Why Tohoku? Aren’t you a Hokkaido-specific website?
The Tohoku region has come onto the international backcountry skiing radar in recent years for good reason. The region gets even more snow than well-known areas in Hokkaido, and it has something Hokkaido doesn’t—the ‘real Japan’ experience of thousand-year old architecture and Japanese history. With overnight ferries from Hokkaido allowing travelers to fall asleep in one snow apocalypse and wake in another, the region is extremely accessible from Hokkaido, with very little time lost to travel. We’ve already documented a 7-day cycle tour in Aomori Prefecture, and we absolutely loved it. This winter season, we really want to get down to Tohoku to see what everyone is raving about, as well as write some route guides to make Tohoku just that little bit more accessible.
Tentative areas we’re planning to document
Nine days is woefully short to capture even a glimpse of the depth of backcountry skiing opportunities in Tohoku. But as far as time, weather, and stamina allows, here’s some areas we’ll be checking out.
- Aomori Prefecture – Hakkoda (八甲田), Iwaki-zan (岩木山)
- Akita Prefecture – Moriyoshi-zan (森吉山), Komaga-dake (駒ヶ岳), Nyuto-zan (乳頭山)
- Iwate Prefecture – Hachimantai (八幡平), Iwate-zan (岩手山)
- See full tentative schedule, including plotted routes, here (PDF): English | Japanese
- Robert Thomson (New Zealand) is the founder of HokkaidoWilds.org. He’s penned over 100 English-language online route guides for the Hokkaido area. He’s involved in planning, photography, writing, and map-making duties. He’s an assistant professor at a university in Sapporo (digital media/communications). He has lived in Japan 14 years and is fluent in Japanese.
- Chris Auld (New Zealand/UK) is a writer for HokkaidoWilds.org, owns a cabin in Niseko, Hokkaido, and has extensive skiing experience in Hokkaido, North America, and New Zealand. He is also a qualified ski guide. For this tour, he’s involved with drone photography, writing and driving duties. He works in the data science field for Microsoft in Singapore.
- Katie Basham (United States) is an American backcountry skier, whitewater rafter and Onsen enthusiast. She has spent her life attempting to blend these activities with a love for exploring new places and cultures.
- Andy Pressman (United States) is a USA-based adventurer with a passion for skiing, mountain biking and rivers. He loves traveling and exploring wilderness areas across the globe. An Emergency Medicine physician by trade, he has studied, instructed and researched medicine in austere and extreme environments.
About HokkaidoWilds.org | The Hokkaido Wilds is a non-profit website that exists to inspire people to explore and enjoy Hokkaido and the surrounding areas’ extraordinary outdoors by ski, bicycle, foot and canoe in an informed and responsible way. In addition to detailed written route guides with great photography, we also provide GPS route files, custom English-language GeoPDF topographical maps (using Japan government map data), and safety notes. HokkaidoWilds.org enjoys the support of local Hokkaido NPOs and tourism promotion bureaus.
Example of route photography
(these are from Hokkaido)