Tokachidake Backcountry Ski Area

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Tokachidake Onsen - photo by Mike Banks
Tokachidake Onsen - photo by Mike Banks
Ski Tokachidake - photo by Hokkaido Powder Guides
Ski Tokachidake - photo by Hokkaido Powder Guides
The powder is light, dry and superb
The powder is light, dry and superb
The climb up may make you steaming! Photo: Hokkaido Powder Guides
The climb up may make you steaming! Photo: Hokkaido Powder Guides
Tokachidake is a backcountry paradise for powder hounds
Tokachidake is a backcountry paradise for powder hounds
There are no lifts so you have to earn your turns
There are no lifts so you have to earn your turns
Heading up to Furano-dake
Heading up to Furano-dake
Lots of features for popping off
Lots of features for popping off
Views from the village of Tokachidake
Views from the village of Tokachidake
Tokachidake terrain
Tokachidake terrain
The Kamihoro Ryokan
The Kamihoro Ryokan
A room at the Kamihoro Ryokan
A room at the Kamihoro Ryokan
The food is a highlight
The food is a highlight
Exploring...
Exploring...
Hokkaido mushroom
Hokkaido mushroom
You can explore the area with Hokkaido Powder Guides
You can explore the area with Hokkaido Powder Guides
The outdoor onsen at Ryounkaku
The outdoor onsen at Ryounkaku
Indoor onsen at Ryounkaku
Indoor onsen at Ryounkaku
A relaxing way to finish a taxing day
A relaxing way to finish a taxing day
The girls onsen at Ryounkaku - Tokachidake Onsen
The girls onsen at Ryounkaku - Tokachidake Onsen

Tokachidake Backcountry Ski Area

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Tokachidake

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Wagner Custome Skis

Tokachidake Ski Area Hokkaido

Unleash the hounds! Tokachidake is an absolute feast for adventurous powder hounds. This is the place where you will potentially experience your deepest powder days ever! You won’t find any cable cars, ski patrol, or trail markings at Tokachidake. This is the wild backcountry where you have to get up the mountain under your own steam, and steamy you will become, just like the active volcano that you skin up! And the skiing and snowboarding on the way down will be smokin’!

And because this isn’t a ski resort you definitely won’t find any snowmaking guns at Mt Tokachi, just the abundant snow that Mother Nature shoots down with her snow machine guns! And in Central Hokkaido, the powder is about as light and dry as it gets, and it’s bottomless. Tokachidake is the capital of the Central Hokkaido snorkel territory!

Where is Tokachi-dake?

Mount Tokachi is a volcanic peak located smack bang in the middle of Hokkaido in the southern section of the Daisetsuzan National Park. “Daisetsuzan” means “mountains of big snow” whilst the indigenous Ainu name (kamui mintara) means “playgrounds of the gods”. In our language it translates to “big playground for powder hounds”!

It’s easiest to get there and around Tokachidake to the trail heads and onsen if you have your own wheels, or if you head there as part of a day tour or multi-day tour where transport is included. 

Tokachidake Ski Terrain

The village of Tokachidake Onsen is at an elevation of 1,280 metres whilst the summit of Tokachi is 2,077 metres, and verticals of about 800 metres can be achieved. The terrain is a mix of true alpine (with the odd fumarole!), sub-alpine and tree skiing amongst gorgeous snow coated birch trees (the treeline is at about 1,450 metres).

The Tokachidake Onsen village accesses three peaks that are sometimes collectively referred to as the “Tokachidake” area. Firstly there’s the actual smoking volcano of Tokachi which is good for fine days. To the lookers’ right is the Three Step Mountain (Sandanyama) which as the name suggests has three steps or plateaus. Further to the right again is Furano-dake, of which its lower parts are great for inclement weather days.

Some of the terrain and the gentle bowls are somewhat similar to Asahidake, yet the Tokachidake alpine also has some chutes, cliff bands, spines and steeper pitches that continue down into the trees. The other difference between the two volcanoes is that the ski terrain at Asahidake has a south facing aspect, whilst many of the Tokachidake lines are north facing, which keeps the deep powder in a divine state. 

Uphill & Equipment

At Tokachi-dake you have to earn your turns, but the rewards are far superior compared to what you’d find at the ski resorts. Full ascents require about 2-3 hours of skinning. Skiers require alpine touring bindings and skins, and considering the depth of the powder, snowboarders will generally find it easier on a split board, but snow-shoeing will suffice. Snowboarders require collapsible poles, and needless to say, an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe are part of the standard backcountry attire.

There may be a few skin tracks to aid your climb and you might see a few other punters about, but largely you’ll be in splendid isolation. 

Tokachidake Snow and Weather

Deciding when to visit may depend on your priorities. The months of January and February are generally very stormy and there’s lots of pow, but you’ll often have to hang in the trees. If you’re keen to access the alpine and see the “gods’ smoking ceremonies”, March provides finer weather that is more conducive to getting to the top.

