Nagano Ski & Snowboard Progression5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
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Nagano Ski & Snowboard Progression Enquire
SKI / SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,216
Book & pay deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence or improve your on-piste technique whilst checking out some of Nagano's fabulous ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
View Inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • Qualified guide/instructor for duration – max 1:6 ratio
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation (choice of budgets)
  • Daily breakfasts (& some dinners with Ryokan Biyu package)
  • 8 days of lift passes plus daily mountain transfers
  • plus much more...
Add-ons
  • Avo safety pack (transponder, shovel & probe) - 1,000 yen/day; requirement for all guests riding off-piste
  • Single supplement at Ryokan Biyu
  • Western room upgrade at Ryokan Biyu
  • Single room upgrade at Hostel Abiya
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided-Progression | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
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 19 - Dec 28, 2017
10
USD 2,216
Almost Full
Jan 03 - Jan 12, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Almost Full
Jan 12 - Jan 21, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Filling
Jan 21 - Jan 30, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Filling
Jan 30 - Feb 08, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Sold Out
Feb 08 - Feb 17, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Almost Full
Feb 17 - Feb 26, 2018
10
USD 2,216
Filling
Feb 26 - Mar 07, 2018
10
USD 2,216
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
Mar 07 - Mar 31, 2018
From 10
Enquire
Enquire
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Nagano Ski & Snowboard Progression

The Nagano Ski and Snowboard Progression Tour will introduce you to some of Nagano's great ski areas whilst your guide/instructor will assist you in developing your skills in the powder and/or on-piste.
  
Learning to ski and board in powder can sometimes be a daunting process, however with the right direction and encouragement it can become a lifetime addiction. The Nagano ski areas with their abundant annual snowfall are the perfect locations to teach powder technique alongside improving general ski or snowboard confidence. Your guide/instructor's methods of assisting you to learn to ski and ride the powder are a gradual process over the eight days of riding that will increase your confidence levels at a pace that suits you. Although the focus is making you a better piste and powder rider, it is not all drills and practising. Your guide knows where the private stashes are and will take you to places you would not dream of going on your own.

Your Japanese ski adventure is not complete without being immersed in a culture that has to be experience to be appreciated. Visit the world famous snow monkeys up close, be entertained by a traditional Geisha performance, be entertained by the Taiko Drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance, participate in a Karate performance, and have the option to spend a recovery day exploring one of Japan’s oldest castles and temple in Matsumoto and Nagano, soak in the rejuvenating onsens, taste the local sake and beer recipes and visit historic Shibu Onsen town. Where other companies may place the cultural experience in Japan as an option, we include them so you get to experience the real Japan. 

Solo TravelersWhether you are a solo traveler, a couple or small group, you can join in on a fixed-date tour. Each date only has a maximum of 6 spots and they sell out quickly so don't delay in securing your spot(s). From March 7 to March 31, only private group options (min 4, max 6) are available subject to guide availability.

Rider AbilityThese tours cater for intermediate - skiers and snowboarders. You should be able to link turns together confidently on groomed trails.

Advanced skiers should check out the Nagano Skiers Buffet.
Advanced snowboarders should check out the Nagano Snowboarders Buffet.

Resorts/Ski Areas Visited (Depending on Conditions) This 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 include: Oku Shiga Kogen, Yakebitaiyama, Ichinose and Giant (all part Asia’s largest ski resort Shiga Kogen), Ryuoo Ski Park, Kijimadaira, TogakushiNozawa Onsen, Madarao & Tangram.

Drive times to these resorts vary from 25 minutes to 50 minutes in good road conditions.


19 Shiga Kogen Ski Areas

Nozawa Onsen

Madarao/Tangram

Accommodation Options & Meals

This tour is based in the township of Yudanaka located near the Shiga Kogen ski areas and sits at 600 metres above sea level. Due to its proximity it is ideally located for visiting many of Nagano's great 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 YadoRyokan Biyu no Yado is a 3.5 star Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and is ranked #1 by Trip Advisor, scoring an average of 5 out of 5 from over 160 reviews!

Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom and are Japanese-style with woven tatami floors and futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle. Your room also has a traditional Japanese wardrobe (Yakata) which is not mandatory to wear at this Ryokan, although it is definitely comfortable attire after a day on the slopes.

The Ryokan also has some western rooms which are double the size of the Japanese rooms available as an up-grade for an additional cost.

