Good Guides

Overall Rating

Good Guides

Good Guides4.5/529
Good Guides4.5 out of 5 based on 29 reviews
Japan backcountry ski tours
GoodGuides Japan
GoodGuides Backcountry Tours Japan
GoodGuides Japan
Backcountry ski touring Japan
Hakuba backcountry guiding
Goodguides Hakuba sidecountry tour
Good Guides Japan
Backcountry Ski Touring Japan
Hakuba sidecountry tour with Good Guides
GoodGuides offer well qualified guides
Jerry of GoodGuides
Backcountry tours of the Myoko Kogen region
Powder chasing with GoodGuides Japan
Jerry of GoodGuides
Japan Ski Touring GoodGuides

Good Guides

Overall Rating

Good Guides4.5/529
Good Guides4.5 out of 5 based on 29 reviews
Goodguides offer a range of Japan backcountry ski tours.

Goodguides have over 10 years experience of backcountry skiing in central Japan giving them an intimate knowledge of the local mountains, weather patterns and local culture. Owner and operator Jerry Williams has fluency in the Japanese language and his love of Japanese culture will ensure you get well rounded trip with the absolute best in both skiing and culture.

All guides are professionally trained and qualified, and are in the field everyday and know the conditions and terrain inside out. The guides also have an extensive network in the local community enabling them to access local knowledge and information from the surrounding snow community.

Depending on what your group wants, Good Guides offer full touring/split boarding backcountry tours, lift access with some boot packing, or traverse access side-country tours. They also have options of snowmobile access ski touring, cat skiing and heli skiing.

Good Guides Terms and conditions

Deposit & Balance
50% deposit is required to confirm your booking. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the start of the tour.

If the tour is booked within 60 days of departure, full payment is required to confirm.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellation within 60 days but 30 days prior to the tour will incur a tariff in the amount of 50% of the full tour cost.
Cancellations within 30 days will incur a tariff in the amount of 100% of the full tour cost.

Goodguides reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time (typically due to inclement weather, unsafe backcountry travel conditions or guide injury / sickness). In the event of cancellation, the customer will be offered the opportunity to either reschedule or receive a full refund.

Worthwhile guides, even for side-country

Jon Murray11/03/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    March

Worthwhile guides, even for side-country

Jon Murray11/03/2019
Jerry from GoodGuides gave us a great day of side-country skiing off Tsugaike-Kogen resort. We chose that option due to varying ability levels and backcountry experience in our group, and Jerry optimized anything we could have accomplished on our own. Part of what Jerry brought was rolling with the punches of variable weather and issues outside our control. We delayed our guided day by a day to take advantage of an approaching storm, at his suggestion. After we arrived at the resort he had chosen because of its side-country gate options — Cortina — only to discover it had closed its upper terrain all day, we piled back into the van and quickly pivoted to Tsugaike. We were on mountain in no time and slicing through untracked pow. Even as the spring-like conditions changed the snow quality throughout the day, Jerry led us to new stashes and areas for exploration, including an afternoon hike off-piste. He brought us great skiing and adventure, along with good humor, making our guide day the highlight of our trip to Hakuba.

Hakuba Guided Day Tour

Trevor K Lane26/02/2019
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Month:
    February

Hakuba Guided Day Tour

Trevor K Lane26/02/2019
Awesome. It’s all I have to say. Jerry (owner) from Goodguides Backcountry Guides made everything easy from the very start.

We had Clint as our guide for a couple of days and he was phenomenal.

I highly, highly recommend Clint and Jerry of Goodguides.

Great day in an amazing venue!

Damon Krytzer26/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    February

Great day in an amazing venue!

Damon Krytzer26/02/2019
Fun day - we had some tough conditions thrown at us by Mother Nature but Jerry and Kat were flexible and we had a really unforgettable day in a killer setting! Thanks for the audible and for a meaningful experience on our visit to Hakuba!

Very recommendable!

Amalie23/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Denmark
  • Month:
    February

Very recommendable!

Amalie23/02/2019
We had an amazing trip to Hakuba and Myoko even though the snow (due to warm weather) was a bit difficult on our first two days. Luckily, we found amazing snow for the rest of our trip. Our guides Johnny and Steve were the best - always well-prepared, extremely serviceminded, very knowledable about the areas and super fun and easy to be around. They most definitely livet up to their name "good guides"!

