January is the best season for this Asian powder skiing in the neighbor Japanese cities of Kurodake and Asahidake, in Northern Hokkaido.
Volcanoes, powder, thermal springs and sushi are the key ingredients of this memorable Japanese off-piste experience.
Kurodake and Asahidake are two very small resorts at the heart of Daisetsuzan National Park (which means “big snowy mountains”). They are at the foot of the Daisetsukan volcano range, the highest mountains in Hokkaido. The tallest summit in the area is Mount Asahi, at 2291 m.
This is one of the wildest and least populated areas in Japan. In fact, is the home of various endangered animals, like the brown bear.
Kurodake and its sister village of Asahidake are a true high mountain setting, breaking the mould of “easy and mellow” Japanese ski. Actually, their few lifts and cable cars open a wide spectrum of superb off-piste and ski touring itineraries.
Unlike most Japanese resorts, as little is done in the way of piste grooming, there’s free access to the whole mountain without the intervention of the piste police.
The place gets about 15 m of snow per year. It remains light due to the cold and dry atmosphere at the center of the island.
In Kurodake ski resort you can find the long and steep Alpine runs that are missing elsewhere, still with the quantity and reliability of powder that people are looking for in Japan. Because of this, I consider it one of Hokkaido’s well kept secrets.
ABOUT THIS TRIP
You will ski alternatively on the vast powder slopes at the top of the volcanoes and in the pine forests in the valleys, with elevation differentials between 500 and 900 m, and much longer runs than in the mountains of the South.
At the end of the day, you can relax in the “onsen”, the popular hot thermal springs in the region. After that, you’ll enjoy the delicious traditional food offered in the inns you will be staying in.
For this trip, we’ll stay both in Kurodake and Asahidake. Both places are far from the touristic resorts on the south of Hokkaido.
Please contact me and we’ll start planning together this amazing ski touring week in Japan!
Price per person
- Guiding fee
Kurodake or Asahidake.
- Inn in Kurodake