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Powder Ski Trip in Niseko and Sapporo

Powder Ski Trip Niseko
Niseko ski
Niseko group

Experience the best freeride skiing in Japan on this amazing 10-day tour through Hokkaido's most epic powder spots with a local certified guide! From the world-renowned resorts of Niseko and Sapporo to hidden gems in the backcountry, you'll have the chance to explore some of the most challenging and rewarding terrain in Japan.


10 Days

Jan - Mar




* Kokusai resort's long powder lines

* Mount Yotei backcountry tour

* Rusutsu resort hidden gems

* Shirebetsu fun

* Moiwa's amazing powder runs


On this comprehensive 10-day tour through Niseko and Sapporo, you will discover the best freeride skiing in Hokkaido, all while enjoying a full-on Japan experience too!

The famous dry powder of southwest Hokkaido has the island its reputation as one of the best ski destinations in the world. We will prove Hokkaido's fame to be true on an adventure-packed 10 days in which we will enjoy 7 to 8 off-piste skiing days with lift access to the best pow, and 1 to 2 days of intensive backcountry skiing, if you are up for it. Although we have an outlined itinerary, we will be flexible to ski on the best snow each day.

Of course, the tour will not only be limited to skiing. We will have the chance to eat delicious Japanese cuisine and to recover at different onset (hot springs).

In terms of the vertical, we will ski around 10,000 downhill vertical meters each day, with a 500 to 900m vertical drop. As for uphill efforts, the hardest will be the day we climb Mt. Yotei, which will take a total of 4 to 6 hours (1500 m vertical) between ascent and descent. We will spend around 3 hours on each of the rest of the tours and the pace will take the needs of the group into consideration.

This trip is open for both skiers and snowboarders to join. Different levels are also welcome, we will find the right group for you. Each group has a maximum size of 6 people. Keep in mind that safety is the priority for us. If the conditions are not right, our guides will pursue more conservative options for each day.

We'll be based in Kutchan, a small village with easy access to Niseko and Sapporo areas. We'll stay in comfortable and cozy guesthouse for the whole group, in a friendly and unique atmosphere. If you want to travel around Japan after this trip, we can help you with some local tips and flight arrangements.

Please get in touch with us if you want to join this freeriding trip in Japan! It will be our pleasure to guide you.

And in case you're looking for a similar trip with more ski touring and less freeriding, you should consider this road trip and backcountry ski touring in Hokkaido.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Lift tickets

- Transport during the trip

- Skis

- Ski poles

Price details



Ski Passes

10 Nights of Accommodation


Transportation in Japan

Avalanche Training Session

Ski Technique Coaching (optional)

Avalanche Equipment (Backpack, Probe, Shovel) -Beacons are NOT included-

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


Lunch and dinner

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

Flight ticket (Europe-Sapporo is approx. 600 EUR)

Travel and Cancellation Insurance (approx. 100 EUR)

Optional Cat Skiing


Day 1: Arrival + transfer to the house

Day 2: Rusutsu

We will enjoy some great tree-skiing.

Evening: Avalanche Safety Presentation.

Day 3: Moiwa + Avalanche rescue practice

We will enjoy some great powder skiing and beacon search skills after.

Evening: Onsen

Day 4: Niseko Backbowls

We will visit the best ski spots in Niseko (Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village, and Annupurri).

Evening: Night Powder Skiing

Day 5: Kiroro

We will enjoy the less crowded Kiroro and work on our ski technique.

Evening: Karaoke Night (optional)

Day 6: Day off

Enjoy skiing on your own, visiting a Whisky distillery, going to Otaru, or planning your own fun.

Day 7: Mount Yotei

Enjoy a thrilling day in the backcountry on a Mount Yotei climb that will allow you to ski in the crater and then ski down Yotei!

Evening: Onsen

Day 8: Sapporo Kokusai

Enjoy the amazing off-piste and access to the backcountry that Kokusai offers.

Day 9: Sapporo Teine

Ocean views and the steepest terrain in Hokkaido!

Day 10: Last Day!

We have several options including ski touring in a secret Southwest Hokkaido spot, take the van, or ski all the way to the ocean.

Evening: Good Bye Party

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

Flights from/to Japan-Europe take 2 days. If you need help with your flights, send us a message.


Equipment you will need to bring

We INCLUDE the following: 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 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. NOT INCLUDED: Beacon (available for rent, for 90 EUR for the whole camp), ski boots, helmets, snowboard boots or snowboard bindings.


Where will you pick me up when I arrive in Japan?

You will fly to Sapporo New Chitose Airport. If you travel to Sapporo/Chitose airport via Tokyo, please look for “Domestic Departures” in Tokyo. You will have to recheck your baggage in Tokyo.

If we have not agreed otherwise, we will await you on an agreed date and time (we will write to you a few days before arrival) at the airport. (We take a maximum of 6 people at a time, if your arrival is earlier than pick-up time, you can visit restaurants (or onsens-if you have more time ) on the 3rd floor of the airport). We will be at the Domestic Arrival Terminal, Gate 1. Please look for the "SHERPAS RIDE" sign around the waiting area in front of the LAWSON grocery store. This gate is the one most to the right when facing outside.

