home-page-header-JIJ.jpg
home-page-header-JIJ.jpg

ski japan powder hokkaido


backcountry and resort ski locations in central Hokkaido.

SCROLL DOWN

ski japan powder hokkaido


backcountry and resort ski locations in central Hokkaido.

Ski Furano


ski Furano resort and backcountry

SCROLL DOWN

Ski Furano


ski Furano resort and backcountry

Ski Furano

The Furano ski resort lies at the very centre of Hokkaido and is reknowned for its long runs, magnificent views and the ever present Hokkaido powder, with falls of up to 8 metres per season on average. Furano resort has been the venue for world cup races with many of the world's great skiers having tested its steep and fast ski runs.

While not getting as much powder as Niseko, you'll find more sunny days and the colder temperatures give superb quality snow. When the powder is on, it is, quite simply, the best. Add to this the distinct lack of crowds and express lifts that take you to the top of 4.5km runs in a little over ten minutes and you have a recipe for leg burning skiing.

Amenities include banks, cafes, bars and restaurants. The resort and the town of Furano combined have about 100 eateries. You can also explore the winery and cheese factory. There is a modern ski school with group or private lessons as well as snow mobile and ski rides. The Master’s beer house & bakery, known as Yama no doxon is reknowned and is a must visit while skiing in Furano. The main town is a five minute taxi ride from the resort.

Ski hire & ski shops are based at the resort including our very own backcountry and resort hire near the base of the Kittanomne gondola, while in town there are a wider range of ski equipment at various shops. Our staff can assist with arranging any ski hire.

Cross country skiers have tracks cut for both classical and skating about 5 minutes walk from the resort. There are also ample areas for exploring by cross country skis in the vicinity of the resort.

Ski area lifts include the 6 person Kitanomine Gondola which goes 2.95km giving runs up to 4.5 km in length, the 100 person Furano Ropeway which covers 2.5km in 5 minutes! The central valleys have superb powder and the views of the central ranges of Hokkaido are spectacular. Furano is well known for it’s lack of crowds adding to your enjoyment of this former world cup resort. There are ample beginner/intermediate runs at the base of each side of the mountain, with the steeper and deeper runs up high.


Facts

x-c tracks: 2.5km

Approx snow depth: 1-1.7 metres

Back-country access: none

Off-piste policy: strict in some areas, but still has good access

Lifts: 2× gondolas, 2× quad chairs, 3× double chairs, 3× single chairs

Ski Kamui


backcountry and resort ski Kamui Hokkaido Japan.

SCROLL DOWN

Ski Kamui


backcountry and resort ski Kamui Hokkaido Japan.

Ski Kamui

Kamui Ski Links is about 20 minutes from the city of Asahikawa on Route 12, heading west towards Sapporo. The culture of Kamui is very laid back. This is a place for snow riders. The resort staff are friendly and open and the ropes are few and far between. There is excellent access to off piste and back country powder.

On top of this great access to powder snow, the on piste skiing is consistently good and steep. There are no flat run outs, long runs up to 3.5 kilometres and slope angles up to 32 degrees. The runs are also wide and well groomed with the morning corduroy being fast and consistent.

Although not at great altitude, with the summit only at 751 metres, the ski runs of this resort face west northwest and get very little direct sun. They are also open to the moisture laden winds which dump Hokkaido’s best snow.

The slope angles are consistently steeper than most other resorts in Hokkaido, with acres of tree glades inbound and some superb back of mountain runs.

Although the off piste runs are not long the skiing is excellent. The Kamui Ski Patrol is happy to encourage off piste skiing, but they do ask that you register with them prior to going out and check back in on your return. They are to be found at the resort centre near the car park.

The resort has a ski school and ski hire but no accommodation on the mountain.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: none

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 1.5-2.5 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: Very good

OFF-PISTE POLICY: Open

LIFTS: 1× GONDOLA, 4× DOUBLE CHAIRS

Ski Asahi Dake


Backcountry ski Asahi Dake Hokkaido Japan

SCROLL DOWN

Ski Asahi Dake


Backcountry ski Asahi Dake Hokkaido Japan

Ski Asahi Dake

The Asahi Dake area is an adventure skier's paradise. Asahi Dake village is at the base of Hokkaido's highest mountain, Mt. Asahi (2290 M). This area is famous for its access to the huge Daisetsusan National Park, its hot spring baths, extreme skiing and a powder snow season that can last three to four months. The area is serviced by a gondola that gives lift serviced access to unroped, untouched powder bowls that stretch as far as the eye can see. The terrain varies from steep and fast to gentle and drifting through the Silver Birch and Hokkaido Red Pine forests. The nightly top ups, when the northwesterly rolls over Hokkaido, are legendary.

