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Looking to freeride until you drop? On heaps of world-class powder for that matter? You’ve come to the right place—this 9-day trip is a collection of the best freeride skiing Hokkaido has to offer. We’ve covered miles upon miles of Hokkaido’s mountains, searched and checked out mindblowing runs and ridiculous amounts of snow, and we compiled them all into this unique adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan’s one-of-a-kind snow is already a good enough reason to visit, but don’t forget about the amazing cultural experience: we’ll dip in onsen hot baths after a long day, taste steaming ramens, and experience Japan’s après ski scene. We do have to warn you that JaPow is very addictive, and you’ll keep wanting to come back again and again.

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  • Authentic cultural experience

    We’ll relax our sore muscles in onsens, enjoy delicious food every day, and make the most of the glorious après ski scene

  • Tons of top-tier snow

    No better place in the world than Japan for deep powder and breathtaking runs through birch forests

  • Different areas and terrain

    We’ll go out to find for the most epic runs, mostly at low altitude, quite close to the sea, and in beautiful surroundings

Itinerary

When it comes to the quality of snow, Japan needs no introduction. The Land of the Rising Sun is where you’ll find some of the best snow in the world. Combine that with epic runs through huge amounts of snow, and you have the most epic trip imaginable. Every day we’ll go out and search for the best spots, including Niseko, Rusutsu, Teine, and much more. Logistics are all arranged for you—accommodation, transfers during the tour, daily guiding, and breakfasts… From the moment you land in Sapporo Airport, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Ready to experience the world-class JaPow?

  • Once you land at Sapporo Airport in Hokkaido, we’ll all meet up, hop into a van, and head off for Furano for the night. Get some rest for tomorrow, as that’s when we’ll go skiing!

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation near Furano

    Furano winter view
  • We’ll use these days to head off for one of the nearby ski areas, Furano, Kamui, Asahikawa or Asahidake, depending on the day’s conditions. We’ll ski at a good pace all day long and have a few short climbs with skins. Make sure to bring a swimsuit! Onsen, traditional Japanese hot baths, will be available—dipping in onsens and relaxing our muscles is the ideal ending to a day.

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation near Furano, onsens available

    Asahikade in Japan
  • After breakfast, we’ll head south. We’ll stop for the day in the Teine ski area and its great couloirs, as well as the fantastic seaview. In the late afternoon, we head over to Niseko. Our hotel is centrally located, so we’ll make the most of the bustling Niseko!

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation in Niseko, onsens available

    Japan powder skiing in Hokkaido
  • Once we fuel up for the day, we’ll go freeriding skiing in Niseko—there are numerous opportunities for all skill levels!

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation in Niseko, onsens available

    Snow field in Niseko, Japan
  • After breakfast, we’ll head off to the Rusutsu ski area for some freeride skiing with unparalleled opportunities. Again we’ll spend the night in Niseko, and if you wish, use the evening to go out and explore the city!

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation in Niseko, onsens available

    Rusutsu ski resort in Japan
  • Once we’ve had breakfast, let’s head out for our final day in Niseko ski resort. It’s a fantastic place full of great ski opportunities.

    Accommodation: Three-star accommodation in Chitose near the airport

    Lake Toya in Japan
  • All good things come to an end, and so does this freeride ski trip in Hokkaido! We’ll take you to the Sapporo Airport, but if you’d like to stay longer and explore the area, just ask us for some recommendations.

    Volcano in Hokkaido, Japan
  • Please note that this itinerary is an example of a freeride skiing trip in Hokkaido. The guide may adjust certain itineraries and ski areas according to weather and snow conditions as well as participants’ abilities. Accommodation may be changed as well, depending on logistics and availability.

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Meet your guide

Azimut Ski
5.00
Azimut Ski
Based in the Hautes-Alpes in France, Azimut Ski offers trips of a lifetime all around the world. Their passion, expertise, and knowledge of the terrain is unparalleled, and they lead various ski, cycling, and MTB trips. All guides are passionate about discovering new spots and exciting areas, they’re true experts who make sure that even when things don’t go as planned, that everything runs smoothly. Azimut Ski focuses on adventures with no stress, just good vibes and good times, with the participants’ safety as their top priority.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • Certified and expert mountain guides (and all their expenses)
      • 9-day freeride skiing adventure in Japan
      • Minibus transfers from/to Sapporo New Chitose domestic airport terminal
      • Accommodation for 8 nights in a hotel
      • All breakfasts
      • Safety & rescue equipment training/reviewing
      • Safety & rescue equipment sets (tracking device, shovel and probe) — let us know if you’re bringing your own

