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Sapporo, Japan is an hour away
Intermediate through advanced
We skied in Japan as a family back in 2012, and we did the usual first-time-visit Niseko variation. We have quite a bit of skiing experience under our belt, but skiing in Japan was unlike anything else—it’s the closest you can get to surfing on snow. Since then, we’ve been dreaming of going back but with a little bit more planning. We even have a special pair of skis—the Pescado by Line—waiting in the garage for our next trip to Japan. Luckily, in the meantime, we became friends with two seasoned ski guides Rob and Pawel who have been guiding backcountry skiing in Japan for over two decades. They know all the secret spots to ski, eat and relax like a local. It’s going to be a trip to remember for the rest of our lives.
Thanks to Japan’s “ocean effect” we glide on fresh powder known for its dry and light texture on varied terrain
Taste local delicacies from one of the most popular cuisines in the world
After long days of touring, we will unwind in traditional Japanese bath houses—onsens
57Hours founder, Viktor, and his daughter have teamed up with ski guides Rob and Pawel who have more than two decades of expertise in navigating Japan's secret skiing spots to create a journey through the northernmost island of Japan. Over the course of 7 days, we will float on fresh powder, eat local food, and relax in bathhouses.
Your Japan ski trip itinerary starts off with a bang in Otaru! You’ll find fantastic terrain for all ski levels here, with easy sidecountry access, tons of secret pow stashes, and some of the best snow on Hokkaido. The soaring views of the sea and the city will serve as an epic backdrop. Spend your evening admiring Otaru’s traditional architecture, sampling the excellent local sushi (Otaru is a port city, after all), or hanging out at one of the local whiskey or sake bars. If you’re visiting in February, make sure to stop by the colorful Otaru Snow Light Path festival!
Your ski trip in Japan continues in Niseko, with graduated terrain perfect for leveling up your backcountry skills. Choose between mellow groomers, tougher non-groomed runs, or even 1,500-ft vertical lines in avalanche control areas! Once you’re off the slopes, why not pay a visit to a traditional hot spring, a.k.a. Onsen? The hot water is perfect for resting your ski muscles and recuperating for the days ahead!
The next stop on your Hokkaido ski trip is Asahikawa, the access point to the island’s tallest mountain and its finest advanced ski runs. You’ll shred perfectly light, dry powder here, with everything from wide-open slopes to fantastic treeline tracks. Ready to ski in the eroded crater of a Volcano? Asahikawa is Hokkaido’s second-largest city and the closest thing to Tokyo outside of Tokyo itself — there’s plenty to do in your free time. Visit the Onsens, stop by the Snow Museum, do some souvenir shopping, or try a regional delicacy, the soy-based noodle soup.
Spend the final three days of your Japan ski trip in Furano, renowned for its long runs, panoramic views of Hokkaido’s central ranges, and 8 meters of snowfall per season. The runs are steep and fast — you’ll really end your ski trip with a bang! Spend your final few evenings in Japan exploring Furano’s parks, gardens, and ancient stone houses! If you’re looking to taste some local specialties, pay a visit to the Furano Winery or the town’s famous Cheese Factory.
Rob is a AMGA/IFMGA guide who runs ski and climbing trips all over the world — from the Rockies to the Dolomites. We tour at least once a year with him because he always brings out the best in us wherever we go and whatever the objective. Rob is the owner of Vetta Mountain Guides, based out of Boulder, Colorado.
What you get in this adventure:
What’s not included:
While this skiing trip in Japan does require some experience with backcountry skiing in variable conditions, the difficulty scale isn’t that high. Most of the ski touring terrain in Japan is mellow, the slopes aren’t that steep, and the altitudes are pretty low.
You will be skiing in the 1300-1500 m (4,265-4,9230 ft) range, downing mostly intermediate runs with the occasional advanced pitch, and doing plenty of treeline skiing. You have to be comfortable with multiple hours of skinning, diving into deep powder, and navigating between trees to fully enjoy the terrain.
In order to join this backcountry skiing tour in Japan, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience.
Snow Safety Equipment — can be rented
Gear — can be rented
Ski rental locations are in Sapporo and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and prices:
A 15% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
To start this tour, most people fly into New Chitose Airport (CTS) 45 minutes from Sapporo, Japan. Your skiing guide will meet you at the airport upon your arrival in Japan and arrange your transportation to Otaru, the starting point of the tour.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Japan, please refer to Japan’s COVID-19 travel information.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!