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Freeride Road Trip and Backcountry Ski in Hokkaido | undefined
Freeride Road Trip and Backcountry Ski in Hokkaido
Freeride Road Trip in Hokkaido
Ski in Hokkaido

Freeride Road Trip and Backcountry Ski in Hokkaido

Experience the legendary Japow powder and explore the best backcountry terrain in Hokkaido with this epic 9 or 10-day adventure led by a certified guide. Preape to discover the pristine wilderness of Hokkaido, venturing beyond the resort boundaries and into untouched powder fields.




10 Days


Jan - Mar






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Based on 13 reviews

  • Ski through the Rusutsu forests
  • Embark on a backcountry tour in Mount Yotei
  • Climb Mount Asahidake, Hokkaido's highest peak


An outstanding amount of snow per year makes Hokkaido one of the best ski destinations in the world. On this 9 or 10-day adventure, we will explore the island and its top powder spots.

We will begin with 4 days of freeride skiing and exploring volcanos in the Niseko and Sapporo areas. From there, we will continue on to Furano in Central Hokkaido. Our itinerary usually consists of 2 to 3 days of ski touring (splitboarding) and 6 to 7 days in which we access the backcountry using lifts and then freeriding.

This amazing tour includes exploring Mount Yotei, Daisetsuzan National Park, and Mount Asahikdake, as well as tree skiing in Rusutsu, the back bowl line in Niseko, gullies in Furano, and more! Tasting a wide variety of delicious Japanese food and recovering in the famous onsen (hot springs) will cap off an already great adventure. Plus, we offer free access to skis, snowboards and avalanche gear!

If you want to find out more, you can check the sample itinerary below. You should be aware that this is a flexible trip, adjusted to the weather and snow conditions. We'll use a van to move around Hokkaido. You can join an existing group or come with at least 6 of your friends for a private guiding trip.

In order to join this tour, you will need prior ski touring and freeriding experience. Both skiers and snowboarders are welcome and we will match you with a group based on your skill level. Additionally, you should be physically fit, although you can take extra days off if you wish, activities are not mandatory. The group size is a maximum of 6 people. Keep in mind that we can also create a more or less advanced tailored itinerary for private groups as well.

In terms of vertical, we will ski an average of 6,000 vertical meters per day, with a 500 to 900 vertical drop. The hardest backcountry day will be the Mount Yotei excursion which will take 4 to 6 hours (1500 m vertical). The other tours will take around 4 hours (1000 to 1200 meters). We will set the pace and vertical total depending on the group's needs.

Please, contact us if you'd like to join an amazing backcountry tour in Hokkaido! Or, if you prefer more freeriding and less backcountry ski touring, you should consider this Freeride skiing trip based in Niseko and Sapporo area.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lift tickets

- Transport during the trip

- Skis

- Ski poles

Price details



Ski Passes

10 Nights of Accommodation


Transportation in Japan

Avalanche Training Session

Avalanche Equipment (Non-avalanche Backpack without airbag, Probe, Shovel)

-Beacons are NOT included-

Free rental of Skis and Boards (Kaestle freetouring skis, Nitro boards, Gara splitboards)


Lunch and Dinners

Beacons (they will be charged 90 EUR/ per camp)

Flight ticket (Europe-Sapporo is approx. 700 EUR)Travel & Cancellation Insurance (approx. 100 EUR)

Optional Cat Skiing (needs to be arranged in advance)

We can help out with flight reservation and insurance, we can also offer a private trip with tailor-made itinerary, private guide and van if you prefer.

Secure your spot with just 25% payment

48-hour free cancellation with 30-day advance booking


Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival in Japan, you will be transferred to our house, we will set up equipment and go for dinner

Day 2: Rusutsu

During the day, we will enjoy some epic tree skiing, then we will have an Avalanche Safety Presentation that will serve us for the days ahead.

Day 3: Moiwa + Avalanche Rescue Practice

After some amazing ski runs and a beacon search practice, we will head to a Japanese onsen in the evening.

Day 4: Niseko Backbowls and night skiing

Skiiing in the Niseko Area (Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupurri). Evening: Night Skiing (optional)

Day 5: Mount Yotei

A day spent hiking up Mt. Yotei volcano to ski in the crater, and then a 1500 vertical meter descent down Yotei! After an intensive 4 to 6 hours, we will head to the Japanese onsen to recover.

Day 6: Day off/ Transfer to Furano

Enjoy a day of skiing on your own, visit the Whiskey distillery or Otaru before we load the van and head to Furano.

Day 7: Daisetzusan National Park

We'll head to our favorite secret spot in Daisetzusan and then recover at a natural onsen at the foot of the mountain.

Day 8: Furano

This unique resort in Central Hokkaido has some amazing tree lines that we will show you to.