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Japan (Sapporo New Chitose Airport)
      • Ski lift fares (approximately $270)
      • Ski touring equipment — rental possible at an additional cost
      • Lunches and dinners
      • All drinks and personal expenses at the hotel
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Insurance for medical expenses, personal accident, third-party risks, rescue (helicopter), and cancellation — strongly recommended
      • Repatriation and research insurance — mandatory
  • Skill level
    In order to join freeride skiing in Japan, you should be at ease skiing in any type of snow. You will ski every day at a good pace. Slopes can include some short steep sections. Short climbs with skins are also to be expected, 45 minutes to 1 hour max per day. You will not be expected to have previous ski touring experience.

    Stamina level
    A good physical condition is expected, as you will skin approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour per day, and ski the entire day at a steady pace. On powder days, you’ll just trace in the powder, no skinning on those days.

    Keep in mind that this trip takes place in remote areas and rescue services may be slow and oftentimes less well organized. So keep cool and take it easy to fully enjoy the trip!

    If you don’t have the level required, the guide may ask you to leave for the well-being of the rest of the group if necessary. If you’re not sure whether you’re fit enough, please contact us.

  • Skiing equipment

      • Fat freeride skis (a minimum waist width of 105 mm) with appropriate bindings, ski skins, ski poles and ski boots — can be rented
      • A 30 liter backpack (avalanche airbag backpacks are highly recommended. They help to stay on the surface in case of an avalanche and minimize the risk of burial)
      • Avalanche kit: transceiver, shovel and probe — can be rented
      • Helmet — can be rented

    Headwear

      • Warm hat or buff / scarf
      • Ski goggles (2 pairs) and sunglasses (UV factory 4 protective lenses, photochromic glasses adapt to light intensity and are very useful)
      • Helmet (highly recommended)

    Bodywear

      • Under layer — breathable long-sleeved tops to maintain heat, merino wool is breathable and has antibacterial properties and is therefore less likely to smell as opposed to synthetic fabrics
      • Middle layer — a light polar or synthetic jacket for an extra layer of heat during breaks
      • Outer layer — a Gore-tex or similar type of jacket with a breathable waterproof membrane, make sure it’s lightweight and compact so it doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack
      • Bottom layer — trousers with a breathable waterproof membrane (Gore Tex or similar) with long side zips allowing air to flow, recommended on climbs
      • Hands — light fleece or soft shell gloves, a pair of silk glove liners to go underneath, warm gloves with a breathable and waterproof membrane (mittens are always a good idea for really cold days or for those who feel the cold)
      • Swimming gear — it takes up such little space, it would be a shame not to bring it just in case (avoid swimming shorts or bermudas, they are not usually allowed)

    Footwear

      • Ski socks — merino wool socks are breathable and have antibacterial properties and are less likely to smell as opposed to those made of synthetic fabrics
      • Slippers or Crocs recommended for evening wear

    Personal items

      • 1-liter flask
      • Pocket knife
      • Duct tape
      • Sunscreen (50+ SPF)
      • Duffle bag holding up to 110 liters to leave at the hotel or in the vehicle, no suitcases
      • Personal toiletries
      • First aid kit
  • Indeed you can! If you don’t have adequate equipment for the trip, travel right—your guides can equip you with required gear. It’s relatively new, of good quality, and adapted to the type of trip.

    You can rent a ski package, containing skis, skins, and poles upon checkout.

  • You’ll stay at 3-star or similar hotels, with breakfast included, double rooms to be shared, private toilets and bathroom, bed linen and towels provided. Depending on the group size, triple rooms can be used.

    Single supplement is possible upon request and according to availability. Please let us know if you’re interested upon booking, but keep in mind that single rooms are relatively expensive in Japan.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this freeride skiing adventure in Japan, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • The usual group size is between 4 to 6 participants.

    Freeride skiing in Japan can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • To get to your freeride skiing adventure in Japan, fly into Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS) in Hokkaido. You’ll most likely have a connection in Tokyo, so make sure that the transfer between the international and the domestic flights takes place at the same airport (Haneda or Narita).

    Once you get to Sapporo Airport, you’ll meet up with your guide, hop into a van, and head off for Furano for the night.

    Hold off on buying the flights until your departure is confirmed and guaranteed!

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Talk with us
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