Wassamu

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/Japan/Wassamu/01.jpg
Wassamu Higashiyama Hokkaido
Wassamu Higashiyama Hokkaido
Tree skiing at Wassamu
Tree skiing at Wassamu
Pretty quiet for a Sunday
Pretty quiet for a Sunday
Nice and quiet
Nice and quiet
Wassamu Ski Area Dohoku
Wassamu Ski Area Dohoku
Nice groomers at Wassamu
Nice groomers at Wassamu
Sidecountry (lift-accessed backcountry) at Wassamu
Sidecountry (lift-accessed backcountry) at Wassamu
Wassamu Ski Resort Hokkaido
Wassamu Ski Resort Hokkaido
Simple day lodge at the base
Simple day lodge at the base
Nice little cafeteria
Nice little cafeteria
Single chair lifts often lead to fun
Single chair lifts often lead to fun
A quiet weekend at Wassamu Higashiyama
A quiet weekend at Wassamu Higashiyama
Some decent trees adjacent to the ski area
Some decent trees adjacent to the ski area
Delightfully quiet at Wassamu Ski Area
Delightfully quiet at Wassamu Ski Area
The tree spacing varies somewhat
The tree spacing varies somewhat
Egress track
Egress track
Wassamu is a small ski area
Wassamu is a small ski area
Pizza box chair lift at Wassamu
Pizza box chair lift at Wassamu
Food truck selling yakitori
Food truck selling yakitori

Wassamu

Readers Ratings

Wassamu

Wassamu3/51
Wassamu3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Southern Hokkaido Powder Tour
Wagner Custome Skis

Wassamu Higashiyama

The Wassamu Ski Resort in Dohoku (northern Hokkaido) is one of those gems that is run by the local town. Wassamu Higashiyama Ski Resort often opens at a very leisurely 10am and there is absolutely no rush to get up there, as the powder will still be waiting for you at the end of the day. The Wassamu ski area is very small, so it wouldn’t support too many powder hunters on any given day, but we’re happy to give up this secret little ski area because it needs all the support it can get to stay viable. 

Pros and Cons of Wassamu-cho Higashiyama Ski Resort

Pros 
  • It has a fantastic local Japanese ski hill vibe.
  • It is very quiet and lift lines are not a problem.
  • Chances are there will be zero competition for the powder in the trees and you might get fresh tracks on-piste as well.
  • Lift tickets are ridiculously cheap.
Cons
  • It is a tiny ski area, so it doesn’t offer much terrain variety.
  • Wassamu Higashiyama ski area can have some inconsistency with regards to opening times and which lifts are open, so check their calendar or twitter feed before heading there.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • It has a sunny aspect (that’s of course if the sun comes out at all in the height of winter) and is at reasonably low elevation, so it’s great to visit when temperatures are low, which they often are in Dohoku during winter.
  • The maximum piste gradient is only 30 degrees. Whilst there are some moderately pitchy areas in the trees, there are also mellow zones near the base.

Wassamu Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Wassamu Higashiyama Ski Resort has 7 courses and just 193 metres of vertical from 154 to 347 metres of elevation. It has a fixed grip double chair lift at the base that they run at a decent clip when there aren’t any little kids getting on, and this lift runs for night skiing. The top zone is serviced by a single chair lift, and as is commonly the case in Japan, the pizza box lifts are the ones that provide the most fun.

Beginners have a couple of trails that drop from the top lift and skirt the periphery of the ski area, although Wassamu is probably not the best ski area for nervous beginners. The other piste are suited to intermediates.

The real fun for advanced riders is in the trees. There is a small amount of off-piste (ie between the piste) where the trees are reasonably tight. The trees are better in the sidecountry (ie lift accessed backcountry) and there is only a little roped off area at the top which goes into no-mans land. Skiers’ right has trees of varying spacing and a little pitch at the top, and you can bail out before it mellows or head to the base. There are a few small creeks and gullies and a canal to contend with. Skiers’ left provides some fun but not much vertical. As with any backcountry riding, you need to have all the gear and plenty of idea, unless you’re with a guide. Assess the risks for yourself, and keep in mind that at little ski areas like this, they don’t have the resources to provide any rescue assistance.

You can see how we rated the terrain and compare it to other ski areas on our Hokkaido ski resort ratings.

The base area has cross country ski tracks in case you like skinny skis instead of fat skis.

Wassamu Snow

Like a lot of small Japanese ski areas, the amount of snowfall is not measured or reported but it is assumed that it gets a moderate amount of snow considering its favourable geographical position. Whilst the Wassamu ski area does not have particularly high elevation and has a southwest facing aspect, during winter it’s usually very cold in northern Hokkaido and the quality of the snow is good. Like any of these low altitude ski areas, it’s best to keep an eye of the forecast and the temperatures before heading there.

Where is Wassamu Higashiyama?

The Wassamu ski resort is located just northeast of the town of Wassamu in the Kamikawa District of Hokkaido, and 41km north of the city of Asahikawa.

See the Wassamu travel page for more on the location and getting there.

Accommodation

There is no accommodation at the base of the ski area.

As Wassamu is a small ski area that you’re likely to sample along with other nearby ski areas, your best bet is to stay in the city of Asahikawa.

Asahikawa Hotel Listings

Facilities

This is a delightful no frills ski area. There is a cafeteria with some good fare and there might be a food truck in the car park selling yakitori.

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Asahikawa Freeride Tour
GUIDED FREERIDE TOUR ASAHIKAWA AREA
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Riding
Ability: Advanced
The city of Asahikawa is an ideal base. Explore the restaurants & bars by night, and by day the guides will take you to the best Central Hokkaido ski area depending on the conditions. Guided freeride trip of the off-piste & sidecountry of ski areas.
Price p/p
USD 2,750
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Wassamu here
200