Backcountry Guide

With over 2,000 acres of ski and boarding terrain, in Niseko there is always an untracked slope to explore or a back country drop into a pristine winter wonderland. Backcountry access can be enjoyed via the Niseko Gate system, using the lift or via a short hike or make a day of it with a full day hiking. With endless terrain options available for every level of adventurer, our local guides will work with you to plan the wintery experience of a lifetime. 

Important Information
Resort Accessed Backcountry

With over 50% of Niseko available by resort accessed backcountry, Niseko offers a powder experience for every experience level. Access to the backcountry terrain is easy via the Niseko Gate system, using either the lift or a short hike. A short hike is a good experience for riders who are just starting to explore areas other than the groomers.

From 16th Dec~ Age Ability Level Start Time Regular Price Peak Period Price*
6-Hour Lift Accessed Backcountry Guide 14 years and above L5 and above Flexible ¥100,000 ¥110,000
Explore Upgrade
(private transport included)
- - - Plus ¥25,000 Plus ¥25,000
*Peak period: 16th Dec - 2nd Feb
- Explore Upgrade includes 6 hours of guiding plus 2 hours for travel.
- Guiding or Touring end date is subject to spring snow conditions.
- This product access the backcountry terrain available via Niseko United or other Gate systems.

Backcountry Touring

Japan provides some of the best backcountry powder conditions in the world without the crowds. Venture with us beyond the resort boundaries for a truly unique and unbridled adventure. Our guide will work with you to choose the best and safest backcountry experience. This introduction course includes a 8-hour tour plus travelling time with one of our most experienced guides

From 16th Dec~ Age Ability Level Start Time Regular Price Peak Period Price*
8-Hour Backcountry Tour 14 years and above L5 and above Flexible ¥120,000 ¥130,000
*Peak period: 16th Dec - 2nd Feb
- Free transportation is included
- Touring end date is subject to spring snow conditions.
- Option to rent touring equipment with an additional fee.

Ability Level

Advising us of your ability level in advance allows the most suitable instructor or guide to be allocated to your lesson or guiding. Please check the skills guide below if you are unsure of your ability level.

Other Information

This service is exclusive to Setsu Niseko guests.

Cancellation prior to booking commencement will incur cancellation fees as below:
15 days or less: a 100% cancellation fee
Cancellation includes changes that reduce the overall value of the booking and no shows.

Operating periods are adjusted depending on resort operating changes, snow conditions, and other operational matters.

There will be no compensation for loss of tour time due to injury or illness if the tour has commenced.

A reschedule or refund of future tours can be made if a valid medical certificate is submitted 24 hours before commencement of tours.

We strongly advise guests to purchase travel insurance that covers skiing and snowboarding activities.

What is the best time to visit Hokkaido for a guided tour?

  • While Niseko is known for its never-ending powder, each season can of course vary. Statistically speaking though, we find that the most consistently snowy months occur during Dec, Jan & Feb.
  • March can also bring the goods and is known for its clear skies and warmer days bringing magnificent scenery and opportunities to summit mountains otherwise often inaccessible.

Do I need a lift pass, and what kind of pass should I purchase?

  • Unless you have booked a backcountry experience, lift passes will be required for your custom guided tours. Most tours will access terrain which is accessible by the resort lifts. Your guide can assist you in recommending the correct pass for your tour based on your goals and the current condition.

I have a group of mixed skiers and snowboarders. Can we go together?

  • Generally, this will not be a problem. The major concern with mixing a group of skiers and snowboarders is the ability level of the group. In particular, for snowboarders in slackcountry terrain, the ability to hold a strong traverse and maintain speed on the flats can be concerning for snowboarders and if this is not an area of strength then appropriate terrain may need to be chosen which will not put a snowboarder in a tough spot.

Are there any flexible dates possible to catch the best conditions?

  • Your experienced guides will be able to show you an amazing experience pretty much every day in the winter of Hokkaido. Occasionally the weather will be too harsh to get our there. On those days then we will be working with you to find a new date for your tour.

What kind of insurance do I need to purchase?

  • Travel insurance that will cover wintersports activities with a guide. If you plan to go into the backcountry terrain you should check your insurance policy for this type of activity.

How much hiking do I have do on a tour?

  • This is completely up to you (with the exception of our Backcountry Tours). Our Guides can fully customize your tour to include the amount of hiking you would like to do, during your day. They can also adjust the plan over the day depending on your energy levels.

I have booked a backcountry tour, so I need touring equipment?

  • Yes, the backcountry tours all operate out of the resort. If you are a skier, you will need to hire touring equipment. If you are a snowboarder, you have an option to rent snowshoes or a splitboard.