Tokachidake Onsen Accommodation

There are a few pensions and ryokans (inns) in the “village” of Tokachidake Onsen. These are traditional Japanese lodgings and the food they serve up in the evenings is generally amazing.

Ryounkaku at the top of the road is a popular choice. It's rather old school, whilst the highlight is the famous reddy-brown onsen.

We’ve stayed at the Kamihoro Ryokan (aka Kamihoroso) which is a very well kept hotel with Japanese style rooms, a lovely onsen, beautiful Japanese dinner fare, and other amenities.

Tokachidake Onsen Hotel Listings

Onsen

The ryokans at Tokachidake Onsen have hot springs, and it seems almost mandatory at the end of an exhausting day of climbing and riding to have a soak in an onsen. The minerals in the water are supposed to be beneficial for the body and skin and are bound to make you look gorgeous! Some of the hot springs are pretty hot though, so make sure you don’t poach yourself!

The Fukiage Onsen is a mixed outdoor onsen in amongst the woods, or the Hakuginso Hot Spring Centre is a building that houses multiple baths including mixed gender baths. Or in case you’re a bit shy you can visit the segregated baths at the Ryounkaku Ryokan, which are renowned for the deep reddish-brown waters and the fantastic views across the snowy mountains.

More Reasons to Snowboard or Ski Tokachidake

Tokachidake is the most delicious snow cone that is blessed with amazing snow. On fine days the scenery is spectacular and the serenity is blissfully a long way from the craziness of Niseko.
Tours That May Include Tokachidake

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Hokkaido Backcountry
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
7 Nights | 8 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Jump on the Hokkaido Backcountry Powder Quest tour & experience the magical powder wonderland Hokkaido is famous for along with its rich culture & incredible cuisine. Join as a solo, couple or small group; max 6 guests per tour & guaranteed departures.
Price p/p Price per person, based on 2025 group tour
USD 4,499
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Hokkaido Fix
NISEKO, CENTRAL HOKKAIDO & SAPPORO
9 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided backcountry tour starts in NISEKO & then heads to CENTRAL HOKKAIDO in pursuit of some of the deepest & driest snow on the planet. The tour finishes with a day chasing powder around Sapporo (TEINE & KOKUSAI).
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person) for 9 day trip for 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,002
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Daisetsuzan Classic
CENTRAL HOKKAIDO & SAPPORO
6 Nights | 5 Guided Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE private guided backcountry tour starts in CENTRAL HOKKAIDO where you will find some of the deepest & driest snow on the planet. The tour finishes with a day chasing powder around Sapporo (Teine & Kokusai) but ultimately you can design your own trip.
Price p/p From price per person based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 with 1 guide (per person) 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,234
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Tokachidake here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Furano Area Guiding
CENTRAL HOKKAIDO GUIDED TOURS
For private groups of up to 5
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Off-piste, sidecountry & backcountry guiding for PRIVATE GROUPS for Furano & other Central Hokkaido areas. Day guiding or book 3 days with a 4 day window or 5 days within a 7 day window.
Price p/p Price per person per day in yen assuming 5 people in group, peak season, 2024-25 season
USD 115
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Sea Of Snow
GUIDED SIDECOUNTRY & BACKCOUNTRY
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The Sea Of Snow tour incorporates a mixture of lift assisted sidecountry plus backcountry touring in the Furano Valley, Asahidake & Tokachidake. You will be rewarded with face shots of the deepest & driest powder on planet earth! Share
Price p/p From price is based on per person for 2025 min 3 people on tour
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price in other currencies may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 3,000
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 Early bird - 10% off listed prices - book before July 31
Central Hokkaido Guiding
GUIDED TRIPS AT/FROM FURANO
PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 guests
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.
Price p/p From price based on PER PERSON rate for PRIVATE GROUP of 5 in peak season for 2025. Full rate is 130,000 yen for group of up to 5.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 166
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Tokachidake here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Furano Backcountry Tour
CENTRAL HOKKAIDO BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
7 Nights | 6 Guided Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Stay in Furano and human powered touring will get you to the best Central Hokkaido powder lines. Join as a solo, couple or small group; max 6 guests per tour & guaranteed departures.
Price p/p Price per person, based on 2025 group tour
USD 4,299
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High Earnings
BACKCOUNTRY POWDER CHASING
8 Nights | 7 Guided Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Enter the powder room! Visit some of Hokkaido's most remote locations and best backcountry zones. This trip has a backcountry touring focus on the iconic peaks such as Mt Yotei, Asahidake, Tokachidake & Kurodake.
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share 2024-25 season.
Price per person for a group of 5 with 1 guide for 9 day package. Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,874
View Details
 
Hokkaido Backcountry Tour
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
9 Nights | 8 Days Touring
Ability: Expert
Earn your turns with backcountry touring. Flexibility is the key & the trip will go where the best untouched lines are, from the Daisetsu National Park in the North to the crater of Mt Yotei near Niseko.
Price p/p From price based on twin share option for last group tour for 2025 season. Min 3 guests required to run tour.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,104
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Tokachidake here
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