Accommodation here is in a superb Lodge made of Douglas Fir with generous healthy meals and delightful hosts. Like many of our accommodations, you can relax in the in house natural hot spring baths after your day in the powder.

Cross Country, Telemarkers and Back Country skiers are in paradise here. 7.5 km of track cut for classic or skating, touring either above or below the tree line or telemarking the gondola serviced powder bowls.

Ski area lifts are limited to one 100 person gondola. There is no ski school and the skiing possibilities are limited only by your imagination.


skills: grading

Asahi Dake does cater for all levels of skier from beginner to intermediate. However, to ski the lift assisted powder runs and back country bowls you need to be of an intermediate to advanced level in your skiing.

Warning: Asahi Dake is serviced by one gondola only and does not offer resort facilities such as ski school or comprehensive ski hire. This gondola can close in bad weather and there are no ticket refunds in the event of closure. There are no shops here. During severe weather caution is required above the lift line due to white out, extreme cold and possible blizzard conditions.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: 7.5 km

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 3-4 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: Excellent

OFF-PISTE POLICY: OPEN

LIFTS: 1× GONDOLA, 4× DOUBLE CHAIRS

Backcountry ski Tokachi


Backcountry ski Japan Hokkaido Tokachi mountains.

SCROLL DOWN

Backcountry ski Tokachi


Backcountry ski Japan Hokkaido Tokachi mountains.

Backcountry Ski Tokachi

The Tokachi mountains are quite simply back country paradise. Everything that applies to Asahi Dake and Daisetsusan National Park in general also applies here. However, there are two marked differences between the two locations. Whereas Asahi Dake has a majority of more open rolling terrain with above the tree line skiing, Tokachi has steeper fingers of powder reaching down deep into the forest. The aspect is also different. Whereas a lot of the skiable terrain at Asahi Dake has a more southerly aspect, exposing the slopes to the sun, Tokachi faces the cold north, helping to maintain quality powder deep in the afforested valleys long after the snow has stopped falling.

Nothing comes close to the spectacular ridges and valleys of this volcanic range that faces northwest. Such runs as the 'Classic' and the 'Magic Forest' have to be skied to be believed. Like most places in central Hokkaido and particularly in Daisestsusan National Park, the frequency and consistency of the snow pack sets it head and shoulders above most other world ski destinations. Add to that classic mountain lodges whose views will take your breath away and you have all the ingredients for the trip of a lifetime.

The skiing is all done with climbing skins and either telemark equipment or alpine touring equipment. Downhill skis with attachments such as Alpine Trekkers will get you by but we recommend going beyond this to a true back country setup.

These mountains are for adventure skiers only, where you earn your turns in the classic mould of the world's great skiing destinations. Ski runs are accessed after typically 2-3 hour climbs. However, we have developed several runs where we use local transport for the return climb giving you some free powder hits.

Our unique experience of skiing and guiding in these mountains since 1981 is your key to a successful and safe holiday.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: NONE

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 3-4 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: Excellent

LIFTS: None


skills: grading

The nature of this ski area lends itself to intermediate to advanced skiers. Although there are some very basic valleys and routes where cross country skiers can enjoy this area in a relaxed manner, to venture into the higher ridges and valleys, some basic skiing skills are needed.

Warning: During severe weather caution is required in these mountains due to white out, extreme cold and possible blizzard conditions.

Backcountry Ski Sounkyo Kuro Dake &Kitami Pass


Backcountry Ski Japan at Sounkyo, Kuro Dake and Kitami Pass

SCROLL DOWN

Backcountry Ski Sounkyo Kuro Dake &Kitami Pass


Backcountry Ski Japan at Sounkyo, Kuro Dake and Kitami Pass

Ski Sounkyo & Kuro Dake

Sounkyo is a small village to the north east of Asahi Dake. It sits in a spectacular gorge surrounded by columnar basalt spires and the imposing peaks of Daisetsusan National Park. Prominent among these peaks is Kuro Dake (Black Mountain), which rises to 1984 M and is at the top of the ski area.

The village has a two month mid winter snow and ice festival that is one of Hokkaido's most famous winter attractions. As well as that the thermal waters of the valley provide hot spring baths for the many hotels and inns that are in or near the village. For skiers, this almost European style village offers a superb setting for some adventure skiing.

