Ski touring and splitboarding in Rishiri, guided by Toshiya, the only local certified mountain guide, owner of a lovely family guest house.
Jan, Feb, Mar
Rishiri, the island where I come from and where I live, is located off the northern coast of Hokkaido in the north of Japan. It is a circular island with one very large mountain. The ridges and bowls make the mountain feel more like a mountain range with several peaks than one big volcano.
There are no chairlifts! In winter, Rishiri is dedicated to ski touring and splitboarding enthusiasts.
It might seem for some to be at the end of the world but the ski terrain here is just incredible!
We call it the “floating island”.
I recommend you to come here for at least 4 days. I put together programs of 3 days, 4 days and 5 days (with accommodation included in the price). Check them out if you are interested!
You will stay in my family hostel that I manage. It is equipped with an onsen (hot spring bath) where it is awesome to stay after a day of skiing. You will enjoy delicious homecooked Japanese food.
Your stay here will not only be a ski trip but also a great cultural discovery!
We use snowmobile to cover the long and flat distances. We then go up using the skins.
Every day, I take you where the snow and weather conditions are the best. The daily itinerary and program will also depend on your wishes and your ski experience. If the weather permits we can even go for the summit.
You can come to Rishiri either by plane (45 min) from Sapporo or by ferry (1:40 h) leaving from Wakkanai.
I will take maximum 6 clients with me. I will divide the group by friends or by level as we will be two guides.
There are no rental shops on the island so please take all your equipment with you, including your avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, your crampons and ice axe.
Please get in touch with me if you wish come here and enjoy a fantastic ski experience!
If you want to know more about Rishiri Island, you can read the article Winter in Rishiri: backcountry skiing in a remote Japanese island as well as this story of 2 Canadians that came to visit me in 2016 for some unforgettable ski runs: Discover Rishiri, the ultimate backcountry skiing destination in Japan.
- Guiding fee
The price will depend on the number of people joining for the day (whether you came as a group or you are joining an existing one).
You will stay in my family hostel (winter price) - 1 night with two meals: 12000 yen - 1 night breakfast only: 10,000 yen - 1 Night only: 9,000 yen
The season starts from 20 December
You can rent Safty equipment on site.
You will have to arrive on Rishiri island the night before and it is recommended to leave the day after the tour.
As we will be 2 guides running the program, we will split the group by friends or by level.
Price: the price at the time of booking depends on the group size at that time. If the group size changes on the actual day, then the difference will be refunded (if more clients) or will have to be covered by the clients (if fewer clients).
I can help you with the transportation from the ferry terminal or the airport to the lodge.
Please note that there will be additional cost as below to be paid directly to me on the spot: - Onsen tax: JPY 150 per person per night, if you are staying at my guesthouse - Snowmobile cost: JPY 1,000-3,000 per person per day depending on the route chosen for the day
Insurance: please ensure that each member of your group is covered by an appropriate insurance policy that also covers mountain rescue operations
You can fly from Sapporo's Okazu Airport to Rishiri Airport or from Haneda Airport to Wakkanai Airport, where you can come to Rishiri Island by ferry from Wakkanai. If you come by ferry we'll be able to pick you up at the ferry terminal for free.
I was born on the island of Rishiri in 1969. I still live here today! Since my childhood, I have spent most of my time in the sea, going fishing, and in the mountain going skiing. I’m a ski guide (level 2) from the Japanese Mountain Guide Association. I’m the only one on the island. I have reached the summit of Rishiri more than 500 times… It’s my great pleasure to guide here and let people from all around the world discover this beautiful island all year round. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you are looking for a local expert to guide you in Rishiri. Besides mountain guiding, I'm managing a family hostel here so I can help you with the accommodation as well.
Japanese | English
We had a great trip, no powder but fabulous Spring ski, thanks to Toshiya who is super friendly and excellent at picking the right route according to the weather especially in windy conditions. Thanks a lot
If it were possibke to award 100 Stars I would !
M. R. Grimshaw
The traveller did not leave a comment.
Toshi is world class from pick-up to drop-off. Very friendly, very professional and he knows Rishiri inside out. His guest house is outstanding and the food they serve like nowhere else. Will be back very soon!
Toshi and his crew gave us a truly remarkable experience! From the food to the accommodations to the epic skiing: this trip was out of this world!
We had a great trip to Rishiri! The snow gods were not on our side but Rishiri is a mountain of many slopes and aspects and thanks to a great guiding team we always managed to find good snow! Toshi ran a great operation with 3 other guides which meant we were split into two groups with a max of 9 per group and two guides. This allowed the group to be split even further on the day... Special thanks to Shohei and Kosukei - very professional guides!! Arigatou-gozaimashita!!
I can not rate Toshiya because he was not our guide. Our experience was marred by a void of communication prior to the trip. We never recieved email or other communication prior to our trip, despite frequent requests. Simple questions like, "Do we need crampons?" were unanswered. The day before our arrival, we called Toshiya (whos phone number was being withheld). He was unaware of what day we were visiting, he did not know how many days or how many people in our group.
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.
The traveller did not leave a comment.
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. What are your top 3 memories during the trip ? 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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