Hokkaido Explorer Tour
12 NIGHTS | 10 DAYS SKIING/RIDING | from AU
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED SKI & SNOWBOARD TOUR
THIS TOUR IS A TRUE HOKKAIDO ROAD TRIP IN SEARCH OF THE BEST POWDER IN THE NISEKO, OTARU, SAPPORO AND CENTRAL HOKKAIDO REGIONS.
Designed for advanced to expert skiers and snowboarders who are keen to use the lifts to access the backcountry of all the best ski areas in Hokkaido in 11 days. With only 1 rest day you will be on the move and hunting for powder. Two of our most experienced guides will be taking these tours and as the limit on this tour is 12 people you’ll have plenty of fresh lines at each resort. Each guide will be taking you to their favourite lines to ski or ride and in the best conditions possible.
This is an advanced-expert guided tour where we use the lifts to access the backcountry of each resort in search of fresh & deep Hokkaido powder!
Our guides will not only show you the best terrain and powder in Hokkaido they’ll also take you out to some of the areas amazing restaurants and bars. Cultural activities will be on offer and each tour will stop in Sapporo on the way between Otaru and Furano where you can experience the famed Snow Festival and Sapporo Brewery.
On this tour you’ll get to experience the Hokkaido we love and the culture and mountains we’ve come to respect.
Dates & Prices (in Australian dollars)
3 Jan – 15 Jan 2018 –
18 – 30 Jan 2018 –
$ $4570 4670
SNOW FESTIVAL TOUR
30 Jan – 11 Feb 2018 –
11 – 23 Feb 2018 –
$ $4570 4670
27 Feb – 11 Mar 2018 –
Skill Level: Advanced 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 in all conditions confidently and at speed and have advanced ability in powder. You must 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. Bring your skins if you have them.
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 in Australian dollars correct as of 26th July 2017. LAND ONLY
**2017/18 – Earlybird specials require full payment by 31st August, 2017 and only apply to those staying in Penison Full Note.
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED
- Airport transfers
- 4 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Full Note Pension in central Hirafu
- 6 nights twin/triple share accommodation at North Country Inn, Furano
- 2 nights twin/triple share accommodation at the Grand Park Otaru
- 10 lift passes at 10 different resorts
- Sapporo cultural day tour
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) tour
- A choice of a Whiteroom hat, bottle or t-shirt
– Discount flights with Qantas
– Single share accommodation (Otaru/Furano only)
– Avalanche gear rental – $200
– Additional guided days/Tokachidake backcountry guided day
– Tokyo stopover/Kyoto cultural side trip
– Accommodation upgrade to Kimamaya Boutique Hotel, M-Lodge or M-Hotel in Niseko
– Extra nights accommodation & ski days in Niseko/Furano 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.
Niseko is the apre ski capital of Japan. With a wide variety of bars and restaurants you will have a ball both on and off the snow. Made up of 5 resorts, Niseko is big enough to cater for all tastes. Plenty of beginner and intermediate runs are found side by side with off-piste advanced areas. You pretty much guaranteed reliable, day after day powder skiing and riding in classic tree skiing terrain, long groomers and some wide open alpine.
Moiwa is a little known secret and we’re happy it’s kept that way. Within only 20mins drive from Niseko it’s an amazing little powder paradise with two lifts, amazing trees and awesome back bowls. You’re sure to fall in love with this hill.
Located only 40mins around the other side of Mt Yotei, Rusustu is another favourite amongst locals getting away from the Niseko crowds for a few solitary turns amongst the trees. It’s modern lift system two mountains and long ridge and tree runs down into gullies will not disapoint even the most seasoned skier.
Furano is a country town of about 20,000 people with an awesome ski hill. With over 100 bars and restau- rants you be able to experience true Japanese hospitality . On the mountain you’ll enjoy some of the best tree skiing in Hokkaido, with easy to access steep faces, mellow glades, and gullies full of hits for skiers and snowboarders. The cold temperatures in Furano keep the 9 metres of annual snow light and dry and when its on, it is quite simply the best. Add to this the distinct lack of crowds and express lifts that take you to the top of 3.5km runs in a little over ten minutes and you have a recipe for leg burning skiing.
Tomamu strikes a cord with all who ride its mountains. With arguably the best in-bounds powder skiing in Hokkaido you’ll be wanting to come back for more. Mt. Tomamu at 1239m, offers skiers and snowboarders a wide variety of runs catering to all abilities. With 11 lifts, Tomamu has some great options. It also offers skiers and boarders an awesome park and off-piste section which is roped off from the rest of the crowd.
Kamui is a small ski resort set on its own, 1.5 hours north of Furano. With 7 lifts accessing a network of wide open cruises as well as powder filled trees and gullies, you’ll feel like your riding your own private mountain as crowds here a virtually non-existent. Combine that with one of Japan’s most open ski area policies, and there is enough here to suit every kind of skier and boarder.
Asahidake is one of the most popular touring locations in Hokkaido, due to the easy access to above tree line terrain given by the Ropeway at the bottom of the volcano (top height 1600m) and the fame of the mountain itself, which at 2290m is the highest in Hokkaido. Short hikes are often required along the ridges at the summit and there is the option of hiking around the active volcano. Once at the bottom, all roads lead to the Ropeway but if you do happen to veer off the well groomed runs a short hike may be needed to return to the lift.
Hidden in the mountains betweens Sapporo and Kutchan, Kokusai is well off the beaten track and practially deserted. However that is not because it lacks terrain in any way. Kokusai has a huge off-piste area below its two Gondola’s and there is some great stuff hidden off to the right of the gondy too.
