Japan·January - February

Hokkaido Japow

Experience the best powder snow by sliding on Japanese volcanoes.

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Overview

Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido is considered by many to be the ski capital of Japan. With its massive powder dumps in Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Sapporo, and the renowned dry powder of central Hokkaido, there aren't too many places in this world which beat the lift accessed powder provided by this Japan's snow world! If there is one word that sums up central Hokkaido’s most important feature and it is this, uniqueness. Many places in the world and throughout Japan have great powder snow. What sets central Hokkaido apart from the pack though, is that the odds here favour deep, light, soft, powder snow. Powder snow is the norm here!

Highlights

What's Japow

What's Japow

JAPOW is an abbreviation for “Japan Powder.” To put it simply, it’s the iconic great powder of Japan. Fresh snow in Hokkaido is said to be of the finest quality. So fine, in fact, that skiers and snowboarders all over the world insist on riding JAPOW at least once in their lifetime. Featuring a lot of heavy snowfall, January is the ideal season to enjoy JAPOW. There’s even a term, “Japanuary,” that core riders use to describe the month.

Hokkaido

Hokkaido

Hokkaidō (Japanese: 北海道) lit. 'Northern Sea Circuit') is Japan's second largest island and comprises the largest and northernmost prefecture, making up its own region. The largest city on Hokkaidō is its capital, Sapporo, which is also its only ordinance-designated city. Although there were Japanese settlers who ruled the southern tip of the island since the 16th century, Hokkaido was considered foreign territory that was inhabited by the indigenous people of the island, known as the Ainu people.

Ainu people

Ainu people

The Ainu are the indigenous people of the lands surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk, including Hokkaido Island, Northeast Honshu Island, Sakhalin Island, the Kuril Islands, the Kamchatka Peninsula and Khabarovsk Krai, before the arrival of the Yamato Japanese and Russians. These regions are referred to as Ezo (蝦夷) in historical Japanese texts.

Hosts

Lorenzo

Lorenzo

Lorenzo is a certified IFMGA mountain guide, based at the Dolomites with tons of experience in mountaineering and adventurous trips in Europe and around the world. He has guided international groups of skiers in Japan, climbing mt. Yotei and several other incredible peaks.

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Schedule

This is the schedule for the trip to Japan! The program can change depending on the weather conditions and what you decide to do as a group with the guide. In the FAQs, you can find possible variations of the schedule.

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Day 1

Ready to go

This day will be the day that you will depart from your hometown to get to Tokyo! Your first stop by plane! 

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Day 2

Arrive in Niseko

After arriving at the international flight in Tokyo Narita, you'll need to take another domestic flight to Sapporo Chitose. From that, you'll be transfer to Niseko to start your trip!

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Day 3

Niseko off-piste

You will stay in the Niseko resort territory that offer largest amount of off-piste trails in Hokkaido!

You will be skiing in one of the world's top powder destinations! Go Go Go!

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Day 4

Up to Mount Yotei

Today you'll be reach the Mt. Yotei up to 1898 mt. It is a large volcano that offers a long and steep descent!

 (NB: to be tackled only in favorable weather conditions.)

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Day 5

Rankoshi

We set off towards Rankoshi, a 20-minute drive from our base. Here you have the possibility to ski awesome powder snow, and see natural hotsprings!

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Day 6

Mount Mekunnai

Mekunnai is a 1000m climb from the top of the chairlift of the ski resort nearby. The ascent is excellent for practicing inversions and the scenery is, as always, breathtaking, with plants bent by the wind and covered in snow that makes them look like sculptures. 

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Day 7

Rusutsu Resort

This day we go to Kokusai Ski Resort, nearby Sapporo, to spend the evening in town. Luckily we have the chance to visit the famous Sapporo Snow Festival!

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Day 10

Goodby Japan

Time to say goodbye to this beautiful land! You'll return to Chitose and board for your return flight. 

