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Three Qs in Nagano - Reviews

Loved it!

Kathy
10/04/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February
Japan Powder Culture Tours (JPCT) have the perfect set up for the perfect ski trip:
• The highly experienced JPCT team, led by Jason, who pick the best runs on the day, get you up and down the mountain safely and give you tips to improve your snow style, all with a big smile and a few ‘true stories’ to keep the energy going (the Aussies & Kiwis will be on to these types of ‘true stories’).
• The Shiga Kogen mountain range that has loads of snow and hardly anyone on it.
• The authentic and stylish Japanese accommodation with fabulous hosts (Yoshi & Seongmi @ Aibiya) who are pro skiers themselves, and
• The friendly and welcoming township of Yudanaka that is full of yummy, good quality and well price food and drinks.
So, I have been twice in 2 months. This may also have something to do with my ski addiction.

Great time...despite the weather

Elyta Koh
14/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    USA
  • Month:
    March
This was my first time boarding in Japan. I was looking forward to gaining experience in powder, but the weather wasn't on our side. Despite two days off the slopes (one due to high winds and one day of non-stop rain) and no fresh snow, I had a fantastic time and improved my skills. We were able to go into the trees with some powder twice, and they were great learning experiences.

Jason did his best putting people together and matching skill levels, and his job would have been easier if people were realistic/honest about their ski/board abilities before joining the tour. Overall, he kept up the pace and challenge to make sure things were fun (definitely a lot of laughs). Jason is a conscientious guide and you can trust his judgement to keep everyone happy and safe. And his choice of lunch spots on the mountain were top notch.

The Hostel Aibiya is very comfortable and the hosts are kind and helpful. The hostel set-up made it easy to meet other guests. Yudanaka is a charming town and the restaurants are solid. The onsen experience is not to be missed.

All in all, the tour was a unbelievable experience and a fabulous way to board in Japan – especially if you are a single traveller and new to Japan. I enjoyed my tour-mates and Jason's team, and I hope to go back again sometime soon.

Highly recommended!

Nikki Graham
06/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    Japan
  • Month:
    February
From the seemingly endless power and skilled guides, to the quaint town of Yudanaka with its amazing food, culture and onsens - this tour really was more than we could have asked for.

No matter what age you are, your skill level or whether you're traveling in a group or alone, Jason and his guides will ensure that you're totally taken care of! The tour really turns into one big group of friends and by the end of the trip everyone had sang a few kareoke songs and drank more than a few apre ski beers together.

The 3Q's tour takes you to and allows you to experience skiing/snowboarding resorts where you are the only non-local riders on the hill, while having the advantage of a guide that knows all the runs and lines to hit. The guides were great at splitting the guests into groups by rising ability so that you were always riding within your capabilities, while also having the opportunity to become a better skier/ snowboarder. The guides also offered tips to help you manage in the deep Japanese powder!

The accommodation was unreal - Hostel Ayabia is up there with the nicest and most welcoming hostels I've ever stayed at, with the most lovely owners. The cultural experiences incorporated into the tour were enjoyed by everyone and the near by snow monkies were an added highlight!

If I could summarize the tour in one word it would be that it was "MEAN". True story!

An excellent trip with a professional company

Rik
25/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    UK
  • Month:
    February
These guys take their guiding seriously, and it really shows. The professionalism is on point with great knowledge of the mountains they visit, the bus in the morning is always on time, and no time wasted - meaning very very tired and satisfied legs at the end of every day. We didn't have the best luck with fresh snowfalls during the week, but even several days after a dump, the guides found us fresh lines!

They have more than one group going at a time and are very used to individuals joining their tours, so no problems there, infact I met and made some good friends in my week, who I hope I will get a chance again to ski with.

We had a few organised evenings which were generally great fun, different, memorable and certainly not to be missed, which really loosened the groups up.

The whole week was well planned, the accomodation excellent (the "cheaper" hostel I stayed in was fantastic!!) the town was nice, very authentic, and not even remotely westernised.

Big thumbs up from me, on my first trip to Japan.

Skiing Japow with Jase and Jack

Allan Holt
23/09/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    March
Massive thanks to Jase and Jack for such an epic week that included amazing skiing as well as experiencing traditional Japanese food and culture.
Jase and Jack really strive to give their customer's the best skiing experience possible, they know all the terrain so well and always offer the best situation tailored to suit each individual.
Without a doubt some of the funnest skiing I have ever had as well as authentic Japanese food and culture every day!