Day 9: Ski touring on Asahidake

Hike to the Asahidake summit and then enjoy skiing in the powder-filled crater along with the steam.

Day 10: Yubari, Kamui or Tomamu, Farewell

We will choose where to ski during the day and then enjoy a farewell party in Sapporo in the evening.

Day 11: Flight back home OR Optional stay in Japan for more days

Flights from/to Japan-Europe take 2 days, let us know if you need help organizing them.


More info

Meeting point

Sapporo Chitose

Equipment you will need to bring

We provide the following equipment for free use in Japan: **Skis**: Kastle BMX and FX (115mm and 105mm underfoot), Scott Scrapper (120mm underfoot) and Punisher (105mm - 110mm underfoot), Armada JJ (117mm underfoot) in various lengths for men and women **Snowboards**:Nitro Slash (powder specific), Gara Splitboards **Ski bindings**:Fritschi Tecton (tech binding) and Tyrolia Adrenalin (frame binding, classic binding with hiking option) **Avalanche equipment** Shovel and probe (Beacon is NOT included) PLUS telescopic poles and snowshoes for short hikes for snowboarders, and cartridges for ABS backpacks.Please do bring your backpack. We DO NOT provide Beacon (available for rent, for 90 EUR for the whole camp), ski boots, helmets, snowboard boots or snowboard bindings.


Where will we meet?

You will fly in to Sapporo New Chitose Airpor. If you travel via Tokyo, you will need to look for “Domestic Departures” in Tokyo and recheck your luggage in Tokyo.

Unless we organize a different arrangement, we will wait for you at the airport at an agreed date and time (to be confirmed a few days before arrival). You will need to look for the "SHERPAS RIDE" sign around the waiting area in front of the LAWSON grocery store at Domestic Arrival Terminal, Gate 1, which is the one most to the right when facing outside.

What ski boots should I take?

You should bring a freeride (downhill) boot with a ski/walk. If you have inserts you can use our pin binding, if not, a frame binding with touring option.

Is this program suitable for both skiers and snowboarders?

This program is suitable for both. Our priority is to accommodate guests into groups adapted to their ski/ride level. We try to create the groups so that all the skiers are together, and snowboarders together rather than mixing them.

What is the budget for your camps?

You should count with an average of 4000 - 6000 YEN per day. You will find a wide variety of bars and restaurants with options such as Ramen (starting at 800 YEN), Sashimi (starting at 1000 YEN), and other cuisines as we will as big supermarkets in Kutchan at walking distance from the house.

Are debit and credit cards accepted?

Both are usually accepted in Tokyo and Sapporo and in Kutchan stores although some of the smaller restaurants only accept cash. Keep in mind that you can withdraw cash at any 7-Eleven store.

We recommend that you bring at least 15 000 JPY in cash for your first few days in Japan.

What considerations should I keep in mind when I take out the insurance?

The insurance you will need requires you to cover freeride and ski-touring and medical care in case of injury or illness. You will also need CANCELLATION INSURANCE in case you get injured or sick prior to your trip.


When you choose the right package you should check thoroughly that it covers both freeriding and ski-touring with the following specifications:

Freeriding: Skiing or snowboarding outside of the marked trails and slopes.

Ski-touring: Ski touring in a free terrain, outside the boundaries of the ski resorts and marked trails.


You will need to take out insurance in case you have to cancel the camp on your side (injury, illness, etc.). If you don't have cancellation insurance on your flight separately, include the flight ticket in the total sum for the trip.

Important note:

When you arrange your insurance with ERV (and other companies) and choose the cancel insurance option, arrange it for no later than 2 weeks after you make the first payment for the trip (flight ticket or deposit).


The basic version of Alpenverein Insurance is not sufficient for this tour, because it only covers 10 000 EUR of medical expenses. If you choose Alpenverein, please purchase additional insurance (fee 44 EUR - might be different in your country) for a 17-day travel maximum. Please keep in mind that Alpenverein does not have Assistance Service in Japan. In case of an accident, you would be required to pay upfront, take the receipts, and then get a refund in Europe. Alpenverein does not offer liability for damage to property insurance (e.g. loss of our ski) and baggage insurance. We recommend combining Alpenverein with other insurance which covers mentioned accidents. If you are not a member of Alpenverein, you don't have to purchase it just for our trip.

What is the average age of the people who join this tour?

The average age of participants is 30 and 45 years old. However, we had people join us anywhere between 18 and 70 years old.

Where do the people that join your tours usually come from?

Mostly from Europe (Czech & Slovak Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, UK, Sweden, Spain, Poland, and others). We also receive visitors from the United States, Canada, Australia, South America, and other countries. We speak English, Spanish, Czech, and some German. English is the main language spoken by our guides on the camps unless they are filled only with Czechs or Slovaks. In that case, Czech is spoken in the camp.

