Skiing the Heart of Hokkaido Japan

JPNSKI20130114-1071-WMThis time last year, we were well into a month-long tour of Japan. We were there primarily to ski and shoot winter work for a couple outdoor brands. It might seem strange to think of Alaskans traveling across the Pacific to play in the snow, but winter on the northern island of Hokkaido is something to behold. The rugged volcanic landscape is literally buried in meters of the lightest powder snow we’ve ever skied and the most perfect birch forests spread up into the mountains. After a week at the ski resorts around Niseko, we headed into the wilds of Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido’s center. We set up in one of the ryokans high on the flanks of Tokachidake and explored the untouched backcountry around the active volcano. A sulfurous plume rose from Tokachidake’s crater. Après was the mandatory soak in the onsen baths followed by kimonos, tea, beer, saki and a full spread Japanese dinner. That gives a whole new meaning to ‘rinse and repeat’.


Matt & Agnes | HagePhoto








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