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Freeride skiing in Niigata / Gunma with a local IFMGA guide

Come to practice freeride skiing in Niigata! Tsutomu, a certified local IFMGA mountain guide, will take you each day to a different magical place. Join him!

Mountain RangeJapan Alps
Duration1+ day
Offer periodJan, Feb, Mar
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelOccasional
Type of tripNot specified


Niigata is a well known area in Japan for the deep snow it gets during the winter. It has numerous ski resorts and backcountry skiing / snowboarding routes.

Due to it easy access from Tokyo via Jouetsu shinkansen (bullet train) it’s an ideal destination for a quick weekend getaway or short trips. There are a lot of small to big ski resorts, where we can access powder runs from. You get to enjoy powder skiing and snowboarding to its fullest using the lifts.

The starting point of this trip will be Echigo yuzawa station. We’ll meet there and I’ll drive you to the ski area. We will be picking the best ski areas depending on the weather and conditions of the day. These are some of the places we can explore:

  • Lift accessed sidecountry skiing at Tenjindaira Ski Area at the foot of the famous Mt Tanigawadake. 
  • Kagura ski areas. We will enjoy the notorious and numerous ski / snowboard lift accessible powder from there.
  • Joushu Hotaka Ski Area. We will enjoy more ski / snowboard lift accessible powder from there!

I offer private trips because we can adapt them to your technical, fitness and experience levels. That means you can join this trip whether you’re just getting into backcountry skiing or you’re an advanced skier wanting to go on adventures.

Besides, there is flexibility in the number of days (although I recommend it to be a 2-day+ tour) and also in the difficulty of routes, in terms of steepness, fitness level, if you want to climb up a little or not, etc.

Would you like to join me for a freeride ski adventure in Japan? Please send a request to book this trip! We can discuss and adapt the itinerary to your requirements and experience level. 

I offer many ski trips in different areas in Japan, like this freeride ski trip in Nozawa Onsen.



You will sleep in a hotel.

More info

Kit list: - Touring skis / splitboard / snow board - Skins / snowshoes - Touring boots - Poles - Avalanche Safety Gears (beacon, probe, shovel) - Helmet - Goggles - Gloves - Ski wear etc. <br> You need to purchase your own mountain rescue insurance prior to joining the tour.

Meeting point

We'll meet at Echigo yuzawa station and then I'll drive you to the ski area.


About the guide

guide profile img

To become a mountain guide had been my dream since I first started climbing mountains, and I have been a mountain guide since 2001 as well as an IFMGA guide since July 2014. I am very happy with the opportunity I have as a guide to share my experience, knowledge and skills with everyone that I go guiding with. I still remember the mix of fear, excitement and nervousness the first time I traversed the Daikiretto (a long knife edge ridge in the Northern Japanese Alps) during my first big climbing trip in the Northern Japanese Alps. I felt as if my heart was going to jump out of my mouth! But at the same time I felt so vividly alive and felt the kind of happiness that I had never felt before. It was a life changing experience and want to share this kind of feeling with my clients. My favourite mountain areas are vicinities of Mt Hotaka and Mt Tsurugi in the summer and Yatsugatake in the winter. I have guided backcountry skiing in Nagano areas (Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen) as well. I have also climbed extensively around the world, from Ultar Star in Pakistan to routes in Yosemite in the USA and several peaks in Chamonix in France.

What people are saying about Tsutomu Sugisaka

Prices per person

Group of 1

JPY 40000 each

Group of 2

JPY 20000 each

Group of 3

JPY 14000 each

Group of 4

JPY 12000 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

Guide expenses (not included in the above price, to be divided among the participants):


-Transport JPY 23,000 (to be paid together with guide fee)

-In addition, there’ll be about JPY 1,000 per day for parking and accommodation JPY 10,000-15,000 per day per night, both of which should be paid on the spot.


Price also doesn’t include any transportation cost e.g. shinkansen (bullet train) fair. Accommodation can be paid on the spot rather than in advance.

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