How are groups split?

We organize guests into groups based on their level and ski touring expectations.

If you book a private tour, then you stay together with your group, and then on big touring days such as when we go to Mt. Yotei

for example, whenever possible, we create a faster and a slower group, which can be different than for freeriding days.

What is the skiing/snowboarding level of tour participants?

In order to join this tour, you will need prior ski touring and freeriding experience. Both skiers and snowboarders are welcome and we will match you with a group based on your skill level. Additionally, you should be physically fit, although you can take extra days off if you wish, activities are not mandatory.

What kind of ski, snowboard and other equipment do you offer?

We provide top-of-the-line equipment for free use while you're touring with us in Japan.

SKIS: Kastle FX and BMX (115mm and 105mm underfoot) Scott Scrapper (120mm and 110mm underfoot) and Armada JJ (117mm underfoot) with a wide variety of lengths for women and men.

SNOWBOARDS: Nitro Slash and Pow (powder specific) and GARA and NITRO Splitboards

BINDINGS: Fritschi Tecton (tech binding) and Tyrolia Adrenalin (frame binding, classic binding with hiking option)

AVALANCHE GEAR: Probe and shovel. Beacon is NOT included, but we can rent it for 90 EUR for the whole trip.

POLES: 2-piece telescopic poles for skiers and 3-piece telescopic poles for snowboarders

We do not provide ski boots, helmets, snowboard boots, or snowboard bindings.

You can reserve all the gear we provide in the booking form after you sign up for your trip.

Do I need my avalanche bag in Japan?

Yes. I would definitely bring it for the Honshu Trip and Rishiri Trip, since the mountains are higher and steeper. For Freeride Camp and Hokkaido Road Trip, I would still recommend it. If you absolutely don't want to go through the hassle at the airport, then use our non-avalanche backpack from Pieps.

If you are flying with an airbag you will need to print IATA terms and Description of your cartridge and show it to airport stuff upon check-in luggage scan.

Bring your avalanche bag as check-in luggage and ideally inform your airline, that you will be transporting such airbag.

Can I send my luggage via post and travel light to Tokyo, Kyoto etc.?

Yes. Please check YAMATO (http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/en/) You can send your luggage straight to your terminal of departure to Sapporo. If you travel to Tokyo after our camps, you can arrange it while on the camp.

What are the requirements related to the VISA?

Please check visa requirements with your Japanese embassy. Citizens of most

countries don’t need visa to enter Japan. They receive 90 day permit to travel in the

country upon arrival.

Before landing in Japan, you will be asked to fill in an Immigration Form. You will

need our address in Japan: 1-chōme-1-152 Kita 5 Jōnishi, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0055, Japan. Purpose of travel is tourism.

During a short interview with an immigration officer please state that you're going to

Niseko for skiing. Sherpas Ride is registered in Europe, they wouldn't know the company, so you don't need to try to explain you go skiing with us.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For travel to Japan you will need either biometrical passport or

the one with machine-readable two-line code at the end of the passport (combination of your name, surname, letter,number and other characters). Most of the passports these days are biometrical. Only the express passports (issued in under 30 days) are not biometrical. If you are not sure, please check with the office which issued your passport.

What will we do the last night in Sapporo?

After day of skiing (usually in some of the Sapporo resorts) we get to the hotel in

Sapporo (which we cover), go for a good-bye dinner and if the group is up for it we

check nightlife in Sapporo (Clubs, Karaoke, Baseball batting station and more). We

are not able to bring everyone individually to the airport, plus a lot of time it would be

even risky (time-wise) during the snowstorm, so our preferred solution is the suburban train to the airport which takes 45 mins.

We normally try to stay short walk or taxi ride from the train station (if taxi is needed, we will help you organize it)

Do you have travel tips for Tokyo?

We suggest the following:

Stroll through Akihabara during the day

Sky Tree during the day

Shibuya Crossing - just to see amount of people on one single crossing (can sit down

in Starbucks and watch the mayhem)

Shinjuku during the night

Travel in Tokyo Metro during rush hour

Party in Ropongi

Book Robot Restaurant (book ahead) and all the bizzare stuff Tokyo has to offer.

Regarding accomodation, we have a good experience with MyStays Hotels (note that Japanese size double bed is much narrower than standards)

Should I bring my own equipment?

We recommend that you bring your own equipment, since you will ski/ride on what you know. However we cannot discount the trip, since our costs are fixed. We recommend at

least 105 under foot and pin touring binding (ATK, Fritschi Tecton etc.) or frame touring binding (e.g. Tyrolia Adrenalin, Marker Duke) for skiing in Japan.

When do we have to arrive and leave?

