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Shiga Rookies

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Price p/p From price based on twin-share, 7 nights Villa Alpen inc breakfast, dinner, lift passes, 1 day of lessons.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,326

8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Skiing at Shiga Kogen

To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Instruction | Terrain Focus: On-Piste
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Price p/p From price based on twin-share, 7 nights Villa Alpen inc breakfast, dinner, lift passes, 1 day of lessons.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,326
This package is aimed at those who want a ski-in/out experience that offers the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard or improve on their existing skills. These packages can be CUSTOMISED from 5 nights including airport transfers, accommodation, meals, lessons/guiding, lift passes & rental equipment.
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Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Custom Booking Period: Dec 15 - Mar 31, 2020
Min Days: From 5
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire

Shiga Rookies - NEW for 2018/19!!

The idea behind the Shiga Rookies tour is to offer small groups & families the opportunity to stay in relatively inexpensive on-mountain accommodation at Shiga Kogen where they can ski right from the front door; add on some tuition or guiding and you will be set to explore Shiga Kogen's massive ski area.

Your base will be at the ski-in/ski-out hotel Villa Alpen in a western or Japanese-style room with private toilet & basin (bathing is done in the traditional Japanese bathhouse) and includes daily breakfast & dinner.

The first day of the package on-snow includes a full day of ski or snowboard tuition by qualified instructors (or you can use this as a guided orientation day to get to know the ski area) and after that you are free to explore the 19 inter-connected ski areas of Japan's largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen. 

5-days of lift tickets for Shiga Kogen are included which provides for a couple of rest days and the opportunity to experience some of the great activities this area offers such as q visit the Snow Monkey Onsen, walk the streets of the historic Japanese village of Shibu Onsen, visit the local sake brewery, do a tour historic temples and/or partake in other cultural activities.

This is the perfect tour for those coming to Japan to ski or snowboard to the first time or who want an inexpensive ski resort experience.


  • Start from scratch or refresh your ski or snowboard skills or be guided around Shiga Kogen
  • Ski right from the front door of your hotel
  • Relax in the hot springs onsen at the hotel in the evenings
  • Include other activities such as visiting the world famous snow monkeys and walk through 1300 year old Shibu Onsen town

Rider Ability

This tour caters for beginner to advanced skiers and boarders. It includes 1 day of lessons (or guiding) and additional days can be added to the program.

Resorts/Ski Areas Visited

All of the skiing & snowboarding for this package is at Shiga Kogen. If however you feel your ability has improved beyond intermediate there may be an opportunity to partake in one of Japan Powder Cuture Tours guided day trips to another ski area (for an additional fee).


This itinerary is a guide based on 7-nights on-mountain at Shiga Kogen and may vary depending on how you customise your package.

Day 1 (Arrival Day)
Make your way to  Shiga Kogen (the largest ski area in Japan) on either the amazing rail system or a shuttle from Narita or Haneda airport.

Upon arrival you will be greeted by the friendly English speaking staff at the Alpen Villa hotel. After settling in to your room you can sit around and relax either in your room or in the communal lounge/bar area tasting local beers or a cocktail in front of the cosy open fireplace. Alternatively head to the in-house onsen (Japanese bath-house) for a relaxing soak before dinner.

Dinner is served in the main dining area in the hotel where they offer an à la carte menu of international cuisine.

Day 2 (Tuition / Guiding Day)
After a hearty breakfast, get set to head out for your first day on the snow!

Whether you are a first-timer, beginner or someone wanting to brush up on your existing skills, a full day of instruction is included to get you going. Alternatively if you are a competent intermediate and above, you can utilize your instructor to show you around the huge resort whilst also providing some improvement tips (if you want them).

After skiing, that onsen is always a great thing to come home to soothing any aches and pains.

Once again dinner will be served in the dinning room.

Day 3 -7 (Freeski/Ride)
After breakfast it is your choice as to where to ski or board.....made up of 19 resorts Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Asia with the highest lift access in Japan. Because Shiga is so large and elevated, fresh lines can be found days after a snowfall. And because relatively few westerners have discovered this area the queues are almost non-existent and another bonus is that very few Japanese ski off-piste. 

