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Shiga & Ryuoo Beginners Package Enquire
LEARN TO SKI & SNOWBOARD
8 Days | 7 Night | 5 Skiing | 2 Ski Resorts
From price based on Adult price twin-share lodging.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on Adult price twin-share lodging.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,771
Book & pay deposit by June 30 and get 5% off advertised price
Ability: Beginner
This package starts with 3 nights ski-in/out accommodation at Shiga Kogen followed by 4 nights in the historic & traditional Japanese onsen town of Yudanaka. Whether you have been skiing or boarding a couple of times or are a first-timer, this package includes all you need to get you cruising down the slopes in style.
View Inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • Shuttle van transport to and from Narita airport to the door of your accommodation
  • 3 nights twin share accommodation in Japanese style room with basin, toilet and bathing is done at the onsen complex at Hotel Ichinose with daily breakfast and two dinners (other room options available)
  • 4 nights twin share accommodation in Western style room with shared bathroom at Hostel Aibiya including breakfasts (other room options available)
  • Ski Instructor for first three days at Shiga Kogen (max 1:6 instructor to guest ratio)
  • And much more...
Add-ons
  • Assistance to plan cultural day to visit Matsumoto Castle and Zenkoji Temple in Nagano via the rail networkfrom Yudanaka station
  • Optional visit to the world famous snow monkey park (does not include the bus and admission fee)
  • An optional walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
  • Optional visit to the sake museum
  • Rejuvenating Onsens (complimentary at Hotel Ichinose, Hostel Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Instruction | Terrain Focus: 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 13 - Dec 20, 2017
8
USD 1,771
Filling
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2017
8
USD 1,771
Sold Out
Feb 23 - Mar 02, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Filling
Feb 26 - Mar 05, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Available
Mar 06 - Mar 13, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Available
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Available
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Available
Mar 20 - Mar 27, 2018
8
USD 1,771
Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Shiga Kogen & Ryuoo Ski Resorts Beginner Package

Get the best of both worlds with this 50/50 mix of accommodation and ski resorts. Spend three nights in a ski in and ski out property at Hotel Ichinose at Shiga Kogen and enjoy skiing at the largest ski resort in Japan. Then transfer to the village of Yudanaka (home of the snow monkeys) for four nights at Hostel Aibiya and experience a town steeped in history and ski at the family friendly resort of Ryuoo Ski Park. Both properties are owned and operated by the same family who have lived in the area for three generations, so you get to experience the local Japanese superior service (Omota Nashi). Have a rest day in between and visit Matsumoto Castle and Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, and on your last day visit the world famous snow monkeys.

Let’s face it, learning a new sport can sometimes be a daunting process without the right knowledge and experienced people to assist. One option is to go to a totally westernised resort in Japan which will generally work on the numbers game with large size beginners classes. Another option is to come with us and experience resorts where westerners are almost non-existent, with small intimate beginner classes, and English speaking instructors that turn your learning into a lifetime passion.

Why Learn with ESA?

It goes without saying that the qualified instructors are experienced and passionate about their trade; that is the minimum you would expect from a ski school. So what is ESA's point of difference? What they have learnt over the years is that there are some very important aspects of ski tuition which are not covered in the traditional ski instructor’s manual. The following are just some of the common sense approaches they use which will generally not be found at a traditional ski school.
  • Generally what happens in a rental shop is you tell the staff your foot size, height and weight and they hand you some gear, and it is left up to the client to fit the gear. We take this one step further as we know how important it is to your skiing and safety to have the correct fitting equipment. We will measure your foot, fit your boots, tighten them up to make sure there are no pressure points, mount your boots on skis and ensure they are set to a safe level.
  • Once on the snow we teach you how to walk in all types of terrain and different conditions in your boots. We also teach how to correctly carry your equipment to minimise effort and increase balance.
  • We know everyone learns at a different pace and know the importance of mastering a certain movement before moving on. The quicker learners get given different tasks however our goal is to bring everyone up to the group’s level, so the slower learners are given just as much attention. We do not leave any soldiers behind.
  • The usual teaching model is to talk about a movement, demonstrate the movement, get the client to try the movement then the next step is to follow the instructor. Unless the instructor has eyes in the back of their head, how can they fix an incorrect form? Instead we teach from the back moving through the group one on one and reinforcing movements through repeating the information until it becomes second nature to the client; repetition being the mother of skill.
  • Where traditional ski schools only give you one piece of the pie so they have some leverage to get you to come back and spend some more money with them to get the next piece of the pie, we take it to the next level and give our guests the whole pie. We believe it is essential that our guests understand the five main movements (the whole pie) in skiing and snowboarding. Once this understanding is achieved we can then isolate each movement (piece of the pie) to gain a more fluid progression from beginner to intermediate.
  • Another important aspect is teaching our clients how to read the different terrain, pitch of the terrain and the condition of the snow so they have the tools to make good decisions when negotiating their way safely down the mountain.
These are just a few of the common sense approaches ESA use to accelerate our clients learning in a safe and enjoyable environment.


