Hokkaido Explorer Tour
12 NIGHTS | 10 DAYS SKIING/RIDING |
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. With only 1 rest day you will be on the move, following the storms on the hunt for powder – trust us it’s addictive stuff!
Two of our most experienced guides will be taking these tours and as the limit on this tour is 12 people so you’ll have plenty of fresh lines at each resort. Each guide will be taking you to their favourite backcountry lines.
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.
Are you looking for a tour that includes more lift accessed touring, where you’ll use skins or split-boards to go deeper into the backcountry, without hiking all day for those fresh lines? If so, check out our popular Powder Belt Backcountry Tour.
Dates & Prices (Japanese Yen)
EARLYBIRD – GET ¥20,000 OFF!
28 Dec 2019 – 9 Jan 2020**
10 – 22 Jan 2020**
25 Jan – 6 Feb 2020
7 – 19 Feb 2020
25 Feb – 8 Mar Feb 2020
6 to 1 client to guide ratio
MAX 12 people per tour
Skill Level: Advanced-Expert
You must be able to ski/board the whole mountain in all conditions confidently at speed and have advanced ability in powder, through trees in steep terrain and in variable conditions. Snowboarders in this level are able to keep speed in flat sections by planning ahead as well as hold a solid traverse line and be able to hop up and manoeuvre in a way as to not slow down the group. You must have a very 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 the goods. Skins or split-boards are not specifically required but bringing your touring gear is encouraged.
Prices are in Japanese Yen and include consumption tax. Correct as of 11th April 2019. LAND ONLY.
*EARLYBIRD offer requires full payment by 30th August 2019
**For the first two tours (28DEC & 10JAN), you will be staying in the beautiful Rising Sun B&B Furano. Please see the Lodging tab to the right for more details.
***The Currency Exchange widget provides an indicative market rate. Please ask your consultant for a quote in your home currency.
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED
- Resort Liner airport transfers & daily transport
- 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 days worth of lift passes
- Sapporo cultural day tour
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) tour
- Whiteroom t-shirt
– Accommodation Upgrade for Niseko and Furano
– Discounted flights with Qantas
– Single share accommodation
– Avalanche gear rental – ¥16,000 for 11 days
– Furano Physio massage session
* For the first two tours (28DEC & 10JAN), you will be staying in the beautiful Rising Sun B&B Furano. Please see the Lodging tab to the right for more details.
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.
Arrival/Check-in day – 1st night
Upon landing at Sapporo’s Chitose Airport you’ll be transferred by coach to either Niseko or Furano depending 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 Full 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 a delicious Shabu Shabu or Nabe Hot pot dinner at our 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 of 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 where we will head to the Yoichi Whiskey Distillery, Otaru brewery and it’s famous canals.
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 or BBQ restaurants – the sashimi is the freshest and most delicious you will taste in Hokkaido.
Time to check out and take the scenic 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, Tomamu or Sahoro. That night you check into North Country Inn and enjoy a 4 course dinner.
New zone – new terrain! 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 onsen.
Tomamu day tour. Today, your guides will show you around the resort of Tomamu with its awesome north bowl full of light dry powder. There is some great skiing and boarding to be had here with even a possible road drop on the cards. At the end of the day you can check out the awesome indoor wave pool and onsen.
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 an 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! If you’re flight departs late in the day there is even a chance to get a few more turns in!
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 conditions are. This is the beauty of such a tour.
The tour was so much fun. Christian was an amazing guide. We didn’t have the best snow conditions (lack of it) but Christian tried to find us some fresh tracks where possible. Christian also went above and beyond to ensure we had the best time off the slopes as well.
We went to some great Japanese restaurants and visited Lake Tayo on our day off. I would definitely recommend Whiterooms. Nothing to improve about the tour, other than creating tours that are closer to Europe or the US!
– Jennifer Robinson, 2019
Was a great tour, the guides where bloody awesome continually working to find us good snow under what were challenging conditions.
They knew every place well, handled some rather stupid complaints and were always up for a beer and a laugh. They knew the best apres spots and always kept us entertained.
