Tohoku Powder Tour4.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Tohoku Powder Tour Enquire
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ROAD TRIP
Customisable 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.
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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 work with the guides to customise your own private powder adventure.
View Inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • Western or Japanese style accommodation
  • Daily guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Ground transportation
  • Lift tickets
Add-ons
  • Avalanche safety equipment
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
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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.

NB Two group tours with schedules dates for 2018 coming soon!

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 tour, and heading right up north to Aomori may just be a little too much driving.

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

...one 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.

Transportation

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

Lodging

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 in 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.

Itinerary

You probably don’t want to have a fixed itinerary for this tour. You might want to pick some general areas, 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.


Lots of powder

...more powder...

...off-piste 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
Inclusions
Inclusions are fully customisable but below are examples of what could be included:
  • transfers to/from a Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) station
  • ground transport to resorts on guided days
  • twin share accommodation
  • lift passes
  • guiding at various ski resorts including some secret gems 
  • dinners or transport to restaurants if required
  • breakfasts



Tohoku skiing

...deep powder...

...Tazawako powder
Inclusions
  • Western or Japanese style accommodation
  • Daily guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Ground transportation
  • Lift tickets
Optional Extras
  • Avalanche safety equipment
Not Included
No exclusions to display

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