• Overall Rating
Black Diamond Tours4.8 out of 5 based on 18 reviews
 
Black Diamond Tours Japan offers unforgettable ski and snowboard adventures in the powder capital of Hokkaido. Black Diamond Tours offer a range of hosted and guided multi-resort Hokkaido ski tours and snowboard trips that incorporate off-piste and backcountry riding.

In addition to multi-day trips, BDTs also offer day trips from Niseko (min 2 days) including trips to nearby ski areas and side-country tripsbackcountry tours.

With many years of experience in Hokkaido, not only does Black Diamond Tours know the mountains inside out, they also know what weather works best for each zone they visit. Combine this with the networked information their guides bring back from the field every day, ensures that you will be enjoying the best possible conditions throughout your trip.

Black Diamond Tours

BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours DETAILS
LIFT ASSISTED BACKOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY | Min 2 Days
From price based on 1 day tour per person - 5 people in private group (lift tickets not included).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 1 day tour per person - 5 people in private group (lift tickets not included).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 135
Deposit must be paid by the end of the promotional period to qualify for discounts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours for 1 day of guided powder hunting in Niseko or one of the nearby resort or backcountry areas with your own PRIVATE GROUP. Areas include Niseko backbowls, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Teine & Kokusai. Primarily lift accessed so minimal hiking. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY - you cannot join a group
  • Guiding by experienced guides (max 5 guests per guide)
  • Transport where applicable
  • Avalanche safety gear if required
  • Add on lift tickets where needed
Add-ons
No optional extras to display
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Power Trip DETAILS
GUIDED POWDER CHASING ADVENTURE
9 Days | 6-7 Days Guided Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option for 2018-19 season for feb group tour.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on twin/double-share option for 2018-19 season for feb group tour.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,961
Ability: Expert
This is the ultimate powder hound tour for those who feel comfortable just going with the flow and knowing that you will be skiing the best available POW on the day (and drinking the best Japanese beer or sake!). More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 8 nights twin or triple share accommodation
  • 5-6 days of lift tickets
  • 7 days of guiding by qualified guides
  • 1 day cat skiing at THOP
  • Avalanche safety gear
Add-ons
  • Single room upgrade 25,000 yen
  • Touring gear rentals (touring gear required)
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
These dates are for fixed date tours. Most fixed date tours are for mixed groups i.e. you can join a group as a solo, couple or small group Fixed Date(s)
These tours have a set number of days as shown below Days
Price
We try to keep the availability as accurate as possible however things can change regularly. The following statuses roughly equate to:
  • Available = 5 or more spots
  • Filling = 3 – 5 spots
  • Almost Full = 2 or less spots

