Tohoku Powder Tour4.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Tohoku Powder Tour Enquire
Guided Tohoku Tour
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,112
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Tohoku skiing and snowboarding is all about heading to ski resorts that most people have never heard of, where there are freshies galore in the off-piste areas. With this Tohoku ski tour you can join a group for the fixed date group tour or work with the guides to customise your own private powder adventure.
View Inclusions & Add-ons
  • 10 nights accommodation: mix of Western & Japanese style
  • 8 days guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Ground transportation inc pick up from Aomori station, drop off to Kitakami station
  • 8 days of lift tickets
  • 5 dinners
  • Avalanche safety equipment
  • Single share accommodation
  • Tokyo stopover, Kyoto stopover
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Sidecountry
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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
Dec 15 - Mar 15, 2018
From 7
Sold Out

Tohoku Skiing and Snowboarding

So you’ve skied or snowboarded at Niseko, Hakuba and some of the other Nagano ski resorts, and you’re now looking to get away from the many gaijin (foreigners), all those people speaking English, and the crowds in general? If you’re a powder hound who wants to get off the beaten track of international skiers and snowboarders, where there is very little English spoken and cultural immersion (and onsen immersion) is at an all time high, and there are abundant freshies that are easily accessible, Tohoku skiing or snowboarding is for you!

On a Tohoku Powder Tour, you can experience the real Japan and satisfy your appetite for riding fresh powder. The Tohoku Powder Tour is fully customisable, so get a group of like-minded riders together and create a tour to suit you.

Tour Highlights

  • chase the best powder and snow conditions
  • a smorgasbord of different resorts to sample
  • your guide will show you lots of powder stashes
  • stay in Japanese style accommodation or a western hotel if you wish
  • sample various onsens
  • explore towns and places that very few westerners visit
  • enjoy lots of traditional Japanese meals

Tohoku Ski Resorts

Tohoku is the region in northern (northeast) Honshu, the main island of Japan. Tohoku consists of 6 prefectures: Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima which is east of Niigata Prefecture and northeast of Gunma.

What is common to many of the Tohoku ski resorts is that there are very few westerners (if any at all) and no-one riding off-piste, so there are fresh powder lines galore. And some of the Tohoku ski areas are so deserted mid-week that it almost feels like your own private ski resort! Much of the Tohoku skiing and snowboarding is at resorts that are small, have minimal advanced piste terrain, and only have enough off-piste terrain variety for one day of riding, but when you have a van, a guide and a driver, you can sample lots of different resorts.

Off-piste riding may be considered taboo at some of the resorts, but with care and discretion you’ll be rewarded with abundant freshies in the trees.

As the Tohoku region is very large, you may want to choose an area or two to focus on for your customised tour. For the fixed date group tour, ski areas generally covered include Hakkoda, Appi Kogen, Shizukuishi, Tazawako and Geto Kogen.

Aomori Ski Resorts
Hakkoda is a legendary snowy ski area with plenty of backcountry opportunities. Aomori Spring is devoid of others trying to your freshies in-bounds, and it also offers some great backcountry terrain above the resort.

Ski Areas Near Morioka and Mt Iwate
There is a collection of northern Tohoku ski resorts and Morioka (+/- Geto Kogen) can make a fabulous base to explore these.

Geto Kogen receives insane amounts of powder– it’s a snow magnet. Geto has great well spaced trees off a series of ridges.

Shizukuishi is very typical of a Tohoku ski resort: small, secret tree skiing, and a nice onsen.

Hachimantai Shimokura is small and has great side-country if you can appear invisible. There is also some cat skiing here.

Appi Kogen is an upscale resort known for its highly manicured runs, but barely anyone rides off-piste (because it’s not allowed) so it’s worthy of a visit for at least a day.

Tazawako (in the Akita Prefecture) is one of our favourite Japanese powder skiing spots. Tazawako Japan is definitely off the beaten track, you won’t have to beat off other feisty powder hounds to get to the freshies. Tazawako is a spot where you can get cultural immersion as well as powder submersion!

Yamagata Prefecture
Further south and a decent drive away in the Yamagata Prefecture is Zao Onsen. Zao Onsen is a reasonably mainstream ski resort that attracts some gaijin but they don’t tend to ride off-piste, and other pluses include that it’s an onsen town and there are spectacular snow monsters (when there is visibility).

Mt Bandai Ski Resorts
Further south again, the imposing Mt Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture is surrounded by a variety of ski resorts. These ski resorts can be a little busy on the weekends with locals, although the Japanese generally won’t be any competition for the freshes in the off-piste areas. The Bandai ski resorts are mostly rather small and have some nice tree skiing.

Minowa is our favourite powder skiing resort in this area.

Alts Bandai is a well known ski resort (by the Japanese, not by international skiers generally) with well developed facilities. The terrain is pretty typical of a Tohoku ski resort.

Grandeco is mellow in many places and with a little exploring there are some steeper lines.

Inawashiro has amazing tree skiing but only when the powder is fresh because it’s mostly south facing. The town of Inawashiro can be a good spot to use as a base to explore the Bandai ski resorts.

Nekoma has a good range of off-piste and sidecountry terrain.

Great guides..

...traditional dinners...

...Zao Onsen.

Terrain & Safety

As this tour incorporates off-piste and backcountry terrain, avalanche safety gear is compulsory. If you do not have your own gear you can rent it from WRTs. 