This is a great little resort located 40 minutes from downtown Sapporo and about the same from Otaru. Little know by foreigners, Teine has some awesome terrain off its main high-speed quad, and it’s steep too! With views to the coast you can get heavy systems coming straight off the sea and unloading their snow ladden clouds directly onto to Teine.
Located between Niseko and Otaru this little gem has some great terrain hidden just off and inbetween its piste areas. If you didn’t know where to drop off the run you’d completely miss the deep stuff. When it’s blowy in Niseko Kiroro is usually getting the goods!
Yubari Mt Racey
A small resort with some nicely hidden side country. A great option when the weather is blowing hard in the north and Tomamu’s peak is closed. There is some great tree skiing through pine forest here as well as some great in-bounds (off-piste) powder zones to keep you happy.
In Niseko you’ll be staying at the lovely Pension Full Note. It is a Japanese-style Bed & Breakfast located in the center of town, with lovely staff and a warm and cosy country style atmosphere. It has a sunken lounge, fireplace, long communal table where we have our Sabu-Sabu welcome dinner party and daily breaky. We love this place!
NORTH COUNTRY INN
In Furano we are staying at North Country Inn. It is conveniently located between the two sides of the ski hill giving you access by regular free shuttle to the Furano side before anyone else! It has both traditional Japanese and Western style rooms with en-suites. Shared onsen style bathing is also available. Facilities include 2 dining restaurants, winery, lounge/bar with satellite TV, rental cars, foreign exchange, wireless internet, souvenirs, common laundry, ski hire, and regular guest shuttle to the ski lifts.
GRAND PARK OTARU
This 4.5 star hotel is right on the water with views up and down the coast and on the other side of the hotel there are views to the hills you’ll be skiing over the next few days. You’ll stay in luxury here with all the comforts of home and then some. The breakfast is amazing and with a shopping centre, bars and restaurants below the hotel you’ll have plenty to do when you’re not skiing.
Arrival/Check-in day – 1st night
Upon landing at Sapporo’s Chitose Airport you’ll be transferred by coach to either Niseko or Furano depening on the date of travel and weather. On arrival at your hotel you’ll be welcomed by our team, and then checked into Full Note or North Country Inn. That night we’ll host you in the Half Note or North Bar where you’ll meet our lead guide and managers who will run you through the tour, weather and answer any questions you have.
First day on the mountain. Your guides will show you around Niseko United. We’ll get our feet and hunt out some powder stashes. Celebrate your awesome first day with the Welcome Dinner Party.
Day tour to Moiwa Ski Hill. Departing in the morning, we will spend the day guiding you through the trees and bowls of Moiwa. We may link into the Niseko back bowls and finish soaking in a local onsen.
Day tour to Rusutsu Resort. Departing in the morning, we will spend the day guiding you through the trees and gullies of Rusustu.
Today you’ll check out or Full Note and drive to Otaru. 9 times out of 10 you’ll ride the epic backcountry of KIroro on the way, but if the weather isn’t cooperating this is a great down day.
After an awesome breakfast at the Grand Park Hotel we’ll jump in the van and drive to whichever resort is getting the goods – Hokusai, Kiroro or Teine. That night we’ll wander along Otaru’s canals, and dine in one of it’s great seafood restaurants – the sashimi is the freshest and most delicious you will taste in Hokkaido.
Time to check out and take the senic transfer from Otaru to Furano. As it is a 3-4 hour drive this is usually your rest day. We’ll stop in Sapporo on the way to enjoy Hokkaido’s capital, including the Sapporo Beer Hall or the Snow Festival. If the snow is dumping and you’ve had a rest day previously we can ski a few resorts on the way – Teine, Rusutsu or Yubari. That night you check into North Country Inn and enjoy a 4 course dinner.
Your guides will show you around one of our favourite mountains – Furano. You’ll get to see the whole mountain on the first day as well as some of those secret spots only the locals know about.
Rising early for the drive to Asahidake. Your guides will show the goods of the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Asahidake 2290m. The ropeway does most of the hard work taking us to well above the tree line at 1600m. From there you’ll spend your day exploring the ridges from the lift.
Day tour to Kamui Ski Links. Departing in the morning, we will spend a day exploring the trees and backside of Kamui. We’ll stop on the way back to soak in a secluded volcanic onsen.
Tomamu day tour. Today, your guides will show you around the resort hill of Tomamu with its awesome powder and park. There is some great skiing and boarding to be had here. At the end of the day you can check out the awesome indoor wave pool.
Ski your last day in Furano. We’ll be out there with you to hike the peak and show you some of the more hidden areas of Furano. Finish the day with a amazing hotspring night tour
Time to check out and say good bye to your new friends and transfer to Sapporo’s Chitose Airport for your flight home with memories to last a lifetime!
NOTE: This itinerary is an example. The tour may be run in any direction. Each day we will consider the weather and fit the tour around where the best conditons are. This is the beauty of such a tour.
Had an amazing time on the Hokkaido explore tour. Japan certianly delivered and so did Whiteoom tours. The guides did a great job of finding challenging terrain to get us those epic Japanese powder turns the area is renowned for. A definite must do can’t wait to come back !
Thanks again for a great trip, really enjoyed visiting the different ski hills, loved the fresh snow and seeing Central Hokkaido area.
I‘d like to show some people what the snow was like so when you have an opportunity would you mind emailing the video of me/Peter skiing when we were at the top of double chair on Furano side on the skier’s left of ‘out of bounds’? If you think the video might be too long for email, then I could send you over a USB if you want?
Hope your current group are getting lots of nice fresh snow.
So jealous as it looks like it is dumping now!
Brendan and I are very grateful for all of your hard work and help!