the entire group

What is excluded

  • Flights
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Anything not detailed in the "What's included" section

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