Japan ski trip

Mark lahood
26/04/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    New zealand
  • Month:
    February
Skiing for many years in New Zealand I thought I could handle any type of conditions – wrong. Nothing can prepare you for waist deep powder (and sometimes chest to neck deep). The first day on our ski trip with the crew from Epic Ski Adventures really blew my mind (and I’m a pharmacist). It was a real adjustment, but with the right tuition from our guides things started to come together as the trip progressed. One thing that happens when you get outside your comfort zone is you just start using way too much energy as everything tenses up. Jack and Jase taught me a whole lot of things which put me in the right head space to learn that powder is your friend. They even got me on some fatter skis to try which made life a lot easier. Being fitted up with safety gear was a new experience and getting a safety briefing of how to use it is a real eye opener to the many dangers that exist on and off piste at resorts. Felt the guides did a great job of keeping things fun but were very no nonsense when it came to safety to a point where they had to stand down a client who would not stay within their safety umbrella. We had an awesome group to ski with immense hilarity on the way to the mountains and back (usually with a roadie in your hand) and thanks to the whole group for a new repertoire of jokes, which none can be repeated here. All the side adventures we went on outside the skiing really made the trip feel like you were with a bunch of mates going on a weekend ski trip not a pre arranged group tour as there were so many spontaneous things that just happened. The accommodation was superb and the communal onsening is a must. All the cultural activities we got involved in were a real bonus and we got to know a number of the locals and sharing whiskeys and songs with a group of Japanese visitor at the Karaoke night was a hoot! I like my food and man did we eat while in Yudanaka, usually with the group we skied with and sometimes with our guides. Sushi, Yakatori, chibu chibu, Izakaya and a few restaurants that had mixed Japanese/Western were out of this world and the food up at the mountains was not only great but very reasonably priced. Would I go again? Hell yeah, this was a fantastic trip and am already planning on taking the whole family next time.
Mark LaHood (Intermediate-Advanced Skier) – New Zealand - February 2017

Why would i ski anywhere else!

James Paterson
25/04/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    New Zealand
  • Month:
    February
Words can’t describe the time we had in Japan this season. But I will give it a go anyway. From the time we arrived at the train station at Yudanaka my friend and I knew that we were in for an adventure. The town sits at 600 metres and was covered in snow, an experience we do not get in New Zealand as the snow level sits a lot higher. We were driven to our very nice accommodation and had a catch up with Jase and Jack in the afternoon. They gave us a breakdown of what was happening with the weather and what to expect with our time with them. The first day was off the charts and I have not seen this depth of snow anywhere before in my life. The guys set us up with Avalanche gear and taught us how to use it and then we got stuck in. There was so much snow that we didn’t even ski in the off piste on day one as the on piste was just that good. Great to have the appropriate safety gear as I can see how you could get into trouble in deep snow even in the in-bounds of a resort in Japan. It amazed me that even on the days that we did not have any new snow the guys took us to places that had not been touched – that stuff just does not happen back home. We thought they were kidding in their tour description that we would ski at resorts where there was not competition for the POW but they were spot on. The trip just got better and better. We had an awesome group of skiers and snowboarders and everyone got on like a house on fire. Not just a skiing trip the guides introduced us to a real live Geisha performance, an interactive Karate performance and a Taiko Drum, Japanese guitar and lion dance which really topped off our amazing days on the snow. We elected to have a day off and go and check out Nagano and the Zenkoji temple on our own which was way cool and the other little things we did on the way back from skiing each day like having a local ale at the Teppa Room, a walk through Shibu town and some sake tasting really gave us an all round authentic experience. We had a wicked night of Karaoke with a group of elderly Japanese and it was pretty special interacting with them all, and the New Zealand Haka went down really well. We elected to onsen everyday which is a fantastic way of bathing and was well needed after the third day of skiing. What really impressed me about the skiing is that the guides would evaluate where the best place was to ski via the snow reports, make a few calls then get every in the wagons and take us there. They have no special relationships with any one resort so they are not inclined to promote one over the other just focussed on giving us the best POW each day. The food at our lodging and at the town of Yudanaka was outstanding and it was great to have the guides eat with us at times. The guides day did not just start when we headed up the mountain and finish when we were dropped off at the accommodation, they interacted with us every day and night and although we saw a lot of them it did not feel like they encroached on our territory. All and all this was a very well run tour without feeling like it was to contrived, the guides were obviously passionate about what they did and really made our time there an amazing experience. Just can’t wait to get back to Japan and do it all again. Thanks Jack and Jase, see you on the slopes in NZ.

Christmas in Japan

Keith Byrne
10/01/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Switzerland
  • Month:
    December
Skiing in Japan at Christmas is a bit of a gamble as you have a 50/50 chance of hitting the jackpot with the famous Japanese Powder. (Having previously been to Japan in February then I know when the optimum time to go really is)
Checking through the Powderhounds options told me that there were no Backcountry options for Christmas but I stumbled across the Three Qs tour and thought I would give it a try as I had previously only skied in Hokkaido.
So whilst the snow could have been better (we still managed to ski fresh lines most days) the team of Jason, Jack and Tom were awesome in delivering on their promise of exciting side-country. We hit several locations throughout my 9 days skiing in Japan and the guys certainly knew the area very well and where were the best locations to get the untracked snow.
The hotel in Yudanaka was a great Basecamp for the trip and the daily onsen is a Japanese skiing ritual that is well catered for in this package.
So I would definitely recommend this trip especially for those skiers or snowboarders that are looking for a Japanese experience without too many westerners and for those looking to extend their experience of riding in powder.