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2-day Backcountry ski tour in Shirakawa (Gifu), Japan


Local JMGA-certified guide Ryuta will lead you on a delightful 2 days of backcountry skiing in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing a stunning backdrop and gorgeous scenery, all in the Japanese region of Shirakawa, Gifu.


2 Days

Jan, Feb




  • Ski around a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site!
  • Improve and learn more backcountry skiing techniques
  • Indulge in the local traditions and history of the area


Join me on this 2-day expedition of backcountry skiing and I promise you will make memories to last a lifetime, as we traipse and travail around some of the freshest powder and uncrowded, secretive trails in Japan, taking in the fascinating and traditional Japanese scenery and landscapes whilst also indulging in the local culture here in Shirakawa, Gifu.

The village of Shirakawa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be a somewhat skiing and outdoor mecca in Japan, owing to its highly mountainous terrain and steep elevations. It is also one of the snowiest places in Japan, meaning there is a wide variety of runs and trails to ski, as well as numerous idyllic and tranquil spots to marvel at.

We meet on the first day at 8am in Takayama, before we head off to Shirakawa. For both days of the tour, we will decide on a location to ski somewhere between Shirakawa and Hirayu, depending on the conditions, as this takes up most of the morning and middle part of the day, finishing at 3pm both days.

As mentioned, the scenery around Shirakawa is absolutely breath taking, as the picture-perfect mountains lead down to beautiful lakes and valleys, all in absolutely pristine condition. As this is backcountry skiing, there are very few people in the areas we will go, making for a more peaceful ski!

Hopefully after these two days you will be inspired to come back and discover more of this alluring part of the world.

Visit Japan and you will not regret discovering this beautiful place – book now to experience!

I also offer a backcountry ski tour in Tateyama, Toyama, here!

Alternatively, I offer Myoko backcountry splitboard guiding, here!

Price includes

- Guiding fee


Day 1: Meet and ski

– Meet at Takayama Station

– Ski until afternoon

Day 2: Ski and finish

– Ski until afternoon

– Finish activity




You can choose from a budget accommodation (guest house at ca. JPY 3000-4000), standard accommodation (ca. JPY 10,000 half board), and staying at one of the historic houses (under JPY 10,000).

More info

Price: Technical Level: Advanced, required to be able to ski on advanced slope.

Fitness Level: Need to be fit enough for 3-4 hike-ups per day. Cumulative Hike-up altitude per day is 800-1,000 m

Previous Experience: Backcountry skiing experience

Climate: Highest temperature at base of a mountain: 2℃ Lowest temperature at base of a mountain: -5℃

Rental Gears: I can lend you the following gears - - Avalanche Safety gears (beacon, shovel, probe) - Backpack - Snowshoe / Splitboard / touring skis - Ski poles

Meeting point

Takayama Station

About the guide

I live in Gifu prefecture in Japan, which is famous for Shrakawago UNESCO World Heritage Site and also becoming famous as the backcountry skiing / snowboarding arena known for its DEEP snow and STEEP terrains.

I am a JMGA certified mountain guide, also certified in Wilderness First Aid. Following my competition years in snowboarding, I became a guide because I liked backcountry snowboarding and wanted to propose safe and fun trips to clients, where I can share my experiences and joys that I felt in the mountains. I spend the winter exploring new backcountry terrains and spend rest of the year climbing mountains. I have accomplished a snowboard descent from the summit of Denali in 2013.
My motto is to guide “safely and fun”, and therefore I aspire to guide small groups. I value the time I spend with each of my guests and this way I can spend more time communicating with clients and for clients to get to know each other better.

I believe that mountain climbing experience should not just be about standing on the summit but also enjoying the nature on the mountain as a whole, learning about the history, and getting a taste of the culture. Shirakawago, in Gifu, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can also enjoy onsen and local cuisine.

Whether it be walking in the mountains, touching the snow, rock, grass or water, or hiking, canyoning, rock climbing, or backcountry skiing, I believe that experiences in the outdoors will enrich your life. Japan is a country of 4 distinct seasons, blessed with rich and beautiful nature. Let’s have fun together in this nature, using all your 5 senses, moving your bodies and feel the rhythm of the nature and of the Earth. I would love to share my outdoor experiences with you and I endeavour to guide in a way to connect people to people, and people to nature in the natural rhythm of the nature.


Japanese | English



What people are saying about Ryuta Asahi

Eric Yap


March, 2018

Great mountain, awesome guide, good times. Only for dedicated backcountry enthusiasts though.



February, 2017

I think Ryuta is a great guide. The tour was quite nice. I loved the lines we did. It would've been 5 stars if his English was better but his assistant guide was of great help especially in communication. Otherwise, I felt quite safe with him and his abilities



February, 2017

Everything was just great, him and his partner were fully dedicated to our group and tried their best to make the most out of our day. The lines were great and they were super safety-conscious. I wish his English was a bit better, so that we'd get to interact more and learn more about the mountain, some local stories etc... Cheers!



February, 2017

Without a doubt, Ryuta-san exceeded all of my expectations. His level of professionalism, planning, client care and willingness to go the extra mile are on par with the best in the business. He is also the first dedicated splitboard guide I've toured with, so this was an added plus!



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