As this package provides 5 days of lift passes, this allows for 2 free days to either relax at your accommodation or to partake in another a activity which might include a visit to the snow monkey onsen, visit to historic temples and/or castle, a stroll around historic Shibu Onsen, sake tasting or even a guided day trip to another nearby ski area. All of these activities come at an additional cost.

Because the hotel is ski-in/ski-out you have the flexibility to come back to the hotel and have a rest at any time.

In the afternoon, why not drop in to the The Teppa Room at Chalet Shiga which is a great western style bar with a big screen that plays ski and snowboard videos, and serves up locally brewed beer and appetizers.

Then back to the hotel for bar, onsen & dinner before bed.

Day 8
It is time to bid farewell.

However depending on your flight schedule you might still have time for a morning ski/snowboard or to take in some more of the cultural activities or a trip to the Snow Monkeys (maybe your second trip!!) before heading back to the airport or onwards.

Cultural activities...

...traditional Japanese food...

...visit the famous snow monkeys.

Accommodation Options & Meals

This package is located on-mountain at Shiga Kogen ski resort where you can ski/snowboard right from your door.....

Shiga Kogen - Sun Valley AreaSun Valley is one of the 19 inter-connected ski areas at Shiga Kogen. Like most areas at Shiga Kogen there is little to do outside of your hotel when the sun goes down so you have to mostly rely on the services of your hotel.

Villa Alpen HotelVilla Alpen is a family owned and operated hotel based at Sun Valley at Shiga Kogen resort and gives you a true ski in and ski out experience.

Villa Alpen is not a brand new five star hotel, but the owner Captain and his son Ken and his family make up with it by really making you feel at home. English speaking they are well versed at looking after westerners needs and both Captain and Ken a qualified ski instructors so they have a passion for you to experience their wonderful ski area.

RoomsRooms are a Western/Japanese mix with beds and tatami area for day time living with a separate toilet and wash basin and some have full en-suites. There are also some Japanese-style rooms that cater for up to 6 guests sleeping on futon beds on the tatami floor.

Guests can put their boots on in the room and walk straight into the lift that places them on the ground floor to pickup skis or snowboard and a short 20 metre walk to the lifts. All rooms have a heater and kettle to make green tea.

AmenitiesVilla Alpen has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) where all your bathing is conducted and is a great way to soothe any aching joints or muscles after a day on the slope.

The hotel has a main restaurant where breakfasts and dinners are served and the main bar does smaller snack type meals and beverages and is a cool place to chill out after being on the slopes. There is a communal lounge area with fireplace for congregating in the evenings to talk about the day's highlights.

Breakfasts include, cereals, fruit, coffee/tea/juice, toast and eggs. The dinners are a mix of Japanese/Western style and they seven different set menus.

There is free Wi-Fi drink, vending machines, ski and snowboard storage room and an in-house convenience store for those midnight snacks.

Hostel Aibiya..

...quad dorm rooms...

.....communal kitchen

Rates & Inclusions

2018/19 Rates

 Prices are per person in Japanese Yen
 Villa Alpen Amenities  Price per person
 Twin room private toilet & basin - onsen for bathing  149,000
 Quad room private toilet & basin - onsen for bathing  Get a quote

Note: Inclusions
  • 7 nights twin-share ski-in/out accommodation at Villa Alpen
  • Breakfast & dinner each day plus free wifi
  • 5 days of lift passes for Shiga Kogen's 19 ski areas
  • Full day of instruction and/or guiding on the first day
  • And many more hidden gems
  • Extra days of ski or snowboard instruction/guiding
  • Ski & snowboard rentals
  • Guided days to other resorts
  • Airport transfers to/from Shiga Kogen
  • Option to have a rest day to visit to Matsumoto Castle and Nagano to visit the Zenkoji Temple
  • Visit to the snow monkey onsen
Not Included

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 & SafetyThe 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 & RiskAdventure 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.