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Nagano Beginner Packages

Nagano Beginner Packages4.5/535
Nagano Beginner Packages4.5 out of 5 based on 35 reviews
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Wagner Custom Skis
Nagano Beginner Packages Enquire
Price p/p From price based on 3-night twin/double-share package staying at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 950

3, 4, 5 or 6 Nights

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Instruction | Terrain Focus: On-Piste
Ability: Beginner
Price p/p From price based on 3-night twin/double-share package staying at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 950
This package is ideal for beginners (families, groups, couples and solos) who are looking to experience the great Japanese snow and culture, and have some support to learn to ski or snowboard. Packages include ski/snowboard rentals and lessons, and the opportunity to visit the snow monkeys.
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Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Custom Booking Period: Nov 23 - May 16, 2022
Min Days: From 3
Price: Enquire
Availability: Filling

Nagano Beginner Packages

Never skied or snowboarded before? Want to experience some of the world famous powder snow that Japan is renowned for and experience a rich and diverse culture? Look no further as these all-inclusive packages or the customised tailor-made English speaking beginner packages are for you. With three separate tiers of accommodation we can cater for any budget to get you on the snow this winter.

Japan Powder Culture Tours has put together a range of fully instructed beginner ski packages to experience the 18 resorts that make up Shiga Kogen. Depending on conditions there is also the possibility to visit other resorts such as Madarao, Tangram, Myoko Suginohara, Nozawa Onsen and Togakushi. Families, groups, couples and groups are all invited to experience Asia’s largest ski resort alongside a rich cultural experience that gives you a truly authentic Japanese holiday.

Let’s face it, learning a new sport can sometimes be a daunting process without the right knowledge and experienced people to assist. One option is to go to a totally westernised resort in Japan which will generally work on the numbers game with large size beginners classes. Another option is to come with us and experience resorts where westerners are almost non-existent, with small intimate beginner classes, and English speaking instructors that turn your learning into a lifetime passion.

Working within everyone’s budget is important and the two tiers of accommodation allow this. Staying in the traditional township of Yudanaka with a short drive to the slopes each day is the luxurious Ryokan Biyunoyado or the comfortable standard option, Lodge Aibiya.

Japan's highest & largest ski area...

...incredible Japanese cuisine...

.....mind blowing cultural experiences

Why Learn with Japan Powder Culture Tours?

It goes without saying that the qualified instructors are experienced and passionate about their trade; that is the minimum you would expect from a ski school. So what is our point of difference? What we have learnt over the years is that there are some very important aspects of ski tuition which are not covered in the traditional ski instructor’s manual. The following are just some of the common sense approaches we use which will generally not be found at a traditional ski school.
  • Generally what happens in a rental shop is you tell the staff your foot size, height and weight and they hand you some gear, and it is left up to the client to fit the gear. We take this one step further as we know how important it is to your skiing and safety to have the correct fitting equipment. We will measure your foot, fit your boots, tighten them up to make sure there are no pressure points, mount your boots on skis and ensure they are set to a safe level.
  • Once on the snow we teach you how to walk in all types of terrain and different conditions in your boots. We also teach how to correctly carry your equipment to minimise effort and increase balance.
  • We know everyone learns at a different pace and know the importance of mastering a certain movement before moving on. The quicker learners get given different tasks however our goal is to bring everyone up to the group’s level, so the slower learners are given just as much attention. We do not leave any soldiers behind.
  • The usual teaching model is to talk about a movement, demonstrate the movement, get the client to try the movement then the next step is to follow the instructor. Unless the instructor has eyes in the back of their head, how can they fix an incorrect form? Instead we teach from the back moving through the group one on one and reinforcing movements through repeating the information until it becomes second nature to the client; repetition being the mother of skill.
  • Where traditional ski schools only give you one piece of the pie so they have some leverage to get you to come back and spend some more money with them to get the next piece of the pie, we take it to the next level and give our guests the whole pie. We believe it is essential that our guests understand the five main movements (the whole pie) in skiing and snowboarding. Once this understanding is achieved we can then isolate each movement (piece of the pie) to gain a more fluid progression from beginner to intermediate.
  • Another important aspect is teaching our clients how to read the different terrain, pitch of the terrain and the condition of the snow so they have the tools to make good decisions when negotiating their way safely down the mountain.
These are just a few of the common sense approaches we use to accelerate our clients learning in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Visit the snow monkey onsen....