Please “enquire” to get a definitive answer
Availability
Dec 29 - Jan 06, 2019
9
USD 2,871
Available
Feb 25 - Mar 05, 2019
9
USD 2,961
Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Dec 20 - Mar 14, 2019
From 7
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Deeper Further Hokkaido Trip DETAILS
GUIDED ROAD TRIP
10 Days | 9 Nights | 2 Days Cat Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share 10-day package for 2017-18 season. Package may be customized to suit your group's needs.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on twin/double-share 10-day package for 2017-18 season. Package may be customized to suit your group's needs.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,131
Ability: Advanced to Expert
If you have skied in Niseko and Central Hokkaido at most of the main ski areas, this tour will take you to some of the ski areas that are Hokkaido's deepest secrets and there'll be plenty of backcountry and 2 days of cat skiing. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation with daily breakfast
  • 5 dinners
  • 6 guided days plus 2 days guided cat skiing
  • 2 days lift tickets (all other days are skinning/hiking)
  • Airport transfer to Niseko & ground transport between ski areas
Add-ons
No optional extras to display
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2019
From 7
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Enquire
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Hokkaido Unplugged DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option for 2017-18 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on twin/double-share option for 2017-18 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,231
Ability: Advanced to Expert
So you have had a taste of Japan powder and you are now ready to get away from the crowds and find the best of Hokkaido. This tour visits some epic sidecountry and backcountry areas in Hokkaido. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation & daily breakfast
  • 3 days of lift tickets
  • 7 days of guiding by qualified & bilingual guides
  • Arrival airport transfer & ground transport other days
  • Max guest to guide ratio 5:1
Add-ons
  • Single room upgrade - 30,000 yen
  • Backcountry gear rentals
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry, Sidecountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2019
From 10
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Enquire
Ultimate Early Season Camps DETAILS
EARLY SEASON TOUR
8 nights | 7 days | Cat Skiing, Avi Training
From price based on twin/double-share, 9-day package for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on twin/double-share, 9-day package for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,881
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Beat the high season rates and crowds and get Japow earlier than the punters. Based in Niseko, you'll visit 4 ski resorts for lift accessed sidecountry, enjoy a day of cat skiing at Chisenupuri, receive 2 days of avalanche awareness training & get an intro to backcountry touring. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 8 nights twin share accommodation
  • 4 days of lift tickets
  • 5 days guiding (max 6:1 ratio)
  • ground transport & transfer Chitose Airport to Niseko
  • 1 day cat skiing
Add-ons
  • Single room upgrade
  • Additional days of guiding & accommodation
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
These dates are for fixed date tours. Most fixed date tours are for mixed groups i.e. you can join a group as a solo, couple or small group Fixed Date(s)
These tours have a set number of days as shown below Days
Price
We try to keep the availability as accurate as possible however things can change regularly. The following statuses roughly equate to:
  • Available = 5 or more spots
  • Filling = 3 – 5 spots
  • Almost Full = 2 or less spots

Please “enquire” to get a definitive answer
Availability
Dec 15 - Dec 23, 2018
9
USD 1,881
Available
Dec 22 - Dec 30, 2018
9
USD 2,151
Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
BDT Guided BC Day Tours DETAILS
PRIVATE GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | Shiribetsu & Yotei | Min 2 Days
From price based on 1 day of guided backcountry skiing/riding per person (5 guests in your group e.g. 75,000 yen total).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 1 day of guided backcountry skiing/riding per person (5 guests in your group e.g. 75,000 yen total).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 135
Deposits must be paid by the end of the promotion date to qualify for discounts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on an epic day (or days) of guided backcountry skiing or riding near Niseko. Ideal for private groups (or waiting list for group tours). Areas include Niseko backcountry areas, Shiribetsu, lower Mt Yotei or Yotei summit (weather pending). More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • Guiding by qualified guides (max 5 guests per guide)
  • Transport where aplicable
  • Avalanche safety gear where needed
Add-ons
  • Touring equipment rentals
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
1Total Results: 6Total Pages: 1

Reviews

Niseko powder

Anders Eriknauer
30/01/2018
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    January
We had 5 days of lift assisted backcountry. Our excellent guide (Mattias) from Black Diamond picked us up each morning at 8 am and drove us to the place where the snow was best pending last nights snowfall. Everything worked really well. We visited Kiroro, Rusutsu, Niseko and Kukosai. We can give our best recommendation of this trip. It provides very efficient powder access to the best tracks in each local area. Our guide was truly excellent - strong focus on safety and on providing us the best possible powder experience. In addition he showed us local restaurants and much more.

Power Tour

Kirsten Johnson
21/01/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    Canada
  • Month:
    January
Overall I think that this trip was excellent. Our guides Dawn and Juni were professional and did their best to satisfy everyone in terms of skiing/boarding, eating, travel, onsens etc. There was lots of snow and we managed to get great turns in every day. The group was good and everyone enjoyed each other.

Some comments for improvement: the terrain provided different skiing conditions for boarders vs. skiiers - e.g. boarders took longer to do the long traverses and this frustrated the fast skiers. However there were too few boarders to divide the group in half. Perhaps the fact that everyone needs to expect to ski together, should be more explicit. I know that some of the skiers complained and this made me feel badly throughout the trip (I was one of the 2 boarders). Although I am a strong snowboarder, maybe my ability was not as strong as the others. About 1/2 the group was truly expert and I would say I am advanced. I felt like it was a bit ambitious for me on about 1/2 of the days.

