Epic Nagano Progression Tour
NEW FOR 2016-17!
Quality, quantity and quietness are the only ways to describe Shiga Kogen, Madarao, Tangram, Togakushi, Myoko Kogen, Ryuoo Ski Park, Kijimadaira and Nozawa Onsen where you will get your fill of the world famous Japan POW. All these resorts that have been hand selected due to the relative lack of foreign skiers, abundance of snow and a quality that only dreams are made of. Another key element to chasing the best POW is having wheels and the experienced drivers to get you there safely in all conditions.
This is undoubtedly the best value 7 night and 6 day fully guided ski and snowboard tour in Honshu, and is designed for the budget conscious who are happy with a warm and cosy place to relax at the end of an epic day, which Yoshi’s Hostel Aibiya provides.
Based in the historic onsen town of Yudanaka
which is relatively free of western influence, you are ensured of an authentic Japanese skiing or snowboarding experience.
- No need to work out the best places to ski and ride your guide does this for you
- Rejuvenate in a local ryokan’s onsen to sooth and relax
- Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through a 1300 year old town.
- Relax and be driven from location to location from our experienced mountain drivers
- Enjoy a variety of traditional Japanese restaurants to eat at each night
- Visit resorts that many visitors don't get to without the knowledge of your guide
- Make some new friends to share those face shot stories with over a local ale or wine
This tour caters for advanced to expert skiers and boarders. Avalanche equipment is mandatory and can be rented from us. For further information on skill level please make an enquiry and ask for the ability chart.
Resorts/Ski Areas Visited (Depending on Conditions)
This tour has the ability to visit up to 10 different resorts in the Nagano and Niigata prefectures.
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 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
, Nozawa Onsen
, and Myoko Kogen
ski areas Akakura
and Seki Onsen
Drive times to these resorts vary from 25 minutes to 50 minutes in good road conditions.
Madarao - Madapow!
Shiga Kogen - 19 ski areas!
Hostel Aibiya is 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 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 and a free onsen at Ryokan Yoroduya, only a 2 minute walk away.
A free continental breakfast is provided each day with bread, cereal, fruits, yoghurt, coffee, tea and fruit juices.
A gift shop with crafts made locally, and local Shiga kogen beer and snacks are available for sale.
Free WI-FI is available throughout the hostel.
Experience the tradition of an onsen at a local ryokan for a small fee.
Only a 3 minute walk from the train station with local convenience stores nearby.
This itinerary is a guide. The tour is dictated by the weather each day and your guide will fit around where the best conditions are. This is a powder tour so wider skis and a powder board are recommended to get the best out of your time. Your guide is there to show you lines you may not have discovered on your own. The beauty of an Epic Ski Adventures guided tour is that the guides are not constrained by relationships with resorts. The aim is to be flexible and follow the weather.
Make your way to Yudanaka
(home of the snow monkeys
) on either the amazing rail system or a shuttle from Narita or Haneda airport and be picked up at the station at Yudanaka and taken to your lodging 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 was put on the map due to the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games. Let Yoshi recommend one of his favourite restaurants to enjoy your first of many meals in Yudanaka.
Made up of 19 resorts, Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Asia and has something for everyone. 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 why not try an onsen to sooth any aches and pains followed by a local beer or wine from the lounge bar.
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. At the end of the day we will take a walk through Nozawa Onsen township and enjoy the many shops and eating treats.
The drive to Myoko Kogen allows you the choice of either Akakura or Seki Onsen to be skied at today. Seki Onsen which has been in the same family for 93 years and is on the northern tip of the Myoko range, receiving over 13 metres of snow each year and it has some fantastic steeps and side country.
Togakushi is one of those hidden resorts that few westerners have either heard of or visited. With a total of seven chairlifts it is a great resort to explore and the views over the Japanese Alps are spectacular.
After breakfast we will further explore Shiga Kogen. The great thing about the 19 connecting resorts at Shiga is that we 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. Enjoy a bit of après ski at the Phenix Hotel at Oku Shiga Kogen which is where the Emperor of Japan holidays each year.
Madarao 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.
Trivia night at Yoshi’s friends burger and beer bar is always worth a look.
It is time to bid farewell to our fabulous hosts at the Hostel Aibiya.
No visit is complete to Yudanaka without some interaction with the famous “snow monkeys”. This is the only place in the world where you can see the snow monkeys soaking in natural hot pools up close and personal.
...traditional Japanese food...
...visit the famous snow monkeys.
2016/17 Rates & Inclusions
Quad share per person: ¥199,000
Twin share per person: ¥229,000
In addition to the dates listed, tours between 7th March and 31st March can be arranged and are based around a minimum of 4 people.
- Your own guide for six days– max 1:6 ratio
- 7 nights quad or twin share accommodation with shared bathroom (ask about rates for the private twin and triple share room with own bathroom)
- Daily breakfasts
- 6 days of lift passes with guiding/instruction
- All mountain transfers
- Visit to the world famous snow monkeys
- Walk around 1300 year old historic Shibu town
- Local sake factory sampling tour
- Complimentary Epic Ski Adventures t-shirt
- Plus many more hidden gems....
- Rejuvenating onsen (hot pools) at local ryokan
- Taiko Drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance
- Karate performance from a Grand Master champion of Japan
- Option to have a rest day to visit to Matsumoto Castle and Nagano to visit 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
The 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 we provide 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.
We consider everything that is not on a marked trail to be out of bounds so any clients who wish to experience the out of bounds need to have the appropriate avalanche equipment and be able to ski at a high enough level to manage the conditions. We have rental avalanche equipment available for those that do not at a rate of ¥1000 yen per day (beacon, shovel, probe and pack). Anyone who wishes to ski off the main marked trails will be given instructions on the use of their avalanche equipment and will need to sign the release of liability agreement.
Our team have knowledge and experience at skiing the various resorts we visit, with accreditation and different combinations of instructors, ski patrol, avalanche awareness and first aid plus years of experience on the snow.
Exclusion of Liability and Assumption of Risks
Adventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in our 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.