A mystical experience from the mountain God Japan’s best and unbeatable local ski resort | Kamui Ski Links

KAMUI’S PRIDE

Kamui Ski Links has 25 courses, which is a 30-minute drive from Asahikawa City, and the largest in the Northern Hokkaido area.  Among Hokkaido skiiers, Kamui is regarded as the best and unbeatable local ski resort.

I asked the person in charge of marketing. To convey to an overseas guest, what would you say if asked “What is Kamui Ski Links’ pride that will never lose out to other resorts in Hokkaido?”

  1. The snow quality is so smooth that it cannot be imitated in other areas, even Hokkaido and I am absolutely confident!

2. Rime-lined trees and spectacular view of Ishikari Plain, that’s what you see from the top of the mountain and feel Hokkaido nature.

3. The lift ticket remains at 3,800 yen for whole day!

4. It is most updating as an one-day ski resort. We update our official website and facebook every morning before 7am, to provide the latest information on snowfall so skiiers can check before visiting.

We interviewed Mr Makoto Asakawa, a professional skier from Asahikawa, to further understand the charm of Kamui.

Skier : Makoto Asakawa ph : kazumaru

浅川 誠 Makoto ASAKAWA

Professional skier
 
Being a Kamui local, he has been skiing in Kamui since he was a child.  Currently he is a course advisor cum developer. He is also the ambassador of Kamui.


The profound charm of Kamui Ski Links that I want to convey to overseas guests

― Originally, Kamuiyama where God lives, is a mountain that was protected by the Ainu people .  In Ainu culture, everything in nature has a soul.

And the Ainu people called something that has an important influence on human as “Kamui”.  Even now, Kamuiyama is well-loved by the locals and Mr Asakawa is one of them. For me, who was born and raised in Asahikawa, Kamuiyama is the place where I have been playing, skiing since young, I have a special feeling for it.

Unlike the gorgeous resorts, Links hotels and leisure facilities are extremely local and low profile.  But living here, with the people who have been protecting the mountain over the years, this is something deeply rooted in our culture and for that we should take pride in.  I think this is most charming about Links.

This mountain itself is an invaluable cultural property of Hokkaido where the Ainu people lived long ago.  We developed it into a ski resort. When Hokkaido just began to develop, Kamuiyama is its center. 

I want overseas guests to know that the indigenous people and Ainu’s culture that supported Kamuiyama have rooted in us and have become what it is today over time.  As a matter of fact, we are now skiing on such a precious land with a deep history.

Creating a ski course to learn the origin of fun, playing in Kamuiyama

Mr Asakawa taught me something special.

― I’m currently working on a project. We will remake the mountainside fir trees, pumps, forest course and three advanced non-compacted snow courses into an adventure course that anyone can enjoy.  I want visitors to feel the origin of fun playing in the mountain in Kamui.

“Is this really a course?”, one may think.  It’s wild enough to make you feel unfamiliar, but also thrilling enough to fill your heart with adventure and excitement.  Flags are only placed in important places.  You will never get lost.

It’s going to be a fun course packed with orienteering elements and scheduled to be completed by this winter.  Anyone who comes, whether it’s an advanced foreigner or family groups, will definitely be delighted.   I am looking forward to see their happy faces saying “ it’s interesting!”.  Please come to Kamui !

The three adventure courses I mentioned are entered through the gate beside the “forest trail”, heading downwards to the gondola base with uncompacted snow, tree run course.  You can expect trees, fallen logs, large steps and uneven slopes along the way, the terrain is fantastic.

Skier : Makoto Asakawa ph : kazumaru
LevelLengthMax Slope°
Todomatsu course(Powder ) ◆Advance800m30 °
Bumps ( Powder )◆Advance 1100m30 °
Tree run ( Powder ) ◆Advance 1200m30 °

The face of Kamui Ski Links, a place to ski

― The yellow Kamui gondola (2,327m) which is also the face of Kamui Ski Links, at the moutaintop (751m) where the 25 courses extend out, from FIS-approved full-scale course about 601m of vertical to natural terrain of non-compacted snow. 