...indulge in Japanese sake...

.....karaoke the night away


  • Ski and ride some of the nicest powder without the masses
  • Learn some new skills from the instructor/guides to elevate your ability on the snow
  • No need to work out the best places to ski and ride - your instructor/guide does this for you
  • Enjoy small group sizes (min two and max six people) to accelerate your learning
  • Rejuvenate daily in an onsen (hot spring) to sooth and relax your muscles
  • Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through the 1300 year old Shibu Onsen town.
  • Relax and be driven from location to location with our experienced mountain drivers
  • Make some new friends to share those on snow stories with over a local ale or wine

Skier/Boarder Ability

These tours are designed for beginner skier and snowboarders. If you are looking for an intermediate or advanced tours and have time constraints check out the Nagano Powder Chaser Packages. We can also tailor make packages if you have a family or group that has different time constraints and ability levels, so please enquire.

Partake in Japanese culture....

...the kids will love it...

.....visit an ancient Samurai castle


There is no set itinerary for this package; your host will give you the options each day based on the current snow and weather conditions and the general group consensus as to which Shiga Kogen ski area to ski and board for the day.

For those staying in downtown Yudanaka in a traditional Japanese Ryokan (hotel) or the hostel, each morning you will head off with your host/driver and group to get the best powder on the day.

Yudanaka is a culturally rich town and the perfect base for a Nagano powder adventure due to its central location to a variety of quality Nagano ski areas.

A ski holiday in Japan isn't the complete package without the addition of the rich cultural experience offered as part of this package.

Visit historic Shibu Onsen....

..Zenkoji Temple Nagano..

.....Yudanaka is central home base

Accommodation Options & Meals

This package is based in the township of Yudanaka located near the Shiga Kogen ski areas and sits at 600 metres above sea level. Due to its proximity it is ideally located for visiting many of Nagano's great ski areas.

The area is well known for its onsens (hot springs) and it is said that over 1300 years ago a monk who visited the area discovered the healing quality of the water and the popularity of the region grew so much that the Samurai would come to repair their bodies in the rejuvenating waters.

The other attraction to the area is the world renowned snow monkeys who have learnt to keep themselves warm in the natural onsen water. Although the town is visited by foreigners to visit the snow monkeys you will find the town relatively free of westerners when you eat out in the evenings as many just come on day journeys. There is a wide array of traditional eating houses in Yudanaka which serve fresh local and regional produce. In the past few years the restaurant scene has expanded to include a number of new eateries which have a mix of Japanese and Western food to suit every palette. A walk through historic Shibu town is also a must with its quaint shops, temples, shrines, foot onsens and authentic architecture.

There are 2 accommodation options; Ryokan Biyu no Yado (deluxe) and Lodge Aibiya.

Indulge in Japanese cuisine...

...check out the local Sushi Train...

...fun social group meals

Deluxe Option - Ryokan Biyo no Yado

Ryokan Biyu no Yado is a 3.5 star Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and is ranked #1 by Trip Advisor scoring an average of 5 out of 5 from over 160 reviews! Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom and are Japanese-style with woven tatami floors and futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle. Your room also has a traditional Japanese wardrobe (yukata), which is not mandatory to wear at this ryokan, although it is definitely comfortable attire after a day on the slopes.

The ryokan has four upmarket western rooms which are double the size of the Japanese style at an extra cost of 6000 yen per person per night. The ryokan has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for hire for an additional fee.

The night-time meals included in the Ryokan Biyu package are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served by your own private waiter in the hotel dining area. Breakfast (also included) is either Japanese or Western-style. For the remaining night-time meals you have the choice of many authentic Japanese restaurants in down-town Yudanaka or Nakano or you can buy additional meals at the Ryokan.

There are massage services available, free wi-fi throughout the ryokan, a luxurious lounge bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, grand piano, large screen TV, karaoke bar and a souvenir shop.

