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Hokkaido Powder Skiing: Explorer Tour

Experience everything Hokkaido has to offer with this incredible resort-accessed backcountry ski adventure

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13 days
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Hokkaido JAPAN
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Off-Piste / Sidecountry
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January to March
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From ¥482,000 per person
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4-10 People

The Hokkaido Explorer Tour is a fully guided and hosted resort and sidecountry powder tour with our guiding partner Whiteroom. Designed for advanced to expert skiers and snowboarders who are eager to explore the best ski areas in Hokkaido. With only one rest day, participants will follow the storms in search of powder, traveling from Asahikawa in the north, down to Niseko in the south, and everything in between. This is an advanced-expert guided tour where lifts are used to access the backcountry of each resort in search of fresh and deep Hokkaido powder.

The tour includes three nights in Hokkaido's second largest city, Asahikawa. Staying in the heart of the city guests have easy access to Asahidake, Kurodake, Kamui, and Pippu. The tour also visits Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Kokusai, Teine, Kiroro, and Niseko, providing participants with the chance to experience the Hokkaido culture and mountains that Mabey Ski loves. At night, participants will have the opportunity to sample some of the great local food the area is famous for luxurious onsens to soak their weary bones at the end of each day.

The tour will travel through Niseko, Otaru and Central Hokkaido. Depending on conditions, you will visit the following resorts; Niseko, Moiwa, Rusutsu, Kokusai, Teine, Kiroro, Furano Ski Area, Tomamu, Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake, Tokachi Sahoro Resort, Pippu.

To join this tour, you should have advanced skills in skiing powder, which means being able to confidently ski the entire mountain at a good speed in powder, variable conditions, and through trees. Additionally, you should be in good physical condition.
For snowboarders, you should be able to maintain speed in flat sections through planning ahead and hold a solid traverse line while being able to maneuver without slowing down the group. To ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment, groups are divided based on skill level, and some groups may involve hiking to access the best terrain.

These guided ski trips take place from January to March. If the dates don't suit, or you would like to organise a private trip, email us with more details and we can find something to suit your needs.

Jenny & Bert, Hokkaido

A once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mabey Ski made very aspect of organising easy and enjoyable. A unique and magical experience!

Chloe & Family, Hokkaido

The attention to detail was second to none and the excursions to onsens and authentic restaurants were excellent. The extra tips on what to take, what to wear and key Japanese phrases were all very helpful. The whole experience was enchanting & fulfilled our desire for adventure – thank you Mabey Ski!

Lucy & Chris, Hokkaido

A good mix of luxury, adventure and culture! The highlight of our trip was ski touring on Mount Yōtei. A more personable and flexible approach. Mabey Ski really focus on the small details as much as the big ones.

Danny & Amanda, Niseko/Kyoto/Tokyo

We really want to thank you for making our first visit to Japan such a memorable experience. Your knowledge of this country really made a huge difference.

Holly, Hokkaido

Had the time of my life in both Japan and New Zealand with Mabey Ski. Ski touring in Japan in the deepest powder with the most wonderful guide. Their team goes above and beyond, they think of every detail. I cannot recommend their experiences enough.

Armacell Corporate, Niseko

The whole trip was very well organised. We had no previous knowledge of Niseko and with a large group it was invaluable to have a specialist on the ground. It was completely different to anything I’ve experienced in Europe, and we were all blown away by our Japanese chef’s table experience – it was so unique, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

The Resorts


Niseko boasts the biggest network of trails in the region, making it an ideal destination for multiple-day skiing. With long flowing trails and open bowls, Niseko offers a variety of terrains for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The resort is split into four distinct areas, providing endless opportunities to explore.

Moiwa is a more relaxed skiing destination compared to its larger neighbor, Niseko. With fewer people and a mix of wide groomed slopes and open tree runs, it is perfect for building confidence on the slopes and dipping into off-trail terrain.

Rusutsu offers a wide range of terrain across its two mountains, with well-maintained wide-open trails and hidden powder stashes. Known for its amazing tree skiing, Rusutsu provides opportunities to ski in perfectly gladed birch tree forests that Japan is famous for.


Kokusai offers an off-the-beaten-track skiing experience, with perfectly groomed wide trails that are great for ripping fast turns and laps. Mellow tree islands allow for people to get a feel for tree skiing.

Teine is one of the closest ski areas for those staying in Sapporo, making it a great option for skiing a half-day when moving between Niseko and Furano. With open terrain and well-groomed trails, Teine offers stunning views of Sapporo city.

