Nagano Powder Chaser
The Nagano Powder Chaser tour packages are for skiers or boarders who want to chase that world famous Japanese POW at a variety of resorts in Nagano. The tour packages cater for two tiers of skiers, the advanced skiers who wish to experience as much powder as possible and explore the “slack country” of each of the resorts, and the intermediate skiers and boarders who want to have a taste of powder and improve their technique.
No trip to Japan is complete without experiencing an amazing culture and meeting the local people that make this winter wonderland unique.
Note: Groups are organised into separate advanced ski and snowboard and mixed intermediate ski and snowboard to a 1:6 guide to client ratio. Groupings are made alongside others of similar ability from our 8 and 10 day tour intermediate and advanced groups.
If you have any questions or want to book, you can enquire directly with the tour operator here
- Experience Japanese life and culture by staying off the mountain in the culturally rich town of Yudanaka (adjacent to Shibu Onsen)
- Option of staying in a beautiful Japanese ryokan for a fraction of the cost of on-mountain accommodation
- Ski and ride some of the nicest powder without the masses
- For intermediates, learn some new skills from the instructor/guides to elevate your ability on the snow
- No need to work out the best places to ski and ride - your instructor/guide does this for you
- Rejuvenate daily in an onsen to sooth and relax tired muscles
- Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through the 1300 year old town of Shibu Onsen
- Relax and be driven from location to location from our experienced mountain drivers
- Make some new friends to share those on snow stories with over a local ale or wine
The Nagano Powder Chaser tour has the ability to visit many different resorts in the Nagano prefecture
. The resorts visited are dictated by the conditions
on any given day and each area has its own individual micro climate so don’t be surprised if you visit the same resort a number of times.
The resorts visited include: Oku Shiga Kogen
, Yakebitaiyama, Ichinose and Giant, Yokote & Kamoyou (all part of Asia’s largest ski area Shiga Kogen
), Ryuoo Ski Park
, Nozawa Onsen
Drive times to these resorts vary from 25 minutes to 50 minutes in good road conditions.
Skier/Boarder Ability & Equipment Requirements
Great ski areas
These tours are best suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders
. If you are looking for a beginner package, check out the Nagano Beginner Packages
In all cases people should be light-hearted and have a good sense of humor, as even the best laid-out plans can vary due to uncontrollable circumstances!
Please do not over-state your ability as the advanced groups are for those who already have a good grasp of riding powder.
Accommodation Options & Meals
These packages are based in the township of Yudanaka
located near the Shiga Kogen ski areas. It is also close to various other Nagano ski areas.
The area is well known for its onsens (hot springs) and it is said that over 1300 years ago a monk who visited the area discovered the healing quality of the water and the popularity of the region grew so much that the Samurai would come to repair their bodies in the rejuvenating waters.
The other attraction to the area is the world renowned snow monkeys
who have learnt to keep themselves warm in the natural onsen water. Although the town is visited by foreigners to visit the snow monkeys you will find the town relatively free of westerners when you eat out in the evenings as many just come on day journeys. There is a wide array of traditional eating houses in Yudanaka which serve fresh local and regional produce. In the past few years the restaurant scene has expanded to include a number of new eateries which have a mix of Japanese and Western food to suit every palette. A walk through historic Shibu town
is also a must with its quaint shops, temples, shrines, foot onsens and authentic architecture.
There are 2 accommodation options; Ryokan Biyu no Yado
(deluxe) and Hostel Aibiya
(which is an up-market hostel/lodge).
Deluxe Option - Ryokan Biyo no Yado
The Ryokan Biyu no Yada in the township of Yudanaka is a 3.5 star Japanese style hotel. Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom
and are either Western twin
(with a tatami sitting area) or Japanese-style (twin, triple & quad
) woven tatami floors with futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle.
The hotel has an indoor Japanese bathhouse
(onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for rent for an additional fee.
Night-time meals (included in the package) are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served in the hotel dining area plus options to eat at other restaurants in town. Breakfast (also included) is a Japanese/Western-style buffet.
For the remaining night-time meals you have the choice of many authentic Japanese restaurants in down-town Yudanaka or Nakano or you can buy additional meals at the Ryokan.
There are massage services available, free wifi in the common lounge area, a bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, Japanese drum shows, karaoke and a souvenir shop.
Budget Option - Hostel AibyaHostel Aibiy
...deluxe Japanese-style rooms...
a is located in Yudanaka township the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Yoshi and his family provide a high level of Japanese service backed up with western insights gained by working overseas. English speaking with a wealth of knowledge of the Nagano area, Yoshi will look after all your needs.
The hostel has an option of quad share single western bed rooms and twin share rooms with shared bathroom and there is the option to upgrade to the twin/triple deluxe rooms with private bathrooms.
There is a well equipped kitchen for those who would like to cook themselves or you can enjoy the many traditional Japanese restaurants only a short walk away. There are two different types of lounge rooms and a separate cinema room. There are separate male and female shared shower rooms.
A free continental breakfast is provided each day with breads, cereal, fruits, yoghurt, coffee, tea and fruit juices.