A wide variety of courses to enjoy powder.  Size of ski resort is about 400ha, well-balanced with 32% for beginners, 36% for intermediate, and 32% for advanced skiers. There are 8 non-compacted snow courses that spread out on the upper part of the slope, it’s a powder field covering up to 32% of the entire slope.

There is also course limited to advanced skiers only, where you can enjoy the extensive tree run field and Steep & Deep powder over 30 °.  Plus, we even have a deeper snow spot in the forest for a limited period only.  So this is going to be irresistible for powder hunters.  Even in the same Hokkaido, due to its ideal geographical condition, locating inland with low temperature, the powder quality of Kamui is drier and lighter than other areas.

Skier : Makoto Asakawa ph : kazumaru

― As a skiing area, Kamui’s attraction is the variation of courses it offers. Overall, there are many technical courses, and they satisfy advanced skiers. 

I think Kamui has the image of being a fairly difficult ski resort for the advanced. In fact, I feel many overseas guests who visited are experienced, and most of the advanced skiers who have skied in Niseko and other major ski resorts are coming to Kamui.

Even those who do not ski can also take a gondola ride to enjoy the wonderful view from the mountaintop.  It is very popular among overseas guests, enjoying the scenery while eating delicious pizza at the mountaintop restaurant.  

Special select from Mr Asakawa – KAMUI must ride !

I asked Mr Asakawa about the Best 3 slopes of Kamui.

Skier : Makoto Asakawa ph : kazumaru

No.1   Gold 3・2・ 1

First place is the gold course. From the top, No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1, all connected and I definitely want you to try this when you come to Links.  Though it is an inside course, target to ski in the early morning, you can expect beautifully groomed slopes.  Wide and steep slopes, guaranteed beautiful scenery and speed, definitely a must in the morning. 

Also I want you to know the fun here is not limited to powder only. We have a compacted slope, but not icy.  The low temperature keeps the snow so fine that each gliding feel is so good.  Just want to empasize the essence of fun skiing is not all about non-compacted snow powder only.

LevelLengthMax Slope°
Gold 3(Groomed ) Intermediate900m22 °
Gold 2(Groomed ) Intermediate 1200m30 °
Gold 1(Groomed ) Begginer900m18 °

On the mountaintop of Kamui, Gold 3, you can enjoy beautiful rime ice trees and spectacular scenery.  And on Gold 2, the main course with maximum width 150m, maximum slope 30 °, and speed accelerates at once due to the changes in steep slopes.  Then Gold 1 is a forest course at the bottom.

No.2  Royal ( Intermediate・Advanced)

The non-compacted snow course near the mountaintop is a royal course. It is targetted for intermediate and advanced levels, and if it snows, there is a great chance of powdering.  You can expect Steep & Deep riding as it is steep.

No.3  Deep Powder (Powder) & Fresh Powder ( Powder)

The No. 5 lift area which is on the left side of Kamuiyama. Depending on the slope and snow condition, if it opens, please try this too.

Deep Powder (Powder)

Open for limited period only, you can enter through the gate next to the No. 5 pair lift into the deep snow spot in the forest.  Nowhere else but here, the “Best Powder Snow” you can enjoy.

Fresh Powder ( Powder)

A deep snow spot in the forest for a limited period, enter from the forest trail. A course where you can easily enjoy Kamui’s specialty powder.

I want to ski like this when I come to Kamui!
Recommended routine

Introducing the “Asakawa style”, a recommended skiing routine to enjoy Kamui’s slopes efficiently and to the fullest.

” I woud strongly recommend to start off with the 3 courses.

―First, go up to the top of the mountain with a gondola in the morning and slide down the gold course from No. 3.2.1. Then move to the Royal and Deep Fresh Powder course.  It’s a must when you are here! Then there is another course called Shirakaba, which I would love you to t TheTheThe slope change is good, and it is a historical course that has been officially approved by FIS, please try.

Skier : Makoto Asakawa ph : kazumaru

Many other people come to Kamui, including racers and fat skiers. I would suggest first thing in the morning is to let your legs get used to the compacted snow, and after warming up, free to explore your favourite, non-compacted powder or tree run course.

