Hokkaido Storm Chaser5 out of 5 based on 22 reviews
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  • Would Revisit
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Hokkaido Storm Chaser Enquire
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Ski Areas

Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p

Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,610
Book before Aug 31st to receive 40,000 yen discount off the advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Otaru area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
View Inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • Guided off-piste & orientation tours (max 1:4 ratio)
  • 6 nights 3 star accommodation (twin share)
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 6 days of lift passes
  • Arrival transfer from Asahikawa Airport
Add-ons
  • BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING: Guided backcountry isn't included in this trip. If you would like a day of guided backcountry, they can recommend a company that specializes in this service
  • Single supplement upgrade pending availability
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Sidecountry
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
Jan 03 - Jan 09, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Almost Full
Jan 07 - Jan 13, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Jan 13 - Jan 19, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Jan 17 - Jan 23, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Almost Full
Jan 23 - Jan 29, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Jan 27 - Feb 02, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Feb 02 - Feb 08, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Feb 06 - Feb 12, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Feb 12 - Feb 18, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Almost Full
Feb 16 - Feb 22, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Almost Full
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Sold Out
Mar 03 - Mar 09, 2019
7
USD 2,610
Almost Full
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Storm Chaser Overview

The Hokkaido Storm Chaser tour is a fantastic Hokkaido ski and snowboard safari that chases the storms to get the best powder conditions. It's ideal for the side county powder hound.

For the first part of the tour you'll stay around the Furano area in Central Hokkaido. In addition to the potential to check out Furano, your guide will pack the van and storm-chase to find the good stuff at resorts such as Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake (weather permitting), Tomamu, and Sahoro.

The 2nd part of the Hokkaido Storm Chaser is based out of the portside town of Otaru, with nearby Japow buffet options of Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine, and Kiroro with a possibility of exploring the utterly untracked and tiny hills of Tenguyama and Asari if conditions are favorable.

The Hokkaido Storm Chaser is a 7-day guided off-piste ski road-trip that hits 6 different Hokkaido ski resorts for each of the 6 ski days. Where the group heads each day isn't set. It depends on where the weather report is indicating the best pow will be. The guides will take you to the best possible in-bounds and lift-accessed side-country powder. Depending on conditions, you can expect to ski out-of-bounds about 70% of the time. If you're not into skiing or snowboarding off-piste/out of bounds/side-country, this trip probably isn't for you.

Aside from inhaling the best possible pow, the guides will also take you to the best possible food. The guides make dinner reservations nightly for the group (optional to go to dinner) with the restaurants are chosen for their authenticity, deliciousness, local specialties, and the ability to meet variable price-points.

Highlights
  • Storm-chase the best powder & conditions each day
  • Stay in quality 3-star hotels
  • Maximize the quality of your skiing by getting the scoop on powder stashes and get resort orientation from your guide who will accompany you on every leg of the trip
  • The guide will take you off-piste and into the side country to show you the best kept powder secrets 
  • Venture out to resorts that most visitors don't get to
  • Sample lots of great Japanese food
  • Relax whilst your guide drives you to the ski areas

Skier/Boarder AbilityThis trip is ideal for strong intermediate (at riding powder, not riding groomed trails) to advanced skiers and snowboarders, but expert riders will also enjoy all that powder. 

Given that this tour incorporates quite a bit of off-piste riding, avalanche safety gear is required which is provided by the guides.


The steep & deep in Niseko

Superb Japanese food

More Hokkaido POW POW
AccommodationGeneral notes:
  • Pricing and occupancy are based on shared twin rooms. This means that you will be sharing your room with another person in the group and yes, you will have separate beds!
  • If you're traveling alone, we can't guarantee that you'll be paired with someone of your same gender. Ie, if you're a solo female traveler, we can't guarantee that you'll be paired with another female. If you're uncomfortable with this, please select the option for a single room upgrade (subject to availability). If you'd prefer to have your own room, please select this option. Single rooms are often times unavailable, but if they are, the hotel will charge an extra 12,000JPY-20,000JPY per night depending on the season.
  • Each room has its own private toilet and shower
  • The hotels serve a western-style breakfast every morning and also feature a lounge for a laid back apres ski
Furano: Nights 1-3
The hotel in Furano is the Natulux Hotel, located in the center of town next to Furano station. The primary reason for selecting this hotel is that its walking distance to the amenities that the town of Furano has to offer. Unlike many ski towns, the Furano "resort area" is quite spread out and lacks good options within walking distance. With this hotel however, we're able to walk around town for our evening meals and to get an apres beer or two.

The Natulux is a new and clean business hotel. While rooms here are considered standard size in Japan, they would be viewed as very small by western standards. The daily breakfast features some Hokkaido specialities with both Japanese and western options. The lobby area of the hotel features a sleek cafe which serves apres beers in the evenings.