I also think it is a lot to ask the guides to do all that driving in addition to putting in long days of skiing. Some days we would come way after dark and all of us, guides included, were exhausted. This is potentially dangerous - I know that the guides were too tired to be driving.

Power Trip - Seriously Amazing!!!

Robert
03/03/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    Japan
  • Month:
    February
I shouldn't have to write too much about Hokkaido...the myriad instagram photos and videos should give you a clear picture - it snows all the friggin' time. What makes this tour awesome is the guides experience and professionalism. You are NEVER going to see Hokkaido and local backcountry / resorts the same way as you would with the help of these guides. Don't kid yourself. These guys know every line on the island, and they can make sure you're up to your nips in nature's finest.

Recommendation: No brainer, Hokkaidyo Not? (get it?)

Unbelievalbe!! Far exceeded my extremely high expectations!

Ashlie Angel
27/02/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    USA
  • Month:
    February
This was an unbelievable trip that far exceeded my extremely high expectations. Luck was on our side, as it snowed continually for 10 straight days. However, everything else was also perfect. We had incredible guide, Mattias Asenlund. He grew up in Japan and knew the resorts so well. He was able to get us to all of the powder stashes well before anyone else. We were able to ski bell to bell every day, and rarely skied the same zone twice. He matched our pace and delivered the goods. He was so knowledgeable about the zones, culture, and everything Japan! Plus, he was super fun! He was a key part of our trip!!! Having a bilingual guide was also extremely helpful!!!
Every day we went to amazing very traditional onsens and had fabulous dinners.
Our accomodations also far exceeded our expectations. We had a great B&B in Furano, an increadible hotel in Sapporo, and an amazing home in Hirafu!!!
I would say this was the trip of a lifetime. However, we plan to return as soon as possible!!!

deeper further Hokkaido Trip

mark storm
08/02/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    USA
  • Month:
    January
trip of a life time, I hope to do it again

Because on 6 of the 8 days we totally earned our turns we averaged 6000-8000 of vertical per day

Black Diamond Tours put together a very complete package

This tour did require advanced skiing and back country skills
This tour did require a high level of fitness, strength and
aerobic conditioning

If you are my age - over 60 ,you had better be ready to keep up with fit, skilled,eager 25-50 year olds.

Powder, powder and more powder!!

Emily
13/01/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    January
Unbelievable. The guides were well informed, educated, friendly and experienced. The weather forecast was checked nightly, a decision was made according to the temperature, conditions and snow forecast and each day we rode powder all day, every day. Being that we were all from different walks of life, different ages and different abilities we were pushed beyond our limits but were never far from our comfort zones.
Hiking Mt Yotei New Years Eve on splitboards was definitely a highlight for my brother and I. Completely untracked powder through gladed trees the whole way down. It was a surreal experience that I'll remember for the rest of my life.
Although the tour didn't include dinners and lunch the guides went out of their way to ensure our stay in Japan was memorable taking us to some amazing places for dinner and stopping off at Onsens to rest our weary muscles after a hard day's riding.
We are already planning our next tour February next year.

I Want To Go

POWDERHOUNDS
22/11/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February
Whilst this is a new tour for 2015, we at Powderhounds have experienced all of these ski areas and most of them with Black Diamond Tours; so we felt we were qualified to preface the tour with a review.

We love central Hokkaido and particularly being based in Asahikawa which as a fabulous small Japanese city with a vibrant nightlife and very central to many of central Hokkaidos great powder stashes.

We would highly recommend this tour either on its own or as an add-on to a resort stay like a week in Niseko. Trust us, once you have done one of these tours you will find it hard to ever go back to Niseko to compete for freshies with the masses!

We look forward to living vicariously through your reviews.......

Powder Heaven

Fran Joseph
22/05/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    USA
We did a Niseko White Room custom tour: 6 days of skiing on Hokkaido between Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirufu, Kiroro, Rusutsu, Sapporo Kokusai, and one day touring. If skiing is like eating a cookie (enjoyable, makes me happy), skiing in Japan is like binging on expensive truffles (decadent, indulgent, pure joy). I didn’t know that snow like that – light, fluffy, fresh inches to feet every single day/night – exists in the modern world. It was truly a power paradise.

