Join a group for this backcountry skiing trip and head to the best powder areas in Sapporo, together with a local JMGA mountain guide.
Explore Hokkaido’s deep dry powder skiing from the heart of Sapporo! Stay at my cozy guesthouse with a ‘mountain lodge’ feel and ski / ride the best snow in Hokkaido.
Winter mountains in Sapporo are very popular among mountaineers and local climbers. They are not high in altitude but have very high quality snow.
As a local JMGA guide from Sapporo, I will guide you all around the numerous local Sapporo ski area during this tour. This is a group programme, so the price will change depending on the total number of participants on the day.
I will pick the best powder mountain for backcountry skiing according to the weather, snow and mountain conditions. We’ll enjoy a mixture of hike-ups and lift assessed side-country skiing.
Besides, we will relax in an Onsen (Japanese hot spring) at the end and enjoy the abundant fresh local cuisine in Sapporo!
I offer this trip on a daily basis and you can join from 1 day up to 7 days.
Guests can stay at my cozy mountain lodge type hotel. There is a counter top which is made of 350-year-old Japanese spruce. This lodge for wanderers was basically handmade by me and my friends, using Hokkaido’s local lumbers.
From here to Susukino, which is the most famous entertainment area in Hokkaido, there are only 3 minutes on foot. Thus, this is a perfect base for those wishing to explore the less explored Sapporo powder snow and wanting to enjoy the nightlife of Sapporo too.
Here are some of the spots we can visit on this trip:
Local mountains in Sapporo (average 800-1,800m): Mt. Yoichi (1,488m), Asari, Sapporo Kokusai, Mt. Teine (1,023m), Mt. Shakotan (1,255m), Mt. Yotei (1,898m), Rusutsu, Niseko (1,308m), etc.
Average hike-up duration will be 2-4 hours. We usually have 2-5 powder runs but it depends on the mountain and weather conditions.
Are you interested in this backcountry ski trip in Sapporo area? Send a request to join a group for this trip and get ready for a wonderful experience!
Please prepare your own gear as much as possible (you’ll find a complete kit list below). However, if you could not bring yours, the following items can be rented by prior arrangement. There is always a risk of avalanche for all backcountry mountain activities. In order to execute a fast and structured rescue operation following an avalanche incident, it is crucial that all participants of backcountry skiing / snowboarding tours carry a set of 3 avalanche safety gears – ‘beacon, probe, and a shovel’.
Please let me know which gears you would like to rent when you contact me.
|Item||Rental Price per day|
|Snowshoe (for snowboarders)||JPY 1,000|
|Extendible poles||JPY 500|
|Backpack to strap skis or snowboards||JPY 500|
|ALL of above||JPY 3,000|
|Gloves / Goggles||JPY 500|
|Gore-tex hard shell jacket and pants||JPY 1,000|
|Skis with tour-able bindings and skins||JPY 2,000|
Gentemstick is a Niseko based Snowboard brand, famous for riding powder like surfing.
|Gentemstick snowboard||JPY 3,000 per day
JPY 4,000 for 2 days
|Gentemstick Splitboard (without bindings)||JPY 3,000 per day
JPY 4,000 for 2 days
|Karakoram bindings for splitboard||JPY 500 per day
JPY 1,000 for 2 days
|Skins for splitboard||JPY 1,000 per day
JPY 1,500 for 2 days
(These split boards I’m renting usually cost around USD 1000-1500 per board!)
SappoLodge - guest house that is built like a contemporary mountain lodge Dormitory style room - 2700JPY ~ 4000JPY per person / night Twin Room without Bathroom (up to 2 people) - JPY 8,000 per room / night Twin Room with Bathroom (up to 2 people) - JPY 10,000 per room / night Japanese style Room (up to 3 people) - JPY 10,000 per room / night Very convenient to go out to the center of Sapporo for sightseeing. It takes 3 minutes to go to Susukino, famous amusement area on foot. Hand built guest house with a woody interior of local lumbers. Delicious local food and alcohol drinks. Sapporo is a snow festival from 31 JAN to 11 FEB 2020. Accommodation from 04FEB to 11FEB is particularly crowded. And the accommodation cost is very high.
Technical Level: Intermediate - you need to be able to ski off-piste without problems <br> Physical Level: You need to have good fitness for 4-6 hours of skiing / snowboarding in a day including 2-4 hours of hike-up. <br> Previous Experience: Previous backcountry skiing experience preferred <br> Requirements for joining the trip: - Have your own skis / snowboards / splitboards / telemark ski gear with touring / hike-up set up. - You need to be covered by an appropriate insurance that covers mountain rescue and off piste / backcountry skiing in Japanese mountains. <br> Course change option: If you would like to go sightseeing around Sapporo, this tour could be flexible. In that case, I will take you to approximately 5 to 8 of my recommended sightseeing spots around Sapporo area. For sightseeing guide, the guide fee will be 30% off of ski tour guide fee. Please feel free to contact me. <br> Kit List: -Ski gear (skies, split board, snowboard) -Skins / Snowshoes -Ski poles -Ski / Snowboard boots -Sunglasses -Goggles (better to bring extras) -Helmet -Gloves (better to bring extras) -Ski wear -Avalanche safety gears (beacon, probe, shovel) -Backpack (for snowboarder, board attachable type) -Thermos flask (500ml-1L) -Headlamp (with spare batteries or new batteries) -Sunscreen -First Aid -Cap -Hooded Jacket & Pants (breathable) -Down Jacket (compact enough to put in backpack, hooded) -Clothes (fast dry inner, layer, cotton not acceptable) -Snacks or Energy bar -Map (photocopies available on the day of tour) -Compass -Whistle <br> It will be better if you have these: <br> Airbag, Bivouac shelter, Personal medicals items, Rope (6-7mm x 20m or more), Carabiners (2), Sling (60cm, 90cm or 120cm), GPS, external battery for cell phones, Goods for Onsen (hot springs: change of clothes after tour).
