Backcountry skiing and snowboarding refers to riding outside the boundaries of patrolled ski areas. Backcountry adventures allow experienced skiers and snowboarders the chance to get away from the crowds to enjoy fresh powder snow and beautiful, quiet scenery.
Japan's unique climate, topography and location make snowfall in the mountains consistent and highly sought after by those in the know. The snow has a low moisture content causing it to be particularly dry and fluffy. Backcountry enthusiasts all over the world call the country's deep, light powder snow "Japow."
Some Japanese ski resorts allow visitors to go off-trail at their own risk, and enjoy Japow while skiing and snowboarding through the trees. Snow travelers looking for a more intensive backcountry experience hike and snowshoe to find deep, untouched powder. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding requires specific skills, equipment, and safety knowledge.
The risks in the backcountry are real and should not be taken lightly — some of the dangers include avalanches and tree wells. First-timers should join a backcountry ski tour with experienced guides who will provide all the necessary know-how for a fun, safe day in the mountains.