HOKKAIDO

JAPAN

The mystical deep.

If you've heard about Japan's legendary powder skiing, Hokkaido is the place. This northern island receives a steady flow of Siberian storms, bringing a combination of heavy moisture and very cold temperatures. The result is a snow climate described as "arctic maritime", and some of the deepest snow on the planet.

OVERVIEW

The terrain and landscape of Hokkaido is unlike anywhere you've skied. Rimed white birch forests on the lower flanks of storm-obscured volcanoes provide wind protection for skiers, and preserved powder snow. Skin tracks start to disappear as quickly as we break trail; as do ski tracks. Cold days of powder skiing are warmed with onsen (hotsprings) and Japanese hospitality.

Our Pacific Alpine Guides program is ski touring focused. We spend the majority of our time in the backcountry, allowing us to truly maximize the untracked experience.

 

Hokkaido has become increasingly popular over the years, with massive development in the resort areas around Niseko. We prefer to avoid the crowded, touristy scene. In our opinion, Central Hokkaido is the place to be: fewer people, authentic Japanese culture, beautiful mountains, and super deep snow.

Over the years, guides Tyler Reid and Jake Beren have crafted and refined an itinerary that maximizes skiing and minimizes driving. Most accommodations are ski in/ski out, including incredible meals and beautiful onsen (hotsprings) all in the same facility.

 

ITINERARY

Day 1 — ARRIVE in FURANO

Furano is easily accessed from Hokkaido's main airports, Sapporo New Chitose (CTS) and Asahikawa (AKJ) by bus, train, or private transfer. See below for more info. Evening meeting / optional dinner in Furano.

Day 2 — SKI FURANO
Furano is a perfect place to begin the adventure, with a great ski area and excellent backcountry options. B

Day 3 — CENTRAL HOKKAIDO BACKCOUNTRY

Options include skiing at Sahoro, Tomamu, Kamui and in the Furano backcountry depending where the snow is best. Stay in Furano. B

Day 4 — CENTRAL HOKKAIDO BACKCOUNTRY

Ski Tokashidake, a land of excellent tree skiing and deep, deep snow. Here we stay in the mountains at a beautiful

lodge and onsen, enjoying traditional Japanese hospitality. B, D

Day 5 TOKASHIDAKE or ASAHIDAKE

More deep powder touring. Stay in Tokashidake or Asahidake. B, D

Day 6 DAISETSUZAN NATIONAL PARK

We stay at a hotel and onsen at the base of a tramway, on the lower flanks of the volcano Asahi, the highest mountain on the island of Hokkaido. A tramway offers quick access to excellent storm touring below the treeline. Stay in Asahidake. B, D

Day 7 — ASAHIDAKE ROPEWAY

Powder skiing. Stay in Asahidake. B, D

Day 8 — KAMUI or FURANO, return to FURANO

We ski a shorter day at Kamui or Furano, returning to Furano in the late afternoon for outbound transfers. We recommend staying in Furano or near the airport on this night. If you plan to fly home this evening, we advise booking your outbound departure from Sapporo New Chitose (CTS) for no earlier than 8pm.

 

1/1

See more images from this trip in our slideshow: The Depths of Hokkaido

JAHPAN
Two minutes of Hokkaido powder skiing
with Pacific Alpine Guides:
 

DETAILS

SEASON

January, often referred to as "Japanuary" is the best time to go. Storms are most consistent during this time and ski areas are less crowded.

QUALIFICATIONS

Previous ski touring experience, advanced downhill skiing ability, and excellent physical fitness is required for this program. It is particularly important that you are comfortable skiing in [deep] powder snow.

COST INCLUDES

  • 7 days of guided powder skiing

  • 7 nights lodging in Hokkaido (double occupancy)*

  • Breakfasts and dinners, as stated in the itinerary

  • Van transfers starting from our Furano hotel

  • Lift passes for ski area accessed backcountry days

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights to/from Japan, transfer to/from Furano

  • Lunch food, dinners in Furano, and Sake (alcohol)

  • Additional lift passes or activities outside of the itinerary

PRE-TRIP INFO

ARRIVAL + DEPARTURE

Fly into Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS) or Asahikawa (AKJ). New Chitose has more flight options from the US, but Asahikawa is closer to Furano. Either work well, however we recommend avoiding itineraries that require transferring airports in Tokyo (Narita to/from Haneda).

Most departures from the US require leaving a day early. Travel times from the US average from 14-24 hours depending on connections.

From New Chitose Airport, you can get to Furano by bus, train, or private transfer. Direct bus service service is offered by Hokkaido Resort Liner and is the most popular option. There are multiple buses each day, however seats must be reserved at least 7 days in advance.

From Asahikawa Airport, Furano Bus offers service every 4 hours.

Outbound flights from Hokkaido often arrive in the US on the same day as a result of crossing the international dateline.

GROUP SIZE

8 Skiers + 2 Guides

DATES

Jan 5-12, 2022

Jan 13-20, 2022

COST

$2950

Custom dates and itineraries are available for private groups. Inquire for more info.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

 
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