Welcome to the #1 mountain in Japan for POWDER SNOW!

What people are saying about Simonís Powder Tours:


Our goal: Mt. Maedake (1250m), if you look closely you will see 2 almost at the top, 3 climbing diagonally in the middle and a larger group just starting at the bottom right! We will do the back bowl (not shown) from the summit and end up at the Doozo tea house. (photo by Kazu)



We ended up beating the large tour to the top! Looking back from the summit you can see the tremedous length of Mt. Akakura with a little bit of the twin peaks of Mt. Ido peeking out of the right side and with Mt. Odake(1584m) on the far right background! (photo by kazu)


Led by the region's only gaijin(non-japanese) tour guide extraordinaire, my lady and I headed up toward the top of Mt.Hakkoda via cable car. The locals still call it "Rope Way" which still doesn't make sense to me. Day 1 (Friday, March 18th) had winds gusting at 20 meters a second which makes visibility close to zero. As the doors opened to begin our journey down, the only feeling we had was the sting of snow hurting our faces. It was very similar to the very first time I'd experienced Mt.Hakkoda 3 years ago, with the thoughts of "what in the heck are we doing here?" running through my mind. Always seemingly calm and collected, Simon pointed us in the direction that we had never been before, scraping and shredding the edgy ice built up throughout the season. After a few minutes of safety sideslipping, Simon gave us the magic words "we're here!" and the world changed once again. Gone was the hard crusty unenjoyable stuff, but now we were in softer ridable snow. The long trail down had very few tracks, if any and that's always a plus. We managed to complete 5 very nice runs on day 1 and each run seemed to get better as the wind died down and snow constantly piled on. I talked to Simon a few times about the conditions and he kept repeating, "tomorrow is going to be great!" Day 2 (Saturday, March 19th) arrived and I sensed we were going to have a good day when I saw 20cm of fresh powder on our truck in the parking lot. Simon told us to get our snowshoes and poles ready because we were going to use them. Since we were on a time limit to leave by 2:30pm that day, we decided to do 2 shorter runs like the day before and 1 extended run in the afternoon, with some manual snow plowing included. Of the 20 days of snowboarding this season, it was the absolute best for us. We had some tremendous powder in Niigata and Nagano during early January, but Hakkoda topped it all pretty easily. No other mountain has the combination of long, open runs with fresh powder tracks anywhere you go outside the ropes. I'm almost bold enough to try a bit of adventuring on my own, but something tells me I'll be back with Simon in his playground. In our dream vacation, we'd stay at least a week or two or three but since reality is unavoidable, we'll just have to re-live the glory of Hakkoda in our minds. We'll be back!

Satoshi Oka, 3/2005
Advertising Writer
Pacific Stars & Stripes



This is Misao, she loves doing it in the powder!


My impressions of Hakkoda before actually getting there was more than exciting. It was going to be my first time going with a daypack, stocks, and snowshoes. I was anticipating many great powder runs with no one around except the guys I was going with. Once we arrived we were greeted with 50 plus centimeter of fresh snow which really never stopped for the 3 days we were there. I mean it snowed about 40 - 50 cm plus everyday all day long! This place was nothing but powder and only powder, I mean deeeep powder. I found myself being humbled very easily by getting stuck (maybe undergunned) or lack of deep powder experience. However Simon was always there waiting and assisting us in getting down the mountain together and putting us in the right spots. There were many virgin areas of powder, and the beauty of the snow with a quietness that is hard to find anywhere in Japan made this tour amazing. I will be planning another trip back to Hakkoda real soon, maybe not this year but definitely next snow season. And I'll make sure to contact Simon for another Hakkoda Tour. Thanks Again for Some More Great Memories in Japan!

Josh 3/2005

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It was good to finally meet. Hakkoda was definitely much different from anywhere else I've skied. Thank you very much for the calendar...it will certainly serve as a reminder to return to Hakkoda - since I wasn't able to really see much of Hakkoda on this trip. Next time, I will be mentally more prepared for the experience... Take Care and hope to meet up with you again in the near future.

James 3/2005

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