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Winter Mountaineering Course with Nishihodaka Climb

Winter Mountaineering Course with Nishihodaka Climb | undefined

Learn basic winter mountaineering skills from a very experienced IFMGA guide and summit Mt Nishihodaka in the North Japan Alps mountain range.

Japan Alps

2 Days

Jan - Apr, Dec


Learn winter mountaineering skills and enjoy the beautiful climb and scenery of North Japan Alps from the summit of Mt Nishihodaka

Let’s enjoy the winter climbing of Nishihodaka!
If you’re interested in starting winter mountain climbs and learning some skills necessary then this program is for you! In addition to gaining some useful winter mountaineering skills, we will also put the skills learned into use the next day by attempting a climb of Mt Nishihodaka.

I am very experienced in teaching mountaineering skills as one of my roles includes training people to become mountain guides.

The Shinhotaka ropeway takes you from an elevation of 1,117m to 2,156m, which gives us easy access to the ridge lines. I have climbed this route a lot and had a lot of great experiences, and I would love to share them with you.

Required Technical Level:
Preferred to have basic skills/experiences in mountains

Required Fitness Level:
Need to have good strength for 8 hours a day with carrying
approximately 8kg backpack

Price includes

- Guiding fee


Day 1: A hike to Nishiho Hut and a Winter Mountaineering Skills course

We will meet at Shin-Hodaka Onsen Ropeway at 9:30 a.m. Utilising the ropeway, we’ll hike through a beautiful forest of Japanese hemlock and maries fir to Nishihodaka Hut, where I’ll go through basic winter mountaineering skills with you. We’ll stay overnight at the hut.

Day 2: The peak and traverse

From Nishihodaka hut, we will climb to the peak of Nishiho Doppyo (2,701m) and then to the peak of Mt Nishihodaka (2,909m). We will take the same route back to Shin-Hodaka Onsen(Hot spring).



More info

Included in Price:

  • Guide Fee
  • Winter Mountaineering Skills Course Fee

Excluded from Price:

  • Own Transportation Fee
  • Guide Expense ca. JPY 18,300 (for transportation and accommodation) *Please split the guide expense with group members.
  • Rental cost for gears (optional)

Meeting point

9:30 a.m. at Shin-Hodaka Onsen Ropeway

Equipment you will need to bring

Kit List *Please contact me if you need to rent any of these gears. Harness Helmet – must have one Screwgate karabiner – 3 sets Karabiner – 2 set keylock type or same level Slings – 120cm and a 60cm Belay Device – one which can also be used for abseiling / rappelling Crampons – with 10-12 teeth Ice axe – light and not long Climbing Pole – one is better Shell Outer – e.g. Gore-Tex Shell Pants – e.g. Gore-Tex Warm jacket / insulating layers Hat – protection against cold and sunlight Sunglasses – necessary item (goggles possible as a substitute) Sunscreen – necessary item Headlamp – with extra battery Food or snack Drink – with thermos bottle (no Plastic bottles) Suitable Winter mountaineering boots Suitable Winter mountaineer clothes Suitable gloves for winter Backpack – 40-45L size Photocopy of Insurance Plastic bags Map – optional Camera – optional Cell phone – optional Small knife – optional Lighter – optional Crampons and Ice axes can be rented at JPY 500 per item. Helmet, harness, karabiner, slings, belay device can be rented at JPY 500 per item or JPY 2,000 for all items. If you’d like to rent everything (crampons, ice axe, helmet, harness, karabiner, slings, belay device) then the price for all is JPY 3,000


Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?

Yes, you will need a helmet, harness, carabiner, climbing shoes, crampons, an ice ax or hiking poles. If you need to rent, you can check the following rental store: https://www.yamarent.com

Is there a place near Nishihokada that provides rental for winter mountaineering boots?

Hiking shoes are not available for rent, but please let us know your shoe size in centimeters so that we can find them for you if necessary.

