Teine Highlands, Sapporo, Hokkaido.



It seems whenever someone speaks of or asks about ski resorts in Hokkaido the words that instantly spring from people’s lips are Niseko, Hirafu or Hanazono. And with good reason some of the finest skiing and snowboarding on the planet can be found here. But here in Hokkaido there are a whole bunch more, less discovered mountains to ridden too.

Destinations such as Furano, Asahidake and Kamui Ski links are less known and a little further away but well worth the effort to get to. At these places there is fantastic powder to be found as well as tranquil rural surroundings. A mountain found in a more urban setting is Teine Highlands.

Teine Highlands is just 40 minutes from Sapporo’s city center and has arguably the best backcountry skiing per capita than anywhere else in world. Teine is not a big resort and to find the great skiing you will have to hike even if only a little. The terrain will challenge most and excite everyone. And when you are finished for the day you can take your pick of high to low end accommodation from a back packers to Grand Hotel or perhaps one of the ‘Love’ hotels just down the road.

If you are looking for a backcountry skiing experience that doesn't involve hiking all day Teine is the place for you. Just think short hikes, steep fall lines, cornices and trees. On top of this the city of Sapporo will leave you wanting for nothing be it food, nightlife or relaxation.

Sapporo is accessed via Chitose International Airport and JR Train or Taxi. Although there are plenty of accommodation options be warned that during the snow festival late booking maybe very difficult.

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Joel Westcot