Hiking & Trail Runs
Regarded as 'wild' by much of Japan, Hokkaido is covered by vast open areas, seemingly untouched national parks, rough mountains, and a huge selection of terrain to explore.
Begin your Niseko hiking career with short trails in the foothills, such as the Haru-no-Taki, or "spring waterfall" course, or set out for a 3 hour round trip hike from Goshiki Onsen to the peak of Annupuri for gorgeous panoramic views of the resort park.
For the experienced hiker, experience a full-day climb of Mount Yotei and navigate the ridge of its rocky, treacherous crater.
Despite the difficulty and reliance upon favourable weather conditions when summiting the mountain during the winter, a summer climb is often regarded as a similar challenge due to the hot summer heat, the lengthier and more gruelling descent, and the chance of wild bears.
When attempting to summit Mount Yotei, we always advise you climb with a mountain guide or experienced hiker, and when possible, to climb in a group.
Shikotsu-Toya National Park encompasses the area surrounding the two pristine lakes of Toya and Shikotsu. This national park has some amazing mountains to hike including Eniwa dake and Tarumae zan, as well as the two beautiful lakes.
The Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park surrounds the western seafront in Iwanai, all the way around to the coastline to the north of Niseko, in Otaru. Shakotan is well known for its rugged coasts, delightful rocky beaches and winding shoreline trails.
Far to the east of Niseko is the Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan’s largest national park. The heart of the park is the giant Daisetuzan mountain range, with a host of peaks that reach over 2,000m in height, and boasts a grand traverse that covers many of the peaks, taking several days to complete.
If you have a few days to spare, the pristine Shiretoko National Park is to the far east of Hokkaido. Known as the most remote area of Japan, it is well-known incredible coastline hikes, sunsets, and its bountiful populations of both bears and deer.
In the last few decades, trail running has been a relatively niche sport throughout of Japan, except in specific areas, with most of the community located in the Kanto region. Hokkaido, however, has seen a growth in runners in recent years, thanks to the increase in popularity in both trail and destination running, or "tabi-run".
During the summer in Niseko, it is now a common sight to see runners flocking to many of the most popular routes; jogging down lightly travelled roads for pastoral scenes of blooming flowers and sweet-smelling produce; up and down punishing gradients that link many of the local towns; and at the top of the precarious trails of mountains such as Yotei, and Iwaonuppuri.
Why not try trekking amidst Niseko's beautiful nature with an experienced mountain guide? Explore crater lakes, mountain marshes and streams; or tackle cool night trekking in the summer, on the search for stag beetles and the discovery of different sounds, aromas, and moonlit scenes when compared to the daytime.
|Trekking||Early June - Late October||3.5 hours||7+ years||2+|
|Summer night trekking||Early July - Mid August||1.5 hours||All||2+|
If you would like further information on the astounding range of hiking and running trails found in Niseko and the wider area, or would like to know the best time of year for you to visit, please contact the AYA Niseko team.