Are you thinking of heading to Niseko but don’t have a lot of experience in powder? If so, our Niseko Progression Tour has been designed especially with you in mind! This Niseko tour is focused towards people who can confidently ski or ride the whole mountain on piste but don’t have much experience when skiing or boarding off-piste and in deep powder.
This is a guided instructional tour, with a focus on powder coaching by fully certified and highly experienced instructors. We aim to get you into the best snow each day, making sure each run suits the group’s ability while allowing you to progress your skills in powder snow. You’ll get the best of guiding and instructing, a great value Japan powder tour!
Based in Hirafu Village, Niseko, you’ll get to explore the various resorts of Niseko United as well as nearby Moiwa, Rusutsu and Kiroro. You’ll get to experience more than most who visit for a Niseko ski trip, feel your skiing and riding improve each day, and best of all take home some great memories!
The following is an example of what you can expect during this tour. Remember though, each of our tours is unique as we make sure to head where the powder will be best on each given day!
Day 1 – Niseko Grand Hirafu
It’s your first day on the mountain and happy faces all around! The team head to Grand Hirafu Resort, just up the hill from your accommodation at Full Note Lodge. As a bonus, our comfy modern 4WD vans make sure you get to the lifts in style! We hit a couple of on-piste runs first thing to warm up the legs, before hitting a few powder stashes and mellow tree runs.
Today your instructor/guides work on the basics with you, with snowboarders focusing on riding stance and range of vertical movement, while the ski crew concentrate on fundamental body position and stance. We also check out how your gear is set up to make sure you’re primed for powder. We may adjust a snowboarder’s stance to be a bit further back than when riding on piste, and our ski group consider the difference that ski width makes in deep snow. If you are renting your gear in Japan, we can help make sure it’s right for you – something the rental shops don’t always get right first time.
At the end of the day we relax with beers by the fire followed by a traditional Japanese meal to welcome everyone.
Day 2 – Niseko Annupuri
Today we head out to explore some new terrain at nearby Annupuri Resort, a short drive from your base in Hirafu Village. Snowboarders look at fine tuning vertical movement throughout turns and how rotational movement affects turn shape and size. After a few laps it’s time to move into more challenging terrain and apply the skills learned. Meanwhile our ski group is getting into a few more tree runs while continuing to work on body position. Today we also do our first video feedback session, where you can watch and discuss your skiing/riding with your instructor.
On a clear day you’ll get great views of nearby Mt Yotei from the Niseko United resorts.
Day 3 – Moiwa
We head to the small resort of Moiwa, home to some fun terrain and a favourite of the locals on a pow day. After a few days really focused on your technique, we spend more time in powder and in different situations to apply the principles learned in the first few days. You’ll start to notice that riding Japow day after day can really take it out of you, so we also spend some time learning to be more economical with movements to save your energy.
We also do a few laps working on turn shape and size, and how this affects your rhythm and flow down the hill. After a big 3 days it’s time to relax in very Japanese style at a nearby natural onsen (hot spring). Your legs will love you for it!
Day 4 – Rest Day
We put today aside to chill, as by this point in the tour you’ll be feeling the burn! You can relax at Full Note Lodge with a movie, or we can help organise cultural experiences, lunch or dinner, or advise on some of the many other onsens available in the Niseko area. The nearby fishing village of Otaru has some great attractions, or you could take the train to Sapporo to experience big city life – Japan style.
Day 5 – Kiroro
With fresh legs it’s time to get into deeper powder, so we head to Kiroro Snow World, their motto: Lets Powder! There is a great selection of terrain on offer and we’ll be hunting fresh lines all day. Today’s focus is on individual feedback as we look to fine tune your technique. We’ll do another video feedback session early in the day so you can see how your technique is looking, and help you to improve further. We also encourage you to mix up your speed and turn shape and give you a few tips on how to analyse your own skiing and riding in future. Of course, we’ll also make sure you get into the deepest powder we can find!
Day 6 – Rusutsu
We head to nearby Rusutsu to explore a great selection of bowls, natural halfpipes and tree runs. This resort is definitely one of our favourites in Hokkaido, not to mention the very Japanese cultural attractions to check out in the hotel area… you’ll have to come and see for yourself! Today we’ll put the ball in your court and let the group decide what sort of terrain we head to, and ride as hard as we can. It’s time to dig deep into those energy reserves and make the most of your last day. You’ll notice a big change in your skiing and riding in deep powder and have a great day putting it all into practise!
We finish up with an onsen and a farewell dinner, and share stories from the trip, which will surely be one of the best you’ve had! Nothing compares to a Japan ski tour, especially when you’ve seen your skiing/riding improve during your stay and you’ve been able to make the most of your time. You’ll also make more than a few new friends with a shared passion!
If you just can’t get enough, you can also add on 3 more nights with our Coastal Powder Extension to explore the seaside resorts of Kokusai, Teine, Asari or even head back to Kiroro again if you didn’t get enough the first time! We understand.. sometimes you just need a couple more days to get your fix!
We want to make sure you get the most from your Japan ski tour. When you consider that you get 5 days of instruction as well as guiding, this is a great value Niseko snow package.