Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Hokkaido Japan 2023
Location - Japan
January 29, 2023 - February 4, 2023 February 5, 2023 - February 11, 2023
Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Hokkaido Japan
Join us in Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island!! We’ll base out of two boutique lodges in the rural interior. Wake up to delicious Japanese breakfasts, hop in the van to backcountry zones near Furano and Asahikawa. Enjoy a deep snowpack and lots of powder. After skiing and riding, we’ll stop at an onsen (hot springs) on the way back to our lodge, followed by delicious Japanese dinners. Repeat!
Our powder adventure is curated to our small group. Our experienced Japanese guide knows where to find the best snow, angles, aspects, and secret stashes in each microclimate. Our terrain options are near Furano, Tokachidaki, and Asahikawa. Explore ridge lines, birch tree skiing and open bowls.
The powder is deep and consistent in Hokkaido! If you love skiing powder, please join us!!
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Activity Level: Moderate
Required Skill Level: Must love skiing powder downhill! You must also be able to hike several miles, at elevations above 3000ft, and can spend time outside in cold, inclement weather. We can teach uphill travel techniques on the trip, but it’s best to have at least 5 days of backcountry skiing experience on your gear. To accelerate the learning curve, take a Beginner Backcountry Tour in CO, CA, or NH so you know that your gear fits and works well!
Japan Trip Details
(Day before the trip starts.) Fly to Asahikawa (AKJ), Hokkaido, Japan.
Meet in the Chitose Air Terminal Hotel. Our adventure starts with a shuttle to Furano. This afternoon we’ll take our skis for a spin at the resort to stretch our legs, breathe cold mountain air, get to know each other, and refresh our beacon skills.
Ski backcountry zones near Furano. Enjoy true hike-to backcountry ski runs. Each day our experienced, professional guides will study the details of the weather reports and local micro-climate knowledge to take us to the best snow available, and we’ll enjoy magical, off-the-radar powder stashes. Hit the onsen, beautifully maintained hot springs for a rejuvenating soak. Stay in a family-owned lodge made of handcrafted cedar, with gourmet Japanese style breakfasts and dinners.
Asahikawa! Today we’ll move to a new lodge in a different area, a few hours north. Each day we’ll take our vans to the most optimal backcountry trailheads based on snow conditions and microclimates. Enjoy terrific tree skiing and over 14 meters of snow each season!
Departure day. Shuttle back to the Sapporo/Chitose airport. Plan your return flight for the afternoon, or stay and explore more of Japan. If you have an extra day or two in Sapporo before or after the trip, discover the world famous Snow and Ice Festival! (Feb 4-11, 2021)
What to Expect
- 6 nights Lodging at unique, off the beaten path Japanese guest houses
- 6 Breakfasts and 6 dinners
- 6 days guided backcountry skiing
- Van transportation to/from airport and to/from our trailheads
- Professional, certified, and very experienced ski guide
- Onsen visits (hot springs!)
- Camaraderie and fun in a supportive environment
- Gratuities for your Guide
- Lunches (we stop at stores each day for people to pick out their own lunches & snacks)
Gear Needed for Backcountry Skiing & Riding
- Backcountry skis or splitboard, ski poles, backcountry ski boots, climbing skins
- We recommend powder skis (100mm-130mm underfoot) I like DPS wailer 112s
- Avalanche beacon, probe, shovel
- Backcountry backpack
- Warm outerwear, ski gear, and warm layers for spending all day outdoors in various weather conditions. It can be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Towel for the Onsen!
Backcountry Skiing in Japan
Backcountry Babes has been going to Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island, for the past 4 winters because it consistently offers cold powder days atop a deep snowpack. We’ll base out of two boutique lodges in the rural interior, and drive to backcountry zones near Furano and Asahikawa. Enjoy local hospitality and excellent dinners and breakfasts at our lodges.
Our powder adventure is curated to our small group. Different microclimates create big changes in weather and snowfall totals, and our experienced Japanese guide knows where to find the best snow, angles, aspects, and secret stashes for each day’s snowfall. We’ll drive from our lodges to the best zone for the day to backcountry ski or splitboard. Our terrain options are near Furano, Tokachidaki, and Asahikawa. Explore ridge lines, birch tree skiing and open bowls, depending on conditions.
At night, we’ll enjoy wild and developed onsens (hot springs) to rest our satisfied legs.
(Powder skiing is consistent in Hokkaido, Japan in midwinter. If you’ve heard of an “off-year” in Japan, chances are they were talking about mainland Japan, which is 500 miles to the south.)
Getting to Japan’s Powder
FLY: Asahikawa (AKJ), Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. (Airfare not included in trip price)
“Our trip to Japan was phenomenal! As the location becomes more exotic, it becomes more important to have a guide who knows the area and knows where to find the goodness; Check. Combined with fantastic organization and a small group, we spent all of our time in the enjoyment zone. Kudos to Emily for getting all the elements just right, and creating a lifetime memory.”Casey S.Sante Fe, NM
“I can’t even describe the emotions I feel thinking back to the two backcounty ski hut trips I’ve done in Canada with Backcountry Babes. It’s a lot of “Oh my god that was fun!”, but it was also such a confidence builder. I feel like I can hang, I’m a badass, and now I know all these incredible women that I can use as role models.”Amy H,Canada Hut Trip
“This trip was one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences I’ve ever had. Great women, fantastic guides, way too much food, and AMAZING skiing! As soon as I got home I was already signed up for next year’s trip.”Lauren S.Canada Hut Trip