Solid experience

Eric14/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    January

Solid experience

Eric14/02/2019
Jerry was great to work with through this process in securing a qualified guide. We had two solid days of lift assisted touring and had a proper powder adventure. Great photos from our guide as well (nice touch). Would highly recommend for folks looking to have a proper mountain experience in Hakuba.

Just wonderful

Jin12/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Singapore
  • Month:
    February

Just wonderful

Jin12/02/2019
My family had a wonderful first time backcountry experience at Hakuba Cortina with a very patient guide, Jeremy from Goodguides. We ended on a high note for our entire ski holiday with this guided backcountry tour. Will definitely do it again!

Day Tour

Trent Jones12/02/2019
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Month:
    February

Day Tour

Trent Jones12/02/2019
Our guide was great! we lucked out with the snow unfortunately so we spent most of our time hiking we go two good runs and should have taken more water :)

Epic times / Epic crew

Kyle Mingins12/02/2019
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Month:
    January

Epic times / Epic crew

Kyle Mingins12/02/2019
What a day.....
After scoring 50-60cm of fresh powder overnight in the Hakuba wilderness, we were treated to a day of Cortina backcountry with our guide Jonny who has to be one of the biggest shredders going round.
He showed us a few fresh lines we hadn't treked before and its fair to say it was one of the all time days on the mountain.

Definitely would go again purely for some of the face shots, shakas and banter.
Next time i'll be sure to pack a snorkel.
Thanks again powderhounds.
Kyle

Back country skiing in Hakuba with guide Nori from goodguides

Anna10/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Czech Republic
  • Month:
    February

Back country skiing in Hakuba with guide Nori from goodguides

Anna10/02/2019
We had great day in Hakuba with our guide Nori. We really enjoyed and powder snow in Japan was the best experience for us. Thank you Nori!

Alps to Coast; Goodguides did it again!!

LarsE04/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Sverige
  • Month:
    January

Alps to Coast; Goodguides did it again!!

LarsE04/02/2019
Third time with Jerry and his team. Great lodging. perfekt guiding of Johnny and a lot of pow.
Great local knowledge combined the Japanese language made our 9 days comfortable.

If you want a well organised, fun, safe skiing holiday around the Myoko and Hakuba area chose Goodguides,.

Side country Hakuba Cortina

Jim28/01/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Aus
  • Month:
    January

Side country Hakuba Cortina

Jim28/01/2019
Would really like to say thank you to Johnny (young Canadian Guide , also fluent in Japanese ) who helped steer two ,late 50s skiers ,down some beautiful powder slide country slopes at Cortina . Although we struggled at first ,as it is challenge dodging trees while trying to controlling your skis figuring out the technique required to ski powder . Johnny found some good powder with great pitches for us to enjoy. The ski out past the Dam was a highlight and will last in my memory,, till the next time.

Tip for mature skiers ,ski at lest 3 days before your side country tour as you need ski fitness and understanding of Japanese powder.

Hope to do it again next year!

Regards Jim

Good Guide guided tour in Cortina, Feb 2018

Fred Vincent08/03/2018
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    February

Good Guide guided tour in Cortina, Feb 2018

Fred Vincent08/03/2018
We had a terrific powder day with Clint. He put us in pretty much untouched snow all day. We could have had more but one of the lifts decided to call it quits before we did!! Very professional! Every detail was looked after not to mention the dinner reservation for us he made for us at the last minute which turned out to be the best meal we had in Cortina.
Will book up with them next time for sure!!

Good guide, poor organization

Cyndi15/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    US
  • Month:
    January

Good guide, poor organization

Cyndi15/02/2018
Was with Good Guides for 6 days of skiing (8 day itinerary) in Hakuba. I know that joining a group for BC skiing inherently has some uncertainty and wildcards so this review does take that into account. The rating of 3 for professionalism is an "average" of guide's professionalism (high) and the organizational professionalism (low).

Guide (Mark) was very good (professional, safe, friendly, and did as good a job as could be expected to find good snow and create routes that met group members' interest and fitness/ability levels). We also had a Japanese "tail guide" most days to help with communications, the days' logistics (car shuttles), and providing us with some information on Japanese culture and the surroundings.