There is also a novelty to skiing on Hokkaido with their funky old gondolas, ramen and sushi bar cafeterias, and hot/cold vending machines, which are everywhere. The resorts haven’t been updated since the 1970s and they’re pretty small vs North American standards, BUT back and side country is totally legal and RARELY skied by the locals, so even a few days after a dump, you can still get fresh tracks…all day. it’s crazy!

We had two guides for 7 of us for the whole trip, and it was totally worth it (and not expensive!!) because it would be really tough to navigate the resorts and back country stuff without them...and without speaking/reading Japanese. They met us every morning and told us where we’d be going for the day based on the overnight snow fall, which is surprisingly varied based on geography. We skied a different place every day with one day of back country touring.

As for lodging, we also stayed at the Black Diamond Lodge in Niseko, which is VERY BASIC…more of a hostel type set up. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, although it was Western, easy and cheap. I didn’t realize it but the lodge and tour company are NOT actually connected and you definitely don’t have to stay there. Not sure how expensive other lodging is since we didn’t look into it, but Niseko is kind of like their Aspen/Vail (an international ski town).

I would go back in a heart beat, and I can't speak more highly of Black Diamond Tours (except I don't want to speak too MUCH for fear of the secret getting out!).

Unreal Day

Andrew
17/03/2015
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    N/A
Had an amazing day with our guide Yuya in the Niseko Back Bowls. Conditions were incredible and Yuya's knowledge of the terrain had us riding fresh powder all day.
Can't wait to get back and ride again with Yuya and Black Diamond

Had a Great Time

Mel H
09/04/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
Great tour! We really liked the guides who were so knowledgable about the mountains and always able to find the best snow for us. We missed out on the Niseko Back Bowls because of the weather but our guides took us to another mountain instead and we had a great day anyway.

We also loved staying at Black Diamond Lodge and would definitely go back there next time we're in Japan.

Only place where there was a room for improvement was in the communication leading up to the tour so that we knew where we needed to be and when.

Powder in Rusutsu

George Lin
06/04/2014
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I booked a powder day and got a fantastic day at Rusutsu. The conditions were perfect and our guide led us through the perfect locations that allowed us to get maximum powder while the unguided skiers passed by, oblivious to the great snow just a few meters away.

I would definitely do this again. Our guide had us skiing so much that my legs turned to jelly and I sat out the last hour. I would recommend you book this towards the mid / end of the trip unless you are already in great condition.

Fantastic Guide

Chu
27/01/2014
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    N/A
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I was very impressed with our guide Elliot, not only is he experienced but he was very safety concious and very patient with those of us who needed extra help. I would definitely go backcountry skiing with this company again.

Booking and communication prior to the trip is best done on the phone. Email communication is choppy but invoice with paypal link to pay is very efficient.

Renting gear is limited. It is best to come with your own gear.

Epic Day

Josh Holley
22/04/2013
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu
During our week long trip to Niseko we elected to try out powder skiing at Rusutsu. From reading the Powderhounds website it appeared that Rusutsu was powderhounds paradise. We had 6 skiers; 4 adults and 2 children all intermediate to advanced skiers. I worked with Andrew Spragg at Black Diamond to arrange the booking. We decided on a private guide so that we could get the most skiing tailored to the ability of the group. I took advantage of the early season sale and booked several months before our trip.
Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu
We were ready to go on the day of the booking. After waiting for 1 hour past the scheduled pickup we had not heard from the Black Diamond crew. I made some calls and there was apparently some confusion with the booking. The good news? We made it to Rusutsu and had one of the most epic days I have skied. Andrew arranged for a guide to pick us up within the hour. Nobu, our guide, almost made me happy we started late! I am not sure my legs could have handled another hour on the snow.