Shiga Kogen - 19 ski areas

Amazing food

Town of Yudanaka.....

Highlights

  • Ski and ride some of the nicest powder without the masses
  • 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
  • Enjoy small group sizes (min two and max six people) to accelerate your learning
  • Rejuvenate daily in an onsen (hot spring) to sooth and relax your muscles
  • Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through the 1300 year old Shibu Onsen town
  • Relax and be driven from location to location with our experienced mountain drivers
  • Make some new friends to share those on snow stories with over a local ale or wine

Skier/Boarder Ability

These tours are designed for beginner skier and snowboarders. If you are looking for an intermediate or advanced tours and have time constraints check out the Nagano Powder Chaser Packages. We can also tailor make packages if you have a family or group that has different time constraints and ability levels, so please enquire.


Shiga Kogen - 19 ski areas

Snow monkeys

Nagano

Accommodation

Hotel Ichinose - ski-in/out at Shiga Kogen ResortHotel Ichinose is a family owned and operated hotel based in the middle of Shiga Kogen resort, which is located in a ski-in ski-out position.

You are welcomed at the main reception by one of the team, and the owner Seiichi is always around with a huge smile on his face. The larger than normal Japanese style rooms come with tatami floors and traditional futon beds with a separate toilet and wash basin. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge, kettle and safe. Your room also has a traditional Japanese yukata, which is not mandatory to wear at this hotel, although it is definitely comfortable attire after a day on the slopes.

The hotel has two western style rooms with their own bathrooms at an extra cost of 2000 yen per person per night and come on a first come basis.

Hotel Ichinose has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) where all your bathing is conducted and is a great way to soothe any aching joints or muscles after a day on the slopes.  

It also has two restaurants where breakfasts and dinners are served and Restaurant Rocky doubles as a lunch eatery for resort guests. Breakfasts are Japanese/Western buffet style and dinners are traditional Japanese with some Western dishes.

There is free Wi-Fi (1st & 2nd floor only), drink vending machines, laundry services, ski drying room and an expansive in-house convenience store for those midnight snacks.


Hotel Ichinose..

...Japanese-style rooms...

.....in-house onsen (bathhouse)

Hostel Abiya - YudanakaHostel Aibiya is a upmarket hostel and the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Yoshi and Seongmi 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 and Seongmi will look after all your needs.

The hostel has an option of quad share single western bed dorm rooms and twin share rooms with shared bathroom. They have a twin room with double bed which is ideal for couples or for those that want to upgrade to the single supplement and there is the option to upgrade to the deluxe rooms with private bathrooms which can sleep up to four people.

There is a well equipped kitchen for those who would like to cook themselves with a convenience grocery store nearby, or enjoy the many traditional Japanese restaurants only a short walk away.

There is an in house laundry service available at an extra cost and a ski drying room. There is also a separate lounge room with large screen TV to chill out in.

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 of onsen at two local Ryokans by purchasing a ticket from the reception.

It is located Only a 3 minute walk from the Yudanaka train station and there are convenience stores nearby.


Hostel Aibiya..

...quad dorm rooms...

.....communal kitchen

Itinerary

Day 1
Board your comfortable shuttle van at Narita airport for your five hour journey to Hotel Ichinose at Shiga Kogen ski resort, with comfort stops along the way. (You can also ask about tour cost without transport included). You will be greeted by the staff at the hotel and shown to your room. Unwind with a soothing onsen then why not take a walk around the village of Ichinose. In the evening be met by your instructor to go through your plan for the next seven days and be fitted with your ski or snowboard equipment. Enjoy a meal at the hotel and get a good night’s rest.

Day 2
Made up of 19 interconnecting resorts, Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Asia with the highest lift access in Japan. After breakfast we will start our tuition a short 50 metre walk to the slopes. The first day can sometimes be the most frustrating when learning a new sport. Everything is done slowly and methodically so everyone has the time to better themselves at each phase before moving on. At lunch time your instructor will take you to one of the many quality restaurants on the mountain. Back onto the slopes for your afternoon session then back to your hotel to freshen up and unwind. Although Shiga Kogen is not known for its quantity of restaurants and bars like other more westernised Japanese resorts, the ones that they have are worth a look. Why not try the ethnic restaurant just 20 metres down the street or stroll down to the Teppa Room for a local ale or wine and enjoy a meal off their tasty bar menu.