The Ryokan does not have clothes washing facilities however there is a public laundry a short walk away.  

Deluxe Ryokan Biyu..

...traditional Japanese tatami rooms...

.....outdoor hot springs

Budget Option - Lodge Aibya

Lodge Aibiya is the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Yoshi and Seongmi provide a high level of Japanese service backed up with western insights gained by working overseas. English speaking with a wealth of knowledge of the Nagano area, Yoshi and Seongmi will look after all your needs.

The Lodge has an option of quad share single western bed dorm rooms for group bookings and twin share rooms with shared bathroom. They have a twin room with double bed which is ideal for couples or for those that want to upgrade to the single supplement and there is the option to upgrade to the deluxe rooms with private bathrooms which can sleep up to four people.

There is a well equipped kitchen for those who would like to cook themselves or you can enjoy the many traditional Japanese restaurants only a short walk away. There are two different types of lounge rooms and a separate cinema room. There are separate male and female shared shower rooms.

A free continental breakfast is provided each day with breads, cereal, fruits, yoghurt, coffee, tea and fruit juices.

Free WI-FI is available throughout the lodge. A gift shop with crafts made locally and beverages, local Shiga Kogen beer and snacks are available for sale. Experience the tradition at a local ryokan onsens for a small fee.

The lodge is only a 3 minute walk from the train station with local convenience stores nearby.

There is an in house laundry service available at an extra cost.

Lodge Abiya..

...comfy western-style beds...

.....shared cooking facilities

2021/22 Dates, Rates & Inclusions

There are no set dates for these packages; they can start any day of the week and are available as a 3, 4, 5 or 6 night package (or a package can be tailored to suit you or your group). Tours start from opening day at Shiga Kogen on 23rd November  and run until late May. If accommodation is not available at either Ryokan Biyu or Lodge Aibiya there are other accommodation options.

Japanese accommodation holiday rates apply from 28th Dec to 3rd Jan at Ryokan Biyu.

 DELUXE OPTION: Ryokan Biyu Yo Nado
 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included   Adults 13+  Child (6-12) 
Child (3-5) 
 3  2  3B + 1D 129,000  99,000  85,000
 4  3  4B + 1D  159,000  125,000  105,000
 5  4  5B + 2D  195,000  149,000  125,000
 6  5  6B + 2D  219,000  179,000  145,000

 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included  Single /
Shared Bathroom
Twin /
Shared Bathroom
Quad / Family (2A + 2C)
Private Bathroom 
 3  2  3B  109,000  99,000  89,000
 4  3  4B  139,000  129,000  115,000
 5  4  5B  175,000  159,000  139,000
 6  5  6B  209,000  189,000  165,000
 Private Room Upgrade  1B    4,000/night  


  • Ryokan Biyu is based on "Twin Share" in a Japanese room meals outline above included. Single supplement ¥6000 per night per person. Please enquire for upgrade to Western style rooms or VIP room with its own private onsen.
  • One on one tuition for single travellers is an extra 20,000 yen per day.
  • All prices are based on a minimum of two people for each individual tour to proceed and you can make an enquiry for rates for one on one tuition tours. 
  • Tailor made packages are also available. Please enquire.
  • Prices for family deluxe rooms at Lodge Aibiya are based on 2 adults + 2 children and include a private bathroom
  • Lodge Aibiya single and twin rooms use shared bathroom facilities
  • If you are a single traveler the guides will endeavour to mix you with another group and if not possible there will be an extra charge for one on one instruction. 
  • B = breakfast, D= dinner
  • Different budget options for accommodation
  • Daily breakfast (some packages with dinners)
  • Daily lift tickets & instruction (1:6 ratio)
  • Rental gear hire and assistance with fitting (includes board/boots, skis/boots/poles, jacket, pants, helmet, goggles and gloves)
  • Transportation to best snow location each day
  • A walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
  • Visit to the sake museum
  • Rejuvenating Onsens (at Ryokan Biyu, Lodge Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
  • Pick up and drop off at Yudanaka train station (for Ryokan Biyu customers only. Lodge Aibiya is only a short walk from the station)
  • An authentic Geisha performance (selected dates)
  • Taiko drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance (selected dates)
  • Karate performance (selected dates)
  • Visit Nagano and the Zenkoji Temple
  • Upgrade to private room (where available)
  • Evening tour in a Pistenbully snow cat to the highest lift access point in Japan to see the snow monster trees & includes hot drinks & homemade breads (selected dates)
Not Included