“I want to ski snow track!” rather than getting onto the course in a rush, it’s better to do a body warm up first.  Your body will move better and eyes clearer.  I always suggest my guests to do one or two Gold first before heading to their desired course, no matter how tempted it must be to see fresh snow on the slopes.  Then, go ski anywhere you want to your heart’s content, and finish off by watching a beautiful sunset from the mountaintop, and end the day with “Links was the best”.  I think this is really the best.

Which season is the best to enjoy Kamui? 

The snow quality has been good since its opening in December as it’s in Northern Hokkaido.  Especially after opening for about a month, it is extremely good.  But due to shorter daylight, it gets dark by 3 o’clock.  Taking this into consideration, I think the best season is in early February.

Because we can see all the goodness, like the coldness, the snow quality and the harshness of winter mountain.  For example, finish skiing by 3pm, just nice to catch the sunset.  Isn’t it the best way to enjoy Kamui to the fullest?

And also early February is the coldest winter, there is a chance to see sun pillar.  It is a phenomenon of ice crystals in the air reflect glittering light when the sun shines on them.  It is a very valuable experience.

If the main purpose is to enjoy the slopes, I think the snow is on for about a month after Christmas.  From the second week of March, spring comes quickly, gradually getting warmer and snow will get watery too.  So earlier is better.

I have to do this when I come to Kamui!

If you visit Kamui, you should see the scenery from the mountaintop (751m).  The sight of rime trees and Ishikari Plain make you feel the majestic and beauty of  Hokkaido nature.

Melted water from Daisetsuzan gathers at the exit of Asahikawa City to become the largest river in Hokkaido called Ishikari River. The starting point of Ishikari River is Kamui Kotan, whereby you can see the head of Ishikari River and the Ishikari Plain from the top of the mountain.  Sunset from here is especially beautiful.

While enjoying the scenery of the head of Ishikari River from the mountaintop, you can see the sun sets beautifully if it’s sunny.

Until now, I still think that is the most attractive part of Kamui. If the temperature and conditions are good, you can also see the mysterious sun pillar that looks like a pillar of light coming down from the sky!

I have to do this when I come to Kamui!

If you visit Kamui, you should see the scenery from the mountaintop (751m). The sight of rime trees and Ishikari Plain make you feel the majestic and beauty of Hokkaido nature.

Melted water from Daisetsuzan gathers at the exit of Asahikawa City to become the largest river in Hokkaido called Ishikari River. The starting point of Ishikari River is Kamui Kotan, whereby you can see the head of Ishikari River and the Ishikari Plain from the top of the mountain. Sunset from here is especially beautiful.
While enjoying the scenery of the head of Ishikari River from the mountaintop, you can see the sun sets beautifully if it’s sunny.

Until now, I still think that is the most attractive part of Kamui.
If the temperature and conditions are good, you can also see the mysterious sun pillar that looks like a pillar of light coming down from the sky

If you come to Kamui, you have to eat this!

The mountaintop restaurant “Trattoria & Pizzeria Monte 751” offers a relaxing atmosphere with a fireplace and a panoramic view of the mountaintop.

The center house restaurant is a large restaurant with more than 500 seats where you can enjoy Asahikawa ramen and other nostalgic local dishes.

Mr. Asakawa recommends a super-large curry  “King of Kamui” at the center house.  You’ll be amazed by the volume that consists large serving of roux and rice + cutlet + croquette + fried egg.  And pasta and pizza at the mountaintop restaurant are delicious too.

Related Ski Resorts

KAMUI SKI LINKS

  • Courses

    25

  • Lifts

    6

  • Longest run

    4,000m

  • Maximum Slope

    35°

Early December, 2021- March 31, 2022 (dates may change depending on snow conditions)

  • Monthly snow accumulation in-season
  • ※Average over the last 3years
  • Dec.

    51cm

  • Jan.

    67cm

  • Feb.

    87cm

  • Mar.

    81cm

  • Apr.

    11cm

  • Monthly snow accumulation in-season
  • ※Average over the last 3years
  • Dec.

    51cm

  • Jan.

    67cm

  • Feb.

    87cm

  • Mar.

    81cm

  • Apr.

    11cm

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