About the Hakkoda Ski Area

Experience loads of deep powder on Hakkoda's mountains. Hakkoda's average snow base is an impressive 4+ metres each year - and with runs as long as 7km that stay true to the mountain’s natural form, you’ll be able to challenge the mountain as is, along with its natural elements.

It’s not just the powder on the ground that makes Hakkoda unique - the mountain’s characteristic “Snow Monsters” make an unforgettable scenic backdrop to your snow adventure! The Snow Monsters are produced when water droplets carried by strong seasonal winds clash with the evergreens and freeze in place to create unique shapes. There are only a select few mountains in Japan that have the unique climatic conditions necessary to produce these Snow Monsters, and Hakkoda is one of the best among them.

Note: Hakkoda's ski season typically runs from mid-December until mid-May depending on snow and weather conditions. Snow Monsters are at their best from January until the end of February. If skiing or snowboarding isn't your thing, they can also be seen from above on the Hakkoda Ropeway gondola.

Ski Courses

Not quite ready for a hardcore challenge? No worries - Hakkoda has 5 courses geared towards intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The Forest Course and Direct Course are the most popular, with ungroomed runs that stay true to the natural form of the mountain - only the trees have been cleared from the course. These 2 courses are signposted with guide signs, poles, and tape, and ski patrols regularly tour the area. However, it’s still best to prepare and be as cautious as you would on a backcountry ski routes. Whether it's the Forest Course or Direct Course, you'll have an unforgettable adventure gliding through the Snow Monsters and the white tunnel of snow-covered trees.

Ungroomed Courses
  1. FOREST COURSE 5km (INT-ADV)
  2. DIRECT COURSE 3.5km (INT-ADV)
Groomed Courses
  1. SLALOM COURSE 0.7 km (INT-ADV)
  2. FURIKOZAKA COURSE 0.7km (BEG-INT)
  3. KANSUIZAWA COURSE 1.1km (BEG-INT)

Safety Information for Ski Courses

  • Be mindful of cave-ins near the snow monsters.
  • Do not enter the areas outside of the signposted courses as there are marshes and a real possibility of becoming stranded on the mountain.
  • Do not ski or snowboard under the lift.

Ski Routes

For true adventure seekers, the ski routes (for advanced skiers and snowboarders only) are what you’re after. Based on the shape of North Hakkoda Mountain Range, these courses are the best way to experience the natural conditions of the mountain. Ride through large, treeless slopes or crank up the challenge with runs through the forest. Ski routes are open to the public from March onwards (some routes are from April onwards), however, please do not enter the mountain alone and without a professional guide or an experienced leader. The Hakkoda Mountain Range Ski Routes can be dangerous. For your own safety, please carefully read the 'Safety Information for Ski Routes' and 'Safety Guidelines when Skiing and Snowboarding the Hakkoda Mountain Range Ski Routes' below. 

Safety Information for Ski Routes

There are some potentially dangerous zones, such as natural snow escapements or crevasses, where the route is guided partly with bamboo poles for
your assistance (only from March onwards). Please be aware there are no ski patrols around the Ski Routes. Please don’t enter the mountain area if you are inexperienced or alone. Especially from January through March, due to severe weather conditions, we strongly recommend you to join the professional guided tours.

Hakkoda’s Official Guide Services (English guides, based on availability)

Mt. Hakkoda Guide Club, Hakkodasan Ski School & Guide, Sukayu Onsen Tour Guides, Hotel Jogakura Ski Guides

Safety Guidelines when Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding the Hakkoda Mountain Range Ski Routes

  1. In winter, the Hakkoda mountains receive a tremendous amount of snow. Also, changes in weather conditions can be sudden and severe.
    Please don’t head into the mountains without full protective clothing and equipment and unless you are accompanied by a proficient guide or an experienced leader. If you'd like to enjoy the backcountry skiing and snowboarding, we recommend the Forest course and Direct Ski Courses, which don't require a professional guide or experienced leader and are open almost the whole season.
  2. Even in spring, you should be prepared for unexpected changes in weather and loss of visibility. Although the topography of Hakkoda is relatively straightforward, severe weather can make parts of the mountain dangerous. Have a clear image in your mind of the route you are skiing or snowboarding.

  3. In the unlikely event of an accident, you should have the following things with you: protective clothing, emergency food and water rations, a route map, compass, first aid supplies and materials for on-the-spot equipment repairs.
  4. Please stay with a group and do not ski alone.
  5. In the event that you stray from the course or are separated from your group, remain calm. Choose a safe route and descend the mountain until you come out on the road which circles the foot of the mountain from April onwards.
  6. At the top of the mountain temperatures can drop as low as minus 10º Celsius, even in April, and winds can be two or three times stronger than at lower elevations. There have been serious accidents as late in the season as May, so please avoid reckless behaviour.
  7. Huts (unmanned and without heating) for shelter in an emergency are located on Sennintai and Odake (Please refer to the Hakkoda Mountain Range Ski Route map).
  8. Skiers and snowboarders arriving by bus should be sure to check the bus schedule and allow plenty of time to make their return connection.
  9. The Hakkoda Mountain Range Ski Route map is designed as a reference for skiers and snowboarders. It should not be used by people interested in summer hiking or climbing

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