Kiroro provides variable terrain for anyone looking to get their Japan powder fix. Expect long runs down from the top of the gondola, with countless tree islands and powder stashes to explore.


Furano Ski Area is a country town that has its own ski area, offering some of the best tree skiing in Hokkaido. With various backcountry access points leading to steep faces, glades, and gullies full of fresh pow, Furano is perfect for advanced skiers. The resort is also relatively quiet most days, providing a unique authentic Japanese night scene experience.

Tomamu is a must-visit skiing destination. With 11 lifts and wide variety of runs catering to all abilities, Tomamu offers an awesome park and off-piste section, as well as some special backcountry areas and arguably the best in-bounds powder skiing in Hokkaido.

Kamui Ski Links is a small ski resort that offers wide-open cruisers as well as powder-filled trees and gullies. With few crowds, it is a great option for those looking for a private mountain experience.

Asahidake is a popular touring location in Hokkaido, with easy access to above tree line terrain provided by the Ropeway at the bottom of the volcano. With chutes, alpine bowls, massive pillows, and epically deep powder, Asahidake is perfect for advanced skiers.

Tokachi Sahoro Resort is a resort full of surprises, with short fun shots between the lifts and full vert tree runs down to the road. It is well-protected and is a good option when the weather has come in.

Pippu a quiet mountain and a good option when the storms are coming in. Plenty of trees to ski through, good pitch and no people off-piste. This is a great mountain when everywhere else is busy or clapped out due to low vis or high winds.

Japanese Culture

Hokkaido is known for its unique culture and traditions that have been preserved for centuries. The indigenous Ainu people have a rich cultural heritage that includes unique crafts, music, dance, and traditional clothing. Hokkaido is also famous for its culinary culture, including fresh seafood, local vegetables, and dairy products. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese dishes such as ramen, sushi, and tempura, as well as local specialties like soup curry and grilled lamb . In addition, Hokkaido hosts many festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from snow and ice to local agriculture and wildlife. These events offer visitors a chance to experience the vibrant and colorful culture of Hokkaido firsthand.


This itinerary outlines a 13-day skiing and cultural tour of Hokkaido, Japan. On the first day, guests will be transferred from Asahikawa Airport to their accommodation in Asahikawa city, where they will meet their lead guides at a welcome dinner. You’ll get to experience life in an authentic Japanese city, with easy access to Asahidake, Kurodake, Kamui and Pippu. At night your guide will show you around the sights and take you to some of the cities coolest bars and restaurants.

The tour will then move south, with a day spent exploring Kamui Ski Links and stopping at a mountain onsen for a soak. Days five and six will be spent at Furano and Sahoro resorts, followed by a transfer to Otaru,  Kokusai, Kiroro or Teine resorts. On day ten, the tour will move to Niseko, with options to ski at Kiroro or Rusutsu or for a cultural experience, Yoichi Whiskey Distillery. The final two days will be spent skiing at Niseko United ski area and Rusutsu, Kiroro or Moiwa resorts, followed by a traditional Shabu Shabu or Nabe Hot pot dinner on the last night. The tour will conclude on day 13 with a transfer to Sapporo New Chitose Airport. Please note that this itinerary also runs in reverse depending on the dates.


From ¥482,000 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room)


  • Guiding and hosting services throughout the trip
  • Sapporo New Chitose Airport transfer with Resort Liner
  • Asahikawa Airport transfer
  • 3 nights of twin/triple share accommodations at OMO7 in Asahikawa
  • 3 nights of twin/triple share accommodations at North Country Inn in Furano
  • 3 nights of twin/triple share accommodations at OMO5 in Otaru
  • 3 nights of twin/triple share accommodations at Full Note Pension in Niseko Hirafu
  • All lift passes for skiing/snowboarding
  • A cultural day tour of Sapporo
  • Welcome and farewell dinner parties
  • Daily cooked breakfasts
  • Onsen (hot spring) tour to experience the traditional Japanese soaking baths

Looking for a powder road-trip with a twist?

This road trip embodies everything a true Mabey Ski trip is about – amazing snow, rich culture, great beer and of course a relaxing soak in a mountainside hot spring. If you’re looking for a similar trip, but the locations or dates don’t quite match up, head over to our Off-Piste Powder Chaser.

Skiing through birch trees in Hokkaido Japan