Stats:
  • Room size: 22 square meters or 236 square feet
  • Bed size: two single size beds
  • Entire hotel features free Wi-Fi.
  •  There are no safes in the room for your valuables, and the hotel recommends leaving valuables at the front desk where it is not kept under lock-and-key. While this has never been a problem as Japan is the safest country in the world when it comes to theft, you'll need to keep your valuables on you if this is a concern for you.

Otaru: Nights 4-6
In Otaru, you will stay at the Hotel Nord Otaru. This centrally located hotel is within short walking distance of the famous canal, a pedestrian avenue aptly named "sushi street", a fish market with live crabs you can order, a sake brewery we'll be visiting, and a number of bars.

Parts of the hotel have been newly renovated and feature simple, clean design but nothing particularly fancy.

Stats:
  • Twin room size: 25 square meters or 269 square feet (this is quite small by western standards)
  • Bed size: two single size beds
  • Bar with big windows and a 180 degree view of the quaint port-town
  • Entire hotel features free Wi-Fi.
  • Each room has a safe
  • Buffet breakfast serves both western and Japanese
  • The hotel is centrally located and ideal for walking around town and exploring

Food

Every evening your guide has a reservation ready for your group to one of the favorite restaurants in the area. Skiing and snowboarding is about more than just the riding, especially when you're in a country famous for its culinary delights.

The criteria for selecting restaurants are:

  • The guides choose restaurants based on what food is regionally famous in the area and personally tested for authenticity by locals and the guides.
  • We understand that not everyone has $50 to spend on a meal--that's why restaurants are chosen which meet a variety of price points, usually between $10-$40 per dinner not including drinks.

Day 1: Shabushabu Welcome Meal
Shabushabu is the sound this meal makes when its getting cooked. Also called "hot pot" a pot of hot broth is placed on the table in front of you. You then take the provided thinly sliced meats and flash-cook them in the heated broth. Like many meals in Japan, this one is served "family-style" this means that everyone shares from the same pot. Veggies and rice also come with the meal. Price point without drinks: ¥1,500 per person. Not a friendly meal for: vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free, vegans.

Day 2: Yakiniku
On day 2 you'll hit another "must eat" of your Japan food tour. Yakiniku literally means "grilled meat" and is a skiers' hardy dream come true. High quality raw meats are cooked as a community effort at charcoal grills embedded in the table. A huge variety of high quality beef and pork cuts are available on the menu and are grilled by you and your comrades to perfection. Sides include veggies, bibimbap (Korean style rice-based goodness), rice and salad. Price point without drinks: ¥3,000. Not a friendly meal for: vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free, vegans.

Day 3: Japanese Curry 
If you've been to Japan before, you know that everyone is obsessed with curry. Unlike Thai or Indian curries, Japanese curry isn't spicy at all. If anything it's on the sweeter side. While curry is usually a basic cafeteria food there is one curry restaurant in Furano that's taken it up quite a few notches. This locally run curry joint isn't to be missed! Price point without drinks: ¥1,500 per person. Not a friendly meal for: vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free, vegans.

Day 4: Ramen
Ramen is a great way to start off the trip and it's always one of the most highly anticipated since nothing compliments skiing better. Highlights at the restaurant include: specializing in miso flavored ramen broth as a base, they also serve salt and soy based ramen as well. The meat on top of ramen are slabs of "Chashu" which is melt-in-your mouth pork strips marinated in a a secret "magic sauce" and then grilled and put on top of the ramen. This ramen restaurant is in the izakaya style so it also serves yakitori, gyoza pot stickers, edamame and so on. Price point without drinks: ¥1,500 per person. Not a friendly meal for: vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free, vegans.

Day 5: Sushi from Otaru
We'll grab our sushi from one of the most well known institutions in Otaru, a quick walk from the hotel accommodation. This town is famous even amongst Japanese for the quality of its sushi, especially Uni (sea urchin). But it serves all the usual foods you'd expect from a good sushi joint; the highlights being the various cuts of very fresh tuna, delicious salmon and pretty much any other living and edible thing you can grab from the abundant Sea of Japan. Price point without drinks: ¥3,500-¥5,000. This is a friendly meal for pescatarians and gluten free folk!

Day 6: Soba Noodles
For the last supper, you'll head to another well known institution in Otaru that specialises in serving soba noodles. Served in a traditional atmosphere, these buckwheat noodles are healthy and filling and a great way to end your ski trip. Price point without drinks: ¥2,000. Not a friendly meal for: vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free, vegans.

NB
The guides specialize in providing a local culinary experience that meets a variety of price-points and operate under the belief that well known restaurants and chefs are easy to find and experience, while a true local experience is what is difficult and sought after. As guides to these areas with years of experience, they've talked to locals and found some great gems. If you're looking for a high-end "resorty" culinary experience (such as Michilen-Star restaurants or food by famous chefs) this trip probably isn't for you.

Note that participation in dinner isn't mandatory and isn't included in the price of your trip. If you want to have dinner on your own, no problem, just let your guide know which meals you are or aren't interested in at the beginning of your trip!

Also note that sometimes they have to deviate from the planned meals due to unforeseen events, so bear in mind that flexibility might be required.

