Niseko Cat Skiing

Iwanai Cat Skiing Niseko
Iwanai Cat Skiing near Niseko offers views of the sea
Niseko cat skiing tends to cater well to intermediates
Shimamaki Cat Skiing offers transport from Niseko
Shimamaki Cat Skiing
Niseko Cat Skiing is renowned for big powder days
Niseko Chisenupuri Cat Skiing
Chisenupuri Snowcat Skiing Niseko
Onsen run at The House of Powder Chisenupuri
Rising Sun Guides Cat Skiing Niseko
View of Mt Yotei from Niseko cat ski operation
Steeps at Rising Sun Guides Cat Skiing
Niseko Weiss Cat Skiing

Niseko Cat Skiing

Niseko Cat Skiing

Niseko snowcat skiing is growing in popularity, in part because unlike the Niseko Ski Resort, it's easy to score the highly coveted Niseko untracked powder. There are four Niseko cat ski outfits located within easy driving distance of Niseko (transport from your accommodation included).

Weiss Cat Skiing is located at the former ski resort of Weisshorn which is adjacent to Hanazono. This Niseko snowcat skiing is absolutely perfect for strong intermediate riders or those fairly new to powder skiing. The terrain has lots of wide open mellow runs where you can let it rip as well as some generously spaced trees! Nothing is particularly steep. This provides a great opportunity to practise the art of powder riding in fresh snow and without the pressure of trying to keep up with experts.

Chisenupuri Snowcats operates at the former ski resort of Chisenupuri and is also good for those learning to ski or snowboard in powder in the trees or more open spaces. As the cat skiing is unguided, it's also great for advanced riders who want to explore and rip up the powder at their own pace.

Advanced and expert riders looking for steep terrain should check out Rising Sun Cat Skiing. The terrain offers short but very steep treed terrain that includes the option for leaping off small or big pillows. This is real backcountry terrain rather than an abandoned ski resort (as with the other Niseko cat skiing).

Iwanai Cat Skiing at the Iwanai Resort is a fantastic all-rounder. This Niseko cat ski outfit can cater to strong intermediates whereby they can ride old piste runs whilst other guides can take advanced riders to steeper pitches to play in the trees or big bowls.

Shimamaki Snowcat Adventures offer 2 and 4 day cat skiing trips. The terrain includes some steeps and a combination of trees and alpine, and plenty of Hokkaido powder. The cat skiing is 2 hours south of Niseko and transport from your Niseko accommodation is included as part of the package.

Comparison of Niseko Snowcat Skiing

The Niseko cat skiing outfits vary a lot but there are also some similarities such as small terrain size. The tables below outline some of the stats, you can check out our reviews of the Niseko cat skiing outfits, and you can also compare our Japan cat skiing ratings.

   Location Type   Season Min age  Max Guests Per Guide 
Weiss Weiss adjacent to Hanazono Guided, single day  mid Dec to late Mar 10 4
Chisenupuri Chisenupuri, adjacent to Moiwa Unguided, single day early Jan to late Mar  * n/a
Rising Sun 30 min drive NE of Hirafu Guided, single day mid Dec to mid Mar 13 2.5
Iwanai Iwanai, 45 min drive from Hirafu Guided, single or multi day mid Dec to late Mar 13  4-6
Shimamaki Shimamaki, 2 hour drive SW of Niseko Guided, mostly multi-day early Jan to mid Mar 13  6

Price Comparison of Cat Skiing Near Niseko

  Price per
day (yen)
Extra Inclusions 
Weiss 50,000 photography
Chisenupuri 36,000 onsen
Rising Sun 56,000 photography
Iwanai 80,000 n/a
Shimamaki 87,750 lodging, dinner, breakfast

Standard inclusions: avalanche safety equipment, lunch, accommodation pick-up & drop-off. Price for 2019-20 season

Terrain Type Comparison

  Terrain Type  Min Ability Level  Best 
Suited To 
Weiss  Ex ski resort Inter Strong inter 20 30 Small to medium
Chisenupuri Ex ski resort Inter Inter, advanced 27 33 Small
Rising Sun Backcountry Strong inter Upper advanced, expert 35 47 Small to medium
Iwanai Part ex ski resort Inter Strong inter to upper advanced 28 37 Small to medium
Shimamaki Backcountry Strong inter Advanced to expert ? ? Medium

Approximate Amount of Skiing/Snowboarding & Elevation

  Average Vertical/
Run (m)
Max Vertical/
Run (m) 
Runs Per Day  Vertical/Day (m)  Max Elev (m) *
Weiss 450  450  6-7  2,750 930
Chisenupuri 280  280  7-15  3,360 831
Rising Sun 200  210  7-8  1,700 710 
Iwanai 480  640  8-10  4,500 877
Shimamaki 400  550  7-10  3,000 1,520

* Max elevation without hiking