Overall Rating

Nagano Ski/Board Progression

Nagano Ski/Board Progression5/533
Nagano Ski/Board Progression5 out of 5 based on 33 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Reuse
    97%

Nagano Ski/Board Progression - Reviews

Nagano Ski/Board Progression - Reviews

The concise an unedited 2020 Review for Japan Powder Culture Tours

21/04/2020

Andrew

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Andrew

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    51-70
  • Home Country
    Australia
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

The concise an unedited 2020 Review for Japan Powder Culture Tours

21/04/2020
• Do not pay attention to fake news. Shiga Kogen goes off with POW in any season.
• Boof heads need not apply. There is a policy for your kind.
• Beware the green light district. A different kind of downhill slope awaits you.
• Do not overestimate your ability. The mountain will take its revenge. Be realistic and you will be rewarded by the mountain with sublime conditions.
• If Australian, do not steal things, all eyes will be on you.
• Do not wear shoes on Tatami mats. Samurai sword awaits your toes.
• Do not ignore the Onsens. Your muscles and joints will take their revenge.
• Work on your abs. Humour on the road trip could split your sides.
• Don’t bother if you don’t enjoy your tucker.
• Don’t be shy. No matter solo, couple, family or group.
• You will have to put up with people from all over the world and all walks of life.
• It is addictive. No form of rehab will cure you once you have a taste. Three tours and counting for me. Frightening to see family and friends so concerned for my well being.
• Jase and his crew are bullies. They make you have fun and smile whether you like it or not. They act in the most sneaky of ways to make you a better skier/boarder. You like it and feel good, must be a sin.

Amazing experience

Andrea
28/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Boarder
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    36-50
  • Home Country
    Italy
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    4

Amazing experience

Andrea
28/02/2020
I took the powder chaser trip with Jase Caulton and his team back in December 2019.

It was an excellent and well organized trip that delivered what had promised.

Jase is an excellent ski guide knowing very well the Shiga Kogen area and how to move around quickly based on the snow condition, increasing the chances of fun and fresh snow everyday.

My snowboarding skills and techniques improved a lot, either on slopes and fresh snow, thanks to Jason's suggestions and I feel much more confident riding now.

The local culture is very authentic and deserves the trip itself, the food and the onsen were amazing.

I enjoyed a lot staying in AIBIYA lodge, a lovely and comfortable place to stay after a long day on the slopes.

All in all a great experience and I hope to be back next season!

The "Hammondbeinson's"

Trudi
24/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    36-50
  • Home Country
    Australia
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

The "Hammondbeinson's"

Trudi
24/02/2020
A bucket list extravaganza! But not one that can be ticked off...this one is worth repeating.
We were a party of six of similar standard that had varying needs which Jase, being the extraordinary man that he is, fulfilled all requirements. We all had so much fun and are getting together for "raves" about our adventures. (Actually everyone and anyone is getting an earful and being subjected to the massive photo gallery!).
It was non-stop adventure whether on piste or out pissed. Ever done karaoke? It's a hoot. (even for those of us that can't sing) Jase shares his love of the Japanese Culture like no other. (And he can hold a tune very nicely indeed). He provided a Geisha performance, Karate Master demonstration; including a lion dance, drumming, and instrument playing that was interactive which bonded the group, a cultural bus tour on a rainy day to see a castle, temple, museum, Olympic stadium, Mega sports store, quaint villages and shopping streets. Jase will go to any length to show you a good time. The daily bus rides were a riot of laughter with his "True Stories" and boom box music. Always an opportunity to get on the mic and share stories of your own. The crowd will let you know how effective you are at the telling! It can bring out another side of the ones you know that is very entertaining. We made some great new friends.
Jase has an amazing crew backing him up in John, George, Tyson and Yoshi. They all work so well together, putting in big days, yet make it look effortless. Four in our group needed skis and were even switched from all mountain to powder skis as required, as was everyone else on the tour. Upon arriving at each mountain we meandered into the resorts to put on our ski boots while they unpacked our skis and poles presenting them in an orderly Japanese fashion for us to take onto the slopes. The powder they found for us was incredible. In the peaceful environs of the trees we came upon "paddocks" of untouched powder to drift through to our hearts content. Then back on the lift for more. They cleverly "strip grazed" the area so that every time we skied in there were fresh tracks to be found. We received coaching on how to ski the powder and to improve our technique. We wore avalanche packs and beacons and had instruction on how to use them and why they were necessary. Safety is a very high priority of the company and Jase knows every inch of the mountains and can be on hand for any group needing support.
The banquet meals provided on two of our nights was sensational and the other nights gave us the opportunity to sample the local cuisine upon suggestion from the crew. Going out gave us the chance to meet up with new friends we had made during the day. And typically, it was no effort for Jase to drop us off if he was heading out. The breakfasts were delicious too and a great way to start the day.
The end of the ski day was a restorative soak in the onsen to revive our muscles. Devine.
We, the "Hammondbeinson's" , extend a humongous thank you to Jase and the crew for a terrific experience that has us planning a return adventure.

