Overall Rating

Nagano Powder Zone

Nagano Powder Zone5/515
Nagano Powder Zone5 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Cheap Car Hire
World Nomads Travel Insurance

Nagano Powder Zone - Reviews

Nagano Powder Zone - Reviews

Powder Chaser Tour

25/05/2020

David Crawford

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

David Crawford

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Powder Chaser Tour

25/05/2020
Really hard to review the time 7 days skiing I had with Japan Powder Culture Tours, because there was just so much action.

I joined Jase for the Powder Chaser Tour in mid-February, and whilst the season was a poor one by Japanese standards, Jase, John and George new where the goods were, consistently finding stashes 1-2 days after a dump. Out of the 7 days there was only really 1 day of poor skiing due to the conditions, and this was well beyond JPCT’s control. Additionally, due to the nature of the season, we didn’t have the luxury of visiting the other resorts around the area, however again beyond JPCT’s control.

Jase has a unique product, offering a number of different options. His flexibility to provide a start and end date that suited my travels was one of the main attractions when booking. Whilst I joined the Powder Chaser Tour with more of the advanced skiers, I witnessed Jase and his crew taking out beginners in small groups and they showed amazing improvement with such focused tuition.

I refer to the product as unique, as we were constantly finding lift accessed side country and secret stashes which I would never have found by myself, or game enough to ski without a guide who truly knew the terrain. By doing so, we were able to ski snow that was truly hidden. This type of skiing was opt-in by the more adventurous and whilst a mix of skiers and boarders, it was fairly even from an ability perspective.

The town of Yudakana had a plethora of restaurants and whilst not ski in/ski out, I’m glad I chose the option of such a lovely town, with dining options galore and comfortable bus ride. I stayed in the Ryokan and encourage anyone thinking of booking to do the same. The traditional Japanese accommodation has its quirks, however the onsen, breakfasts and dinners were truly amazing.

Summarising my time with Jase and his crew, whilst the skiing and accommodation were both great, my lasting memory was a lot of fun. Whilst it likely won’t be next year, I’m a big chance to return in the future.

Only negative is having to put up with such a rubbish accent ;)

BTW - I didn't hire any equipment.

Invaluable local knowledge

Anna
20/04/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Invaluable local knowledge

Anna
20/04/2020
My partner and I skied with our 4 boys aged 10-14 in January 2020 and had three days skiing with Jase and the crew which was definitely too short! It was our first time in Japan (although we are experienced skiers) and we spent a week in Hakuba and then onto Shiga Kogen with Japan Powder Culture Tours which was definitely the highlight. The town (Yamanouchi) where we stayed is lovely - very authentic (it's not full of Aussies) and with plenty of onsens and nice little restaurants to choose from. Skiing with Jase is completely hassle free - we didn't have to think about anything, we needed a little bit of gear for the kids and it was organised seemlessly. We didn't have to think about where to buy lift passes, where to park, where to have lunch or where to ski - it was so nice just relaxing and enjoying everything without making decisions all day. Best of all Jase and his guides who are all lovely know the best places on the mountain without doubt - they are fun to ski with, they push you as much as you want to be pushed and they find stashes even when it's the worst season in years! We loved Shiga Kogen and we also skied at another resort which was small but fun and had a great restaurant for lunch that I never would have found without Jase. We also learnt about Karate and drumming one evening which was both fun and interesting and visited a couple of lovely temples so Jase manages to fit in the "culture" as well as the powder.
We stayed at Hostel Aibiya and loved it - Yoshi and Seongmi are such a lovely couple and the place is immaculate. It's a lovely traditional Japanese Inn and well worth staying at.
Being first time skiers in Japan the guiding of the Nagana Powder Zone tour was the best decision we made when booking our trip. Would definitely go back to Shiga (but don't tell too many people that cause we don't want it to get busy) and would go with Jase and Hostel Aibiya too. Highly recommend.

Lots of fun

Adela and Fraser
18/04/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    NZ
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Lots of fun

Adela and Fraser
18/04/2020
We enjoyed a week on tour with Jase and the team. Although the snow wasn’t perfect we had two awesome powder days right at the start. We were blown away by how quiet the fields were - you never wait in a line. You can find an untouched run at the end of the day and that’s why we are so glad we decided to meet up with Jase and the crew in Shiga. Jase himself is fantastic, loads of fun and driven to do the best for his customers. We had lots of fun with the tour groups and enjoyed the daily rides up and down the mountain. We will definitely be back and have been telling our friends back in NZ put this untouched paradise on their bucket list. Shiga is also super easy access from Tokyo 😊

Fantastic Fun

Jenny
17/04/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    UK
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Fantastic Fun

Jenny
17/04/2020
Great fun, nice to meet a range of people, fantastic base and snow area.

Awesome Tour!

Justin
23/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    USA
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Awesome Tour!

Justin
23/02/2020
I highly recommend this tour. Jase and his guides were incredibly knowledgeable about the area and showed us great off piste sites that we would have never been able to find on our own. He also arranged fun cultural detours and performances at the hotel. His pre-trip guidance was very comprehensive. The ryokan in Yudanaka was perfect. All in all, a great experience and I’m looking forward to going back.

Can't get enough

05/11/2019

Andrew Garland

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Andrew Garland

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Can't get enough

05/11/2019
The short review is, my first tour was the Epic Honshu Progression Jan. 2017, my second tour was the Nagano Powder Zone Jan. 2019 and I have just booked to go on the Nagano Ski Progression Feb. 2020. Why would anyone go with Japan Powder Culture Tours a second and third time if their tours weren’t fantastic?

