In Japan, Rishiri Island is a skier's paradise

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In Japan, Rishiri Island is a skier's paradise

rishiri island

If you love the idea of a skiing adventure to a remote island, then the best place is Rishri Island in Japan that is said to be a skier’s paradise.

Here you will enjoy the unique surroundings, beauty of snowcapped mountains, adventurous skiing trail and of course the cuisine offered by the island.

Isolation and adventure are at its peak which promises to help you unwind and have a picturesque view of the mountains as you ski through Rishri Island.

Whether you decide to go on a winter trip or take the summer tour on the island, the beauty and the view always differs making it an amazing experience. Let us discover all about it, in this article.

Location and Travel

  • To locate the ski destination island you will find it to the east, 12.5-mile stretch of sea from Hokkaido.
  • Rishiri is 5,646 feet above the sea, towering over an extinct volcano with cone shape and countless ridges leading to the lone peak.
  • In the ancient language the name of the Island is translated to High Island, but in the modern world it is called ukishima—the floating island, in Japanese language.
  • Getting to Rishiri is nothing less than an adventure and the test of patience / determination as winters are unforgivingly stormy.
  • Once there you will enjoy the beautiful scenic location that will have you filled with amazement looking at different snow shapes in the form of mushrooms, cornices and snow monsters and sweeping icy winds as you slide through the snow.
  • Often tourists have to wait to travel due to sea storm, when the passage is available a ferry ride will take you to the exact destination.


Majority of the hotels in the location have their own fishing boats, these sit on the decks waiting for the summer to arrive.

Rishiri Kombu or seaweed and Uni or Sea urchin are the local specialties that are available for tourists as the local cuisine.

Summer tourism is popular in the location that forms the integral part of the economy there.

Rishiri Island’s Adventure

Toshiya Watanabe is the name of the only mountain guide native to the Island, who knows his way around and offers tourists adventure ski tours in the icy weather of Rishiri.

The guide is said to have begun his ski tours back in 2004 and continues to do so ever since.

His wife Maki runs her own restaurant, Rera Mosir, that translates to: the domain of the wind, offering lodging to the tourists during winters and its only one of the few available during the hostile season.

It accommodates 25 guests at a time with one or two more guides available in the lodge. The accommodation is available as per ability level and preferences.

Travelers have the option to book only a room or a room with guided tour package included.

The view from the lodge is mesmerizing with large windows overlooking the mountain offering skiing trails to the tourists. The guide will first chart out the destination for the day instructing the tourists to gather their gear.

A mini-van is available for the tourists that drive through 20 minutes to the trailheads for the trek to begin. Experiencing travelling through steep route with ridgelines, tree runs is a unique experience within itself.