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Snowshoe trekking in Rishiri, Hokkaido


Explore the beauties of snow covered Rishiri on snowshoes with a certified local mountain guide, Toshiya! Enjoy a half or full day of snowshoe trekking!

Not specified

1 Day

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Dec


Come and explore the beauties of snow covered virgin forests at the foot of Mt Rishiri, on snowshoes at your own pace! Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the winter of Mt Rishiri, which doesn't require any prior technical skills unlike backcountry skiing.

I offer half day trips and 1-day trips, depending on your fitness levels and how you want to enjoy Rishiri!

Half Day Course (3 hours):

It's an easy way to get a taster of snowshoeing and enjoy the winter outdoors. This course combines the beautiful snowscape and purely having fun in the snow. Children from the age of 6 can join this course, and so I recommend it to families with children, first time snowshoers, and those that are not as confident in their fitness levels! There's a lot of focus on making it a FUN course so even though it's a short programme, the satisfaction level tends to be high!

1-Day Course (6-8 hours) with lunch included:

We'll be exploring places that we wouldn't have the time to reach in a Half Day Course. The view and snowscape on the route will be magnificent and you can immerse yourself in the nature more. We'll have a warm lunch that I prepare for you on a table crafted from snow, where you'll be able to warm up and regain your strength for more fun and exploration in the afternoon!


– For Half Day Course, meet at 9am or 1:30pm at my family hotel (please let me know if you need to be picked up from the port or your own hotel). For 1-Day Course, meet at 9am.

– Fill in necessary documents

– Equipment / Clothing check

– Start Snowshoe trekking and enjoy winter Rishiri!

– Relax at Rishiri Fuji Onsen (hot spring) at the end of the trek.

– Back to hotel


Half Day Course – JPY 6,000 per person

1 Day Course – JPY 12,000 per person

Included in Price:-

Guide Fee, Lunch (for 1 Day Course)

Excluded from Price:-



I recommend you to stay in my family hotel that I manage (photos can be found on this page). It is equipped with a nice onsen (hot spring bath) where it is awesome to stay after a day of skiing. You will enjoy delicious home-cooked Japanese food. Please get in touch to get more info!


Coming to Rishiri can be done either by flight (45 min) from Sapporo either by ferry (1.40) leaving from Wakkanai.


– Warm clothing (jacket, trousers – I recommend full ski wears)
– Warm hat
– Warm gloves
– Warm shoesI can lend you a set of snowshoes and a suitable backpack for the trek for free.Please bring any snacks that you might want to eat and nibble during the trek!

If you'd like to experience the winter beauty on the remote island of Rishiri, please get in touch with me! I can show you where only the local guides can take you…!

I also offer backcountry skiing trips in Rishiri. Have a look at this programme if you have prior experience of ski touring and if you're seeking an off-the-beaten track skiing adventure!


Please be aware that depending on the weather and the conditions, I may decide to change the route, objective of the trek, and any other contents of the trip, for safety reasons.

As a guide, I cannot be held liable for any accidents that may occur during the trip, except for those that occurr due to my gross negligence or malicious intent.

Please also be aware that I will be guiding at a pace appropriate for the participant with the lest technical and fitness levels.

Cancellation Policy:

I ask for a Cancellation Fee in case of last minute cancellation:

For cancellation on the day before the trip – 50% of Trip Price

For cancellation on the day of the trip – 100% of Trip Price



You will stay in my family hostel (winter price) - JPY 11,000 for 1 night, including dinner and breakfast (onsen tax included) - JPY 8,600 for 1 night and breakfast (onsen tax included) - JPY 7,400 for 1 night bed only (onsen tax included)

More info

The price indicated is per day of the course. For half day the price is JPY6000.

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.

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.


Japanese | English




Rishiri-gun, Japan

What people are saying about -Toshiya Watanabe

Angela Gillespie


April, 2021

If it were possibke to award 100 Stars I would !

Davide Jacks


March, 2020

The traveller did not leave a comment.

M. R. Grimshaw


March, 2020

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Joel Schy


January, 2020

Toshi is world class from pick-up to drop-off. Very friendly, very professional and he knows Rishiri inside out. His guest house is outstanding and the food they serve like nowhere else. Will be back very soon!



April, 2019

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!

