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Central Hokkaido Guided Tours

Asahikawa Hokkaido Japan
Asahikawa Hokkaido Japan
Asahikawa is a good base to visit various ski areas
Asahikawa is a good base to visit various ski areas
Exploring Asahikawa in the evenings is a highlight
Exploring Asahikawa in the evenings is a highlight
Asahikawa Grand Hotel
Asahikawa Grand Hotel
Asahikawa
Asahikawa
It's a fun little city to explore
It's a fun little city to explore
Asahikawa Zoo (Asahiyama) - the penguin parade
Asahikawa Zoo (Asahiyama) - the penguin parade
Heading to the zoo makes a great half day excursion
Heading to the zoo makes a great half day excursion
Asahikawa Japan
Asahikawa Japan
Asahikawa Japan
Asahikawa Japan
A great city to wander around in the evenings
A great city to wander around in the evenings
Nearby Kamui Links Ski Resort
Nearby Kamui Links Ski Resort
Kamui Links Ski Area
Kamui Links Ski Area
Asahidake can be visited as a day trip
Asahidake can be visited as a day trip
Asahidake Ski Area
Asahidake Ski Area
Tokachidake Onsen is within a day trip
Tokachidake Onsen is within a day trip
Tokachidake backcountry
Tokachidake backcountry
Kurodake can be visited as a day trip from Asahikawa
Kurodake can be visited as a day trip from Asahikawa
The powder of Kurodake
The powder of Kurodake
Asahikawa Japan
Asahikawa Japan

Asahikawa

The city of Asahikawa Japan makes a great base to visit the various nearby ski resorts, either as part of a hosted multi-resort tour or a DIY trip.

Ski Areas Near Asahikawa Hokkaido

Kamui Ski Links is only 20 minutes from Asahikawa (20km east) and is accessible via shuttle bus or car. Kamui Ski Links is a no-frills ski area with super cheap lift tickets. Another drawcard for powder hounds is that off-piste and tree skiing is permitted, and there are good sidecountry areas that are easily accessed from the lifts.

Asahidake is another no-frills ski area with inexpensive lift tickets. It’s about one hour drive from Asahikawa (46km to the east). Asahidake is only suitable for advanced and expert riders because it is one big off-piste playground for powder hounds.

Furano ski resort is a mainstream resort with a wide range of on-piste terrain for all ability levels. The lift infrastructure is good, and as such the lift tickets are a little more expensive than Kamui Links. Off-piste skiing is possible, but officially is prohibited. Furano is 57km south of Asahikawa (about 1 hour drive).

Tengu cat skiing is located at the former Kitataisetsu ski resort, whilst NAC Cat Skiing on Otoeyama is 31km southwest of Asahikawa. The powder here is particularly delightful!

Kurodake is about 70km east of Asahikawa. Kurodake is an off-piste paradise akin to the ultimate slackcountry experience, and strangely for Japan, it has some steep gnarly terrain. The only downside is that the ropeway is only open for part of the season.

Tokachi-dake is about 57km southeast of Asahikawa. This is a backcountry ski area that offers the ultimate in deep, deep and deeper, but you have to earn your turns to reap the rewards.

The little family oriented Pippu ski area is 25km northeast of Asahikawa.

If you're up for a decent drive, Nayoro Piyashiri is 89km north of Asahikawa. You're unlikely to find any competition for the fresh powder at Piyashiri!

The advantage of staying in Asahikawa is that each morning you can check out the conditions at each resort and decide which one takes your fancy. Whichever one you choose, there’s a high likelihood of finding the great powder that Hokkaido skiing is famous for. And unlike Niseko and the ski resorts near Sapporo, these Central Hokkaido ski resorts aren’t near the ocean so the powder isn’t just dry; it's superb. These ski areas near Asahikawa provide Japan skiing at its finest.

Where is Asahikawa?

The city of Asahikawa is located in the middle of Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. Asahikawa is northeast of Sapporo, approximately 1.5 hours by train.