Although there are fewer lifts, the area collects the powder from the northwest as it blows over the highest mountains in Hokkaido providing superb quality snow. There is also excellent access for back country skiers to climb and ski Mt. Kuro Dake. Superb off piste powder and a liberal attitude to off piste skiing make this area one of Hokkaido's prime powder skiing destinations.

skills: grading

Sounkyo does cater for all levels of skier from beginner to intermediate. However, to ski the lift assisted powder runs and back country bowls you need to be of an intermediate to advanced level in your skiing.

Warning: Sounkyo is serviced by one gondola and one lift only and does not offer resort facilities such as ski school or comprehensive ski hire. The lifts, although not as exposed as Asahi Dake, can close in bad weather and there are no ticket refunds in the event of closure. During severe weather caution is required above the lift line due to white out, extreme cold and possible blizzard conditions.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: NONE

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 3-4 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: VERY GOOD

OFF-PISTE POLICY: OPEN

LIFTS: 1× GONDOLA, 1× DOUBLE CHAIR

ski Nukabira


SCROLL DOWN

ski Nukabira


Ski Nukabira

The village of Nukabira is an old style unassuming Japanese mountain town surrounded by jagged mountains and deep woods. It has been developed around the ever present hot springs and the wild beauty that surrounds it.

The village is set on the side of a hill and as you drive up the steep main street the Nukabira ski ground emerges from the forest to your right. Straining your neck up you can just make out the top of the runs, over 600 vertical metres above you. The relaxed village atmosphere encompasses the management of this Ski Jou. Here you will find a ski hill with minimal ropes, a common sense off piste policy and a welcoming smile.

There are 4 express lifts on the mountain, including one double and 3 quads. The longest run is 4.3 kilometres and this is a true 4.3 kilometres of skiing, no long flat zig zags to make the grade. This is a long steep ski hill. The angles on the 4.3 kilometre run are up to 33 degrees. There are 9 trails in total and 9.8 kilometres of skiing.

The altitude at the top of the lifts is 1280 metres, making this one of the highest lifted points in Hokkaido, apart from the Asahi Dake ropeway and the Sounkyo ropeway. The altitude at the base of the lifts is 570 metres giving 660 vertical metres of uncrowded skiing.

From a powder perspective, like all the ski grounds that are outside the influence of the northwesterly, this area has very cold and very dry snow conditions. When it is snowing it is superb light powder. Add to that the relaxed atmosphere regarding off piste skiing and you have a recipe for some some superb uncrowded skiing. The best conditions for powder are to be found on the top of the hill and due to the cold dry climate here, the snow pack stays dry for the winter. Temperatures do not rise above zero for months on end.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: NONE

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 0.8-1 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: VERY GOOD

OFF-PISTE POLICY: OPEN

LIFTS: 3× DOUBLE CHAIRS, 1× double chair

Ski Tomamu


Backcountry or lift skiing at Tomamu.

SCROLL DOWN

Ski Tomamu


Backcountry or lift skiing at Tomamu.

Ski Tomamu

The towers of Tomamu Alpha resort rise out of the central Hokkaido mountains like space ships. Tomamu is about 80 minutes drive from Furano and it is famous for having the highest skyscrapers north of Tokyo.

The towers are one thing that ensures Tomamu stands apart from the rest of the Hokkaido ski scene but Tomamu is more than just fancy buildings. This ski resort was built during the 1980's ski boom in Japan and has changed hands several times. Its setting is amidst some spectacular mountains and although not high in elevation, this area is extremely cold.

The area is well known for superb dry cold conditions. Here you will find great dry powder skiing. Although not continually topped up, it stays in good condition under blue bird skies making for some great on and off piste skiing.

On piste the top of the two mountains provide some intermmediate to advanced piste runs, as well as good access to off piste tree runs. The bottom of the mountain is a little flat and has a long run out.

One of the best features of Tomamu is the very skier freindly off-piste policy. Register with the ski patrol and sign a waiver and you receive a bib to wear while skiing to signify you are able to ski off piste. You are also provided, free of charge, with a helmet if you dont have one. Then the inbound tree runs are yours and they offer some superb skiing.

Backcountry access is also excellent and the surrounding area is one of only two in Japan that offer heliskiing. There is also cat skiing and cross country groomed trails.

The resort has all modern services including ski hire, ski school and many restaurants and shops.


Facts

X-C TRACKS: 5km groomed tracks

APPROX SNOW DEPTH: 1-1.8 METRES

BACK-COUNTRY ACCESS: VERY GOOD

OFF-PISTE POLICY: Very good

LIFTS: 1× gondola, 2× Quad chair, 5× double CHAIR, 2× single CHAIR,