Corona Virus Update as of 25th April 2020 – Message From JPCT

Japan Powder Culture Tours understand that due to the ongoing developments of the Coronavirus situation that you may be having some anxiety and doubts with regards to your winter travel plans to Japan this season. Rest assured JPCTs are full steam ahead this season with guides and instructors on the ground so they will be operating tours as usual this season.

However, we are under no illusions that there will not be ongoing problems with this situation which may include your ability to get to Japan. Bearing this in mind we are easing our cancellation policy for bookings made for the 2020/2021 season to assist skiers, borders and telemark skiers and give you the peace of mind that your deposit will not be forfeited if you are unable to join us.

So, for the 2020/2021 season, the following will apply: We have a 20% deposit which is payable within 7 days of invoice to secure your spot on the tour. You can cancel by 30th September 2020 with no penalty. To then confirm your booking a further 20% will be charged on the 1st October 2020 and the remainder is due 40 days prior to your tour.

If you must cancel your 2020/2021 tour your 20% deposit can then be used for a credit for later in the season, bearing in mind we operate right into May, or the deposit can be used for the following season.

In the past we have not ever cancelled a trip due to tour group size and we hope to continue this tradition. We run our beginner programs with a minimum of 2 people and our longer 8 and 10 day tours with a minimum of 4 people, and our policy of running our tours regardless will remain.

So we hope our new policy puts your mind at ease and we wish everyone of you the best through these trying times. We would love to see you in the future and share with you our little piece of utopia here in Japan with a truly authentic Japanese ski and riding experience next to none.

Japan Powder Culture Touts (JPCT) Booking Conditions


  • Deposit is 20% of full tour price per person.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Final balance due: 30 days prior to departure.
  • All payments are in Japanese Yen (JPY) 


  • more than 30 days prior to departure, full deposit forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days 100% forfeited.
  • Tour operator highly recommends you take out travel insurance at time of sending your deposit. 


JPCT reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure. In this case you will receive a full refund. You will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation, damages, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience.

All bookings are subject to JPCTs terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.

Other Important Information

Terrain & Safety

The rules when skiing at resorts in Japan can be a lot different to what is experienced in Western resorts around the world. At a high percentage of the resorts in Japan, trail skiing is the norm and anything off the main marked trails is deemed "out-of-bounds". The out of bounds is not patrolled so as far as the resort is concerned; skiing there is at your own risk. The out of bounds skiing provided by ESA is deemed (what has been termed in Japan by westerners) “slack country” or “side country”. Many times these out of bounds areas are in between two marked courses so at the bottom of the run you meet up on a marked course to take you back to the lifts, hence the term “slack country”.

Some resorts are more lenient with "out-of-bounds" skiing and others very strict. Some will have signs that state "ski at your own risk" where others may not. JPCT consider everything that is not on a marked trail to be out of bounds.

If you wish to experience the "out-of-bounds" (skiing off any of the marked trails) areas:
  1. You must carry the essential avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe & backpack to carry such gear)
  2. You must be able to ski at a sufficient ability / level to manage the conditions on the day for any out-of-bounds runs
  3. You will need to undertake an safety instruction session on the use of your avalanche equipment (even if you already know how to use it)
  4. You will be required to sign a release of liability agreement prior to undertaking any out-of-bounds skiing with ESA
The JPCT team have the following credentials:
  • knowledge and experience at skiing the various resorts they visit in the Nagano and Niigata areas
  • accreditation and different combinations of instructors, ski patrol, avalanche awareness and first aid
  • ski instructors have a minimum of level 2 NZIAS certification
Exclusion of Liability & Risk
Adventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in the JPCT release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in adventure sports activities. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident.