The First Leg of Our Japow Odyssey

Moiwa Resort Japan

On The Road

Our Hokkaido air and road trip took us from the French Alps via Marseilles to Niseko, Furano and Sapporo for a ski touring adventure in Hokkaido. But would there be that famous Japow? Our Backcountry Editor, Ken Reeve, kicks off the first of our team ski blogs from Japan...

So, 10 months on since Gav and Elaine talked me in to searching for Japow, it’s the big day!

We piled all our bags into the Style Altitude skibus and set off on the first leg of our odyssey, Marseille airport on the Mediterranean coast.

Overnight motel and early start saw us sitting on the plane for one and a half hours due to air traffic in the UK, starting to fret about missing our Tokyo flight from Heathrow! We just made it in the end after running through the terminals at Heathrow and deplaned in Tokyo Haneda after an 11 hour flight, then a short domestic flight to Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido where we were collected by Sherpas Ride, the guiding company we are using to max out our stay here.

We had awesome ramen noodles at Sapporo airport before leaving and enjoyed a scenic ride to Niseko, our first port of call, passing the dormant volcano Mt Yotei on the way, which was immediately put on the to-do list!

Checked in the hotel, scrubbed up and had shabu-shabu in the restaurant next door, piled into bed and crashed in preparation for our first day.
Up and out early doors as Gav was pacing like a caged tiger and we had an easy first day shredding the 10cm of fresh in the gate accessed backcountry of Moiwa resort, which was sweet, as the snow, while not heavy, was constant and topping up nicely!

The Fridge Niseko

Exploring Niseko Town in the evening, we had to see what was behind this Fridge door and had a very pleasant few rounds of drinks there to celebrate our first day on the Japanese white stuff.