trip duration TRIP DURATION
2 days
mountain range MOUNTAIN RANGE
max people per fuide MAX PEOPLE PER GUIDE
2 people
trip level TRIP LEVEL
best period OFFER PERIOD
Jan, Feb
type of trip TYPE OF TRIP


Sounkyo Ice Climbing.

I’d like to introduce ice climbing in Hokkaido, in Japan, and show you that Hokkaido is not all about skiing! I will take you to Daisetsuzan area for 2 days, which is the best known ice climbing area in Hokkaido, with more than 10 large scale waterfalls. The scenic gorges have a lot of both ice and mixed routes.

This course is more for beginners or those with some prior experience.

Required Levels:

Beginner / Intermediate – You will need to have had a prior summer rock climbing experience, as you would need to know how to belay someone. You need to be fit enough to walk the 30min approach, and be comfortable crossing a section of water with water level lower than knee height in wellington boots (available for rent if feet size in between 25-27cm at JPY 1,000 per pair) or on bare foot.

Beginners to ice climbing are very welcome!


Day 1: From Sapporo, we will drive to Sounkyo valley (140km, 3hrs), located within Daisetsuzan National Park. We will head to “Ginga no taki” (Waterfall of Galaxy) for ice climbing (120m, WI3*, 4 pitches). Overnight stay at an accommodation with onsen.

Day 2: Visit the “Kinshi no taki” (Waterfall of Tinsel) for ice climbing (100m, WI3/4*, 3 pitches). A relaxing dip in an onsen before driving back to Sapporo. Estimated time of return is around 6pm.

*Ice Climbing Grades:

WI3 – generally sustained in the 60-70 degree range with occasional near-vertical steps up to 4 metres

WI4 – near-vertical steps of up to 10 metres, generally sustained climbing requiring placing protection screws from strenuous stances

If you’re after a more challenging course then please have a look at my ice climbing programme for more experienced / advanced ice climbers.

Included in Price:-

Guide Fee

Excluded from Price:-


Climate: Temperature in this area ranges from -8 to -15c. The waterfall is in a valley so it is not affected by the wind. Prepare yourself with layers of warm clothes!


– Crampon compatible Mountaineering boots
– Technical ice axes
– Harness
– Helmet
– CramponsItems such as ice axes, harness, helmet, and crampons can be rented at JPY 2,000 each (rental of ice axes are JPY 4,000 for the 2 days). Other ice climbing gears such as ice screws, quick draws etc. will be provided.

Other Info:

  • Reservation opens 6 months prior to the trip date. Please reserve well in advance
  • Full payment needs to be made at least 1 month in advance


  • In case of bad weather / conditions (including road conditions), the trip itinerary may be altered and/or date change can be discussed.
  • Riding on the guide’s car is considered as ride sharing and thus will only covered under normal car insurance. The guide’s responsibility and liability is only applicable from the departure from the start of the approach path until our return to the same point.
  • Please make sure all participants are individual insured appropriately with international travel insurance which specifically covers ice climbing.
  • For any injuries in the mountains, the guide will not be liable and will need to be paid by your own means.

Accommodation options in SOUNKYO:

Mount View Hotel: Onsen, lots of Asian tourists. Half board. JPY 10,000.

Choyo-tei: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). Great food! JPY 15,000-20,000.

Price per person

1 Person100000JPY
Group of 270000JPY
Group of 350000JPY

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
Accommodation is not included. Please note that clients will have to pay for the guide´s accommodation expense on the spot as well (JPY 10,000 per night, including half-board)

Other details

Skill level required


Fitness level required



Accommodation options in NISEKO:
- Hotel Kanronomori: Japanese style onsen hotel (half-board). JPY 12000~20,000 (pp per night)
- Goshiki Onsen: An Onsen accommodation in the mountains, far from ski resorts. Self catering JPY 4,000. Half board JPY 10,000.
- The Woodpeckers: mountain hut-like accommodation, just below Niseko Moiwa ski resort. Half-board included. JPY 7,500.

Accommodation options in TOKACHI:
- Ryounkaku: Half-board with onsen. JPY 10,000.
- Hakuginso: Self catering. Guide can arrange booking. Amazing onsen outside! JPY 3,000

Accommodation options in ASAHIDAKE:
- Shirakabaso: For youth. Half board, JPY 8,000

Accommodation options in SOUNKYO:
- Mount View Hotel: Onsen, lots of Asian tourists. Half board. JPY 10,000
- Choyo-tei: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). Great food! JPY 15,000-20,000

Accommodation options in SAPPORO:
- Route Inn Sapporo and Sapporo Aspen Hotel: Food not included. JPY 8,000-9,000
- Sapporo Grand Hotel: JPY 10,000-20,000

Accommodation options in OTARU:
- Kourakuen: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). JPY 20,000
- Musashitei: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). JPY 20,000

More info

- Clients need to rent or bring snowshoes and ski poles