Backcountry skiing in Rishiri

Ski touring and splitboarding in Rishiri, guided by Toshiya, the only local certified mountain guide, owner of a lovely family guest house.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

1+ day

Mountain Range

-

People per Guide

6 people

Trip Level

Intermediate

Offer Period

Jan, Feb, Mar

Type of Trip

Private

Highlights

 
     

    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.

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    Price per person

     
    Group of 1
    38000 JPY

    Group of 2
    20000 JPY

    Group of 3
    14000 JPY

    Group of 4
    14000 JPY

    Group of 5
    14000 JPY

    Group of 6
    14000 JPY

    Group of 7
    14000 JPY

    Group of 8
    14000 JPY

     

    Price includes

     
    • 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).
     

    Other details

     
    Skill level required

    Intermediate

    Fitness level required

    Occasional

    Meeting point

    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.

    Accommodation

    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

    More info

    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

     

    About the Guide

     
     

    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.

     
     
     


     

     

    What People are Saying about Toshiya Watanabe

    • 9 reviews

     

    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!
    Read review

     

    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!!
    Read review
    Paul Johnston
    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.
    Read review
    Craig
    Toshi and his team are fantastic - great guiding and accom, and Rishiri has some amazing terrain for backcountry ski/snowboarding.
    Read review
    Nick Oats
     

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