Overall Rating

Shimamaki Snowcat Packages

Shimamaki Snowcat Packages4.5/511
Shimamaki Snowcat Packages4.5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
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Hokkaido Explorer Tour
Shimamaki Snowcat Packages Enquire
Price p/p Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for for group trip for 2024 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,650

Stay in Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for for group trip for 2024 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,650
This is the best Japan cat skiing! Departing from Niseko, the trip offers incredible snowcat accessed powder skiing & boarding, staying in a traditional coastal Japanese inn. Ride deep untracked powder all day, feast on Japanese cuisine and soak in the hotel's onsen in the evening.
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Fixed Date(s): Mar 03 - Mar 06, 2024
Days: 4
Price: USD 2,062
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Mar 06 - Mar 08, 2024
Days: 3
Price: USD 1,403
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Mar 08 - Mar 10, 2024
Days: 3
Price: USD 1,155
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Shimamaki Cat Skiing

The finest Japan cat skiing and boarding! Shimamaki Snowcat Adventures on Mt Kariba offer “proper” cat skiing. Unlike most cat skiing in Japan outfits that operate out of abandoned ski resorts on small and mellow terrain, Shimamaki Cat Skiing is more akin to a Canadian cat skiing experience whereby the trips are multi-day, the terrain is large and incorporates some steeps (trees and alpine), and there are qualified backcountry guides. The main difference compared to Canada cat skiing is that you score the powder that Hokkaido is famous for as well as a traditional Japanese experience. You can feast on powder up to your eye balls, feast on Japanese food, and stay in a traditional Japanese pension, and soak in the oceanside onsen.

Join Hokkaido Backcountry Club for a two, three or four day trip to the dedicated Shimamaki snowcat skiing terrain. Stay overnight in a pension in the coastal village of Shimamaki which is famous for its abundant seafood. Experience the maritime culture of rural Japan while skiing some of the deepest powder Hokkaido has to offer! There has never been a Japan cat skiing experience like this.

The Shimamaki Cat Skiing trips depart in the afternoon from your Niseko accommodation.

See the Shimamaki Snowcat overview for more information on location and terrain.

If you have any questions or want to double check about availability, you can make a booking request.



The Shimamaki Cat Skiing tours depart Niseko.

Travel Day

Starts with being picked up from your Niseko accommodation at about 1:00 pm, or you can meet at the HBC office in Niseko. Then it's a 2 hour drive southwest along the coastline of the Sea of Japan to the lodge at Shimamaki. Or there’s the potential to do a slight detour via the Seicomart for supplies such as beers, sake or Chu-His.

After you’ve had time to have a soak in the pension’s outdoor natural hot spring that overlooks the sea, you’ll be treated to a fabulous multi-course dinner that includes fresh seafood and other Hokkaido favourites. This evening will also include a briefing.

Day 1

Starts with a western style breakfast at 7:00 am, and then on your way to the staging area by 8:30 am. After a cat ride up, you will ski or board your brains out! Typically the group skis no less than 6 runs or 2,400 metres vertical.

Lunch will be served in the snowcat during the 20 minute rides between runs, or at the day camp area (where there are basic bathroom facilities).

Experienced guides..

..with Hokkaido powder...
..superb terrain options.

Following the cat ride back down to the staging area it's a short 15 minute drive to the private ocean-side lodge.

Day 2, 3 or 4:

Day 2, 3 or 4 (depending on the duration of your package) is a repeat of Day 1 until 5:00 pm when you are loaded in the van and will have some snacks and drinks at a local restaurant in the town of Shimamaki. For those traveling back to Niseko, we'll load up and start driving with drop-offs happening around 8:00 p.m. at your choice accommodation.

Snowcat skiing..

..with powder up to your eyeballs...
..and then more powder.


Staying at a simple traditional hot spring lodge is a fantastic Japanese cultural experience. The two pension lodges are the complete antithesis to much of the fancy western accommodation in Niseko, and the many westernised restaurants. The Motta Onsen pension is located right opposite the ocean, and it’s quite a unique experience to combine the aromas of the onsen with that of the sea.

The rooms are simple, clean tatami rooms (ie sleeping on the floor in traditional Japanese style) with comfortable futons and space for up to three guests. Private lodging is available with a supplemental cost. Bathroom facilities are shared.

The segregated onsen (separate bath house for men and women) has an indoor and outdoor bath with natural hot spring waters that are renowned for their healing powers (although they can’t heal a case of powder addiction!). In the outdoor onsen, if you peak your head up a little, you can see the ocean!

Right on the coast....

...superb fresh Japanese cuisine....

