Nagano-Niigata Explorer Tour

2017-18 Tours and Pricing Coming Soon!


10 NIGHTS | 8 DAYS SKIING/RIDING | from $3780




Based at Kogakuro Ryokan in Myoko’s quaint Akakura village, we will head out each day in our comfy 4WD vans to the ski resort with the best conditions that day. Your experienced guides will be following the weather closely and with your consolation will decide which resort has the best powder for you to enjoy. As there are plenty to choose from, each with it’s own distinct weather patterns you are pretty much guaranteed to get fresh lines somewhere. From Myoko’s deep powder, Suginohara’s bowls, Madarao-Tangram’s gladded trees, Nozawa’s backcountry and Shiga’s multiple resorts, the Nagano-Niigata has some of the best variety of terrain in Honshu.

Choose from over 20 ski resorts on this guided tour!

Each night after skiing you’ll return to the comfort of your traditional Japanese ski lodge, soak in the onsen, sink a beer or two and head out for dinner at one of the fantastic local restaurants. Then rinse & repeat!

For more information and to enquire about this fantastic guided Japan ski tour, click here or call us +613-9639-0372


Dates & Prices

19 – 29 Jan 2017 – SOLD OUT

28 Jan – 7 Feb 2017 – SOLD OUT


Skill Level: High-Intermediate and above only.

6 to 1 client to guide ratio

MAX 12 people per tour

This tour requires that you should be able to ski the whole mountain and get down all runs confidently at a reasonable speed – Advanced on-piste. You must also have  high-intermediate ability in powder. You will get the most out of these tours if you have a good level of fitness. Groups are split up into ski/board/ability levels and some groups we will be doing some hiking (traversing/bootpacking) to get to the goods.


We are a fully licensed travel agent with wholesale fares and can organise discounted flights from any capital city. Ask for our ski and fly package.



*Prices correct as of 29th APR, 2016. LAND ONLY.
**SPRING specials are only valid for tours noted above and if booking is made after the 1st of September and full payment is made before 30th of September, 2016.


  • Transfers from/to Myoko train station
  • Private transport in our comfy 4WD vans
  • 10 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Kogakuro Ryokan in Myoko Kogen
  • 8 days worth of lift passes
  • 8 days guiding at any of the following resorts: Suginohara, Akakura Kanko, Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira, Seki Onsen, Nozawa Onsen, Kurohime, Shiga Kogen (18 inter-connected resorts), Madarao, Tangram and a few other secret gems
  • Welcome & farewell dinner party
  • Daily cooked breakfast



– Single share accommodation
– Avalanche gear rental – $165
– Additional guided days/Myoko backcountry guided day
– International flights
– Tokyo stopover/Kyoto cultural side trip
– Extra nights accommodation & ski days in Myoko or elsewhere


NOTE: Avalanche safety gear is compulsory for all our tours. Please advise us upon booking if you have your own gear or will need to rent.

*Prices correct as of 26 April 2016. LAND ONLY
**2016/17 – Spring specials are only valid for tours as noted above. Full Payment is required before 30 September.

Kogakuro Ryokan Kogakuro Ryokan

Kogakuro Hotel (a.k.a. Kougakuro or Kogakuro Ryokan) has friendly English speaking staff who understand the needs of international visitors and their Akakura accommodation. It is well located in Akakura Village near the base of the Akakura Onsen ski and snowboard resort in Myoko Kogen. Kougakuro is a Japanese-style ryokan with a 115-year history that offers traditional hot springs, including an outside rotemburo, and a Japanese-style mountain holiday experience with a number of western touches such as lounge room with open fire and a billiard table. All rooms booked for our tours have ensuite bathrooms. The nearest ski lift is only 300 metres away. The proprietor Mieko offers you a warm welcome.

PAUL ELLISPaul_Ellis-Whiteroom
Snowboard Guide

Paul started what was to become Whiteroom Tours in 2007 with an idea to create a website around helping those venturing into the backcountry around the world. Backcountry Logistics was created and soon born Backcountry Snow Tours, which had tours planned for Pakistan, Gulmarg and Furano, Japan. Seeing that the market wasn’t really there for backcountry tours to remote locations yet he moved to offering a resort based Japan tour and sold ESS Boardstore owner Mark Chandler on the idea. In 2007 the first tour was run to Furano. In 2010 he founded Whiteroom Tours with the aim showing more people the areas in Hokkaido he came to love. Today Whiteroom Tours has grown into a Travel Agency, Tour Operator and Guiding Company with more than 30+ tours all over Japan as well as NZ and Alaska, and guiding throughout Japan. APSI Level 2 SB, RC F.Aid, AST2 equivalent.

