In 2011 I've visited Japan for the first time and fall in love with the nature and snowy mountains of Hokkaido. It looks very similar to my homeland Kamchatka, though not so wild, with easy access to lots of interesting powder spots and mineral hot springs. And since then I was visiting this amazing place almost each winter, enjoying great skiing and boarding, fantastic food and interesting culture of Japan.
With a 4x4 minivan we are quite flexible with the itinerary. In all places we stay, we have several options of where to go and what to ski. Combining my experience from the past years of backcountry skiing in Hokkaido and information from my local friends (one of the most experienced ski guides in Hokkaido) we can choose the best possible powderskiing spots every day.
But of course, the trip would not be so amazing without other aspects of Japanese life. The greatest apres-ski pleasure is relaxing thermal springs – onsens. Another pleasant part is Japanese food. Fresh seafood, traditional dishes of Hokkaido, famous Ramen noodles and other gastronomic discoveries. And don’t forget about sake and local beer! Not only skiing and apres-ski are interesting in Japan, but also its unique ancient culture, which is worth seeing at least once in the life.
I also run skitouring programs on Honshu, main Japanese island, mainly in central part (Hakuba, Myoko) but also on the north of Honshu. Please, contact me to get more information.
We start with Niseko, powderskiing capital of Hokkaido, skitouring on Yotei volcano and around Annupuri mount. Then we move towards Daisetsuzan National Park, where we ski in Tokachidake, Furano, Asahidake and some other destinations of northern Hokkaido.
Day 1, Sunday - arrival to Sapporo. Most of the flights (connected with flights from Europe) arrive late afternoon. Ride to Niseko.
Days 2-3: skiing and skitouring in Niseko
Day 3 evening: ride to Tokachidake
Days 4-5: skitouring in Tokachidake
Day 6: skitouring in Tokachidake, afternoon transfer to Furano
Days 7-8: skiing in Furano, Tomamu or other destinations, depending on snow conditions
Day 9: afternoon transfer to Sapporo
Day 10: departure from Sapporo
The schedule may be slightly changed. As soon as the group is formed, I'll check all possible accommodations and give you precise schedule.
For most of the transportation we will use van such as Toyota Alphard or similar, which has enough place for 6 people and luggage. Skis travelling on the roof. I have 20+ years of regular driving by winter roads and I am familiar with left-hand traffic.
January 31 - February 09
Max. 5 persons per group
Price: 2650 EUR per person
Price may slightly vary depends on accommodation type and will be confirmed upon booking.
- 8 days of skitouring and guiding.
- Accommodation, 7 nights (chalet or ryokan, TWIN)
- Accommodation in Sapporo, 1 night (***, TWIN).
- Half-board in Tokachidake.
- Group transfers on 4WD minivan, from Sapporo airport to Sapporo city.
- Fuel and road toll expenses.
- International and domestic airfares
- Transfer Sapporo - airport, on the last day.
- Personal insurance
- Intermediate or higher level of skiing in any snow conditions.
- Healthy and in good physical shape.
- At least 15 days ski-tour/backcountry skiing experience.
Accommodation in hotels, chalets and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns with onsen). Hotels 3*, chalets - both traditional Japanese style, and modern. The standard chalet configuration is a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, few bathrooms. Single room accommodation available for extra surcharge.
Basic plan is skitouring. But if we can get a powder day skiing from lifts - why not? Usual skitouring day is about 1200 vertical meters, but may vary depends on group abilities, weather and other factors.
Meals and apres-ski
Japanese cuisine needs no advertising. Fresh seafood and traditional dishes, local beer and sake. When we stay in towns, visiting local bars is worth to do. In Sapporo, there are many things to do and to see, including museums, shops, Sapporo Beer Factory and Sapporo Snow Festival (Feb 4-11).
Japan offers a visa-free policy for most nationalities. Anyway, check visa requirements for you citizenship.
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