There is a spectacular an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for rent for an additional fee.

The THREE night-time meals included in the Tyokan Biyu package are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served by your own private waiter in the hotel dining area. Breakfast (also included) is either a Japanese or Western-style. 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 wi-fi in the common lounge area, a luxurious lounge bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, grand piano, large screen TV, karaoke and a souvenir shop.

The Ryokan does not have clothes washing facilities however there is a public laundry a short walk away.


Ryokan Biyu..

...deluxe Japanese-style rooms...

.....outdoor hot springs

Budget Option - Hostel AibyaHostel Aibiya 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.


Hostel Aibiya..

...quad dorm rooms...

.....communal kitchen

Itinerary

This itinerary is a guide only as the tour will ultimately be dictated by the weather each day; your guide will fit around where the best conditions are. This is a powder tour so wider skis or powder board are recommended to get the best out of your time with us. A full equipment checklist can be provided by ESA upon request. Your guide is there to teach skills on how to better ride the powder, and at the same time show you lines you may not have discovered on your own.

Day 1
Make your way to Yudanaka (home of the snow monkeys) on either the amazing rail system or a shuttle from Narita or Haneda airport. Get picked up at the station at Yudanaka and taken to your lodging at Ryokan Biyu, or it's a short walk for those staying at Hostel Aibiya (further information on how to get to Yudanaka is contained in the pre trip instructions). The area has a history of over 1,300 years as a hot spring resort and more recently it was put on the map due to the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games. You are treated like a rock star at the Ryokan with exceptional service, immaculate surroundings and food to die for. Your first nights meal is at the Ryokan which is an experience in itself. Bring your camera. For those staying at Hostel Aibiya enjoy the many eateries around Yudanaka.

Day 2
Made up of 19 resorts, Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Asia with the highest lift access in Japan (so the snow is drier). Because Shiga is so large and elevated, fresh lines can be found days after a snowfall. And because relatively few westerners have discovered this area the queues are almost non-existent and another bonus is that very few Japanese ski off-piste. After skiing and riding, why not try an onsen to sooth any aches and pains followed by a local beer or wine from the lounge bar. Tonight the group will travel into the town of Nakano to enjoy a meal at Kappa Sushi Train followed by the new signature event of karaoke at the purpose built bar at Ryokan Biyu. There is a one song minimum either as single, duet or group to ensure everyone can ski the next day.

Day 3
Madarao (Madapow) is another of the Japanese ski fields that does not attract the hoards of gaijins (foreigners). This field seems to have its own micro climate and when it snows here it can be very light and deep. If you are looking for a change from the Japanese fare there is a restaurant on the mountain that makes the best burgers and pizzas. Tonight you will enjoy a meal at one of the many traditional Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka.

Day 4
After breakfast we will travel to Nozawa Onsen for some more action on the snow. Considered by some as the birthplace of skiing in Japan, its 300 hectares of terrain and 50km of slopes will not disappoint. If time permits at the end of the day we will take a walk through Nozawa Onsen township and enjoy the many shops and eating treats. For those at Ryokan Biyu. while eating a dinner you will be entertained by a traditional Geisha performance, being joined by those staying at Hostel Aibiya.

Day 5
This is one of those days where you get to choose. For those that want to stay on the snow we will visit the resort of Togakushi. You will enjoy a totally western free resort with a wide range of runs with an awesome view of the Japanese Alps. Or there is the option for a rest day. If the group collectively decides to take a break or alternatively if there is a day where the conditions are not satisfactory for skiing there is a backup plan. After breakfast the group will visit Matsumoto Castle which is the oldest 5 story, 6 layer castle tower in Japan. Get a photo with the Samurai, Ninja and Geisha who frequent the castle garden area. Roam around Nakamachi-dori street and Nawate-dori street to soak up the old time Matsumoto atmosphere. No visit to Nagano is complete without visiting the Zenkoji Temple with over 1400 years of history. Unique in the fact that the city of Nagano was built around the temple thus known as a temple city and that it houses the oldest Buddhist image in Japan. You can walk through the pitch-black corridors under the main hall and tradition has it that if you touch the key below the principle image, your entry into paradise is secured (apparently they have lots of powder snow there). If time permits we will also visit the Winter Olympic Museum and speed skating rink. Dining out comprises of one of the many fine restaurants in Yudanaka.