Chris Pierce


March, 2019

Toshi and his staff are great! Very knowledgeable of the local terrain. Definitely recommend bringing a group of people with similar abilities and objectives. If you end up in a mixed group they do their best, but they have to slow the pace to the least experienced people in the group. The accommodations at the pension were very comfortable and the staff was excellent as well. Food was fantastic, including several unique and authentic Japanese dishes.

Paul Johnston


March, 2019

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!!

Bruce Barnett


February, 2019

I recommend this trip for any backcountry skier who likes to ski Japan powder. Toshi has a great set up with snow mobiles for initial access and a large variety of steeper terrain for skinning up and skiing down. Can suit a range of wind directions and conditions. The accommodation is new and comfortable and the Japanese dinners and breakfasts are great if you like seafood. There is also an onsen there. Unfortunately we were there at a time when there was no new snow however this was compensated for with the magnificent views we had if Rishiri mountain and surrounding islands.



February, 2019

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.

Elisabeth Smajda


January, 2019

English very limited. But otherwise the experience, the accommodation, the snow, the place and the guide were truly amazing!

Nick Oats


March, 2018

Toshi and his team are fantastic - great guiding and accom, and Rishiri has some amazing terrain for backcountry ski/snowboarding.

James Ramsay


February, 2018

One of the best trips I have ever done. One of the most beautiful places I have visited in Japan and the rest of the world. Toshi is an exceptional guide, is an expert on the islands skiing and has a fantastic set up including accomodation. His pension is perfect for daily excursions into the backcountry. I cannot recommend this trip enough except that I don't want eveyone else to know about this very special place.



February, 2018

Rishiri You Beauty! Toshiya is an amazing guide, a great character and also a very good host surrounded by a friendly team at Maruzen Pension. How special to have Toshiya sharing his local knowledge of Mount Rishiri, his "back garden" as he like to call it! A perfect playground for all powder enthusiasts, so many faces and ridges to use; make first lines in waist deep pow and ride all the way back down to sea level! I wish I had never left and I cannot wait to come back! Thank you Rishiri.



February, 2017

We had an amazing experience on Rishiri, perfect snow, good weather and a guide who knows the island like his pocket. The very steep slopes and the overwhelming nature satisfied every wish we had.  We have been looking for a guided tour avoiding the normal tracks on Hokkaido and then saw the pictures of the floating mountain. And definitively the adventure included.  We went to the southern part of the island, as Toshi-san knew that there would be the best snow conditions. The first 5km we have been toed in by a snow mobile and then climbed up a several times, riding different gullies each time. Toshi-san is an amazing person, always happy, friendly and very welcoming. As said before, he knows every bit of the island and guided accordingly bringing us to breathtaking places. We all would and will totally recommend him to friends visiting Japan. The reality was much better than expectations! We had some concerns regarding the weather conditions and difficulty but got lucky with the weather and never felt that Toshi chose a route too difficult. Rishiri is a floating mountain! Steep like in the Swiss alps, but just one single mountain, which makes the it much more imposant. On the sunny day, we could see the Sibirian mainland. What are your top 3 memories during the trip ?  Riding very steep slopes in perfect snow, Toshi-san with his warm and welcoming attitude, and the travel to get there and back



October, 2016

Our two guides have been really great and showed us the beauty of Rishiri and Rebun Island by sharing their knowledge and passion. We did learn a lot about the flora on Japan's most Northern islands! Rishiri-Zan was a great, pleasant summer hike and must be beautiful and fun for ski touring in Winter time. thanks again!



March, 2016

Incredible scenery, terrain with endless possibilities, no crowd, pure Japanese ambiance. What do you want more? A experienced guide that will share his passion with a legendary smile? Check! Toshiya and his family are the additional element that make this kind of trip just epic.



August, 2015

The trip was truly amazing. Toshiya was our guide, he is the only winter guide on Rishiri (in summer there are 5 guides apparently). He is great, he and his sister run a ryokan (hotel) which is nice, great food and with a nice onzen (natural hot spring) to relax after skiing (they can open a big door so you can see the mountain and the stars whilst enjoying the bath. Bit hard to get to Rishiri but the powder on the big mountain pays for everything, truly amazing. Toshiya climbed the top over 500 times so he knows the mountain and the good spots to find the best conditions depending on wind etc. According to him the best season is February/early March. The wind is the main factor whether or not to reach the top and that is the same most months however powder is best not too late in the season (we were in early March). Temperature is not too bad despite being very close to Siberia. I may go again next year!

Prices per person, per day

Group of 1

JPY 12372 Each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee


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