In case of any problems in Japan, please drop a message to a common WhatsApp group (you will receive an invitation to the group a few days before arrival).

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)

E.g. for the 16th of January - the 26th of January camp - January 16th would be the arrival date to Sapporo and January 26th would be the day you leave Sapporo.

We recommend spending a few days in Tokyo either before (usually better, because you get used to the new time zone).

What ski boots should I take to Sapporo and Niseko?

Freeride (downhill) boot with ski/walk. If you have pin inserts, you can use our pin binding, otherwise, you will use frame binding with the touring option. Boot examples: Tecnica Cochise, Lange XT FREE.

We do not recommend ski boots with no ski/walk mode or super light skimo racing boots.

What is the difference between freeride camp and the hokkaido roadtrip?

Freeride Camp is based in Kutchan (access to Niseko and Sapporo Area), whereas on Hokkaido Road Trip (https://www.explore-share.com/trip/backcountry-ski-touring-hokkaido/) after 4 days skiing around Niseko and Sapporo area, you move to the north to Furano. On Freeride Camp, we aim to have 1-2 days of ski touring, while on Road Trip, there is normally 1 more day of touring. Freeride/touring ratio depends also on weather and group requirements.

Do you get skiers, snowboarders or both?

We get both skiers and snowboarders. Our main priority is to split guests into groups based on their ski/ride level. If possible we try to keep skiers only, snowboarders only groups.

What is the budget for your camps?

Count with 4000 - 6000 YEN per day. Hirafu offers a variety of bars and restaurants with Ramen (starting at 800 YEN), Sashimi (raw fish, starting at 1000 YEN), and a lot of other types of food. Big supermarkets Max Value and Lucky are located in Kutchan walking distance from our house.

Should I take cash or credit card?

Credit and debit cards are generally accepted in Tokyo and Sapporo and in stores in Kutchan. Some of the smaller restaurants in Kutchan accept cash only, however, you can cash out in any 7-Eleven store (cash out at least 15,000 JPY for your first few days in Japan).

What insurance should I take?

Our guests are required to arrange insurance covering freeride and ski-touring and sufficient medical care in case of injury or illness. We also strongly recommend CANCELLATION INSURANCE might you get injured or sick prior to your trip.

If you don't have your own proven travel insurance for freeriding and ski-touring please ask us our recommendations. As we do not follow up on changes in particular insurance policies, please contact the insurance company for the specifics. If your local insurance does not work you can try ERV in the Czech Republic. You can arrange the insurance in English at this link (https://www.ervpojistovna.cz/en/travel-insurance-singletrip). If you go with this option, double-check if it is applicable to your country.


When choosing the right package, always check thoroughly that it covers both freeriding and ski-touring with the following specifics:

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.


Insurance against having to cancel the camp by 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 arranging your travel insurance with ERV (and other companies) and opting for the cancel insurance option, please arrange your insurance no later than 2 weeks after making the first payment for the trip (flight ticket or deposit)


Alpenverein Insurance is not sufficient in its basic version, because coverage of medical expenses is only 10,000 EUR. If you want to use Alpenverein, please purchase additional insurance (fee 44 EUR - might be different in your country) for travel of a maximum of 17 days. Please note that Alpenverein does not have Assistance Service in Japan. In case of an accident, you would have to pay upfront, take the receipts, and get refunded 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 that covers the mentioned accidents. If you are not a member of Alpenverein, you don't have to purchase it just for our trip.

What should I bring with me? Do you have a check list?


  • Passport (biometric, valid after you leave Japan)
  • Credit card (ideally 2 types (e.g. Mastercard and Visa)
  • Insurance card
  • At least 30000 JPY of emergency cash
  • Cellphone + charger

Clothes and Equipment:

  • Ski/Snb boots (check the above FAQ for boot recommendations)
  • Helmet
  • Ski Googles (take clear lense, or for bad weather)
  • Snowboarders: Take your binding
  • Sun Glasses
  • Hard Shell (Outter) Jacket
  • Hard Shell (Outter) Pants
  • Warm second layer
  • First layer shirt (at least 2, merino recommended)
  • First layer pants (at least 2, merino recommended)
  • Ski/Snb socks
  • Gloves
  • Lighter gloves for touring
  • Beanie
  • Balaclava/Buff (something so you don't eat powder all the time :)
  • Non-ski clothes (t-shirts, sweatshirt, pants, underwear etc.)
  • Slippers for the house

You can use our equipment (please refer to Booking Information email), if

you decide NOT to, bring the following:

  • Skis with touring (frame or tech) binding / Snowboard with binding
  • Poles / Collapsible poles
  • Skins
  • Freeride backpack or Avalanche backpack
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Beacon (we recommend to bring at least your beacon, since you are

familiar with it)


  • Down Jacket or third layer (usually it is around -5C to -10C but can go up

to -20C, can get windy and chilly on the lifts)

  • First aid kit
  • Tape (for pressure points in ski boots, blisters etc.)
  • Medical stuff you use
  • Vitamins
  • Multitool/Swiss Army knife
  • Duct Tape
  • Back protector
  • GoPro or other action camera + charger + SD cards + mounts


  • Drivers Licence
  • International Drivers Licence

What's the average age of the participants joining?

