Powder Road Trips in Hokkaido
Escape the crowds, stay in traditional ryokans and soak in local onsens on an epic powder-fuelled Japanese road trip
Aimed at those looking to experience the traditional culture of Japan, whilst skiing some of the best powder on the planet, our Hokkaido road trips embody everything a true Mabey Ski trip is about – getting off the beaten track, chasing the best snow with expert ski guides, staying in locally-hosted accommodation and experiencing rich culture and mouthwatering cuisine along the way.
A tailored 7-14 day ski trip to discover Japan's North Island "hidden gem" ski areas. Stay in traditional Japanese towns and travel to off-the-beaten-track 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-made, so locations and accommodation will vary depending on your preferences, 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.
You will typically be based out of two areas in Hokkaido, experiencing the ski areas in Central Hokkaido and Southern Hokkaido. You may choose to be based out of the traditional Japanese towns of Furano, Asahikawa or Otaru, or perhaps you want to experience the vibrant resort of Niseko.
Wherever you decide to base yourselves your local guide will select the best ski areas each day depending on weather, snow conditions and the group's objectives and preferences.
All ground transportation will be provided between resorts as well as airport transfers to and from New Chitose Airport (Sapporo).
Our resort-based trips are suitable for intermediate skiers/snowboarders and above. You should be comfortable on all blues (reds in Europe) in resort and have some powder experience.
If you are looking to book a ski touring road trip, it is recommended that skiers/snowboarders are confident skiing/riding black runs in resort and have at least 5 days of ski touring/splitboarding experience.
Hokkaido's snow season runs from December to March. For any powder hungry skiers/snowboarders you may wish to book your trip between January and February, whilst backcountry skiers and snowboarders might prefer some drier climates in February and early March. If the weather allows, it is possible to ski into the crater of Mt Yotei - a real bucketlist experience when the blue skies are out.
The best honeymoon we could have dreamt of. 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.
A once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mabey Ski made very aspect of organising easy and enjoyable. A unique and magical experience!
Had an amazing time touring with Mabey Ski, it was fun, relaxed, very well organized and professional. Our guide was amazing. Absolutely loved the après experience too. Can't say enough about what a great time I had.
A DAY IN THE LIFE – MORNINGS
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?
A DAY IN THE LIFE – SKI TOURING
You head away from the already quiet resorts, and into the deserted backcountry. Your guide has heard from their friend that the last storm was particularly kind to this spot, just south of Otaru. 20 minutes later you are at the trailhead, getting your 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 fives 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.
A DAY IN THE LIFE – EVENINGS
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 ski destination. The adventure continues…
A 10-day powder ski trip starts from ¥395,000 per person (based on a group of 6)
- 10 nights’ accommodation in Furano and Otaru (twin share)
- Daily breakfast
- 8 days of ski guiding
- 8 days of lift passes
- All ground transportation to and from resorts
- Airport transfers
- Onsen (natural hot spring) excursion
- Cultural day
- Alcoholic drinks
- Daily lunches and dinners
- Ski or snowboard rental (can be arranged)
All bespoke trips are fully customisable, typically ranging from 7 to 14 nights. Road trips take place all over Hokkaido and we can incorporate other ski areas such as Tohoku and Hakuba on the mainland too (subject to availability).
Our powder road trips are run in collaboration with our guiding partners at Whiteroom Japan.
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.