Day 3
After breakfast we will further explore the central Shiga Kogen area to build on what was learned yesterday. Day two is where there is less talking by the instructor and the focus is doing some miles to try and get some muscle memory into the body. The onsen will be a welcome sight after the second day as muscles you have not used before will be starting to be felt. Enjoy another meal in-house at your hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast and packing your gear to be left at the reception, we will get back on the slopes for day three. This is generally the day that things come together and click when you are on the snow. Because you have advanced, we can explore other runs on the mountain and enjoy new restaurants at lunch time. At the close of the day we will pack the van and you will be driven down the hill to Yudanaka to meet Yoshi and the team at Hostel Aibiya. Why not try out restaurant Hakko just a short walk from your hostel, which serves a mix of Japanese and western fare.

Day 5
This is a day where the mind is willing but the body is not. Any new sport requires a recuperation day and this is it. Why not take on the adventure of sampling some of the Nagano area cultural experiences. After breakfast you can board the train from Yudanaka to Nagano then hop on another train to take you to Matsumoto for the morning and visit the 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. For those with time constraints on the last day you could visit the snow monkeys in the morning, then on your walk back from the monkeys stop by the sake museum for a viewing and tasting, then take a walk up historic Shibu Town. For those sushi lovers, there is a fantastic local restaurant that prepares fresh sushi in front of you just down the street.

Day 6
After breakfast take the free shuttle van to Ryuoo Ski Park for your free skiing part of the tour. Ryuoo has ample lifts and runs for you to practise what you have learned from your first three days and it is now about doing the miles to increase your skill and confidence levels. The free shuttle comes back at various times through the day to Yudanaka, so if you have had enough just climb on board for a short 15 minute drive home. Just down the street is another quality local restaurant which serves a wide range of Japanese delights including yakatori.

Day 7
After another breakfast travel back to Ryuoo for your final day on the snow. You could try an onsen at one of the two local ryokans followed by dinner. The great thing with staying at Hostel Aibiya is that they have a full kitchen, so those that would like to stay in and cook, there are local convenience stores where you can buy your produce. For those that want to eat out, you could try Goen restaurant opposite the train station for a range of Japanese and Western dishes.

Day 8
Time to say goodbye to your hosts at Hostel Aibiya (sayonara). For some it is a visit to the snow monkeys, and for the others that have already been, you could just just chill out in the lounge room at the hostel or take a walk around historic Shibu town. For those that have the shuttle option, you will be picked up and transported back to Narita airport.


Cultural activities...

...traditional Japanese food...

...visit the famous snow monkeys.
 

2017/18 Rates & Inclusions

Rates
Per adult:  ¥199,000
Per child: ¥169,000

  • Rates are based on twin share for adults
  • Child rates are based on 2 adults + 2 children sharing a quad room
  • Children are 12 years andunder
Please Note: All prices are based on a minimum of two people for each individual tour to proceed. If you are a single traveler ESA will endeavour to mix you with another group and if not possible there will be an extra charge for one on one instruction. Inclusions
  • Shuttle van transport to and from Narita airport to the door of your accommodation
  • 3 nights twin share accommodation in Japanese style room with basin, toilet and bathing is done at the onsen complex at Hotel Ichinose with daily breakfast and two dinners (other room options available)
  • 4 nights twin share accommodation in Western style room with shared bathroom at Hostel Aibiya including breakfasts (other room options available)
  • Ski Instructor for first three days at Shiga Kogen (max 1:6 instructor to guest ratio)
  • And much more...
  • 3 x lift passes at Shiga Kogen and 2 x lift passes at Ryuoo Ski Park
  • Rental gear hire and assistance with fitting (includes board/boots, skis/boots/poles, jacket, pants, helmet, goggles and gloves)
  • Free shuttle from Yudanaka to Ryuoo Ski Park and return
Optional Extras
  • Assistance to plan cultural day to visit Matsumoto Castle and Zenkoji Temple in Nagano via the rail networkfrom Yudanaka station
  • Optional visit to the world famous snow monkey park (does not include the bus and admission fee)
  • An optional walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
  • Optional visit to the sake museum
  • Rejuvenating Onsens (complimentary at Hotel Ichinose, Hostel Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
  • An authentic Geisha performance
  • Taiko drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance
  • Karate performance
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.

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.