What's Included

What's Included

7 days of skiing

Van/Car rental

8 nights at the mountain lodge in Niseko

Pre-departure online meeting with the entire group

Certified Mountain Guide for the entire duration of the trip

Insurance

Flights

Restaurants and bars

Anything not detailed in the "What's included" section

Book

Trip Entry

Hokkaido, Japan

Welcome to the ski capital of Japan!

Niseko is the largest skiable resort in Japan: 58 lifts, 79 slopes, and elevation differences between 256 and 1156 m. The slopes mainly descend the eastern slope of Annapuri volcano, where there are 5 main zones: Moiwa, Niseko Village, Annapuri, Hirafu, Hanazono, all skiable with the same ski pass.
On the north side, it is possible to descend wild off-piste lines with arrival on the Moiwa - Hanazono road.

On average there are from 8 to 15 metres of powder snow. The mountains are not high, between 1200 and 2200 m, but you ski from altitudes as low as 300-400 m, often a short distance from the sea!
Welcome to the ski capital of Japan!

Hokkaido, Japan

Trip Tips

Ski Level

Ski Level

Due to the nature of this trip previous freeride or backcountry skiing experience is required, and it is essential that you are confident riding on black slopes. A good level of fitness is recommended.On the north side, it is possible to descend wild off-piste lines with arrival on the Moiwa - Hanazono road. On average there are from 8 to 15 metres of powder snow. The mountains are not high, between 1200 and 2200 m, but you ski from altitudes as low as 300-400 m, often a short distance from the sea! Welcome to the ski capital of Japan! At the end of the day, for those who wish, the legendary onsen and hot spring water pools in the best Japanese tradition are available on-site :)

Liability

Liability

Fjello selects local partners with the utmost care. For any inaccuracies, however, we can not accept any liability. Ski touring is a risky sport that takes place in nature. Ultimately, you are fully responsible for the choices you make. Fjello recommends that anyone who does not have sufficient knowledge and skills not go outdoor alone. All our trips include a local certified guide who will take care of your group. Enjoy your adventures safely with first-hand information from the locals.

Travel

Travel

Please DO NOT book your flights until this trip is confirmed. Most of our trips require a minimum number of participants to run. Wait for the status of the trip to be confirmed and for more information go to the "How it works" section

You'll Be Staying Here

Lodge or house in Niseko

Lodge or house in Niseko

Our base camp will be a lodge or a house in or around Niseko. Each day, depending on the weather and mountain conditions, we will choose to go on sealskin rides or freeride! At the end of the day, for those who wish, the legendary onsen and hot spring water pools in the best Japanese tradition are available on-site :)

Related Blog Posts

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Climbing and powder skiing on Japanese volcanoes: a travelogue

READ

FAQs

Yes.

Japan has a world-renowned health care system but as a traveler, you must pay for medical care in full at the time of treatment, or otherwise present irrefutable proof of your ability to pay. And unless you have a long-term visa for Japan, you won’t qualify for Japanese National Health Insurance.

For our trip to Japan we must make sure that you have the right insurance covering medical expenses associated with extreme sports and search and rescue expenses. You may already have some coverages, but we highly recommend to check them and in case proceed with the purchase of a new insurance.

👚Clothing

  • Underwear, wool

  • Socks

  • Midlayer

  • Insulated jacket

  • Shell jacket

  • Shell pant

  • Extra clothing

  • Hat

  • Gloves/mittens

  • Buff, thin

🎿Equipment

  • Beacon, Probe and Shovel

  • Day pack

  • Sunglasses & Ski goggles

  • Ski helmet

  • Ski boots

  • Skis and poles

  • Skins

  • Ski crampons

  • Head lamp

👟Footwear

  • Hiking shoes

  • Slippers

📸Casual/Other

  • Sunscreen/chapstick

  • Casual clothes

  • Swimwear

  • Thermos or thermal mug

  • Camera

  • Chargers and other electronic accessories

Dates

January 26 - February 2 2025

FROM$2940/pp

February 2 - 9 2025

FROM$2940/pp

Hokkaido Japow

Japan· January - February· 7 nights

FROM$2940/pp