GARETH BEVANGareth_Beavan-mug
Ski Guide

Gareth has been skiing Japan since 1999, 12 times + including over 20 resorts Hokkaido & Honshu guiding most of the time. He holds his NAMSG (Nth American mechanised ski guide) cert, level 2 and level 2 Avalanche cert. He has heli guided in Valdez AK for 3 years and is the H2o’heli guides Australian host guide. He has also been a member of Thredbo ski Patrol for the last 2 years. Whilst he’s skied many different exotic locations around the world, he always heads to Japan for his powder fix!

2015-16 Nagano-Niigata Tour

2014-15 Nagano-Niigata Tour

Hi  Paul.

Just wanted to let you know our guiding day with Gareth Beaven in Myoko 7/2/16 was excellent. Very professional, personable and a great communicator. A highlight of our trip. Please pass on our compliments to Gareth next time you speak.

Thanks again for all your help.

Kind Regards

Ian Barnett

Greg and Lyndell ~

We had such a brilliant time on the Nagano Niigata Tour. It’s easy to see why it’s called an “Explorer Tour”. It was an amazing opportunity to explore so many resorts in the Nagano and Myoko (Niigata) area. We have the tendency to get bored pretty easily if we have to stay at a ski area for more than a day, so it suited us to a tea to be able to move around to different resorts every day.

Every night we’d return to the hotel and meet other Kogakuro guests in the drying room, onsen or bar. They thought they were being adventurous if they’d just caught the local bus to Suginohara (one of the Myoko ski areas). They were sooo jealous that we’d been to so many other resorts, had someone to drive us around, and that we’d scored lots of powder.

Despite being funsters, the guides were very professional and organised. You felt like they had everything in control, and rhe pre-trip communication was very good.

Kogakuro is not deluxe or glamorous lodging but considering the price of the tour, the lodging was great. It provided a nice Japanese ryokan experience with sleeping on the floor, and the amenities were comprehensive including the ability to have a daily soak in the onsen. Both the indoor and outdoor baths were small, but they did the trick and were certainly ideal for the tired muscles. Having a bar and lounge to congregate for après ski drinks was a bonus too.

Breakfasts were amazing, and even though we stayed there for 11 nights we didn’t get sick of the food because it was so varied. It’s nice to experience Japanese culture but dried fish for breakfast is one element that grows old very quickly, so it was nice that the breakfasts included lots of western food. Dinner was entirely a different matter and rather traditional Japanese (although thankfully we didn’t have to sit on the floor). Regrettably we only had dinner two nights at the hotel because it was fantastic and included multiple courses of all sorts of interesting treats. We even wore our yukata to dinner to get right into the Japanese experience.

Kougakuro was in a very convenient location to get to the restaurants and to Akakura Onsen Ski Resort. The legendary manager Mieko and her team were also a highlight of our great stay!

The vans were of very high quality, the avalanche safety rental gear provided to some guests looked good, and our guide had extensive safety gear inside his big backpack.

The guiding was fantastic. We mostly had GB who was very knowledgeable, appropriately safety conscious, and had a very warm personality. Actually he was awesome – we wanted to take him with us to travel to other parts of Japan!

Sometimes we all rode as one big group where we had Paul as a guide. It’s easy why the company has lots of repeat customers. He’s all round Mr Charisma and it’s hard for people not to have fun when he’s around.

We visited early season and it was a relatively bad season by Japanese standards, so the off-piste snow cover wasn’t always adequate to cover up the sasa and shrubbery. The guides were great at scoping lines, which became particularly important considering the low snow.

We were the first ever tour and whilst the guides had done some pre-scoping, there were a couple of resorts that they didn’t know like the back of their hands. It probably didn’t matter because our guide was so experienced at reading the terrain that we still scored LOTS of amazing fresh powder lines. And I’m sure by the 2nd tour, this wouldn’t have even been apparent.

The terrain we skied matched the required ability for the tour, although considering the lack of snow and the many shrubs to dodge, it probably made it tough for a couple of powder riders without a lot of experience. The guides managed this well and at times gave guests a couple of options for lines to take.

Having so many ski areas to choose from within reasonable driving distance of Myoko was a major bonus. Due to warm temps, we mostly went to well known resorts with decent elevation. Finding freshies at these resorts generally wasn’t a problem, although Madarao has become a little too popular now. It would have been great to go to a couple of little gems that would have been deserted, but the weather wasn’t playing ball, and the snow at these typically lower elevation ski areas would have been sub-standard.

How could we not have fun considering the amount of fresh powder we scored?! We had a really fun crew, however the guides really made it and ensured that everyone had a superb time. And it was sooo nice having a guide to drive so that everyone else could have beers or Chu-His in the van. Kanpai!

The lodging was very good considering the price of the tour, and overall the tour provided great value for money (especially when you see what a few of the North American tour companies charge for a Japan tour!).