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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    311

    Photo TR: Hokkaido 1/12-1/27

    After getting skunked for the past 4-5 seasons in the PNW we decided to trade Juneuary for Japanuary and travel to Hokkaido for two weeks. This was our first trip to Japan but thanks to many TR's and SnowJapan forums we were able to make the most of it. We planned one week in Niseko, a couple travel days in Sapporo, 4 days of touring in Daisetsuzan National Park, and 2 days in Furano.




    Complete set of trip photo can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benjami...7632746414270/

    01/11-01/12: Travel day


    arriving at BDL


    Our first two days in Niseko it snowed 30-40cm overnight and was bluebird during the day
    01/13-01/14


    The third day Niseko only received 10cm's overnight and was still sunny so we followed Clayton's advice and took the BDL van an hour north to the smaller, less crowded resort, Kiroro. It was dumping here, waist deep and all the fun tree jibs you see in the movies.






    When we returned to Niseko, it was snowing heavily and didn't let up until the following morning. The skies cleared, the backbowls opened and I had some of the best runs of my life. It was too good to stop and take pictures, luckily we had GoPros.
    01/16


    01/17 Night Skiing:






    Grand Hirafu Village


    We finished the Niseko portion of the trip at Rusutsu via BDL Van, by this point I had put down the camera in favor of skiing.

    After 7 straight days of skiing we took some travel days to explore Sapporo before heading up to Tokachidake Kamihoroso Onsen

    01/19-01/21


    Sapporo Brewery




    Ramen Alley


    01/22:
    Took the Chuo bus from Sapporo Station to Furano and had a pre-arranged bus from Tokachidake Kamihoroso Onsen pick us up from Furano Station. There's also a scheduled bus from Kamifurano Station that runs three times a day but with 3 bags each it would've been a tight fit on a public bus.

    There are two lodges open year round at Tokachidake, Tokachidake Ryounkaku and Tokachidake Kamihoroso. Both have great onsens with views of the surrounding peaks but we found Kamihoroso to be a bit cleaner and updated. The staff spoke very little English but we got by with hand gestures and google translator. Our reservation only included breakfast and dinner but every morning they had a packaged lunch waiting for us along with ice cream bars when we returned from skiing. We couldn't believe how well they treated us here.

    The night we arrived the moon was almost full so we went for a sunset tour.






    The next day we headed up into the alpine. The clouds lifted throughout the day and temps stayed around 0-10F.
    01/23










    Tokachidake Ryounkaku Onsen in the distance


    Dropping down to Tokachidake Kamihoroso Onsen




    Our third day at the lodge we decided to head up Furanodake, the main peak overlooking Tokachidake. The trailhead is aprrox. a mile down the road from Tokachidake Onsen. From here, you cross a creek and take one of the many skin tracks up the ridge line staying mostly lookers right.
    01/24










    Coming off Furanodake we followed a guided groups tracks from the day before. There are many closed out lines coming off the top so we chose carefully. Following a couple tracks, we had knee-deep powder all the way to the creek bottom where we traversed out to meet up with the road that took us back up to Tokachidake.





    A look back on Furanodake. We skinned the ridge lookers right and skied the prominent ridge lookers left before dropping down one of the chutes lookers bottom right of the photo.


    No pictures were taken at Furano, just some video which is still in the works.

    Sapporo Station
    Last edited by benk; 02-14-2013 at 11:10 PM. Reason: added video embed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    126
    SICK photos bud! Hopping on a plane to Niseko for 5 days at the end of this week. Curious, how did you guys find your way around the backcountry? Did you have a guide or just wing it? What was the avy risk like? Any advice for a first timer in Niseko? Psyched!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    642
    Japan TR of the year! Amazing photos and skiing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Posts
    11,832
    Amazing. Can you estimate the cost of that trip?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,935
    That looks fucking awesome. Great TR, and great pictures.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    ColoRADo
    Posts
    5,696
    Pretty...fucking...rad.

    Well done and jealous as hell.

    ps) Nice Caylor stoke
    You should have been here yesterday!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    ANC / ADQ
    Posts
    2,620
    Hell Yeah !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    126
    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Amazing. Can you estimate the cost of that trip?
    Just got done w the logistics traveling from the Eastern US and it's running us just shy of $3k per person for 6 days in Niseko and 3 days in Tokyo, all in. I imagine there are cheaper lodging options, but we couldn't find a good way around the $1k r/t flt from NYC to Tokyo and $150 r/t from Tokyo to Hokkaido on JetStar. Transportation is the bulk of our cost. You'll probably save a few hundred if you're flying from the west coast.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    311
    Quote Originally Posted by rushbikes View Post
    SICK photos bud! Hopping on a plane to Niseko for 5 days at the end of this week. Curious, how did you guys find your way around the backcountry? Did you have a guide or just wing it? What was the avy risk like? Any advice for a first timer in Niseko? Psyched!
    Jealous! Can't wait to go back. We went unguided in the BC, we were lucky enough to have good visibility the first couple days of everywhere we went so were able to get our bearings. We also researched many videos and TR's to get an idea of what was at Tokachidake. We did consult Hokkaido Powder guides before going to Tokachidake but they were out of our budget. We didn't see any instabilities, some slough but the snow is so light you hardly notice it. Glide cracks were a big concern at Furano and Niseko though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Amazing. Can you estimate the cost of that trip?
    2-3000usd with CC points being used for airfare

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,086
    wow

    looks unreal

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    UT
    Posts
    122
    WOW, what fantastic TR. Great photos.

    Very jealous; some will say they hate you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    93108
    Posts
    2,407
    Excellent photos!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    b-town, idaho
    Posts
    355
    lol i just friended you on facebook the other day.

    fucking amazing shots. night session shot takes it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,719
    Most excellent.

    Great pics.

    And great to see you got the goods.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    seatown
    Posts
    3,219
    daaaannngg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    550
    Looks like an awesome trip....GOOD WORK
    @EdgeLinkJohn

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    girdwood
    Posts
    373
    Awesome shots. That was one of the best TRs I've read/seen yet.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Canukistan
    Posts
    203
    FKNA!! shit now I'm thinking Japan vs. west coast for my annual escape from my east coast doldrums.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    10,427
    Wow, that looks like an amazing trip! nice shots, very quality stoke on both sides of the lens.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    8
    Those first couple pics of you guys bombing out of the trees are so awesome. Great TR, makes me want to go.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northern BC
    Posts
    1,637
    Great pics. Always wanted to ski Japan. You mentioned going Kiroro to avoid the crowds. Can I infer that Japanese resorts are busy?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NWCT
    Posts
    1,916
    Amazing. I'm so jealous it hurts.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    2,640
    good call staying here Tokachidake Kamihoroso. We spent a week there I think it was $40 a day per person. Kind of felt like a seniors home at first but they treated us right and great value. Would of been nice if someone there spoke English so you could know what the hell you were eating for breakfast. Nice trip.
    off your knees Louie

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    11,073
    Now I remember why I like to come here. Damn, that was good.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Up North
    Posts
    951
    looks amazing

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