Niseko Explorer Tour
10 NIGHTS | 8 DAYS SKIING/RIDING | from $3740
GUIDED & HOSTED SKI & SNOWBOARD TOUR
WANTING TO SKI IN JAPAN’S POWDER CAPITAL BUT DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH THE CROWDS? JOIN US TO SEE THE REAL SIDE OF NISEKO AND HAVE THAT TRUE “WHITEROOM” EXPERIENCE.
On this 10 night/9 day Japan Ski Tour you’ll get to ski up to nine resorts in Hokkaido’s Niseko and Otaru areas. Each day we will take you to the resort with the best conditions in our comfy 4WD vans and together with your guides you’ll explore beyond each resort’s boundary and into the backcountry terrain that only few know about.
80% of the time we are off-piste in the lift accessed side/backcountry of each resort – the other 20% is to get to and from the lifts to the powder!
Our hosts and qualified Niseko ski & snowboard guides will make sure your get the best out of your ski holiday. During the day we’ll be showing you the best terrain in Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Kiroro, Kokusai, and Teine. At night you’ll be taken some of the best local restaurants and bars in both Niseko and Otaru. You can also choose to relax in front of the fire and eat in, enjoy a soak in the local onsen (hot spring) or just simply hang out with your new friends.
Further details and an example itinerary are available in our blog article on the Niseko Explorer Tour.
Our Japan Ski tours are designed for anyone who loves skiing or snowboarding, is keen to ride with like minded individuals and wants to get the most out of their ski holiday.
WANT TO GO ON THIS TOUR BUT HAVE A FRIEND THAT’S MORE INTERMEDIATE IN POWDER?? Some of our Niseko Explorer Tour dates align with our Niseko Powder Progression Tour. You can then both get the most out of your skiing holiday but still hang out!
Dates & Prices (Australian Dollars)
27 Dec 2017 – 6 Jan 2018 – $4120
19 – 29 Jan 2018 – $4120
SNOW FESTIVAL TOUR
3 – 13 Feb 2018 – $4430
10 Feb – 20 Feb 2018 – SOLD OUT
28 Feb – 10 Mar 2018 – $3740
SKILL LEVEL: Low – High Advanced
6 to 1 Client to Guide ratio
MAX 12 people per tour
Low – High Advanced – This tour requires that you should be able to ski the whole mountain with confidence and at speed in powder and variable conditons. You should 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. Skins or splitboards not required.
ONLY AN INTERMEDIATE SKIER OR RIDER? Need to work on your powder technique? Check out our Niseko Powder Progression Tour!
**If you have a mate or family member that can ski or ride pow but you want to holiday together, have a look at our we run some of those tours at the same time as the Progression Tour, allowing you to improve your pow skills while your mate charges the peak.
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 30th September, 2017 and only apply to those staying in Penison Full Note.
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED
- Airport transfers & daily transport
- 7 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Full Note Pension in Central Hirafu
- 3 nights twin/triple share accommodation at the Grand Park Otaru
- 8 days worth of lift passes. Including 3 x 1 day Niseko United All Mountain lift passes. One day passes at Kiroro, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Kokusai and Teine.
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) tour
- A choice of a Whiteroom hat, bottle or t-shirt
– Discounted flights
– Single share accommodation
– Avalanche gear rental – $180
– Additional guided days
– International flights
– 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
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.
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!
In Niseko you’ll be staying at the lovely Pension Full Note. It is a Japanese-style Bed & Breakfast located in thecenter 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!
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 Niseko Airport Shuttle to the Hirafu Welcome Centre where you’ll be met by our team and then checked into Full Note . That night we’ll host you in the Half Note 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 exploring Niseko. 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 feast and a few drinks.
Our guides will take you to some of the more hidden places in Niseko. Hike the peak with us and head into the back bowls if conditions are good. Finish your day soaking in an onsen and maybe head to Kutchan for Sushi Train.
Day tour to Moiwa Ski Hill. Departing in the morning, we will spend the day guiding you through the trees and bowls of Moiwa – a great little ski resort with loads of fresh lines.
Pack your onsen gear and a snorkel as we’ll be heading off to Kiroro today. This powder gem has some of the best backcountry terrain in Hokkaido. As one of the few guiding companies allowed to operate in Kiroro you can take advantage of the new gate system and epic terrain it accesses.
Day tour to Rusutsu Resort. Departing in the morning, we will spend the day guiding you through the trees and gullies of Rusustu. Some many natural hits here and so few people! This is one of our favourites. In the afternoon we’ll check out the singing tree and other bizarre Japanese things in the Rusutsu mall.
Enjoy your last day riding in the Niseko area. As always our guides will choose the resort with the best possible conditions or you can vote to head to your favourite resort of the tour so far. Finish with an onsen to round off the Niseko experience.
Today you’ll check out of Full Note and drive to Otaru. You may choose to rest up on this day or if we rested earlier in the week we will ride Kiroro on the way to Otaru – its up to you and the weather. We may also drop by the Nikka Whiskey Distillery to taste some of Japans finest Whiskeys.
After an awesome breakfast at the Grand Park Hotel we’ll jump in the van and drive to whichever resort is getting the goods – Kokusai or Teine. These resorts are located on the coast of Hokkaido and get the most snow of anywhere in the island.
Same as above only the other mountain or we may head back to Kiroro. Otaru is a beautiful fishing town with an interesting historical canal area, great restaurants and cool bars. Tonight we’ll take you to one of our favourite rstaurants where you’ll sample the local sashimi, crab or anything else you fancy on our farewell dinner.
Time to check out and say good bye to your new friends and transfer to Sapporo’s Chitose Airport for your flight home..
NOTE: This itinerary is an example. The tour will be run largely by the weather and each day will fit around where the best conditons are. This is the beauty of such a tour.
Greg shared lots of great hint’s and tip’s to aid my boarding during the first few days when condition weren’t great. As soon as there was some fresh snow Greg took to the best resorts and best conditions. Also felt safe within his supervision in the back country. Showed us spot’s we’d never find on our own. The best part had to be the 3 day add on to Otaru, lovely city, great meals and most of all we got some all time conditions at Kiroro, Kokusai then Sapporo-Teine. Everyday better than the last, giving us a great end to the trip. Cheers for a great tour and looking forward to an explorer tour in the future!!!
Best couple of weeks of snowboarding I’ve had! Greg was awesome! The staff at the fullnote were excellent, but sharing bathrooms etc is not my thing, I will look to stay in separate accommodation next time. Consider expanding your options on that front. I’ll be back for the Explorer next year!
I liked being taken to areas of resorts I would not have visited without a guide or known about. I also liked that we got to visit many different ski resorts and had a good explore of the best they had to offer considering the conditions. Keith was a great guide and his knowledge of the resorts and runs was really helpful. I had confidence in his ability to assess my skill level and had no worries about whether I was good enough to do a run we were heading to. That said one of my group members was set against doing any kind of walking/hiking which I think is not reasonable on a tour such as this. Although I don’t think it greatly impacted our runs I wouldn’t know if there was somewhere which may have required a little more walking. I think it should be made clearer in the description that the tour will involve some hikes in the snow and physical fitness to complete this is a must. And also that we will definitely be doing tree runs so if you don’t like them perhaps this tour isn’t for you! I was glad for the flexibility of the guide days as the snow in the first half of the tour wasn’t great. I really liked Otaru (more so than Niseko) and would have enjoyed an additional night there (the hotel and surrounding shopping centre was fantastic) along with more skiing at those resorts. Niseko Hirafu is so busy we couldn’t eat at many places because they were booked out. Perhaps a heads up that we had to make bookings for dinner would have been helpful or a list of places we could go where we didn’t need a booking. The Moiwa onsen experience was great. The breakfast was good (and the welcome dinner) and the staff very friendly and helpful. Our best day was at Mt Teine. The snow was great and the runs were perfect. Big thanks to Keith for getting us out there on the best stuff from the get go!