Pre-trip communication and logistics planning could definitely be improved. Jerry was quite responsive to specific email inquiries, but the lack of a common "spec sheet" of relatively basic information led to multiple emails and different expectations for the other group member(s).
- No info on general itinerary (i.e. how many hours/day, how much skinning vs lift-access, whether we'd primarily be in the backcountry or have access to resort lodges/restaurants, etc; of course this is always subject to change based on conditions, but what is the "target"?) or equipment/packing list (which would have given me some indication of how long the days would be/how much hiking would be involved)
- It was clear that at least some information on the invoice was incorrect (e.g. said that transportation to Myoko was included but tour was only in Hakuba) so couldn't even rely on that
- No address/directions/contact info for lodging was provided (only upon request was the name even provided and then the pension could not be found on google maps by the English name)
- I ended up arranging my own arrival transfer and was only partially reimbursed even though in email communication on this specific topic we agreed on full reimbursement
- No contact info for guide or arrival day info provided; was told that guide would meet me at my lodging in the evening (no specific time was provided), but he never showed up (only after going to sleep did I receive an email that he wasn't going to show up and that someone would pick me up the next morning)
- Based on the information I did receive, I was under the impression that I was joining an advanced/experienced group tour that was primarily focused on accessing BC terrain via skinning (vs. "slackcountry" access from lifts with just a short hike) and would be with the same group of clients all week. There was only 1 other client in this "group" and he was under the impression it was more a of a slackcountry tour. The rest of the group varied almost daily with some participants having no prior skinning experience.
- Group had 6 clients on 2 of the 6 days, despite statement of 5:1 client:guide ratio

Based on the guiding experience (also had the opportunity to meet/observe 2 of the other guides who also seemed to be quite good), I would recommend/revisit Good Guides with the caveat that you need to be willing to take the time to be very proactive to get comprehensive and specific communications so you know what to expect.

(did not use any of their equipment, but was forced to give a rating, so the "3" is really an "I don't know")

Kat the queen of guides!

Kate06/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Japan
  • Month:
    January

Kat the queen of guides!

Kate06/02/2018
Just at the end of an awesome week touring in Hakuba and Myoko with Goodguides and the amazing Kat. She was forever on the hunt for the best snow and ‘freshies’ and never failed to deliver. Such energy and forever a smile even in the face of snack roulette! Thanks so much. X

Qualified and Experienced Backcountry Guides

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/01/2018
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    January

Qualified and Experienced Backcountry Guides

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/01/2018
Showed us some great terrain
Lovely snow
Found some great aspects
Tsugaike pow
Plenty of fun terrain
We spent an incredibly enjoyable day at Tsugaike and skied some sidecountry terrain that was very befitting to the weather and snow conditions. The terrain was delightfully steep and fun in many places, and the snow was primo!

It was very reassuring to be with a qualified backcountry guide with extensive experience, local knowledge and connections, and bilingual skills. We also had a bilingual tail guide which added to the safety of the day, and their combined charisma added to the enjoyment of the whole experience.

We look forward to heading back to Hakuba to head out with GoodGuides for some more days of great skiing!

Good Guides - Back Country Tour (Cortina - Hakuba)

Lachlan17/01/2018
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    N/A
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    January

Good Guides - Back Country Tour (Cortina - Hakuba)

Lachlan17/01/2018
Whole day / previous email correspondence could have been organised alot better. Sent many emails asking questions re p/up, skis, equip, lunch etc as there was no q&a on their website or info sheet provided (I asked for one). Once at their office snow boards weren't previously set up re bindings (took an extra hr). Equip a bit old... Didn't know they had their own office. Got to Cortina, started late (9:30am). Powder tracked out a bit. Guide had to go back 4 another battery b4 we started. Had to wait for him to return. I was put in wrong group even though I enquired a month ago from Aus. Trecked steep terrain uphill for over an hr. Totally wrecked once we arrived at top of mountain. Had jelly legs. Then had to ski a very steep expert run with trees & deep powder (first time BC 4 me). I did not ski with them the 2nd part of aft. Then skied a couple of runs at Cortina & caught up with them at the van late aft... The guide was friendly & did drive me back to motel but could have helped me more while I was struggling to get down the mountain (ps. I ski blk / double blk runs). Sorry if this is a bit negative. I'm just being truthful about my experience... More details can be provided. Note: Evergreen Tours (Hakuba) looks more organised / professional.

