Top Ski Touring Trips in Rishiri
A small and remote island off Hokkaido’s northern coast, Rishiri is a skier’s paradise. With snow conditions comparable to the world-famous ones in Hokkaido, Rishiri also provides an authentic Japanese experience, with fewer tourists and many onsens (hot springs) to relax in after an exhausting day in the mountains. Discover the vastness of Rishiri’s backcountry terrain and its incredibly light powder snow in the company of a local guide. Explore-Share.com only promotes mountain trips led by certified guides.
There are 2 main towns on Rishiri Island: Rishirifuji and Kutsugata. Rishirifuji is by far the largest and where you’ll find the most varied accommodation options (ryokans and very basic pensions). Some of the B&Bs there may even have their own onsen, where you’ll get to enjoy a very relaxing soak after an exhausting day of skiing. There are no rental shops on the island though, so definitely bring your own touring and avalanche gear.
You can pretty much expect cold temperatures, strong winds, and foul weather. Clear, sunny days are really hard to come by in Rishiri.
A 5-hour train ride will take you from Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, to Wakkanai, where you can board a ferry to go to Rishiri. You can also fly from Sapporo to Rishiri, though there is only one flight per day.
Best time for ski touring is February and March.
Toshi and his team are fantastic – great guiding and accom, and Rishiri has some amazing terrain for backcountry ski/snowboarding.
Rishiri You Beauty!
Toshiya is an amazing guide, a great character and also a very good host surrounded by a friendly team at Maruzen Pension.
How special to have Toshiya sharing his local knowledge of Mount Rishiri, his “back garden” as he like to call it! A perfect playground for all powder enthusiasts, so many faces and ridges to use; make first lines in waist deep pow and ride all the way back down to sea level!
I wish I had never left and I cannot wait to come back!
Thank you Rishiri.
We had an amazing experience on Rishiri, perfect snow, good weather and a guide who knows the island like his pocket. The very steep slopes and the overwhelming nature satisfied every wish we had.
We have been looking for a guided tour avoiding the normal tracks on Hokkaido and then saw the pictures of the floating mountain. And definitively the adventure included.
We went to the southern part of the island, as Toshi-san knew that there would be the best snow conditions. The first 5km we have been toed in by a snow mobile and then climbed up a several times, riding different gullies each time.
Toshi-san is an amazing person, always happy, friendly and very welcoming. As said before, he knows every bit of the island and guided accordingly bringing us to breathtaking places. We all would and will totally recommend him to friends visiting Japan.
The reality was much better than expectations! We had some concerns regarding the weather conditions and difficulty but got lucky with the weather and never felt that Toshi chose a route too difficult.
Rishiri is a floating mountain! Steep like in the Swiss alps, but just one single mountain, which makes the it much more imposant. On the sunny day, we could see the Sibirian mainland.
Riding very steep slopes in perfect snow, Toshi-san with his warm and welcoming attitude, and the travel to get there and back
Incredible scenery, terrain with endless possibilities, no crowd, pure Japanese ambiance. What do you want more? A experienced guide that will share his passion with a legendary smile? Check! Toshiya and his family are the additional element that make this kind of trip just epic.
The trip was truly amazing. Toshiya was our guide, he is the only winter guide on Rishiri (in summer there are 5 guides apparently). He is great, he and his sister run a ryokan (hotel) which is nice, great food and with a nice onzen (natural hot spring) to relax after skiing (they can open a big door so you can see the mountain and the stars whilst enjoying the bath. Bit hard to get to Rishiri but the powder on the big mountain pays for everything, truly amazing. Toshiya climbed the top over 500 times so he knows the mountain and the good spots to find the best conditions depending on wind etc. According to him the best season is February/early March. The wind is the main factor whether or not to reach the top and that is the same most months however powder is best not too late in the season (we were in early March). Temperature is not too bad despite being very close to Siberia.
I may go again next year!
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