Overall Rating

Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours

Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours4/57
Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
  • Recommend
    86%
  • Would Revisit
    57%
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Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours - Reviews

Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours - Reviews

Cat skiing - terrain is all tight trees

Sheri
09/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    USA
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Cat skiing - terrain is all tight trees

Sheri
09/02/2020
The guides are very nice and friendly, and the snow quality is amazing! The only thing I'm sad about is the terrain. I don't enjoy the terrain a single bit. There's nothing above tree line, and most of the terrain is tight trees, with branches sticking out everywhere. I love tree skiing usually, but only when it's spaced apart nicely. But on this cat tour there's a lot of tight and steep sections that's not wide enough for my skis to fit sideways, and I have to nudge back and forth to get down and sometimes slide on my butt. Yes, I'm not very skilled. Everybody else in the tour loved it because they're much better than me, they jump through tree branches, or point their skis straight downhill then do a sharp turn, which is all beyond my skills. I like steep terrain (which is why I booked the Rising Sun cat tour because it's advertised as steep), but I can't handle steep and narrow at the same time.

Each run is 200m vertical. The first 100m is all steep narrow trees, and only the bottom 100m is wide open terrain. So the "fun" turns section is very short.

My biggest complaint is the advertising. I think this tour should be advertised as "Expert to Extreme", not "Advanced to Expert". Being "Advanced" just allows me to get down, but does not allow me to have fun. Being Expert, or be able to jump and navigate steep narrow trees, is the minimum requirement in order to have fun. (Just FYI, I've booked 2 other tours in Japan before advertised as Advanced to Expert, and the terrain is much easier, wide open, and I'm not the worst skier in the group).

Another complaint is the advertisement video: https://vimeo.com/264567949. I watched it before booking, and the terrain on the video looked wide enough. But the video doesn't show the top 100m of the run which is always narrow. Therefore I find the video misleading too.

Anyway, if you love jumping on pillows and between tree branches then book this tour and knock yourself out. If you can't jump then don't bother.

Response from Andrew, owner of Rising Sun Guides:
Thanks for the feedback and we`re really sorry to hear that the day didn`t meet your expectations. We do feel that advanced to expert accurately describes our terrain however we also recognize that these terms can be misunderstood. We have added some additional information about recommended skill level to our website to provide more context.

We do try to market our cat ski operation as the steepest and most challenging cat ski operation within day trip reach of the Niseko area. From your comments it does sound like that message was received but we apologize if anything was unclear.

Regarding the promotional video, we do feel that this accurately reflects the terrain and snow quality that can be expected on a regular day at our cat operation. It is important to note though that snow conditions change daily, over the course of the season and from year to year. Earlier in the winter, guests can expect tighter lines more brush and more defined pillows as our snowpack develops. Later in the winter, we`ll have a deeper base helping to open up wider lines.

This video was filmed on a single day when the Powder Hounds visited us to check out our operation as regular guests. It was not a specially selected day but rather our best effort to accurately demonstrate a day in our cat zone.

Thanks again for your feedback! The Rising Sun Crew

Rising Suns Backcountry Cat Skiing Day

25/01/2020

Brandon

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Brandon

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    United States
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Rising Suns Backcountry Cat Skiing Day

25/01/2020
Guide was excellent, spoke perfect English and had an impressive knowledge of the land. Japan was in an awful snowfall year but we were blessed with 18+ inches overnight so we couldn’t tell at all. Snow cats were a little old, slow and outdated, runs were a little shorter than we would have liked but the terrain itself was unreal. Perfect level of challenging / fun with pillows, trees, and deep pow. Only reason I give it the thumbs down for doing it again is the price per vertical feet when you do the math. 5,600 vertical feet, on 9 runs for over 500$. I don’t regret it in the least, I just treated it as an amazing once in a lifetime day at that price.

Fun day, cats need upgrading

Caroline Guenther
07/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    United States
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Fun day, cats need upgrading

Caroline Guenther
07/02/2019
Went with Rising Sun guides cat skiing while in Niseko. This was my first experience cat skiing. It had snowed the day before so we had 8 fun powder runs through some steeper terrain and trees. I had some safety concerns about the cats. They seriously need to upgrade them. Before the first run the guide and driver both got out and the cat started rolling backwards with myself and all the clients inside. The driver tried to jump back in and missed and was being dragged along as we rolled backwards. I thought she was going to have her legs rolled over! Luckily everyone was ok. Overall the day was ok but I dont think this is worth the price since the runs were super short compared to time spent crammed in uncomfortable cat. Maybe thats the norm in cat skiing since it was my first time going I can’t be sure. They did bring along a photographer who got some awesome action pictures of us!

The Steeps Break the Japanese Stereotype

13/04/2018

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Home Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

The Steeps Break the Japanese Stereotype

13/04/2018
A rare fine day
Who said Japan cat skiing wasn't steep?!
A gorgeous day to stop for lunch
Lovely tree skiing
A whole load of fun!
Andrew the owner of Rising Sun Guides had told us that the cat skiing terrain was uniquely steep for Japan cat skiing, so we knew the day was going to be pretty good. And we weren’t disappointed – it was amazing! It was a bluebird day (which is rare) so there were amazing views of Big Bertha (Yotei), and whilst the powder wasn’t deep the snow was soft and nice to ride.

Pros
Rising Sun Cat Skiing completely breaks any stereotypes that Japanese cat skiing (and skiing in Japan in general) can’t be steep and deep. Rather than being an old ski resort that’s converted into cat skiing as is typically the case in Japan, the terrain here is proper backcountry.

The Niseko region is renowned for its amazing snowfalls that possess both quality and quantity. The location in the Niseko region is also a huge pro because you can combine a day or more of cat skiing with everything else that Niseko has to offer: resort skiing; backcountry touring; nightlife; restaurants; activities etc.
The guiding is of high quality and the guide to guest ratio is high. You feel safe.

Cons
A day of cat skiing doesn’t involve a lot of vertical and each run is rather short. It’s all about the quality not the quantity.
The cat skiing terrain size isn’t large (as is common in Japan) but at least the resets come frequently.

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
The retro snowcat was primitive yet very funky. The snowcat wasn’t as comfortable as a standard snowcat cabin, but it was a very cool cat!

You can see our full Rising Sun Cat Skiing review here.

So deeeeeeep. Can't wait to go again next year

Hunter
05/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    USA
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    2

So deeeeeeep. Can't wait to go again next year

Hunter
05/03/2018
My buddy and I had an amazing time cat skiing with Rising Sun guides. Not only were the guides great, and the selection of runs, but we lucked out and got a ridiculous amount of snow both before and during our cat skiing experience.

I grew up in a major ski resort and I've never seen that much snow in my life. So much fun. Stoked for next season - already planning on coming back to Niseko.

Fun Pow with Rising Sun Guides

Eric Polczynski
18/01/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Home Country
    USA
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    2

Fun Pow with Rising Sun Guides

Eric Polczynski
18/01/2018
We had a really fun day cat skiing with Rising Sun Guides. They have lots of fun terrain with drops, rolls and pillows in the trees and plenty of room on private property so you don't have to compete with other groups. The guides are super nice and competent. They had 30cms new snow which covered most of the tracks in the area. We skied 8 runs around 200 meters each.

Awesome POW Days

Jonas
17/03/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    Switzerland
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    2

Awesome POW Days

Jonas
17/03/2017
Had two great days and were very lucky quite a lot of fresh snow each morning. The guides were very friendly and knew well. CATs have seen their best days but were still up to the task. Slopes were good but could be slightly steeper at some parts.