I would definitely recommend this outfit. My only recommendation is to call the day before to confirm! Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu

EPIC Backcountry Skiing Adventure in Hokkaido Japan

Max Dekkers
20/04/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
I booked at powder trip with Black Diamond tours via the powderhounds website this winter.

I didn't know this company, but I'm happy I got introduced to it. I simply had the best ski trip of my life! The crew of skiers were all very skilled, the organisation was just perfect, and we couldn't have asked for better guides!

I would definitely recommend the following guides: Mitch, Yuya and Hayden!

T

Rusutsu Guided Tour

Jeffrey Chim
19/04/2013
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I went on a few different tours. Shiribetsu backcountry, chisenpurri/moiwa backcountry, mushroom trip, sapporo teine and sapporo kokusai guided tour and the rusutsu guided tour.

I can't say enough good things about black diamond tours. They were very professional, always willing to email back and forth, and even skype with me to let me know about upcoming tours and confirming pickup times and schedules.

I wanted to do the yotei trip also but unfortunately due to weather didn't get the chance. I will be back to do it again with them for sure. I have to note that they are super flexible in terms of deciding on what tours you want to do. They have a big white board in their office and it seems like for me as a single, I had my pick of what tours to jump onto with 24 hours notice. So I basically got in contact with them every day to see what tours they had going the next day or day after. I managed to jump on the mushroom tour and happy ending tour this way.

The guides I had all knew their stuff. Toby guided me in sapporo and rusutsu. He also took us out to dinner in sapporo and since he lives there he showed us some cool spots. He was quite flexible when guiding as the skill level in my group was of different abilities, he didn't mind me going off on my own.

Mushroom trip was awesome. We got to hit some avalanche barriers and some steep gnarly terrain. We also found a pillow line and the guides got their saws out to cut down some trees for us so we could hit some jumps.

Although I had all my own equipment, most of the other clients didn't but this was usually sorted out quickly in the morning which didn't eat into our time.

I also got a 10% discount on my trips because I did 5 trips with them.

I would highly recommend doing any of their guided tours since you don't waste time trying to find the best spots to ride. I later went back to these resorts on my own but there is no way I would have found all the best stashes without having been shown them first. It would take you so much longer and unless you're at these resorts for weeks at a time you wont find them.

Great Value. Generally you pay 10000 a day for a guide anywhere in the world. More in europe from experience. The group sizes were small which was nice and generally they matched the skill levels pretty well too.

Best Powder Tour Ever!!

POWDERHOUNDS
09/03/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
New ski buddies Superb powder Avalanche fences were fun Asahikawa & Sapporo are great party cities It gets deep in Hokkaido
When I first saw the title of this trip I figured that Black Diamond Tours just couldn’t spell “Powder Trip”. But now that I have experienced this tour I now know why it is called the “Power Trip” and it is sooooo aptly named!!!

From day one you are riding some of the best powder you will find anywhere on the planet and if it is your thing, there are plenty of natural terrain features such as huge powder mushrooms and small cliffs to clock up your flying hours. Every day is a new adventure as the tour rarely visits the same resort twice.

This tour is definitely suited to hard-core powder junkies who don’t mind burning the candle at both ends. Early starts each day, big days on the mountain and late nights. If you are after a holiday with a bit of rest & relaxation, this is definitely not for you.

Professionalism – what can I say; BDTs are extremely laid back and yet manage a tight ship (or bus in this case!). Trying to hoard 12 blokes onto a bus every morning (after a big night out) is no easy task; yet we always managed to get away with relative ease. The guides have great personalities and manage to join in on the fun but also know where to draw the line to make sure they deliver a fun and safe service each day of the tour.

Lodging - I must admit I had anticipated staying in hostel style accommodation throughout the tour. The tour starts at Black Diamond Lodge in Niseko (or a nearby pension if there is no availability) which is quite a good level of accommodation. At other locations however, to my surprise; the accommodations at Asahikawa & Sapporo were in well located and very nice new hotels. Many of us even had our own rooms, however at most you would have to share with one other (unless you were travelling in a group and preferred to all stay together).