Joining a guided multi-resort tour (see below) or renting a car provides the most flexibility to sample multiple ski resorts, but as an alternative there are shuttle buses or public transport options to get to some of the ski areas.

Asahikawa Hotels

Asahikawa accommodation consists primarily of hotels. There are various Asahikawa hotels that are located conveniently near the train station, the main shops and the restaurant district. Some of the Asahikawa hotels are very reasonably priced and there are also a couple of accommodation options for those travelling on a shoe-string.

Asahikawa Activities

The city has a population of about 360,000 so the downtown area is small enough to largely access on foot, yet the city is big enough to be vibrant and exciting. Asahikawa is full of restaurants, bars, and department stores that will delight any shopping-loving female (who’s less than a size 12!). There are various activities to do in and around Asahikawa for those who don’t want to play on the snow, including the renowned Asahiyama Zoo.

Culture

Asahikawa Japan not only provides access to great skiing and snowboarding, but the city also allows visitors to experience Japanese culture that hasn’t been “resortified”. Outside your hotel, don’t expect many people to speak English beyond a couple of basic greetings, and don’t expect to see too many other Westerners. Some may view this as a bit of a travel inconvenience, but for adventurous travellers the huge advantage is that you’ll find the genuine Japan in Asahikawa.

Weather

Asahikawa holds the record for the coldest temperature in Japan with a chilling -41degrees C in 1902. Thankfully it’s not always that cold in winter! Average low temps are about -14 degrees Celsius however when we've visited, it always seems to be really cold with temperatures around minus 25. We needed to wear thermals under our jeans, and even though we’ve seen it many times before in Japan, we've been continually amazed and entertained by the local girls walking around in their short skirts with bare legs! The stilettos accompanying the outfits are also amazing, considering the slippery roads and footpaths on which our Sorrel (Caribous) boots struggle to keep grip.

Why Stay in Asahikawa on a Ski or Snowboard Holiday?

Asahikawa provides a great base to sample multiple ski resorts, some of which have fantastically cheap lift tickets. And at night time you can hang out in a great city where you’ll find plenty of authentic Japanese culture, and an abundance of dining and drinking options.

Tours That May Include Asahikawa

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Snow Tow DETAILS
HOSTED & SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 7 Days | 5 Skiing | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,496
Book and pay deposit prior to Nov 30, 2016 and get 14.7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Take the hassle out of organising your powder adventure to Hokkaido Japan next season by joining one of these great unguided tours. You still have the freedom to do your own thing at the ski areas but all of the logistics are taken care of.
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Hokkaido Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,552
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Niseko United area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
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Hokkaido Unplugged DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,159
Ability: Advanced to Expert
So you have had a taste of Japan powder and you are now ready to get away from the crowds and find the best of Hokkaido. This tour visits some epic sidecountry and backcountry areas in Hokkaido.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Asahikawa here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Backcountry Delights DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share accommodation.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,526
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Journey into Central Hokkaido on this incredible backcountry tour. Some days will include a little lift access otherwise you earn your turns at Tomamu backcountry, Yubari Range, Furano, Kitami Pass and Kurodake.
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Powder Extravaganza DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY & OFF-PISTE TOUR
18 Days | 17 Nights | 5+ ski areas
From price based on twin/double-share.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,535
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The aptly named Powder Extravaganza Tour offers a mix of pure backcountry skiing at Asahidake & Tokachidake combined with lift-accessed piste & off-piste skiing at ski areas like Tomamu, Furano & Kamui. By the end of this 17 day trip you will have had your annual powder fix & will be ready for a tropical holiday!
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Ultimate Backcountry Tour DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
18 Days | 17 Nights
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,458
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The Ultimate Backcountry Tour is aptly named! Earn your turns on this Central Hokkaido tour which takes in Asahidake, Tokachidake, Tomamu backcountry, Yubari Range, Kitami Pass and Kurodake.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Asahikawa here