Here are some informations about, ski touring, mountain and travel strategy in Hokkaido (Japan)
Objectif: The Famous Japan powder!
In order to maximize our chance to find it, we chose to rent a camper van , so we could do some ski tour, when the weather would be good and some freeride when the weather would be bad...
In theory, it does looks like a good idea but we had some troubles with the van. Once the heater doesn't work, once the engin froze... so we ended sleeping in some lodges.
Now that we tried it, I would advice to rent a car and to book some lodges!
A good strategy, could be to stay 4 day in Niseko area and 4 days in Furano Area. Both areas are good for ski touring and off piste skiing.
Maps: It's hard to find any good maps so we used Mountainhub and Alpinquest on the phones.
Things to do in Niseko area:
- Off piste in Niseko and Rusutsu.
- Mont Eniwa: It's in between Sapporo Air port and Niseko (Perfect for a first or a last day)
- Mont Yotei (The summit of the area) D+/D-: 1600m (20 min by car from Niseko)
- View of the sea from the top of Mont Yotei
- The inside of Mont Yotei Crater
- Mont Shiribetsudake ("the small not bad" as we used tu name it!) D+/D-: 700m (30 min by car from Niseko)
- Mont Shizenupuri / D+/D-: 700m / great in case of bad weather (20 min by car from Niseko)
In Niseko the Curry-koya appartement is great, (firstname.lastname@example.org / 0136-23-3688). You get an appartement with 2 rooms and a comfortable leaving room, with a view of the Yotei volcano.
Rakuda is a very small but very typical restaurant. Contact: 95 Hon-dori Niseko town / Abuta-gun Kokkaido (O136-55-5817)
Things to do in Furano area:
- Kurodake (Open on the 26 of January...)
- Asahidake (Only if the weather is good so it's possible to ski the Volacano, otherwise it's really flat)
- Tocashidake: Great for ski touring, supposed to "la crème de la crème" of the Japon powder.
(On the following picture the snow wasn't great but it was cool to ski on an active volcano.)
- Kamihoro: Onsen + Lodge, It possible to ski all the way to the entrance! Then you will enjoy the Onsen (hot springs) as much as you like.
After the hot springs "everybody" eat, wearing a kimono!
- Nakafurano: Northen star lodge