Dietary Restrictions
Skiing in Japan and cultural experiences aren't mutually exclusive. That's why the guides try as much as possible to give you authentic food options. Unfortunately however, in Japan it's pretty much impossible to have an authentic culinary experience with dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance and veganism, even pescetarians and vegetarians have a famously difficult time. If you have dietary restrictions such as that listed above, your guide and selected restaurants will probably not be able to cater to your needs. This can be discussed with the guide but you should be prepared to eat grocery store food for most dinners.

Itinerary
Day 1: Travel to Furano
There are two options for where to meet the group:
1. Meet at the Asahikawa AKJ airport at 1:30pm or
2. Meet at the Natulux Hotel Furano at 5:15pm, accessed on your own or by the Resort Liner Bus with service from CTS airport
More information on how to get to the meeting points can be provided.
You'll settle into the hotel on the evening of day one and do a welcome dinner together as a group. The hotel is centrally located and within walking distance to all the amenities that the rural town of Furano has to offer. The hotel features western style rooms in a sleek environment.

Day 2-4: Storm chase Furano and surrounding areas for 3 days
Days 2-4 are spent skiing the best possible resorts in the region on any given day including Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake (if conditions permit), and Kamui Ski Links. The exact date the group will ski any one of these resorts depends on conditions and will be determined based on the upcoming forecasts.

Your guides will make dinner reservations (optional to attend) each night within walking distance of the hotel. The restaraunts are selected for authenticity, deliciousness, and meeting a variety of price points.

Day 5-7: Storm chase based out of Otaru
With a 2.5 hour drive, you'll transfer bases to southern Hokkaido and land in the quaint port-side town of Otaru. Mostly undiscovered by ski-tourists, Otaru provides lots of interesting ski options as well as nightlife and apres options. Over the next 3 ski days, your guide will select the best possible options to ride out of the Japow buffet of Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine, and Kiroro with a possibility of exploring the utterly untracked and tiny hills of Tenguyama and Asari if conditions are favorable. Kiroro is quickly getting on the world map as the home of the world's most consistent and high quality powder while Sapporo Kokusai provides great road-laps/shuttle-runs that open up a huge amount of terrain which is only shreddable if you've got a ride out--which we do!



Chest deep at Asahidake

Ahh, the feeling of turning in POW

Day 7: Transfer to airport 
On day 7, the group snags one more last day of skiing in before heading to CTS airport for the drop off. With all the logistics to be done, the ski day ends slightly early at 2:30pm.

You have a couple of options here depending on your timeframe:
1. Get a flight out of CTS airport (Sapporo New Chitose) on the evening of the final day. Since the airport drop off is at 5pm, you should not book a ticket departing earlier than 6pm for domestic or 6:30pm for international flights.
2. If you would prefer to stay in the Sapporo area or if you would rather fly out the next day, book yourself a hotel in Chitose City and we'll drop you off at the hotel of your choosing. Note that we cannot do any drop-offs in Sapporo. If you want to head to Sapporo, you can access it easily by a 30 minute train ride from CTS Airport Station.

2019 Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

290,000 yen + tax per person for a group tour

Private tour bookings price - please enquire.

  • Price is per person
  • Base invoice currency is Japanese Yen. Convert here
  • Price does not include tax 
  • Lodging is twin share in separate single beds
  • 50% deposit required to secure booking
  • Balance due 1 month before trip
Inclusions
  • Guided off-piste & orientation tours (max 1:4 ratio)
  • 6 nights 3 star accommodation (twin share)
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 6 days of lift passes
  • Arrival transfer from Asahikawa Airport
  • Native English-speaking guide
  • Avalanche safety gear (shovel, probe, beacon)
  • Departure transfer to Chitose Airport or Chitose hotel
  • All ground transport to/from ski areas
Optional Extras
  • BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING: Guided backcountry isn't included in this trip. If you would like a day of guided backcountry, they can recommend a company that specializes in this service
  • Single supplement upgrade pending availability
Not Included
  • Flights in/out of Hokkaido - search for cheapest flights here
  • Ski travel insurance - buy travel insurance online here
  • LUNCHES, DINNERS & DRINKS: only those meals stated above are included in the price
  • POWDER SKIS & POWDER BOARDS: It is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment that you have appropriate skis and snowboards for deep, deep powder

Japan Ski Tours Terms & Conditions

Deposit and Full Payment

  • Deposit is 50% of the trip cost
  • The remaining balance is due one month before trip departure
  • Credit card payments may be made via Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express

Cancellation Policy

  • 30% cancellation fee for cancellations made more then 3 months before the start of your trip
  • 50% cancellation fee for cancellations made between 1-3 months before trip departure
  • No refund for any cancellations made less than one month before trip departure 

Cancellation by Japan Ski Tours
Japan Ski Tours reserves the right to cancel any program due to weather or route conditions. If a tour is canceled before commencing, due to weather or route conditions, then a full refund will be given; however, JST is not responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).