Japan Powder Skiing

Japan Ski Safari 2021

Join us for some Deep Pow on this amazing Japan Ski Touring vacation! 

You’ve seen it in the movies, in friends FB videos and photos: Japan’s legendary cold smoke powder! Home to the finest steep and deep powder skiing in the world all wrapped up in a truly unique cultural experience. So grab the fattest touring skis or the widest split board you can find and join us for an Epic Japow Ski Safari!

The Destination:

For Ski Japan 2021 we’re headed into the Japanese Alps around the lesser known area of Tenjin for a week then over to Hokkaido for some more amazing powder and natural hot springs.

For week 1 we’ll be based out of the small town Minakami, found a few hours north of Tokyo by train. From there we’ll make forays into the local mountains using the various ski lifts to gain access to some amazing backcountry ski runs through picturesque Japanese forests. We’ll also use the lifts to jump start some higher elevation ski touring and ski mountaineering.

For week 2 we’ll hit the powder highway on the island of Hokkaido for some amazing skiing and beautiful, natural onsen pools. With stops at various locations including Asahidake, Tokachidake and Feranodake you’ll get a well rounded look at what the less-touristy areas have to offer.

Sign up for either week depending on your preference – a bit steeper or a bit deeper. Or better yet, join us for both! But be warned, the area gets a massive amount of snowfall.  In the event that the lifts at a local hill are closed due to weather or avalanche hazard (yes, that does happen!) don’t worry we’ll throw on the old skins and head on up for some tree skiing in the deep pow.

The Snow:

It snows pretty much every day here, day after day! And this daily accumulation of snow is deeper than what many popular ski areas see in a week. But what’s really amazing is the quality, we’re talking cold blower pow! So if you love undulating terrain, widely spaced deciduous trees, beautiful landscapes and consistent snowfall day-in and day-out then this is the trip for you.

The Scene:

Now half the fun of a Japanese ski touring holiday is checking out the local culture and of course the local food. Japanese apres ski culture always involves a long soak in an Onsen, a traditional natural hot spring, to ease tired muscles. That is followed by an amazing meal. Sushi, ramen, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, omo-rice and more might not mean much to you now, but they’ll soon become favorites!

Japan Ski TouringOf course no foreign vacation is complete without sampling some of the local beer and spirits! Not to worry, Japan’s famous for its amazing Scotch and Sake, but of course it also has a booming craft brewery scene that begs to be sampled as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Foodie, fine beverage connoisseur or an avid skier just looking for some filling food at the end of a big day you will be more than happy with the local offerings.


Cost:​​  $3,499 CAD plus GST
Dates & Availability: 

– Week 1
: Tenjin, January 9 to 16 – 6 spots available
– Week 2
: Hokkaido, January 17-24- 6 spots available
Skill Level: 
Intermediate to Advanced downhill skiers or split boarders

The Itinerary, Week 1 – Tenjin:

  • January 8: Arrive in Tokyo, spend the night after a long day of travel
  • January 9: Travel to Minakami in am, ski in the pm
  • January 10 – 14: Ski the resorts & mountains around Minakami
  • January 15: Ski a half day in the am before traveling back to Tokyo
  • January 16: Departure Day, Party’s over

You will want to plan to arrive at Tokyo, Narita International airport on January 8th.  Most international flights from North America arrive in the late afternoon. We’ll meet at 5pm and then travel to our hotel in Tokyo for the evening. First thing in the morning we will take the trains to Minakami. Of course you can always just meet up with the crew in Minakami if you prefer. From there we check into our hotel and get ready to ski!

The train travel from Narita International to Minakami is as follows:

  • Tokyo to TAKASAKI: SHINKANSEN MaxTANIGAWA (Bullet Train).
  • TAKASAKI to Minakami: JR Joetsu Line (Regular Train)

Full train schedule can be found at: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

The Itinerary, Week 2 – Hokkaido:

  • January 17: Arrive in Sapporo, spend the night after a long day of travel
  • January 18: Travel to Asahikawa for the start of a powder highway circuit
  • January 19: Ski some slack-country from Kamui Ski Links
  • January 20: Ski the amazing volcano at Asahidake ropeway
  • January 21 to 23: Ski Tokachidake and Feranodake areas including a slack-country day at the Ferano Ski Hill
  • January 24: Departure Day: Have breakfast and then we’ll take you back to Sapporo

You will want to arrive at the New Chitose Airport on the 17th and spend a night at the airport hotel, after a big day of travel the airport onsen and beds will be just what the doctor ordered. We’ll meet you at 8am for breakfast at the hotel and start driving to our hotel in Asahikawa to get the party started.

Your Guide:

Monte Johnston: IFMGA / ACMG Mountain Guide

A full-time Skiing, Mountaineering & Climbing Guide Monte calls Squamish, BC home. After graduating university with an engineering degree he found he wasn’t satisfied only chasing his passion for the mountains on weekends and evenings. This led him away from working behind a desk into a life of guiding, avalanche forecasting and movie/film safety work. Monte has since climbed and skied all over the world. In the summer he can be found guiding anything from remote mountain peaks to warm sun kissed rock across BC and Alberta. In the winter Monte splits his time between heli-skiing in Bella Coola and ski touring in Japan, the Coast Range and any other cool places he can find some powder. Photo: @Mountaindarlin


  • ACMG/IFMGA Certified Guides
  • Ground Transportation
  • 6 Nights Accommodation
  • Dinners at the lodge in Minakami, Asakidake & Tokachidake
  • Breakfast
  • Onsen entrance (hot pools)
  • Lift tickets
  • Black Sheep Adventure Sports Swag


  • Flights to/from Japan
  • Train travel to/from Minakami (about $75 each way) for week 1
  • Personal ski & safety equipment (transceiver, probe & shovel, etc.)
  • Lunches (we will make sure you have the opportunity to buy something)
  • Dinners outside the lodge
  • Food & Lodging in Tokyo & Sapporo
  • Travel & Medical insurance

Fine Print:

  • A $1000 deposit is due upon booking
  • The final payment is due October 1st
  • Trips subject to 5% GST
  • We highly recommend Travel & Medical insurance
  • Emergency rescue insurance through Global Rescue is required
  • Be sure to look over our Booking Policies
  • Participants will be required to sign a Waiver
Canadian Avalanche Association