When the snow wasn’t on we swapped out to skins and went and climbed Yotei etc again things which we didn’t expect of the normal tour that just made it awesome. For Tanelli (guide) nothing was a problem, 7/11 stops for strong xeros and even help with booking buses and recommendations on places to go and things to do.
I wouldn’t hesitate to book again with them.
– Rob Veitch, 2019
Thanks so much Whitroomtours. I had the most amazing trip. I thought at first that it was a bit expensive, but the experience you gave me was priceless. Greg was very knowledgeable about every place we went. He was an awesome rider and so fun to follow. I didn’t need to think the whole trip. Everything was planned out, the only decisions I had to make was how hard to ride each day, and with these guys we went hard! There wasn’t much I could fault about the trip. Accommodation was great, guides were excellent, conditions were outstanding, kms covered was tops, and the scenery was breathtaking. Big thanks to both Greg and Elias for the sharing their winter wonderland with me. I’ll be sure to book another trip soon. Cheers guys! See you in the White room.
– Will Davies, 2018
The trip was amazing and beyond what I expected – the powder was spectacular. Both Gregs did a fantastic job of finding us fresh lines (sometimes without any new snowfall). In addition to the guiding, I liked the tutorial that Greg O gave on technique. I like the passion that Greg Y had for Japan, sharing with us his insights/perspectives on culture, life and the mountains; he was also a great resource for expanding our understanding of snow conditions, safety approaches and riding out of bounds.
– Matthew Weitz, 2018
Nothing to say other than it was incredible, wonderful bluebird days towards the end, guides were great, group was great, would recommend to others!
– Preston Hulme, 2018
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 !
– Jordan Koers, 2018
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!
Niseko is the apré 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 intermediate powder runs are found side by side with off-piste advanced areas and the gate system here allows you to head deep into the backcountry away from the crowds for those solitary powder lines you’ve come to Japan for. You pretty much guaranteed reliable, day after day powder skiing and riding in classic tree skiing terrain, long groomers and wide ope alpine bowls.
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. Its modern lift system two mountains and long ridge and tree runs down into gullies and epic backcountry which will not disappoint even the most seasoned skier.
Furano is a country town of about 20,000 people with an awesome ski hill. With over 100 restaurants and great local bars 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. The backcountry here is epic – 900m of fall line vert filled with pillows!
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. However it’s Tomamu’s backcountry which makes it special.
Kamui is a small ski resort set on its own, 1 hour north of Furano. With 7 lifts accessing a network of wide open cruisers 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 – unless school kids on the beginner lifts count. 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 volcano. Expect chutes, alpine bowls, massive pillows and epically deep powder. Once at the bottom, all roads lead to the Ropeway.
Hidden in the mountains between Sapporo and Kutchan, Kokusai is well off the beaten track and practically 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 gondola 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 gem gets the most snow of anywhere in Hokkaido. With easy access to its backcountry through a gate system Kiroro has some of the best terrain to get that true waist deep Japanese powder experience. Like many resorts in Japan if you didn’t know where to drop off the run you’d completely miss the best runs. When it’s blowy in Niseko, Kiroro is usually getting the goods!
Tokachi Sahoro Resort
Sahoro is a resort full of surprises. From short fun shots between the lifts to full vert tree runs down to the road, it’ll sure put a smile on your dial! It’s well protected and is a good option when the weather has come in.
A quiet mountain and a good option when the storms are coming in. Plenty of trees to ski through, good pitch and no people off-piste. This is a great mountain when everywhere else is busy or clapped out due to low vis or high winds.
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!
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.
For 28DEC & 10JAN tours, we are staying with local hosts Gonzo and Yuka in their new and very comfortable Bed and Breakfast. Located in central Kitanomine you are surrounded by great spots to eat and drink, or you may like to stay in and be looked after by your wonderful hosts as they serve local produce in your own private restaurant/bar. Each room is spacious and beautifully appointed with large king sized single beds, couches, a huge TV, ensuite bathroom, laundry and tea and coffee making facilities. You’ll love staying here.
UPGRADE OPTION – $/¥ TBC
Hotel Munin Furano is a brand new boutique hotel located in the middle of Kitanomine close to restaurants and bars. With well-appointed rooms, a sumptuous lounge and a lovely onsen, this Hotel will make the Hokkaido Explorer Tour that little more special.
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.