Day 6
Ryuo Ski Park offers some great tree skiing or open wide courses which are accessed with the areas only ropeway. For those at the Ryokan Biyu it is another exquisite meal inhouse and those at Hostel Aibiya either eat out or cook in. For your nights entertainment,  participate in a Karate performance and teaching session from one of Japan’s Grand Masters at the Ryokan Biyu.

Tonight you will enjoy a meal at one of the many traditional Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka.


Cultural activities...

...traditional Japanese food...

...visit the famous snow monkeys.

Day 7
After breakfast you will further explore Shiga Kogen. The great thing about the 19 connecting resorts at Shiga is that you may ski one area for the morning then after lunch relocate to another part of the mountain for more powder action. Your pass gives you access to the whole of Shiga and your guide knows where those private stashes are located. If time allows the group will visit the local sake museum and taste up to 10 different sakes that are made on site. Enjoy another meal in the township of Yudanaka.

Day 8
Because Madarao is just that good we will check it out again but also include the adjoining resort of Tangram. After a big day at Madarao/Tangram many guests require a “roadie” from the Lawson store at the bottom of the mountain to celebrate their epic day. Enjoy a meal at one of the many traditional Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka followed by a Taiko drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance at the Ryokan Biyu.

Day 9
Finish your last day on the snow as a powder day. Using the many resorts we have already skied we will choose the one with the best snow and go there. After dinner enjoy your last night socialising and re-living your adventure with your new found friends and the guides at the Ryokan Biyu lounge bar which overlooks the township of Yudanaka.

Day 10
It is time to bid farewell to our fabulous hosts at the Ryokan Biyu and Hostel Aibiya. No visit is complete to Yudanaka without some interaction with the famous snow monkeys. This is the only place in the world you can see the snow monkeys soaking in natural hot pools up close and personal.

NB
The evening performances of the Geisha, Taiko Drum and Karate demonstrations may vary on which night they fall on the 10 day tour due to overlap in bookings.


Japanese style hotel

Nearby Shibu Onsen

Sake tasting

2017/18 Rates & Inclusions

Tour Prices (Japanese Yen)
 Prices are per person in Japanese Yen
 Accommodation Room Type  Price per person  Single Room Upgrade
 Ryokan Biyu  Twin Room - private bathroom  329,000  54,000
 Hostel Aibiya Quad Room - shared bathroom  249,000  n/a
 Hostel Aibiya Twin Room - shared bathroom  269,000  n/a
 Hostel Aibiya Twin Room - private bathroom  299,000  n/a

Dates
In addition to dates listed, tours between 7th March and 31st March can be arranged and are based around a minimum of 4 people. Inclusions
  • Qualified guide/instructor for duration – max 1:6 ratio
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation (choice of budgets)
  • Daily breakfasts (& some dinners with Ryokan Biyu package)
  • 8 days of lift passes plus daily mountain transfers
  • plus much more...
  • Free pickup and drop off at Yudanaka station for Ryokan Biyu guests and a short walk from the train station for those staying at Hostel Aibiya
  • Transport to the Sushi train on the second night followed by a karaoke evening at the Ryokan Biyu karaoke bar
  • 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)
  • Geisha Performance
  • Taiko Drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance
  • Karate performance from a Grand Master champion of Japan
  • Option to have a rest day or bad weather day to visit Matsumoto Castle and Nagano to visit the Zenkoji Temple and 1998 Winter Olympic Museum plus some other hidden gems
  • Rejuvenating Onsens visits
  • Walk around 1300 year old historic Shibu town
  • Local sake factory sampling tour
  • Plus many more hidden gems....
Optional Extras
  • Avo safety pack (transponder, shovel & probe) - 1,000 yen/day; requirement for all guests riding off-piste
  • Single supplement at Ryokan Biyu
  • Western room upgrade at Ryokan Biyu
  • Single room upgrade at Hostel Abiya
Not Included

Epic Ski Adventures Booking Conditions

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.

All bookings are subject to Epic Ski Adventures terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.

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:
  1. You must carry the essential avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe & backpack to carry such gear)
  2. You must be able to ski at a sufficient ability / level to manage the conditions on the day for any out-of-bounds runs
  3. 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)
  4. You will be required to sign a release of liability agreement prior to undertaking any out-of-bounds skiing with ESA
The ESA team have the following credentials:
  • 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
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.