Pre-sunrise wake-up calls. Roughly 97 unsuccessful portable snowmaking attempts. And now: heading to the back bowls of Japan...
Presenting Japan Off-Piste, a 10-day, one-time-only guided tour of the peaks of Hokkaido, taking reservations today and tomorrow only for a January departure.
If you were in the process of making a Japanese skiing to-do list, stop. This trip basically covers it. You’ll tackle Rusutsu’s off-piste terrain. Dodge spruce forest at Asahidake. And yes, ski through birch trees on Niseko’s legendary, ash-like powder—no hovercraft required.
It all starts in Asahikawa, where you’ll meet your guides (a couple of guys from PowderQuest and an expert local), check into your cozy digs (a family-run bed and breakfast) and head to the steep backcountry of Furano, where you’ll go after near-2,000-foot vertical drops.
And that’s the first day. For the next week, you’ll be hopping from peak to peak (some actively volcanic), taking turns down resorts large and small, some with views of the Sea of Japan and Mount Yotei, and all with the near-ideal snow conditions only found on Hokkaido.
Because recovery time’s important (to you, especially), you’ll soak in various hot springs and bubbling volcanic ponds before ordering up plates of toban yaki and toro sashimi.
Hot springs are good for digestion.