“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ O.W.
Since I began my life in Asia, Hokkaido Japan has been on my list of must visit locations for its superb powder snow, incredible seafood, and overall amazing outdoor experience. All of my friends from Japan said “Go to Hokkaido” if you want to really experience the true beauty that Japan has to offer. Needless to say, they were right.
Floating as the northern most prefecture of Japan with vast beautiful landscapes and huge mountains it is truly one of the top locations to visit in Asia for many reasons. Standing out as THE best place to ride fluffy snow in the east, world renown cuisine, and amazing hot springs it has officially become my favourite destination in on this side of the world.
The phrase: “It’s not what you know, but who you know” couldn’t be more true. My Japanese brother Totori Toshisan, who I met in Okinawa during my scuba dive training, runs the most well kept backcountry tours guide experience in all of Hokkaido. He guides superstar athletes from Shawn White, to top action sports stars all looking to escape into the untouched pristine backcountry.
Unlike Niseko, which has turned into an overpriced blend of little Australia and China town, this well kept secret in central Hokkaido is also home to Japans tallest mountains. It is heaven for any outdoor enthusiast looking for the best powder lines with less crowds.
Sending it with my limited amount of Japanese language alongside my brother Toshisan and a few other riders, I followed his tracks for hours and hours of hiking everyday. Whiteout snow conditions, intense winds, and sometimes zero visibility; there were moments of complete exhaustion on our quest for the perfect drop in. Mentally you have to hit flow state or your body and mind will easily give to the cold and fatigue. Add the 20 plus kilogram pack and you have yourself some of the best cardio, agility, and endurance training on the planet. Luckily we had two days of sunshine to balance out the freezing conditions.
When all you have is mindful breath, complete presence, and one foot in front of the other your mind changes and you become free. ~ T.B.
Seven days of backcountry hiking and massive powder riding, it tops as my best snowboarding experience to date hands down. What makes it so sweet is the serene hot springs waiting for you at the bottom of the mountain, and the mouthwatering Japanese food to close off the perfect day. After it was all said and done, I was physically exhausted and so happy for the life changing experience in deep backcountry of Hokkaido’s Ashaidake mountains.
Have a look at my Gopro video from the experience to see the massive japow first hand: