Southern Hokkaido Powder Tour
10 NIGHTS | 8 DAYS SKIING/RIDING | from $4299
GUIDED & HOSTED SKI & SNOWBOARD TOUR
THE POWDER IN SOUTHERN HOKKAIDO HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED! JOIN US AND EXPLORE ONE OF JAPAN’S SNOWIEST REGIONS – SOUTHERN HOKKAIDO.
Stretching from Sapporo, along the coast past Otaru then inland to Rusutsu, Niseko, Moiwa and down to Hakodate this area of Hokkaido gets the most snow of anywhere on the island. On this 10 night/9 day Japan ski tour you’ll get to ski up to eight resorts in all within an hour of our base at Niseko and Otaru. Every morning we’ll set out to find you the best JAPOW possible!
This is a Lift Accessed Backcountry Tour where hiking is optional but encouraged!
If you want to get the best conditions day in day out our guides are there to show you the way and get you deeper in the white stuff than could be possibly imagined. All our guides have years of experience finding the best terrain and snow whilst keeping in mind your safety and maintaining the stoke on high! This is the true “whiteroom” experience.
We will start in Niseko where we’ll head through the gates and into the backcountry to experience why Niseko became the birth place of the Japan powder revolution. From there we’ll head to Rusutsu to enjoy the perfectly gladded trees, deep pow and views to the sea. Moiwa is a small resort that packs a punch when it comes to easy backcountry access and deep snow accumulating in it’s back bowls. Next stop Kiroro and yes the rumours are true! The pow is deep, so deep it doesn’t see the sun for most of the season – you’ll love Kiroro.
After all that you may need a rest and this is where we take you to the Yoichi Whiskey Distillery, soak in a natural onsen, feed you some delicious local sushi and recharge for the next 2 days on the snowy Otaru coast. From Otaru you’ll ski the backcountry of Kokusai as well as Teine known for it’s steep terrain and amazing views across the water. Along the way, and we don’t advertise these for good reason, there are a variety of options pending conditions including road drops, cat assisted skiing & short touring options are all possible.
Fancy a uniquely Japanese cat ski day? If the stars align we’ll take you south for a day to remember!
Throughout the tour your guides and hosts will make sure your get the best out of your ski holiday. After skiing all day 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 previous name for this tour 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.
Dates & Prices (Australian Dollars)
29 Dec 2018 – 8 Jan 2019 – $4490
2 – 12 Feb 2019 – $4780
13 – 23 Feb 2019 – $4780
24 Feb – 6 Mar 2019 – $4290
SKILL LEVEL: Advanced and above only.
6 to 1 Client to Guide ratio
MAX 12 people per tour
This tour requires that you must be able to ski the whole mountain with confidence and at speed in powder, through trees and in variable conditions. 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. Skins or split-boards are not required but if the group has touring gear or wants to hire we will oblige. Check your ability level here.
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 27th April 2018. LAND ONLY
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 flexible lift passes at any of the following – Niseko United, Kiroro, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Kokusai, Teine, Asari, Tenguyama and other hidden gems!
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) experiences
- Whiteroom 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
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 has some of the best and most easily accessible backcountry in Hokkaido. The gate system allows us to access the backcountry bowls heading out of Hanazono and Annupuri or straight over the top of Hirafu. There are acres of terrain out there and if you know where to go there are always fresh tracks.
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. It’s a powder pigs paradise! 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 for its endless glade skiing & easy back country options. It’s modern lift system, two mountains and long runs, pillows and tree runs down will not disappoint even the most seasoned skier.
Hidden in the mountains betweens 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 some of the best backcountry and inbounds powder in Hokkaido. It gets the same storms as Kiroro but with even less people!
This is a great little resort located 40 minutes from downtown Sapporo and about the 20 mins from Otaru. Little known 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 snow ladened systems coming straight off the sea and unloading directly onto to Teine.
Located between Niseko and Otaru this mountain is fast becoming known as the snowiest ski area in all of Japan. The consistency and the quality of the snow is something experienced. With a relative progressive backcountry policy the gates in Kiroro allow you to explore far and wide to find the untracked goods and those waist deep days you cam to Hokkaido, Japan for!
In Niseko you’ll be staying at the lovely Pension Full Note. It is a Japanese-style Bed & Breakfast located in the centre 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 delicious welcome and farewell dinner parties and daily breaky. We love this place!
GRAND PARK OTARU
This 4 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 backcountry 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!