..outdoor onsen overlooking the sea

Dinner is held traditional style in the tatami dining room, where you can indulge in a large range of beautiful Japanese fare (and your BYO drinks), with freshly caught seafood as a feature. If you really want to get into the Japanese culture, you can wear your provided Japanese pyjamas to dinner! For those who have difficulty eating fish for breakfast, you’ll be pleased to know that breakfast is western style!

The town of Shimamaki is very rural, but it does have a Seico-mart convenience store for stocking up on food and drinks, and also basic emergency services. Guest members should be prepared to bring necessary personal and sundry items, as Niseko is a 2-hour drive to the northeast and there are no other shops or services available in the area.

Simple tatami room

..a great Japanese experience...
..snow 'n' surf.

Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2024 Prices

  • Group Cat Skiing
    • 2 days / 2 nights - 250,000 yen/ person + 10% tax
    • 3 days / 3 nights - 367,500 yen/person + 10% tax
    • 4 days / 4 nights - 480,000 yen/person + 10% tax
    • 15% discount for all trips starting between Mar 1-7
    • 30% discount for all trips starting between Mar 8-15
    • Additional days/nights - please inquire 
  • Private Cat Skiing
    • Book the entire cat (max 10-12 depending whether the trip is based at Motta Onsen or Chihasegawa)
    • 2 day trip - ¥2,500,000 + 10% tax
    • 3 day trip - ¥3,675,000 + 10% tax
    • 4 day trip - ¥4,800,000 + 10% tax

  • 2, 3 or 4 days of cat skiing (max group of 10-12)
  • 2, 3 or 4 nights accommodation triple share
  • avo safety gear rental
  • max 1:6 guide to client ratio
  • transfers between Niseko & Shimamaki (2 hours drive each way)
  • breakfast and Japanese style dinner
  • lunch on cat ski day
  • Ski/snowboard equipment rentals
Not Included

HBC Terms & Conditions

HBC requires all fees at the time of booking for all trips if booking within 60 days of the trip. If booking in advance of 60 days we will take a 25% deposit. We will require the full amount if you are getting an early bird discount.

Full payment for Shimamaki Snowcats is due by October 15th.

HBC does not offer refunds on snowcat tours for weather related problems (extreme avalanche condition, torrential rain etc)

If HBC is asked to find a replacement for the cancelling guest, payments will be refunded once the seat is filled with another guest less an administration fee of 25,000yen You may sell your seat to another guest, but in order for HBC not to charge you the 25,000yen administration fee, you must collect the money directly from the replacement guest. HBC will not be involved in the transaction.

For non-mechanized tours, cancellation between 60 and 30 days before the trip will result in a 50% cancellation fee. Cancellation within 30 days of the trip for any reason, including injury, will result in a 100% cancellation fee.

Heli bookings cancelled on our part for reasons of weather or safety qualify for a backup lift assisted tour at Rusutsu for 35,000yen. The remainder will be refunded. If you decide not to join this program, you will be refunded 20% of the total.

Runs not skied in our helicopter program qualify for a refund of 13,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.

Additional heli runs will be billed at 16,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.

Heli guests not flying or delayed due to weather will be offered a backcountry / resort / or slackcountry tour with the prospect of flying if the weather changes. Guests can also re-book for the following days if there is availability.

Minimum group numbers apply for all tours. In the case of low numbers, we will attempt to reschedule.

Included in all ski packages is the use of backpack, avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel, as well as avalanche and helicopter safety briefings.

A set menu lunch and apres ski appetizers are included in all heli programs.

We recommend you purchase your own trip cancellation insurance in case you need to cancel for injury or any other unforseen circumstances.


You will receive an invoice email with payment instructions via international bank transfer or PayPal credit card. You do not need a PayPal membership to use this credit card service.

Due to service fees, our preferred method for larger transactions is international bank transfer. All bank transfer details are available on your electronic invoice.

If you choose to complete a bank transfer, please ignore any service charge listed on your invoice and only transfer the amount owing on the balance line of your invoice.

All customers are required to read a release of liability waiver and medical information form before departing. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the tour without refund.

All participants under the age of 19 must also have a parent or legal guardian sign their release of liability. All minors must be at least 13 years of age and accompanied by a guardian or parent while on the tour.

All tour pricing listed on this website is based on a minimum group size of 3 people, unless otherwise stated. If your group is smaller or larger than 3, please ask about availability.

HBC reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time, typically due to inclement weather or unsafe backcountry travel conditions.

We ask members to be honest about their skill levels. If you have booked and paid for a trip with HBC, but your skills are insufficient for the trip you have booked, we will try to accommodate you with another program if possible but we will not issue refunds.