ARRIVAL DESTINATION: Sapporo Chitose International Airport

ARRIVAL DATE and TIME: First day of the camp around noon or afternoon (no later than 16:00)

DEPARTURE DESTINATION: Sapporo Chitose International Airport DEPARTURE DATE and TIME: Last day anytime (even early morning is fine)

What is the difference betweenthis hokkaido roadtrip and the Powder Freeride Camp?

While on this Hokkaido Road Trip after 4 days skiing around Niseko and Sapporo area we will move to north to Furano, on the Freeride Camp (https://www.explore-share.com/trip/freeride-ski-niseko/) we will be based in Kutchan all the time (access to Niseko and Sapporo Area).

Also, this Hokkaido Road Trip has usually 70% Freeride/lift access skiing and 30% Ski Touring, while the Freeride Camp has 80% Freeride/lift access skiing and 20% Ski Touring.

But keep in mind that the Freeride/touring ratio depend also on weather and group requirements.

Is this trip more about freeriding or ski touring?

This Hokkaido Road Trip has usually 70% Freeride/lift access skiing and 30% Ski Touring.

Which is the group size?

The group is always 6 people + one guide.

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Rasso Kushiro Hotel Kushiro Japan
See rooms
La Vista Kushirogawa Kushiro Japan
See rooms
ANA Crowne Plaza Kushiro Kushiro Japan
See rooms

About the guide: Vojta Lim & Guides

Guide profile image

Vojta Lim & Guides



Mountain Guide

Hi, I’m Vojta, welcome to our profile! We are a small and specialized guiding company based out of the Czech Republic, dedicated to offering freeriding and ski-touring trips mainly to Japan and Norway. We run powder camps and tours across the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu in Japan. In March every year, we move to arctic Norway and run Ski and Sail expeditions around Lyngen Alps.  We started as a group of friends guiding in Japan in 2013 and we still beleive you should feel like you are riding with friends on our trips. The tours are flexible with the single purpose of skiing in the best snow and finding the best lines possible. We have strong area knowledge of the terrain and go the extra mile to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Our trips not only include skiing, but also delicious food and local culture as you improve your skills as a backcountry skier or snowboarder.

On our trips, you will be guided by Czech and Slovak UIAGM Mountain guides & Ski Guides (Robert Vrlák, Peter Koteles, Daniel Menšík, Vojta Lím, or Tomáš Prajzler)

If you don't find what you are looking for, get in touch, we will be happy to help and welcome you on board!


English | Czech

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What people are saying about this trip



Great trip, very professionally managed. Really good guiding by the team, they new the places well and could always find fresh pow even in tricky conditions. Also managed the group well allowing all participants to get a great experience even if people were skiing on different levels.



Booked the Hokkaido Roadtrip - this can be described in one word: Fantastic! I would book this trip again immediately! Super organized camp with excellent powderlines. Guides are also trying very hard to put together an alternative program (ski tours) if it happens that there is no fresh snow for a few days. Really absolutely recommendable Trip to Japan with all-round care.



Even If snow conditions aren't the best ones in the season the guides will always tAke you for the fresh pow! ( Japow:) . Great 10 days of freeriding and enjoying japanese food,onsen and countryside of Hokkaidó.



I participated in the Sherpas Ride Trip Dec/Jan 2018/19 and I loved the experience of freeriding in Japan as well as the guiding and organization of Tomas and Vojta from Sherpas Ride. The trip was booked directly with Vojta and he advised me carefully on fitness level and equipment required for the trip. I felt well prepared and any question or organizational detail was delivered in a timely manner. At arrival the pickup went smoothly and Vojta is great in making you feel welcome and at home from the first minute. The housing, where our group of 12 people, was accommodated was conveniently equipped and close to restaurants and supermarkets. The facilities like bathroom and kitchen are shared and the group was super lovely and easy to deal with. The equipment (ski, poles, backpack with avalanche rescue equipment, and skins) was all comparatively new and well maintained. Tomas and Vojta were always helpful if there was any need or problem with it. The organization of breakfast, driving to the best spot and during the freeriding or touring day went well because the guys mange everything in a nice and relaxed way. I asked for and appreciated that they gave me advise on how to improve my freeriding skills and that they had a good speed and thus, I was also challenged to become better. I felt well informed on where to go and how to behave and there was always room for discussing snow conditions and how to best spot a line and estimate risks. I definitely learned something there and the two guides made things fun, yet clear when limits are reached. The scenery of the volcanos, trees, and the masses of snow is simply faboulous. There is nothing comparable to enjoying the ride in the deep snow spraying all over you. I would definitely do it again! Thanks for the time, Sherpas Ride, and my great group Dec/Jan 2018/19 - you will always enjoy a special place in my memories.



Best skiing ever with Sherpas Ride in Japan..

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