The long review is, for myself as a solo traveller the comradery of the tour chief (Jase) and the guides is infectious and rubs off on all the guests. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends, you are made to feel right at home and relaxed, ready for great times, both on and off the slopes. I feel I can say this as I have enjoyed great groups on both previous occasions. While the atmosphere is relaxed with plenty of good humour the guides still take safety seriously and give terrific instruction on technique as well as on assessing the terrain and conditions. I always come away a better skier full of confidence. The guides never seem to have any trouble finding the best runs and POW regardless of what mother nature might be dishing up. Japan Powder Culture Tours operate in a region where the resorts are not overrun with westerners and there is plenty of opportunity after a day skiing to experience traditional Japanese culture at its best. I also appreciate the opportunity to select the type of accommodation from a number of options. I always enjoy great food and once you have treated the tired muscles to an Onsen, you are hooked on them for life.

Be prepared to get your legs Skied Off..... and so many laughs along the way!

Lori Nelson
14/01/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    4

Be prepared to get your legs Skied Off..... and so many laughs along the way!

Lori Nelson
14/01/2019
Powder Day, heading towards the gondola
EPIC SKI TRIP Dec 2018- Jan 2019 Highlights of adventures with Japan Powder Culture Tours & Jason Caulton!
Brilliant skiing condition’s, Awesome instruction and so much development in 9 days of skiing.
A laugh every minute with the hilarious guides Jase, Tom, and Gus, wonderful views while road trippin.......(no shortage of roadies☺️, we were taken to the best food haunts 😋 while discovering & skiing ⛷ Shiga-Kogen and Togakushi, Nagano and wonderful others Resorts and their powder stashes!❄️☃️❄️
A secret I would prefer to keep to myself, but I truly must share; how wonderfully arranged the accommodation through Japan Powder Culture Tours with host Yoshiki Nishizawa and his gorgeous wife Seongmi Jeong at AIBIYA Hostel, so cozy and clean. I felt so welcomed and at home there during my 13 night stay.❤️
Yes I say again... I will be back for my adventures and Skiing progression for Dec 2019 - Jan 2020❄️☃️❄️☃️❄️

Loved it!

Kathy
10/04/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Loved it!

Kathy
10/04/2018
Japan Powder Culture Tours (JPCT) have the perfect set up for the perfect ski trip:
• The highly experienced JPCT team, led by Jason, who pick the best runs on the day, get you up and down the mountain safely and give you tips to improve your snow style, all with a big smile and a few ‘true stories’ to keep the energy going (the Aussies & Kiwis will be on to these types of ‘true stories’).
• The Shiga Kogen mountain range that has loads of snow and hardly anyone on it.
• The authentic and stylish Japanese accommodation with fabulous hosts (Yoshi & Seongmi @ Aibiya) who are pro skiers themselves, and
• The friendly and welcoming township of Yudanaka that is full of yummy, good quality and well price food and drinks.
So, I have been twice in 2 months. This may also have something to do with my ski addiction.

Great time...despite the weather

Elyta Koh
14/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    USA
  • Month:
    March
  • Admin Rating
    4

Great time...despite the weather

Elyta Koh
14/03/2018
This was my first time boarding in Japan. I was looking forward to gaining experience in powder, but the weather wasn't on our side. Despite two days off the slopes (one due to high winds and one day of non-stop rain) and no fresh snow, I had a fantastic time and improved my skills. We were able to go into the trees with some powder twice, and they were great learning experiences.

Jason did his best putting people together and matching skill levels, and his job would have been easier if people were realistic/honest about their ski/board abilities before joining the tour. Overall, he kept up the pace and challenge to make sure things were fun (definitely a lot of laughs). Jason is a conscientious guide and you can trust his judgement to keep everyone happy and safe. And his choice of lunch spots on the mountain were top notch.

The Hostel Aibiya is very comfortable and the hosts are kind and helpful. The hostel set-up made it easy to meet other guests. Yudanaka is a charming town and the restaurants are solid. The onsen experience is not to be missed.

All in all, the tour was a unbelievable experience and a fabulous way to board in Japan – especially if you are a single traveller and new to Japan. I enjoyed my tour-mates and Jason's team, and I hope to go back again sometime soon.

Highly recommended!

Nikki Graham
06/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    Japan
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Highly recommended!

Nikki Graham
06/03/2018
From the seemingly endless power and skilled guides, to the quaint town of Yudanaka with its amazing food, culture and onsens - this tour really was more than we could have asked for.

No matter what age you are, your skill level or whether you're traveling in a group or alone, Jason and his guides will ensure that you're totally taken care of! The tour really turns into one big group of friends and by the end of the trip everyone had sang a few kareoke songs and drank more than a few apre ski beers together.

The 3Q's tour takes you to and allows you to experience skiing/snowboarding resorts where you are the only non-local riders on the hill, while having the advantage of a guide that knows all the runs and lines to hit. The guides were great at splitting the guests into groups by rising ability so that you were always riding within your capabilities, while also having the opportunity to become a better skier/ snowboarder. The guides also offered tips to help you manage in the deep Japanese powder!

The accommodation was unreal - Hostel Ayabia is up there with the nicest and most welcoming hostels I've ever stayed at, with the most lovely owners. The cultural experiences incorporated into the tour were enjoyed by everyone and the near by snow monkies were an added highlight!

If I could summarize the tour in one word it would be that it was "MEAN". True story!
[1] 2 >