Ice Climbing trips – Japan

Rise to the frozen challenges in the Pacific Ocean and discover the world of ice climbing Japan!

From Hokkaido and its long winter in the north to the iconic objectives on the main island of Honshu, Japan has a bevy of icy destinations to climb. With mountains like Akadake in the Yatsugatake and the frozen waterfalls of the Daisetsuzan, this country has plenty of reasons to grab your ice axe and head to the Pacific.


Top Ice Climbing Trips in Japan




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Japan is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, comprised of four large islands and many smaller ones – more than 6,850 in total throughout the archipelago. Its wide geographic range lends to a diverse climate, which means ice climbing can be found in a few different locations. In the northern island of Hokkaido, the long and cold winters provide perfect conditions for an ideal climb, while high-altitude spots on Honshu, the main island, also have great ice ascents. The main cities of the country are connected with trains, and even traveling between islands can be done with public transportation. Tokyo is the capital of the country, located on Honshu, and it provides a nice starting off point for trips to the Japanese Alps. To head north, take a train through the Seikan Tunnel or fly into Sapporo and you will be in the heart of Hokkaido.



Good to Know



The weather in Japan tends to be nice and cold throughout winter. It can be volatile at high altitudes, but the climate provides a high snow fall and low temperatures to keep the ice flowing and frozen throughout the season.




Yen (JPY)

How to Get There

Getting to Japan requires flying into one of its islands. For the island of Honshu, Tokyo is the best choice. The Shinkansen and the train network can easily get you where you need to go. For trips to Hokkaido, the New Chitose Airport serves the Sapporo hub, and the northern island also has efficient bullet trains and public transportation. Rental cars are readily available at most major cities.

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Best Time to Visit

Ice climbing is best done in winter. January and February are the perfect months to take on the frozen walls of Japan, though early and late trips in winter can provide great conditions, too.




What People Say

  • 24 reviews


Great trip – poor weather. Excellent guide!
Kenichi is a great guide, very experienced and focussed on delivering a safe yet enjoyable journey. We were lucky weather
conditions on both days were favourable and the views along the way and from the Nishihodaka summit were just stunning!
Cveto is an exceptionally experienced guide. Akadake was a challenging climb for me but Cveto got me up and
down the mountain safely and made it a lot of fun. He taught me some new crampon techniques that I was able to put to work immediately and they really helped with the steepness and deep snow on the mountain that day. He helped me with trip logistics as well, recommending a nice local lodge to stay at. His English was excellent and I would strongly recommend him as a guide.
Takao-san is a great guide. I would highly recommend him and plan to go climbing with him again.
It was a really good day out! Cvetko Podlogar is a good guide with spot on instructions … Highly recommend
his services
Tze Chuan KOH for 1-day ice climbing in Hokkaido
We had a wonderful time ice climbing despite some rather crazy weather conditions! Takao was great company, very clearly experienced
in the area and equipped with all necessary equipment. He was always on time and made exceptional efforts to get us out to the ice and back safely to Sapporo. The onsen, river crossing and thigh-high snow trek were as important as the actual climbing to the whole experience. We highly recommend and hope to be back to the area for summer climbing!
Perfect trip. Perfect guide. Nice mountain
A good climb although weather wasn’t good and couldn’t see much at the summit.
Takao is very professional. I enjoy climbing with him very much. Also, the waterfall at 2nd day leave a good
memories for me. If I climb in Japan again, I will find him again.
Excellent guide for a very dangerous mountain! In Hiroko’s hands she guided me across challenging terrain. I highly recommend this
winter hike as she will teach you the basics of winter mountaineering. The mountain is quite steep. For beginner mountaineers, this is the perfect trial ground. Hiroko was polite friendly and extremely helpful. She dropped me off at an onsen after the hike and then dropped me off at the train station.
Awesome! Couldn’t have asked for a better guide or a better two day activity. Cheers Cveto and Chibow!
Hiro was fantastic from start to finish. She introduced me to winter techniques and was brilliant company all the way
to the peak. She is a true pro. It was an epic day on Tanigawa that will live long in the memory!
Jonathan Travis for Winter climbing on Mount Tanigawa
(Travelled Feb 2017) The trip was good, if a bit short for the amount of travel I had to do to
get there (I was in Niseko).  It was fun to see a different part of Hokkaido in a unique way.  Takao-san was very good at instructing and climbing. I started ice climbing in Colorado and wanted to experience climbing in a different country.  If I had come during the summer I definitely would have rock climbed or taken a guided climbing trip. I have a fair amount of climbing experience, but nothing too in-depth.  Takao-san took that into consideration for the routes we did. The first day we did a short hike on snowshoes to the climbing, which was a bunch of shorter single pitch routes.  The weather was pretty good, but definitely on the warm side.  I think we climbed at the right time during the day, as there was starting to be quite a bit of debris melting and falling on the routes when we were leaving… The second day was a two pitch route next to the sea.  The exposure and area was very impressive.  Takao-san did a great job explaining what he wanted us to do and did a great job working with my level of experience or in-experience. Takao-san obviously has a lot of experience guiding and climbing and did an excellent job making me feel safe and sure about what we were doing.  His technical knowledge, as well as his knowledge of the area we were climbing in was definitely great in making the experience a success. I would recommend the program, but I might caution a beginner climber that the climbing was a bit more involved than I expected.  For example, I had the experience of lead belaying climbers, but I’m not sure if someone who did not have the experience would be able to have climbed where we did.  I found it interesting that nobody asked me (that I recall) what my level of experience was before the trip.  I did like how Takao-san met the climbing to what he thought my abilities are. Yes, I definitely would like to do it again.

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