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Asahidake Central Hokkaido
Asahidake Central Hokkaido
Deep Central Hokkaido Snow
Deep Central Hokkaido Snow
Central Hokkaido Powder
Central Hokkaido Powder
Kurodake Hokkaido
Kurodake Hokkaido
City of Asahikawa
City of Asahikawa
Tomamu: South Central Hokkaido
Tomamu: South Central Hokkaido
Central Hokkaido Snow
Central Hokkaido Snow
Central Hokkaido Backcountry Skiing
Central Hokkaido Backcountry Skiing
Tomamu Japan
Tomamu Japan
Asahidake Japan
Asahidake Japan
Furano Backcountry
Furano Backcountry
Central Hokkaido Powder Skiing
Central Hokkaido Powder Skiing
Furano Hokkaido
Furano Hokkaido
Asahidake Ropeway
Asahidake Ropeway
Delightfully Deep
Delightfully Deep
Central Hokkaido offers lots of backcountry touring opportunities
Central Hokkaido offers lots of backcountry touring opportunities
Powder Skiing Central Hokkaido
Powder Skiing Central Hokkaido
The quality of the Central Hokkaido snow is generally amazing
The quality of the Central Hokkaido snow is generally amazing
Asahidake, above the ropeway
Asahidake, above the ropeway
The Powderhounds love Central Hokkaido!
The Powderhounds love Central Hokkaido!

Central Hokkaido

Central Hokkaido Skiing

So you’ve probably heard by now how fabulous the snowboarding and skiing in Hokkaido is, and how amazing the Hokkaido snow is? And undoubtedly you’ve heard of Niseko in Hokkaido?! Sure, the snow at Niseko and other ski resorts near the coast is superb and absolutely abundant, but in Central Hokkaido the quality of the snow is generally even more superb – if that’s even possible!

There are a few destination ski resorts in Central Hokkaido where you could hang out for a week such as Furano, Tomamu and Sahoro, but particularly for powder hounds, you’ll definitely want to sample several ski areas. And the Central Hokkaido backcountry skiing and split-boarding is out of this world when it comes to chasing the famed Hokkaido powder.

If you asked us where our best days of powder skiing in the world have been, the answer is Central Hokkaido. We probably don’t have a specific favourite ski resort or backcountry area, as it’s really the combination of multiple spots in the region that makes it fabulous.

Summary of Pros & Cons of Central Hokkaido

Pros

  •  The quality of the Central Hokkaido snow is generally off the powdomoter scale!
  • There is a good selection of different ski resorts within easy driving distance of each other.
  • Much of Central Hokkaido isn’t westernised and you can choose from different cultural experiences including onsen villages, modern kitsch resorts, old school ski resorts, city life and rural Japan.
  • Central Hokkaido skiing and accommodation is typically much cheaper than what you’ll find at Niseko, Rusutsu and Kiroro.
  • The region is quickly becoming more popular, but you’ll still find that Central Hokkaido skiing is rather uncrowded and freshies are reasonably easy to come by.
Con
  • Like many other Japanese ski resorts, some of the Central Hokkaido ski resorts will only hold the attention of experienced riders for a couple of days. You’ll probably want to do a road trip and head to multiple ski areas to keep the stoke high.

Central Hokkaido Snow

A few of the Southwest Hokkaido ski resorts near the coast get such massive snowfalls, that they are up there as some of the highest for ski resorts in the world. Examples include Kiroro, Niseko and Sapporo Kokusai. By the time the storms make it further inland to Central Hokkaido, some of the moisture has already dropped onto the coastal mountains, so the Central Hokkaido ski resorts don’t tend to get as much snowfall but the quality is superior.

Part of this is guess work because measuring snow volumes is probably more of a westernised concept, and many of the ski areas don’t cite a snowfall statistic. Nevertheless the estimates would suggest that the volumes of Central Hokkaido snow are nothing to be sniffed at, and would still make many of the North American ski resorts very jealous.

And the high elevation areas in the Daisetsuzan National Park such as Asahidake, Kurodake and Tokachidake receive big dumps of snow. The translation of Daisetsuzan means “mountains of big snow” or “big snowy mountains”. Either way it’s indicative that there’s plenty of the highly renowned Hokkaido snow.

I recall one day skiing neck deep powder at Furano (yes neck deep – not exaggerating!), over the shoulder Hokkaido powder in the backcountry, and nipple deep at Kamui, and plenty of other deep days, so I don’t think you need to worry about there being enough snow!

