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Chisenupuri3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Our Terrain Ratings
 Adv. on-piste
 Steep chutes
 Tree skiing
 Terrain park

powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Chisenupuri Ski Resort Japan
NB Chisenupuri is no longer operating as a ski resort but now there are unguided Chisenupuri cat skiing trips; a fantastic way to explore the zone without hordes of people there stealing your powder! 

Chisenupuri really stinks! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the skiing or snowboarding, but the odour from the onsen at the ski area base is hideous. Thankfully you won’t notice the sulphur smell after a while because you’ll be too busy inhaling the powder!

Chisenupuri is a little gem of a ski resort for powder hounds. The ski resort is almost deserted and only stays open because it’s owned by the army. It might be tracked out at Niseko, but at Chisenupuri the freshies last much longer. Chisenupuri has similar powder to Niseko minus the hordes, and you can get much more snow for your dough because Chisenupuri is dirt cheap. For about ¥3,100 you can get a lift ticket, lunch and an onsen at the hotel. Or for about ¥2,000 you can grab a 4 hour lift ticket.

Chisenupuri is called Chise for short as “nupuri” means “mountain” in the Ainu language, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. The ski area is spelt “Chisenupurri” by some folks.

Chisenupuri Ski and Snowboard Terrain - Lift Serviced Chisenupuri has a little ropetow but this is only used by the army boys. The terrain is mainly serviced by a fast double detachable hooded chair (yes you read that correctly!) for which there are never ever any lift lines.

The ski resort has only 281 metres of vertical drop. There is one groomed beginner run which is dark green in places, as well as two ungroomed runs suitable for strong intermediates. The real joy of Chisenupuri starts in the off-piste areas and thankfully you won’t find any ropes, fences or menacing ski patrollers to prevent you from heading into the trees. The off-piste will be appreciated by advanced riders, but considering the low angle slopes, powderhounds on their L plates will particularly love Chisenupuri.

Even more powder elation can be found in the side-country to the skiers’ left of the resort. This ungated out-of-bounds area is marked as “proceed at your own risk”, and as with all backcountry skiing, it is advisable to carry avalanche gear. This area has lots of moderate pitch lines that are short but very sweet, and then you’ll need to take a long traverse to the right, staying above the river. When the stench of sulphur becomes stronger, you’ll see clouds of rising steam. Somewhere in amongst all the steam you’ll find the snow bridge across the hot springs that leads to the car park of the hotel. A two minute walk and you’ll be back at the base of the lift.

Backcountry Fresh lines last a long time at Chisenupuri, but if you need more freshies you can earn your turns by hiking up into the alpine of Chisenupuri Peak (an hour plus). This area is rather exposed and visibility can be a cow in bad weather, so it’s best to only tackle the alpine in fine weather. From the top there are a variety of descents including a run to Niimi Onsen or Iwanai.

If you head back down towards the chair lift there are a few cliffs, so you can pop off to your heart’s content (and if you do the other sort of popping off, no one will be the wiser!). Speaking of strange smells, hopefully your powderhound nose will be able to sniff out any sulphurous thermal vents.

Chisenupurri Snow The snow quality can vary from pretty good to sublime, and whilst no one has bothered to measure the amount of snow fall per season, it’s likely to be in the vicinity of that of Niseko United. In other words Chisenupuri is one of the snowiest resorts in the world and frequently gets big dumps. The snow is sometimes so deep that you’ll eat a bowl of powder for breakfast.

The top elevation of Chisenupuri ski resort at 831 metres is a little higher than Moiwa. The top elevation is significantly lower than Niseko (at 1,300 metres), but considering Niseko has a vertical drop of one thousand metres, all of Chisenupuri is higher than the lower parts of Niseko United. Using this logic you could probably make reasonable assumptions about the typical snow quality at Chisenupuri – awesome!

Where is Chisenupuri? Chisenupuri is close to the town of Rankoshi, and is the next ski area over from Moiwa which is next door to Niseko. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Hirafu to Chisenupuri.

Facilities and Services The Chisenupurri facilities are completely no frills. There is no ski school (unless you come dressed in army fatigues), no ski or snowboard rental, no kiddies’ facilities, and definitely no day spa. Chisenupuri has a simple rest area building with basic bathroom facilities and a couple of vending machines. Otherwise you have to brown bag it.

Alternatively head to the hotel cafeteria where you can feast on ramens and the like. The hotel also has segregated hot pools; a must do at the end of the day.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Chisenupuri? Chisenupuri offers simplicity, no crowds, and plenty of powder. For any powderhounds heading to Niseko, Chisenupuri is a lust-do.

Chisenupuri wins a couple of awards for the best skiing in Japan, for the uncrowded slopes and highest likelihood of freshies.

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

BDT Guided BC Day Tours
Niseko Area | Shiribetsu & Yotei | Min 2 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on an epic day (or days) of guided backcountry skiing or riding near Niseko. Ideal for private groups (or waiting list for group tours). Areas include Niseko backcountry areas, Shiribetsu, lower Mt Yotei or Yotei summit (weather pending).
Price p/p From price based on 1 day of guided backcountry skiing/riding per person (5 guests in your group e.g. 75,000 yen total).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 202
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Chisenupuri here

Cat Skiing Tours

Chisenupuri Cat Skiing
Single Day, Pick Up & Return Niseko
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Unguided cat skiing near Niseko is at the former ski resort of Chisenupuri. You have the freedom to explore and it is ideal for apprentice powder hounds or advanced riders heading to Niseko. Chisenupuri cat skiing is a lust-do! Finish the cat ski day with a soak in an amazing onsen.
Price p/p Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
AUD 741
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Chisenupuri here