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Powder Chaser Road Trip in Hokkaido

Escape the crowds, stay in traditional ryokans & soak in local onsens on this epic powder-fuelled Japanese road trip

Hokkaido Backcountry Powder Birch Trees Photographer Nolan Isozaki
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2 hosted road trips
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HOKKAIDO JAPAN
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SKI UNDISCOVERED RESORTS
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JANUARY - February
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From USD 3,500 per person

Aimed at those looking to experience the traditional culture of Japan, whilst skiing some of the best powder on the planet, this road trip embodies everything a true Mabey Ski trip is about – getting off the beaten track, chasing the best snow with exert ski guides, staying in locally-hosted accommodation and experiencing rich culture and mouthwatering cuisine along the way.

As featured in the Financial Times

 

For 2023, we will be offering 2 unique road trips for up to 10 guests each. Register your interest below.

  1. Resort based road trip, based out of  Furano and Otaru: February 18-28th, 2023
  2. Lift-accessed touring road trip based out of Furano and Asahikawa: January 12-22nd, 2023

 

As well as our bespoke road trips - we are hosting 2 guided road trips in 2023. One will be a 10 night multi-resort trip, hitting the best and snowiest resorts in Hokkaido from your base of Furano and Otaru. The second will be a lift-assisted backcountry touring road trip over 8 nights, skiing the best undiscovered backcountry touring routes Japan has to offer (as well as some in-bounds resort pow skiing of course!).

A custom 7-14day trip to ski Japan's North Island "hidden gem" ski areas. Stay in traditional Japanese towns and travel to off-the-beaten-path resorts, where you can choose to ski lift-assisted sidecountry or ski tour the backcountry, led by your local ski guide. Each trip is custom built to you, but expect to stay in authentic ryokans, soak in mountainside onsens and sip cold beer with the locals. Not to mention skiing some of the best powder on the planet.

Based out of the traditional Japanese towns of Furano, Asahikawa and Otaru, your local guide will pick the best ski areas each day, depending on where has the best snow conditions. All transportation will be provided on the road trip as well as airport transfers to New Chitose airport.

Our resort-based trip is suitable for skiers who are comfortable skiing all blue runs and most black runs in resort and have some powder skiing ability. We will split groups based on ability, so as long as you meet this criteria, we will make sure you are in a suitable group.

For our ski touring road trip, we ask that skiers are capable of skiing black runs in resort, and have at least 10 days of ski touring experience.

Our resort road trip will take place January 18th - 28th, 2023.

Our lift assisted touring road trip will take place February 17th - 25th, 2023.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Your alarm chirps as the sun starts creeping in through a crack in your curtains. You roll onto your tatami mat and have a quick stretch to limber up before the day. Breakfast is a veritable smorgasbord – you don’t know what half of it is, but your guide and hosts kindly take you through the multitude of options. Maybe time to sneak a couple of onigiri in your pocket as snacks for later in the day. Gear check list complete and ski boots on, you hop into the warm van ready for your guides to take you to your next destination – you’ve already had 3 days of epic powder skiing, is your guide exaggerating or can today really get any better?

Today is a ski touring day, you’re headed away from the already quiet resorts, and into the deserted backcountry. Your guide has heard from his friend that the last storm was particularly kind to this spot, just south of Otaru. 20 minutes later you are at the trailhead, gear on and raring to go – just a short 45-minute bootpack and you are atop the first epic tree run of the day. The lightest, fluffiest and deepest snow you’ve ever seen. Your guide drops in and quickly disappears in a white cloud until you see him stop 200m down. Your turn, you float through 3 feet of fresh snow, blowing over the top of your head – you really should have brought your snorkel. High 5s and time for the onigiri you stashed earlier, topped off with a green tea Kit-Kat, snack heaven! Fueled up, it’s back to the skin track and time for more powder tree runs.

Ski day over, you arrive back at your traditional ryokan tired and happy. Time to crack a beer and hang your gear to dry before heading down to the local onsen to soothe your sore legs. The natural hot spring water works wonders on your aching body and gives you a new lease of life. Dinner time – another traditional affair with fresh local snow crab taking the crown of best dish, although nothing on the table disappoints. A goodnight cheers to the crew and time to pack up your bag and get ready to move on to the next ryokan where you’ll be spending the next 2 nights. The adventure continues…

2023 HOSTED ROAD TRIP INCLUSIONS

Resort-based road trip: 18-28th January, 2023

Price: TBC

  • 10 nights’ accommodation in Furano and Otaru
  • 8 day lift passes
  • 8 days of professional ski guiding/coaching
  • Daily breakfast
  • Welcome and goodbye dinner
  • All ground transportation in 4wd vehicle (including airport transfers)
  • Onsen (natural hot spring) entry
  • Local, cultural day tour
  • Mabey Ski welcome pack

Exclusions:

  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Ski or snowboard rental (can be arranged)

Lift-assisted backcountry touring road trip: 18-28th January, 2023

Price: TBC

  • 8 nights’ accommodation in Furano and Otaru (with on-site guide)
  • 6 day lift passes
  • 6 days of professional ski guiding/coaching
  • Daily breakfast
  • Welcome and goodbye dinner
  • All ground transportation in 4wd vehicle (including airport transfers)
  • Onsen (natural hot spring) entry
  • Local, cultural day tour
  • Mabey Ski welcome pack

Exclusions:

  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Ski or snowboard rental (can be arranged)
  • Meals, apart from breakfast which is included

CUSTOM ROAD TRIP PRICING

Starting from $3,500 USD per person for 7nights and 5 days skiing, based on 4 people travelling together.

Inclusions:

  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • 5 day lift passes
  • 5 days of professional ski guiding/coaching
  • Daily breakfast
  • Welcome and goodbye dinner
  • All ground transportation (including airport transfers)
  • Onsen (natural hot spring) entry
  • Local, cultural day tour
  • Lift passes for resort access

Exclusions:

  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Ski or snowboard rental

All bespoke trips are fully customizable, typically ranging from 6 – 14 nights. Road trips take place all over Hokkaido, and we can incorporate other incredible ski areas such as Tohoku and Hakuba on Honshu (the South island). This pricing shows you the inclusions for a 7 night, 5 day itinerary, however accommodations and changes an be made to include more days skiing, luxury accommodations, additional cultural days and more.

 

All guiding and transportation is provided by our friends and partners at Whiteroom Japan.

Group of Skiers in Japan doing the Four Volcanoes Challenge and following Avalanche Safety tips
Skier KC Dean trying local cuisine in Japan Nozawa Onsen
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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 to see a different side of Japanese skiing and take a dive into the rich and incredible culture of Japan’s North Island whilst skiing places few foreigners get to see, then this might just be the trip for you.

Depending on the level of comfort you’re after, you can choose to stay at luxurious boutique hotels or simple ryokans providing traditional culture and some of the best meals of your life. As with all of our trips, this adventure can be fully customised to your preferences, ability and goals – just let us know your style and we will do the rest.

Skiing through birch trees in Hokkaido Japan