Chasing the Central Hokkaido Powder

So you’ve probably got the message by now that if you want to chase the snow storms (or avoid them if it results in a ropeway being closed) and score plenty of terrain variety, you don’t want to go to just one ski resort.

You’ll find information on Powderhounds.com for each ski resort regarding how to get to nearby ski areas, but in essence it’s very clunky to get between the Central Hokkaido areas unless you have a rental car and self-drive, or a guide who will drive you around.

Unless you’re very experienced at route finding and negotiating the backcountry, we’d highly recommend getting a guide. Day guiding is available out of Furano (and Asahidake and Asahikawa to a lesser degree) or you can go on a multi-day tour that includes guiding, accommodation, and all transport. Guiding can cover the off-piste zones, lift accessed sidecountry, and/or the backcountry via skinning or snowshoeing. See the bottom of the page for Central Hokkaido tour options.

Where are the Central Hokkaido Ski Resorts?

The central part of Hokkaido is to the northeast of Sapporo. There are multiple places you could base yourself, but two common choices are Furano (the belly button of Hokkaido) and the city of Asahikawa. Furano provides easy access to both the southern and northern ski areas in the region, whilst Asahikawa is really only ideal for the northern ski areas.

Road distances to ski resorts from Furano are as following.
To the south: To the north: Road distances to ski areas from Asahikawa are as following.

Central Hokkaido Ski & Snowboard Tours

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Snow Tow DETAILS
HOSTED & SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 7 Days | 5 Skiing | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,496
Book and pay deposit prior to Nov 30, 2016 and get 14.7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Take the hassle out of organising your powder adventure to Hokkaido Japan next season by joining one of these great unguided tours. You still have the freedom to do your own thing at the ski areas but all of the logistics are taken care of.
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Hokkaido Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,552
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Niseko United area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
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Powder Road Trip DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,533
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Journey into central Hokkaido to visit ski areas such as Furano, Tomamu, & Asahidake. Ideally suited to those who mostly want to ride lift accessed powder at the ski areas and also have the option to do a bit of touring or a full day of touring at Tokachi-dake.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Central Hokkaido here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Furano Guided Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS AT/FROM FURANO
PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 6 guests
From price based on guided day tour in Furano (private groups only of 6) in low season. If you are a solo the cost is 6 x that shown.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 81
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Furano with a group and want fresh tracks, head out with a Furano ski guide (or snowboard guide) at Furano or at one of the nearby ski areas or go backcountry touring with a guide. PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests i.e. you cannot join a group.
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Central Hokkaido Day Tours DETAILS
PRIVATE GUIDED DAY TOUR
Minimum 2 Days
From price based on per person rate for a group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 95
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Make the most out of your time in Central Hokkaido with private day guiding in the off-piste, sidecountry or backcountry at Furano or travel to Asahidake, Tomamu, Kamui or Tokachidake. Minimum 2 days, private groups only.
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Furano/Central Hokkaido Experience DETAILS
LOCAL GUIDED & HOSTED TOUR
7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing/Riding | Up to 5 Resorts
From price based on twin/triple-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc. taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,874
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Experience the best powder that Furano & the Central Hokkaido region has to offer. Venture off-piste in Furano, Kamui, Tomamu, Sahoro & Asahidake with local guides. It’s their passion to show you great skiing/boarding, relaxing onsens & the enjoyment of dining at their favourite local restaurants where few tourists go.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Central Hokkaido here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Backcountry Delights DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share accommodation.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,526
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Journey into Central Hokkaido on this incredible backcountry tour. Some days will include a little lift access otherwise you earn your turns at Tomamu backcountry, Yubari Range, Furano, Kitami Pass and Kurodake.
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Backcountry Powder and Sushi DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
11 Days | 10 Nights | Up to 8 Days Touring/Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,918
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The Backcountry Powder and Sushi Classic Tour is pure backcountry skiing at its finest at Asahidake & Tokachidake. Deep, deep dry powder and it's all yours!
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Daisetsu Backcountry Tour DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
8 Nights | 6 Days Touring
From price based on twin/triple-share option. Min 4 guests required to run tour.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,141
Book and pay by Aug 31 and get AU$100 off advertised price
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Explore Central Hokkaido's largest national park on this fully flexible backcountry touring adventure. Stay in traditional ryokans, soak in natural hot springs and ski the deepest powder on earth! What else could you ever need?
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Central Hokkaido here