Most of our guests are between 30 and 45 years old. However, we had guest anywhere between 18 and 70 years old.

Where do the participants usually come from?

Most of our guests are from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech & Slovak Republic, Italy, France, UK, Sweden, Spain, Poland and more). We get clients from the US, Canada, Australia, South America and elsewhere. We speak English, Spanish, Czech, and some German. The main language spoken by our guides on the camp is English.

Sometimes one of the camps is filled only by Czechs or Slovaks, in that case, Czech is spoken in the camp.

How do you split the groups?

We split guests into groups based on their ski/ride level and ski touring expectations. If you have a private trip, you stay together as a group. On big touring days (Mt. Yotei e.g.) whenever possible we create one faster and one slower group, which can be different than for freeriding days.

What level for the participants usually have?

We have had folks who tried powder skiing for the first time as well as riders back-flipping pillows and hitting avalanche barriers. And we were able to satisfy both with adequate terrain choice and itinerary. Most of our skiers already have experience with powder skiing and are reasonably fit to be able to go for a backcountry tour. Talk to us directly, we will assess your skiing/riding level and place you in a suitable group.

What ski, snowboard and other equipment you have to use for free?

We provide top level equipment for free use in Japan.


Kastle FX and BMX (115mm and 105mm under foor) Scott Scrapper (120mm and 110mm underfoot) and Armada JJ (117mm underfoot) in various lenghts for men and women


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


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


Shovel, probe. Beacon is not included, but we can rent it for you for 90 EUR for the whole trip.


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


We provide cartridges for ABS backpacks, so you don't have to bring your cartridge on the plane. Please bring your avalanche backpack. We don't have cartridges from Mammut, BCA, Alpride and other brands. We do not provide ski boots, helmets, snowboard boots nor 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?

The short answer is 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 the IATA terms and Description of your cartridge and show it to the airport staff upon check-in luggage scan.

Bring your avalanche bag as check-in luggage and ideally inform your airline, that you will be transporting such an 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 visas 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: 3-chōme-2-31 Kita 3 Jōhigashi, Abuta-Gun, Kutchan- Cho 044-0003, Hokkaido, Japan. The 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 a biometrical passport or one with a machine-readable two-line code at the end of the passport (a 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.

How does the last night in Sapporo work?

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

We normally try to stay a short walk or taxi ride from the train station (if a 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 the 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 Roppongi
  • Book Robot Restaurant (book ahead) and all the bizarre stuff Tokyo has to offer


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?

Bringing your own gear is recommended 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 underfoot and pin touring binding (ATK, Fritschi Tecton, etc.) or frame touring binding (e.g. Tyrolia Adrenalin, Marker Duke) for skiing in Japan.

What facilities are in the house?

The house includes all these facilities:

  • Free coffee
  • Wahser and Dryer
  • Restroom
  • Shower and bath with tub
  • Hair dryer
  • Kitchen
  • Bath towel, face towel, toothbrush and shaver

What do you recommend for internet & data sim cards in Japan?

There is a good wifi in our house in Kutchan. If you want to be connected on the slopes as well, we recommend buying a data sim card at the Telecom Square store, which you will find at the domestic terminal in front of the bridge to the international terminal.

Is this trip more about freeride skiing or ski toruing?

This Freeride Camp has 80% Freeride/lift access skiing and 20% 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
Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa MIZU NO UTA
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Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa KIRIN NO YU
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Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa YU NO HANA
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About the guide

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



The skiing trip encountered several issues, starting with unmet itinerary promises such as night skiing and the advertised average of 10,000 vertical meters of skiing. Despite a smooth booking process and excellent pre-trip information, the trip's delivery fell short. The guide we had was notably unprofessional, affecting the group's experience negatively due to his behavior and lack of fitness. Also, the inability to choose between advertised group levels and the inclusion of unfit participants further marred the experience. The house we hade provided comfortable accommodations, yet disparities in lodging quality between the groups without price adjustments was not fair. Breakfast was a highlight and the Sherpas staff was really nice. Overall the trip, despite its potential, was ultimately disappointed due to significant shortcomings in execution and leadership.



Great all round trip with great guides.



What an experience! Vojta, Tomas, Cyril and Kuba run a great camp with good balance of ski touring and lift access to get to the best lines of the day. I liked the idea of not having daily program set in stone but rather wait for morning weather report to decide on the best option for the day. I highly recommend Sherpas ride for Japow experience.



I recently did the Freeride Camp with Sherpas Ride and it was amazing. First of all the staff is not only very competent but also highly motivated to provide a great experience on and off the mountain every single day. The provided equipment (Skis, Poles & avalanche equipment) was new and worked well. Breakfast was freshly made every day and the guys did a good job creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere throughout the trip. I'll definitely try to come back for another trip!



I was not backcountry skier before. Thank to Vojta and Tomas it was my experience with powder outstanding. I would recommend Japan trip to any skiing fan. Thank you guys for gr8 adventure.

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