Great trip!

Christine Triska
12/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    51-70
  • Home Country
    United States
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

Great trip!

Christine Triska
12/02/2020
A week after returning from Japan I still can't stop thinking about the terrific powder/culture tour Jase and his able crew gave us in Yudanaka and Shiga Kogen. I don't remember having so much fun with a group of skiers/snowboarders since high school! Though unusually warm for January, the conditions improved throughout the week to satisfy even our most hardcore powderhounds. I so appreciated the ski instruction I got every day -- I needed it! I also loved the field trips, or "hidden gems" Jase provided. He kept us busy from dawn to dusk, and if we needed anything he and his guides obliged. Culture, food, hot springs, karate and geisha demonstrations filled the non-mountain time. I left the tour exhausted but so wanted to stay another week. Highly recommend this trip!

Nagano Progression - Great experience

Paul
19/01/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Boarder
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    Singapore
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Nagano Progression - Great experience

Paul
19/01/2020
I joined the Nagano Progression tour and had a great time. Jase and his crew are seasoned guides and know the mountains inside out. The guiding was well structured - Jase assessed our skills well and gave candid and useful tips to help us progress our riding, while taking us to new areas and eventually into the powder when we were ready. Also appreciated Jase's sense of humor and amusing stories.

The group was good fun and we were all like-minded in seeking the Japan powder snow experience.

Finally, the AIBIYA lodge was a homely and comfortable place to stay after a long and tiring day on the slopes. Yoshi and Seongmi were very approachable and made sure the guests were well looked-after.
All in all a great experience and I hope to be back!

Japan Powder Culture Tours

Mick Caspaney
18/01/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    51-70
  • Home Country
    Australia
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Japan Powder Culture Tours

Mick Caspaney
18/01/2020
My needs were that I was travelling solo and I needed instruction on my own skiing technique. Huge tick for the social interaction with other solo travellers and couples and families alike who all had a great time. We all went out for dinner together most nights after indulging in the great choice of Onsens available close by. We also experienced local culture which is great as you learn about the way the locals have lived in Yudanaka which has not yet been clinically anglicised like Tokyo. It is still old Japan which is a great thing to experience.
Huge tick also for the instruction on how to negotiate the powder and how to ski generally. The instructors all know what they are doing (all brilliant skiers) and the delivery is great because of the relaxed and laid back approach. You don't actually feel like you are being instructed by a ski resort robot because every day is just fun and they know how to find the snow, wherever it fell overnight. You are with the group for the whole day so it's not like being in ski school for an hour or two and then told you can leave. In fact, for the first time visitor, it would be impossible to replicate the choice of where to ski for the day as in the time I was there we discovered three different mountains and had access to JPCT's local knowledge of which slopes were best to suit the ability of whoever was in the group.
Jason's "true" stories are remarkable. The truth is always stranger than fiction but he does push the envelope in a way that calls out the quiet ones for a contribution to the banter on the bus trips. It also challenges the ones who ask too many questions! If you want to know what that means, just ask him a question........

sugoi (awesome)

Trevor
10/01/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Age
    18-35
  • Home Country
    Australia
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    3

sugoi (awesome)

Trevor
10/01/2020
Had an awesome time with Jase and the team! Booked the 8-day ski progression tour for early in the season (mid Dec) which worked out perfectly as the tour wasn’t as busy which meant 1:1 coaching at no extra cost. Having only skied once previously, Jase, John & Fraser managed to get me up to a decent level where I could confidently tackle the different slopes, as well as pound that virgin powder!

The only concern now is that having had a sniff of the sweet japow I think I might be addicted.

JAPAN POWDER - PROGRESSION/ CULTURE/ SKI AND SNOWBOARD TOUR

Lindy and Stuart Fisher
22/03/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Home Country
    New Zealand
  • Month Visited:
    March

JAPAN POWDER - PROGRESSION/ CULTURE/ SKI AND SNOWBOARD TOUR

Lindy and Stuart Fisher
22/03/2019
Our initial motivation to join this tour was to:
1. Experience the famous Japan powder.
2. Pick up some appropriate technical tips.
3. Stay safe.
4. Minimise the navigation, transport and language challenges.
5. Enjoy the scenery.
6. Enjoy the company of like minded enthusiasts.
7. Embrace a different culture.
8. Have a holiday and relax.
Happy to report that all 8 expectations were met and we had a great time.
Our priorities did seem to reverse order when on the spot cruising around enjoying the scenery from 9am-3.30 through Shiga Kogen’s 19 resorts. Our preference was to keep mostly to marked trails of varying slope and terrain with forays into the trees and fresh powder following a 250mm dump on day 6. Still the best snow on Honshu for the time of year and our guides knew where to find it.
Helpful pointers were offered with encouragement and enthusiasm in abundance.
Perhaps our exertion was not up to spec...ha ha, but we did not get tired or muscle sore much to everyone’s surprise, given we are well into the silver hair phase!
The guiding was relaxed but professional and sensitive to individual’s preferences. A deep passion for, and knowledge of the area was very apparent and worth heaps to us all.
“ We go up!” – “ We go down!” - “Just follow the guide!”
Completely stress free but maybe a glimpse into the secret agenda of routes planned for the day would have heightened our sense of anticipation/trepidation! There’s a challenge for the master!
The infrastructure of the resort is understated but efficient and very under utilised... hense never any queue dramas for lifts , coffees or food.
Transport was modern and efficient ....door to door! With stories unavoidable! Ha ha.
Accommodation at Aibiya Hostel was wonderfully comfortable, spacious and authentic with a perfect balance of friendly inclusion, service and privacy...like a lodge in New Zealand.
The jumbling, old retro town of Yudanaka had an endless variety of “ Ma and Pa” dining rooms serving fantastic, authentic Japanese cuisine at minimal prices... gorgeous!
Our cultural evening was a treat to remember too!
Over all a great experience for a couple of Intermediate level, globe-skiing Kiwis!!
Just Do It!!

Japan

Andrew McCombe
16/03/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • RiderType
    Boarder
  • Home Country
    UK
  • Month Visited:
    February

Japan

Andrew McCombe
16/03/2019
Life is too short to spend time writing long reviews, so I will keep this short, and to the point!
First the country. Japan is an amazing place. Picturesque countryside. Tokyo, where we spent a couple of days at the beginning of our trip, is a typical big city and with lots of life and colour. The people are so courteous, and everything is so precise. Even if you don’t ski, it is a country that should be on your “visit list”.
We then transferred to Yudanaka which was our base town for the ski trip. We stayed in the hotel rather than the hostel and had a typical Japanese room with futon bed. Lovely hotel and lovely food, both Japanese and western.
And then to the skiing and Jason and his team…which was all excellent. The ski resorts have a very north American” feel to them for anyone who has skied in North America. Hilly with a lot of trees rather than mountainous, the resorts are quiet and we rarely had to queue for any chair lift or gondola. The piste runs were fine but it was off the piste that the powder was to be found and Jason and his teams’ knowledge of the mountains and resorts meant that they were able to find little un-tracked pockets all over the mountain. His team, when we were there (Jan/Feb 19) was a mix of youth, and youthful enthusiasm, and experience. The combination worked well.
What also worked well was the various groupings, to try and match peoples’ personalities and abilities. This, I thought, was done well and was a big factor in making the trip so enjoyable.
Finally, it is worth commenting that the problem with outdoor pursuits, and skiing in particular, is that you are very dependent on the weather and snow conditions in terms of impact on your overall ski experience. This of course has nothing to do with the country, the place or the tour team, but is down to the lottery of the weather.
The first half of our trip was rewarded with excellent conditions and snow, the second half less so, but I think it speaks volumes that despite the relatively poor snow conditions, we still had a great time, and were able to keep riding throughout.
I would thoroughly recommend this trip, team and location.

Great experience

Simon Marsh
10/03/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Reuse
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • RiderType
    Alpine Skier
  • Home Country
    UK
  • Month Visited:
    February

Great experience

Simon Marsh
10/03/2019
We joined Jase and his team for our first Japan ski adventure and had a great time.
Getting there- The trip up to Nagano by Shinkansen was easy to organise. On arriving in Nagano we put our luggage in storage for a couple of hours and ate lunch in this lovely town before visiting the famous temple which gave us a good excuse to stretch our legs. Then we switched to the local train line to finish the journey up to Yudanaka. The Abiya is a short walk from the station.
The accommodation- We stayed at the Abiya Hostel which is a great partner for JPCT. It is cosy, friendly and comfortable. It used to be a Ryokan so we got the tatami mat experience except with comfortable beds! The owners are really lovely people who advised us on many things to do during our stay and also after we left.
The skiing- We were picked up promptly each morning and taken to our mountain for the day. It really could not have been simpler for us! Unfortunately we suffered with poor snow so didn’t get to do the powder we had hoped for but JPCT tour leader Tyson worked hard to find us the best slopes available. We skied most of our time with Tyson and he was chilled and fun to be with. He was attentive and responsive to our needs, as was George, one of the other guides we spent some time with.
Other activities- Jase has come up with some authentic and entertaining evening events which we chose to join, or not, as we saw fit. The karaoke was a big hit, as was the drum performance.
All in all we highly recommend skiing with Jase and his team, we will be back!
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