Safety – Black Diamond Tours is big on safety. As part of the tour you will receive some basic instruction on how to use a transponder, probe and shovel. It is mandatory that every person carry this equipment with them every day. Transponders are checked by the guides each day as lift tickets are being handed out.

Equipment – most people on the tour had their own skis / snowboards, avo safety gear, backpacks and skins. BDTs has a limited range of snowshoes, backpacks and skins for hire/use, however if you are a serious back country hiker you should probably bring your own gear. Quality skis and snowboards can be easily rented from a local Niseko store such at Rhythm Snowsports.

Meals - the trip includes all breakfasts which are more than adequate. Night time dining was mostly done in smaller groups with your guide or the entire tour group (although large seatings are hard to arrange in Japan, so smaller groups were easier to work with). Lunches are generally on mountain restaurants or cafeterias. Meals can be quite inexpensive and alcohol is reasonably priced. Sake (Japanese rice wine) is inexpensive and pure, so no hangover!

Fun Factor - this is a definite 6 out of of 5! This was one of the best times of my life! I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much and had so much fun with a group of people I had never met before the trip. Every part of the trip from the skiing, the eating out, and partying, and even the bus journeys was fabulous.

Value - considering the entire trip cost about the same as 2 days of heli skiing and the overall fun factor is far greater; the value is huge!

Other stuff
Personally, if I was heading to Japan I would extend my stay slightly at either end or both ends of the tour.

I started my trip 2 days before the tour commenced in Niseko where I had the chance to warm up on the slopes & in the bars! This is also a great chance to get to meet a few of your fellow travellers as there will generally be a few of them arriving a day or two early.

As an option you could also take a BDTs backcountry tour in Niseko, Rusutsu or Moiwa (as some of these ski areas you will not visit during the tour).

The trip finishes in Sapporo and you have the option to return to Niseko at the end of the tour for more in that area, or maybe take a trip to Tomamu (which is an easy train ride from Sapporo and passes New Chitose Airport, making it easy to get back to the airport for your flight out of Hokkaido) for a couple of days.

So if you are looking for an action-packed adventure crammed into a week, skiing powder every day, combined with a bit of hiking, add a touch of nightlife and traditional Japanese food, and you aren’t expecting any rest, this tour is the perfect choice!

First Class

Thomas Mortimer
01/02/2011
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I used BDT for all my backcountry adventures in Japan and they were great from start to finish.

In Niseko I did the backbowl guided tour as part of a group of 3 for which we had 2 guides, Andrew and JS. They both really knew their stuff and safety was paramount at all times. I was briefed prior to hitting the slopes on how to use the avi transmitter and how to use the probe and shovel in the event of an avalanche. One guide always led and then the other was always keeping the group together by staying at the back.

The real fun of the tour was being able to head straight to the best powder stashes in Niseko via the backountry gates. Deep, fresh and untouched! What more could you want? On this tour all of the goods were accessed via lifts and almost all the rides down led back to the lifts. Only one run we did which was skiers left from the top chair lift and went over to the Hanazono side meant we had a long traverse back to the lift. Being a snowboarder for this one was a real bummer and I don't think I've ever sweated so much in my life! A real leg burner on the toe edge! This was only a minor issue on an otherwise epic day which I enjoyed (almost) every minute of!! I honestly couldn't think of a better, safer way to spend an off-piste day than with the BDT guys.

Myself and 2 friends went on to use BD tours another 2 times whilst in Rusutsu, once in-bounds to find the best spots and once to hike Shirebitsu Dake which was possibly the best tour I did!! Highly recommend these guys!

A Day Out with BDT at Niseko

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
29/01/2011
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    January
If you are travelling to Niseko for the first time and you want to experience the best of the greatest powder on earth; a back bowls tour with Black Diamond Tours should be your number 1 priority.

BDT have many years of experience seeking out the best lines in and around the resort. They know where the crowds head and how to avoid them to get first tracks in Niseko's famous deep dry powder snow.

We highly recommend that you book a "Niseko Back Bowls Tour" for the first available day after you arrive - discover all the secret spots!