For adventure lovers, this is one of the must-dos in Hokkaido during winter.
We went with Outrider Co. Ltd as it is near to where we stayed at Ezura farm (blog on Ezura farm).
It is located in Monbetsu and the nearest airports are Asahikawa Airport and Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport, both about 1hr 30mins drive away.
Pickup and drop-off is provided from Ezura farm as well as from the Shirataki train station and Shirataki Bus Terminal.
2 of us went for this as the others need to take care of the young kids.
Minimum age to do this is Primary 4 and above, but this is not a hard rule, depending on the child’s experience with big dogs and physical attributes.
We went for the 1 day course which includes lunch. Not to worry if you have no experience with big dogs, or dogs at all.
The day starts with theory on how to control and brake the sled.
Understanding and bonding with the huskies is also an important part of the course before starting on the journey.
Once everything is all set after lunch, it’s time to set off on the 20km journey. The huskies can’t wait to set off as much as us.
There have been misconceptions of dog sledding being cruel for the dogs and considered abuse to them.
There may be some black sheep in this industry whereby the operator does not provide good living conditions and ill-treat the dogs.
However, in general, proper operators take good care of their dogs.
Ultimately, these are huskies who are born to run and need lots of exercise.
They love to run and are more than happy to do the sledding.
You can feel their excitement with their barking and tail-wagging as they are getting ready to start sledding.
For those game for some adventure, do give this a try!
Booking is done online on their website.
Outrider Co Ltd (Japanese only)