A little while ago I was lucky enough to take a whistle-stop tour of some of the lesser known ski resorts in Japan, with the help of jet planes, 4x4s and bullet trains.
I had heard enough gloating about ‘JAPOW’, so I went in search of the legendary powder myself. As the legend goes, snow is delivered from Siberia with almost daily Japanese efficiency. It turns out the legend is indeed ‘fact’. The white stuff just arrives whenever you look at a cloud falling cold and fluffy, and staying that way.
With the waist deep powder and the incredible cuisine constantly in neck for being the “best ever” it is fair to say that skiing in Japan is more than a ski trip. It truly is an amazing ski experience. In fact it’s so brilliant I have booked to go again this season.
To offer this amazing ski experience we have teamed up with a brilliant ski guide and local expert. The result is the best itinerary possible for a 10 day trip to Japan.
Arrival/Check-in day – 1st night
Upon landing at Sapporo’s Chitose Airport you’ll be transferred privately by Sky Express private transfer. After the journey you’ll be met by your guides at welcome drinks that night in the hotel bar where they will run you through your trip.
First day exploring Kokusai. Your guides will show you around this hidden gem so you can get you snow feet back and enjoy untracked powder coming straight off the Sea of Japan from Siberia. Toast your first day with a welcome dinner in one of Otaru’s amazing Izakaya restaurants.
Wake up looking at snow on the beach and after an amazing buffet breakfast get suited up to head to the home of the 1972 Olympics. Teine provides some steep open bowls where your guides will be able to find you long powder chutes not often seen in Hokkaido. On the edge of Sapporo the views from Teine highland mix mountain with city. After working up an appreciate it will be time to try one of Otaru’s famous exports, The Snow Crab and an ice cold Sapporo Classic.
Pack your bags and get ready to hit the road. You will begin your trip South but won’t have far to go before stopping at Kiroro Snow World. This resort is well known for receiving over 20 meters of snow annually. Your guides will navigate you through Kiroro’s backcountry opening hidden gates so you can get further out into the backcountry. From here you will head to world famous Niseko.
Get ready to explore Niseko United. With four perfect resorts all on one volcano, you will be spoilt for choice. The guides will be hunting out powder stashes from in the resort and the open gullies this area is known for. With the ability to start at one side of the mountain and move across, never skiing or riding the same slope twice.
From Niseko, you will venture out for a day to Rusutsu Resort. In less than an hour, your guides will transport you to one of the tree skiing meccas of Japan. With endless Japanese birch forests and plenty of natural hits, Rusutsu is a snowy playground that anyone can enjoy! In the afternoon you’ll check out the singing tree and other bizarre Japanese things in the Rusutsu mall.
Grab your onsen gear as you will be heading to Niseko lesser known sister of Mowia. This smaller powder gem is a local favourite for ski racing leaving some of the best backcountry terrain in the region untouched for us. After multiple days of smashing fresh lines, it will definitely be time to soak our weary legs. Multiple onsens are all within a short distance of the slopes where we can fully recharge.
After a relaxed post onsen night’s sleep your guides will take you to some of the more hidden places in Niseko. Hike the peak and head into the back bowls if conditions are good. Finish your day with a team beer in Half Note Apres Bar at the tour accommodation.
It’s time to leave the bright lights of Niseko behind as you continue on your Southern tour to the port city of Hakodate. Famed for being the first port in Japan opened to foreign trade this travel/rest day will see you wandering around renovated old red brick fishing warehouses taking in some local fare.
Having spent a chilled out night in Emi Onsen Hotel you will be ready to hit the slopes again and Hakodate Nanae Snow park won’t disappoint. Overlooking Lake Onuma and the Pacific, Nanae has plenty to offer with uncrowded slopes and quick laps straight of the gondola. After a great day on snow, you will see local Sushi Masters preparing the freshest fish right before our eyes.
Time to check out and say goodbye to your new friends, your guides will transfer you to Shin Hakkodate station so you can catch the high-speed bullet train back to Tokyo.
NOTE: This itinerary is an example. The tour will be run largely by the weather and each day will fit around where the best conditions are. This is the beauty of such a tour.
Skiing In Japan Experience – What’s included:
- 3 nights twin/triple share accommodation at the Grand Park Otaru
- 5 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Full Note Pension in Central Hirafu
- 2 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Emi Hotel in Hakodate
- 8 guided days at any of the following – Niseko United, Kiroro, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Kokusai, Teine, Asari, Tenguyama, Hakodate Nanae Snow park & Niyama Kogen
- 8 day of flexible lift passes
- Transfer to Shin-Hakodate train station & daily transport
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hot spring) experiences
For bespoke pricing and group events, please contact our specialists. For further information speak to Richard himself to hear about his trip in more detail and where he intends to go for his upcoming trip….