Response from Jerry at GoodGuides:
"We greatly regret that you feel you had a bad experience. As you specified that you were an advanced and fit skier, we created a group to match your ability and fitness. All of the other members of the group that day had an amazing day and have since booked in for more days with us.

The area we skied that day is one of our less steep and easier zones. The accent and decent are both classed as intermediate level in terms of back country terrain that Hakuba has to offer.

Once again I am very sorry that you did not have a pleasant experience."

myoko/hakuba

kirsty06/06/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    nz
  • Month:
    February

myoko/hakuba

kirsty06/06/2017
Amazing trip with Goodguides. Some tricky days meant having a local guide with excellent knowledge meant we got so much more skiing than many others who weren't using guides. Good fun with jerry on and off the mountain!

myoko

phil06/06/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    japan
  • Month:
    February

myoko

phil06/06/2017
Great week with jerry, showed us some fantastic local fields covered in plenty of pow, we felt safe as jerry knows his stuff and is very aware of making sure clients get good and safe skiing. His local knowledge of the area meant a good time on and off the fields.

Good Guides in Hakuba

Dave Pitt17/05/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Month:
    February

Good Guides in Hakuba

Dave Pitt17/05/2017
We used Jerry and Tubs at Good Guides for a days tree skiing in Tsugaike Kogen and had an absolutely awesome day! Perfect conditions and powder galore. My 3 daughters loved it and Michelle voted it the "best day of her life".

Real Great

LarsE06/05/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Sweden
  • Month:
    February

Real Great

LarsE06/05/2017
2 times with Jerry and GoodGuides, Niseko 2015, Myoko Kogen 2017.
Great guiding and great skiing. Thank,s, we will be back!

Back Country Touring

Phill Pearson05/05/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Japan
  • Month:
    April

Back Country Touring

Phill Pearson05/05/2017
We came across Good Guides through a recommendation from another company that was fully booked, and I'm so glad they were!

The first time we went out with Jerry he took us around Hakuba avoiding the other skiers, pushing us all day to try new things and educating on the mountain. It was an awesome introduction to touring around the area, so awesome that we came back the next weekend for more guiding!

We also spent another weekend up in a Tateyama, it was a handpicked trip based on the forecast and snow, again with both being perfect.

The only down side is that we found Jerry at the back end of the season, but its more encouragement to head back up to the mountains next winter and get to explore more of the region. Going out with Good Guides can only be summed up as stress free skiing (if you ignore some of the slopes they encourage you to get up and down!)

Great week of powder

Simon Baker05/04/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February

Great week of powder

Simon Baker05/04/2017
Jerry and Jimmy the Kiwi mountain guides from Good Guides did a fantastic job showing us the terrain and powder on offer. They were relaxed but also safety conscious so we were able concentrate on the skiing .

The areas around Myoko are fragmented and hard to get to on your own, so the guiding was invaluable; transport, Japanese language and mountain guiding all saved us a heap of time and effort.

Goodguides - Great guides, good guys

Patrick27/03/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February

Goodguides - Great guides, good guys

Patrick27/03/2017
Jerry organised our ski holiday, everything from accommodation, ski hire, transport everyday, (not flights) to guiding and did a brilliant job. We were all rapt with how the holiday turned out.

Jerry and Jimmy are qualified NZ mountain guides and you can see that safety is their first priority. Having read a few forums about skiing in Japan, there have been fatalities from avalanches. This highlights the importance of having qualified guides who can take you to resorts and runs with heaps of untracked powder but do it safely.

We skied for 7 days and skied fresh powder everyday and most runs. This was despite having two or three days where it didn't snow, although we did tour on one of the days. Every day was well organised, nothing was too much hassle and everyone had heaps of laughs while still skiing until we dropped from exhaustion. It also is a great help that Jerry and Ben's (the tail guide) wife Ruka speak fluent Japanese and can organise restaurants and every thing that requires local language and knowledge.

If you want a well organised, fun, safe, reasonably priced skiing holiday around the Myoko and Hukuba area chose Goodguides, you won't regret it.

Thanks to Jimmy, Ben and Jerry for a brilliant time!

Goodguides

Marian Campbell16/03/2017
  • Overall