Free WI-FI is available throughout the hostel. A gift shop with crafts made locally and beverages, local Shiga Kogen beer and snacks are available for sale. Experience the tradition at a local ryokan onsens for a small fee.
The hostel is only a 3 minute walk from the train station with local convenience stores nearby.
...quad dorm rooms...
There is no set itinerary for this package; your guide/host will make a decision each day based on the current snow and weather conditions and the general group consensus as to where to ski and board.
Each night you will stay in down-town Yudanaka in a traditional Japanese Ryokan (hotel) or the hostel, and each morning you will head off with your guide/driver and group to get the best powder on the day.
Yudanaka is a culturally rich town and the perfect base for a Nagano powder chasing adventure due to its central location to a variety of quality Nagano ski areas.
A ski holiday in Japan isn't the complete package without the addition of the rich cultural experience offered as part of this package.
..the famous snow monkeys..
...town of Yudanaka
2018 Dates, Rates & Inclusions
There are no set dates for these packages; they can start any day of the week and are available as a 3, 4, 5 or 6 night package (or a package can be tailored to suit you or your group). Tours start mid December and run until March. Japanese accommodation holiday rates apply on the 30th and 31st Dec and 1st and 2nd Jan.
Package Prices (Japanese Yen)
Rates for the Ryokan Biyu no Yado are based on twin share Japanese style room with own bathroom and includes breakfast and dinner.
Rates for Hostel Aibiya are based on twin share Western style room with shared bathroom and includes breakfast.
|Hosted & Guided Tours
||Prices are in Japanese Yen
| # Nights
|| Ryokan Biyu no Yado
| Hostel Aibiya - Quad Room
| Hostel Abiya - twin room)
| Meals Included
|| 3B + 2D
|| 4B + 3D
|| 5B +3D
|| 6B +4D
| Single Supplement
Family room & western room upgrades also available at Ryokan Biyu. Enquire for quote.
- Pick up and drop off at Yudanaka train station (for Ryokan Biyu customers only. Hostel Aibiya is only a short walk from the station)
- Deluxe and standard accommodation options
- Daily Breakfasts
- Dinners (only at Ryokan Biyu)
- Ski guide/instructor (max 1:6 instructor to guest ratio)
- Lift passes
- Transportation to best snow location each day
- Transport to the world famous snow monkey park (Ryokan Biyu has a complimentary dropoff and pickup shuttle and clients of Hostel Aibiya can use the public transport from Yudanaka station)
- A walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
- Visit to the sake museum
- Rejuvenating Onsens (at Ryokan Biyu, Hostel Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
- Plus many more hidden gems...
- Avo safety pack (transponder, shovel & probe) - 1,000 yen/day; requirement for all guests riding off-piste
- Single supplement at Ryokan Biyu - 6,000 yen/night
- Western room upgrade at Ryokan Biyu - 6,000 yen/night
- Single room upgrade at Hostel Abiya - 4,000 yen/night
- Taiko drum performance
- Authentic Geisha performance
- Karate performance
- Visit Nagano and the Zenkoji Temple
DEPOSIT & FULL PAYMENT
- Deposit is 20% of full tour price per person.
- All deposits are non-refundable.
- Final balance due: 30 days prior to departure.
- All payments are in Japanese Yen (JPY)
CANCELLATION BY YOU
- more than 30 days prior to departure, full deposit forfeited.
- Less than 30 days 100% forfeited.
- Tour operator highly recommends you take out travel insurance at time of sending your deposit.
CANCELLATION BY EPIC SKI ADVENTURES
Epic Ski Adventures reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure. In this case you will receive a full refund. You will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation, damages, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience.
Other Important Information
Terrain & SafetyThe rules when skiing at resorts in Japan can be a lot different to what is experienced in Western resorts around the world. At a high percentage of the resorts in Japan, trail skiing is the norm and anything off the main marked trails is deemed "out-of-bounds". The out of bounds is not patrolled so as far as the resort is concerned; skiing there is at your own risk. The out of bounds skiing provided by ESA is deemed (what has been termed in Japan by westerners) “slack country” or “side country”. Many times these out of bounds areas are in between two marked courses so at the bottom of the run you meet up on a marked course to take you back to the lifts, hence the term “slack country”.
Some resorts are more lenient with "out-of-bounds" skiing and others very strict. Some will have signs that state "ski at your own risk" where others may not. ESA consider everything that is not on a marked trail to be out of bounds.
If you wish to experience the "out-of-bounds" (skiing off any of the marked trails) areas:
The ESA team have the following credentials:
- You must carry the essential avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe & backpack to carry such gear)
- You must be able to ski at a sufficient ability / level to manage the conditions on the day for any out-of-bounds runs
- You will need to undertake an safety instruction session on the use of your avalanche equipment (even if you already know how to use it)
- You will be required to sign a release of liability agreement prior to undertaking any out-of-bounds skiing with ESA
Exclusion of Liability & RiskAdventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in the ESA release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in adventure sports activities. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident.
- knowledge and experience at skiing the various resorts they visit in the Nagano and Niigata areas
- accreditation and different combinations of instructors, ski patrol, avalanche awareness and first aid
- ski instructors have a minimum of level 2 NZIAS certification.