What are the topics that would be covered in the winter mountaineering course?

Winter Mountaineering Skills: The course focuses on teaching essential winter mountaineering skills required for safe and successful climbs in snowy conditions.

Climbing Mt Nishihodaka: Participants have the opportunity to put their newly acquired skills into practice by attempting a climb of Mt Nishihodaka, which offers a beautiful winter climb and scenic views of the North Japan Alps.

Shinhotaka Ropeway: The course utilizes the Shinhotaka ropeway, which transports participants from an elevation of 1,117 meters to 2,156 meters. This provides easy access to ridge lines and the climbing route.

What is not included in the price?

There are some additional costs, such as:

  • Mountain hut accommodation fees
  • Ropeway fees
  • Transportation fees

For you to have an approximate idea of extra costs, there is a parking fee of 2,000 yen at Minoto, a mountain hut fee of 13,000 to 15,000 yen, and a transportation fee of 3,000 yen. Please remember that all prices are approximate.

Could you provide a list of the needed equipment for the mountaineering course?

About the necessary equipment

Winter mountain clothing

30~40L rucksack

mountain shoes

over jacket

over pants

warm gloves

woolen hat

Winter clothes


Carabiner with safety lock

12 blade crampons

ice ax

1 stock

If I have no previous experience doing winter mountaineering before. Is this course for me?

Yes, this course is for you too! If you have no experience with snowy mountains, I think it would be better to enter from Minoto, Mt. Iodake, or Mt. Akadake. Minoto is the starting point, and from there we will go to Akadake Kosen Hut. The scenery from both Mt. Iodake and Mt. Akadake is spectacular. Yatsugatake is more convenient to access from Tokyo. Also, Akadake Kosen Hut is more wonderful than Nishiho Sanso.

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
Hotel La Neige Higashi kan Hakuba Japan
See rooms
Hakuba Mominoki Hotel Hakuba Japan
See rooms
Hotel Hakuba Hakuba Japan
See rooms

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

I am an IFMGA mountain guide as well as a specialist in mountain rescue. As a guide, I constantly work towards increasing the standards of mountaineering skills in Japan with an emphasis on risk and safety management, whilst training and coaching mountaineering clubs and rescue teams.

I started climbing in my 20s, and since then have enjoyed all-round mountain activities including alpine climbing in Mt Tanigawa (on which I’ve climbed over 360 times), Hodaka, Tsurugi areas as well as rock climbing, ice climbing, ski mountaineering, sawanobori, and high altitude climbing in the Himalayas.
In addition to numerous and notable climbs in Japan, I have an extensive climbing experiences abroad both personal and for guiding; in the Himalayas (Lotse etc.), Eiger, Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Grands Jorasses north face, and New Zealand (Aspiring, Cook).

My current interest is in training people mountain skills in order for them to enjoy the mountains better and in a safer manner. I run a mountain guide academy where I have been training future mountain guides with a strong focus on safety and elimination of accidents for a number of years. At the same time, I very much enjoy teaching and running skills courses for beginners who are just getting into the mountains but are keen on learning and/ or improving their skills for their next project.

Please contact me if you’re looking for a guide to train you to accomplish your dream project, to help you progress in your mountain skills, or to help you gain introductory skills for first time mountaineering / ice climbing / rock climbing / ski mountaineering! I’d be very happy to assist you to achieve your wishes!!


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What people are saying about this trip



Big Thanks to Kenichi,he is professional and think about your safety all the time.He organized everything to made a proper program for us and discuss with us through email many times before starting the trip. We have lots of fun and already fall in love with winter mountaineering! Never thought that we will reach the summit. If you looking for someone who can guide you with safety and happiness,Kenichi is the one.



Kenichi is a great guide, very experienced and focussed on delivering a safe yet enjoyable journey. We were lucky weather conditions on both days were favourable and the views along the way and from the Nishihodaka summit were just stunning!



Perfect trip. Perfect guide. Nice mountain

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