Powder at Geto Kogen of the Mt Bandai resorts...

...Tohoku skiing.

Ability Level

It’s really up to you considering that this is a customised tour, but to get the most out of the benefits of the powder skiing in Tohoku, you should ideally be an advanced to expert skier or snowboarder. If you want to do a little bit or a lot of hiking to earn some extra epic turns, then that’s up to you too.


Your guide/s will drive you between ski areas and accommodation in a private 4WD van. The customised tour can start and finish at a Shinkansen station such as Morioka or Koriyama for easy access.


Fixed Date Group Tour

A beautifully appointed hotel located in the midst of a beech forest at the base of Mt Hakkoda. With sumptuous Japanese and Western rooms and beautifully appointed facilities including an amazing outdoor onsen, you will love your stay here. Each night you will sit down to a Kaiseki meal of locally sourced food from seasonal produce. Then relax in front of the fire with a beer and a sake – perfect!

Located right in the centre of town 1 minute from the Morioka train station. This hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the city of Morioka as well as having easy access to the surrounding ski areas. You’ll love being in the centre of town with all the great restaurants and bars within walking distance. Each room is comfortably appointed with twin beds and all that you’d expect from a 3 star hotel. There is also an onsen available to soak the sore muscles.

Secluded next to a mountain stream only 10mins down the hill from Geto Kogen Ski Resort, this traditional ryokan will be a highlight of the tour. With 7 baths and 3 types of natural volcanic spring water you’ll be relaxed and ready for the deep powder that awaits you just up the road. Each room is beautifully appointed with traditional tatami mat rooms giving you a true Japanese experience. At night you’ll enjoy a variety of fresh local delicacies and for breakfast, Western or Japanese options are available.

Customisable Tour

The quality of the accommodation is somewhat customisable. You have the option of western style hotels with ensuite bathrooms (some with onsen), quaint pensions with shared bathrooms, or ryokans (Japanese inns) with beautiful onsens.

Flexible itinerary to chase the storms

...simple authentic Japanese rooms...

...Mt Bandai skiing.

If you want to stay at Geto Kogen, the on-mountain accommodation is very unique. It’s a cross between a hostel and a capsule hotel but much funkier, and it has an amazing indoor and outdoor onsen baths.

Geto Kogen accommodation

...very unique accom...

...indoor onsen at Geto Kogen.


Customised Tours

You probably don’t want to have a fixed itinerary for this tour. You might want to pick some general areas (e.g. Hakkoda, Iwate/Morioka, Mt Bandai), and then keep it reasonably flexible so your guide can ensure you are skiing or riding the best possible conditions every day.

The general aim is to feast on powder during the day and then feast on amazing Japanese fare at night. It’s generally up to you as to whether you want to dine at the accommodation in the evenings or explore traditional restaurants in the area.

Fixed Date Tour

This exclusive tour has you starting in the northern most town of Aomori (with a pick up from Aomori train station) on the main island of Honshu and then road tripping south to the Morioka region. Expect to see very few foreigners, enjoy epic amounts of powder, relax in 1,900-year-old onsens, and be blown away by unique cultural experiences and of-course amazing food.

For your first 3 nights you’ll be staying in the tranquil Jogakura Ryokan in Hakkoda. Here you will warm up on the lower lift before ascending to the peak to explore the limitless backcountry possibilities. With two guides, two vans and a road that rings the mountains that make up Hakkoda Ski Resort we have the option of going wide and blasting fresh deep pow all the 654 meters of vertical down to the road before pressing repeat!

After your fill of Hakkoda’s dry pow we’ll head down to the equally snowy Iwate and Akita Prefectures. From our base in Morioka city we’ll be able to pick and choose the best conditions from a variety of resorts such as Appi Kogen, Hachimantai, Shizukushi and Tazawako. Each resort offers loads of that famous Japanese powder you’ve come for, with hardly any foreigners apart from yourselves partaking in its wonders. You’ll even have the option of a days cat skiing on the old ski area next to Shizukushi. After a day spent deep in the whiteroom we’ll return back to the city where you can soak your sore muscles in the hotel’s onsen before our guides take you out to enjoy delicious local food at one of the many restaurants and bars in walking distance.

To finish off this whole experience your last 2 nights will be spent at Semi Onsen Ryokan soaking in one of its three onsens and enjoying sumptuous Kaiseki dinners all after having your fill of powder at Geto Kogen ski area. Geto Kogen is completely off the radar for most gaijin and suffers from attracting a ridiculous amount of powder.

This tour is a true powder road trip through some of the most spectacular areas of Japan, all with qualified guides, comfy 4WD vans and as much powder and onsens as you can handle!

Lots of powder

...more powder... powder.

Tohoku is renowned for its great onsens, so if the hotel or ryokan doesn’t have an onsen on-site, your guide can drive you somewhere nearby for a therapeutic soak in an onsen.

  • Please enquire here for a quote for your customised trip
  • 6:1 client to guest ratio

Tohoku skiing

...deep powder...

...Tazawako powder
  • 10 nights accommodation: mix of Western & Japanese style
  • 8 days guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Ground transportation inc pick up from Aomori station, drop off to Kitakami station
  • 8 days of lift tickets
  • 5 dinners
  • Daily breakfast
Optional Extras
  • Avalanche safety equipment
  • Single share accommodation
  • Tokyo stopover, Kyoto stopover
Not Included
No exclusions to display


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