We will leave SappoLodge at 7:00 a.m., make a quick stop at Sapporo station at 7:15 a.m. then drive to the mountain of guide’s choice of the day. The drive is expected to be around 1 hour. I will decide the best ski/snowboard area the night before. If you want, we can stop at a convenience store to buy some snacks. At the entrance of the mountain, we will prepare for hike-up and also will pack our gears. After a mandatory briefing, we’ll start our tour! It will be ca. 2-4 hr ascent and total tour will be approximately 4-6 hours a day. You can ski up several lines of fine powder snow depending on the condition. After skiing, I will take you to my favourite Onsen (hot spring) to relax the muscles. You will then be able to enjoy some fresh local cuisine. We head go back to Sapporo with full and satisfied stomach.
Tour length will be flexible. It can be from 1 day trip to 7 days trip. Please contact me in advance for reservation.
I am a Japan Mountain Guides Association (JMGA) mountain and ski guide, born and raised in Sapporo. I have been an avid traveller all my life, starting as a hitchhiker as a primary school child and travelled around 40 different countries in the world since then, including South America (Aconcagua and Andes), USA (Denali), Greenland etc. I have been involved with the JMGA for about 18 years now, guiding in the mountains both in the summer and in the winter on skis. I am a board member of Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA). I also have an experience as a field guide in Antarctica between 2011 and 2013 as a part of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition. Since my return from Antarctica, I have been running my own guesthouse and a bar, SappoLodge, which is located at the heart of Sapporo, Hokkaido. It has approximately 30 beds and is always filled with travelers from all over the world. I am happy to be able to guide these diverse and curious visitors in the nature around Hokkaido.
My main field of guiding is in the backcountry all around Hokkaido in the winter. My choice of toy in riding the pow is a snowboard but depending on the type of guests I’m happy riding on my skis too. In the summer, I enjoy guiding in the mountains (climbing and grand traverses), sea-kayaking and canoeing in the river or lake. I full heartedly recommend these fun activities to explore the nature of Hokkaido too!
Get in touch with me if you’d like to enjoy the nature of Hokkaido with me!
We had a great trip with Wataru! Communication and arrangements were easy. Every day was a new adventure! Loved the trip and would book with explore-share again.
I had a great time with Wataru, very nice and experienced guide. He brought us not so far away in a quiet and beautiful area of Shirebitsu with tons of magical snow. If I could, I would go back tomorrow! Thanks again to your platform.
Should have extended each day by at least 1 run
Myself and my husband and brother had a fabulous day! We got great snow! Wataru showed us some great places to get the powder stashes! Unfortunately my skill level could not make the utmost of this awesome day but I enjoyed it so much anyway. If I can make it back to Hokkaido I will try my hardest to book with Wataru again.
Wataru is an enthusiastic, talented guide who was a pleasure to meet. Unfortunately the day we went up was one of the worst weather with howling winds and warm weather. However, he made the most of it and we still found deep, untracked powder. One thing that could be better is his rental services. The only boot he had of my size was faulty and could not tighten properly so I had to stop several times during the day to adjust them. I would have preferred if I could have rented boots elsewhere.
I had a great day out with Wataru-San earlier this month (January 2017), we went to Sapporo-Kokusai and did some runs in really deep snow. Wataru enabled me to access terrain that I would not have been able to find without his knowledge and had I have known about him earlier, I would have stayed at his lodge and gone out with him for more than one day. The day was a very Japanese experience with the deep powder, traditional onsen and local dinner after the ski day. Although I had some of the equipment already, it\'s good that Wataru has all the equipment for hire, as not all the guides can do this.
Group of 1
|JPY 37000 each|
Group of 2
|JPY 19000 each|
Group of 3
|JPY 13000 each|
Group of 4
|JPY 13000 each|
Group of 5
|JPY 13000 each|
Group of 6
|JPY 13000 each|
Want a different number of travellers?
- Guiding fee
The following items are not included in the trip:
Gear rental fee
Meals and Snacks during tour
Onsen (hot spring) entrance fee
Trip price changes depending on the total number of participants on the day.
However, the amount you will pay at the time of booking is determined by the size of your group. If the price determined is different to the amount the client paid, then the differential amount will be settled after the tour - in the form of Refund to Credit card or by charging additionally .