Overall Rating

Tohoku Storm Chaser

Tohoku Storm Chaser5/529
Tohoku Storm Chaser5 out of 5 based on 29 reviews
  • Recommend
    97%
  • Would Revisit
    97%
Tohoku Storm Chaser Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room occupancy for 2023 season.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including taxes +13%.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Reservations for the '22-23 ski season can be secured with a 40,000 yen deposit, fully refundable until Aug 31, 2022.
USD 2,533

GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing

Pay deposit of 40,000 yen before July 31, 2022 to qualify for early bird discount.
Book & pay 40,000 yen deposit by July 31 for 10% off this advertised price
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room occupancy for 2023 season.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including taxes +13%.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Reservations for the '22-23 ski season can be secured with a 40,000 yen deposit, fully refundable until Aug 31, 2022.
USD 2,533
Get away from the crowds & the tracked out snow, and also experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder on this Tohoku tour. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu.
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Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 09 - Jan 16, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 14 - Jan 21, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 28 - Feb 04, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 02 - Feb 09, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 13, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 12 - Feb 19, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 16 - Feb 23, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2023
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,533
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Tohoku Storm Chaser Tour Overview

The Tohoku Storm Chaser Tour is a ski and snowboard safari in Northern Tohoku in Honshu (i.e. way north of Tokyo) that chases the storms to get the best powder conditions, whilst incorporating cultural experiences, and authentic restaurants with the assistance of professional bilingual guides. The tour heads to far away Tohoku ski resorts that are not well known so there are plenty of fresh tracks!

If the ski hills were easy to get to they'd be tracked out, but on the Tohoku Storm Chaser, you'll get taken to plenty of great ski areas.

For the first part of the tour you'll stay in Morioka and chase the best powder each day at up to 5 different nearby ski hills (plus a half day of cat skiing at an abandoned ski hill) where you will have little to no competition for the fresh POW. Ski areas visited might include: Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Appi KogenHachimantai, Shizukuishi, Amihari or Iwate Snowpark, plus a few other undisclosed gems.

After smashing the powder in the Morioka area, you will travel up to Aomori City and Hakkoda (right at the top-end of Honshu) which is Honshu's answer to Asahidake. Hakkoda has 8 peaks serviced by a single ropeway (cable car) and gets an insane amount of powder. The ropeway only provides some of the uphill. Expect to do plenty of touring or snowshoeing to get the most out of Hakkoda.

At the end of the day, you can soak in traditional hot springs (onsen), treat yourself to delicious Japanese food, and think about how life couldn't get much better! Oh and post your brag photos on social media :)

And some of the tour dates align so that you also have the option to add on a couple of days of cat skiing with the Hachimantai Cat Skiing Trips.

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Ride the famous bullet trains
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Stay in regional cities
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Ski at uncrowded ski areas

Highlights

  • Storm-chase the best powder & conditions each day
  • Stay in 3-star hotels in real Japanese cities not frequented by western tourists
  • Soak your powder-tired muscles in outdoor natural hot springs (onsen)
  • Into the après-ski scene? An endless supply of nightlife from izakayas to craft-beer establishments offering local brews
  • Cat skiing for one half day at an abandoned ski resort - freshies galore!
  • Food is key - optional dinner reservations
  • Maximize the quality of your skiing and snowboarding by getting the scoop on powder stashes in the off-piste and side country zones, and resort orientation from your native English speaking bilingual guide
  • 2 days of backcountry guiding with a local guide at Hakkoda
  • Explore resorts that most gaijin don't get to (so lots of fresh powder)

Skier/Boarder Ability

This tour is ideal for strong intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders with plenty of experience riding powder. You don't necessarily need backcountry experience for your time at Hakkoda, but a good level of fitness is required as you'll be doing plenty of touring (ski touring or splitboarding) or snowshoeing.

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Ski endless lines of powder
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Experience a day of cat skiing
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Visit incredible onsens

If you have a group and would prefer a self-guided version of this tour, the Indy Pass tour offers everything this tour does without the hosting & guiding.

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at Morioka train station 6:45pm

There are three options of where to meet the group.
1) Meet at Hanamaki Airport "Hana Shop and Cafe" on the first floor at 5:30pm
2) Meet at Morioka Station South Exit by 6:45pm on day-one of your tour
3) Meet at the hotel in Morioka by 7:30pm on day-one of your tour

Day 2-5: Storm Chase in the Iwate/Morioka Region

The area surrounding Morioka explodes with ski hills in every direction. Depending on the conditions, you'll hit Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Shizukuishi, Appi Kogen or Hachimantai Shimokura, Amihari or Iwate Snowpark ski hills. With so many options sometimes it can be hard to choose!

One of the days your group will have its own private snowcat to go cat skiing at an abandoned ski hill.

One thing's for sure though, there will be negligible foreigners there and there'll be very little competition for our pow, if any.

This section of the trip involves a fair amount of driving (by your guide) in one of the adventure vans. Every day you can expect to travel 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to a ski hill.

Each night you'll head back to the vibrant city of Morioka where you'll have the option to head to a great restaurant organised by your guide. And if you’re into nightlife, you’ll have an abundance of options.

On the afternoon of day 5 you'll pack up and your guide will drive you 2 hours north to the city of Aomori (near Hakkoda).

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Fabulous cultural experiences
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Incredible local cuisine
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New lifelong ski buddies

Day 6-7: Ski Hakkoda in Aomori

Hakkoda is one of best undiscovered gems left to be found in the Japow universe. In the same fashion as Asahidake in Hokkaido, Hakkoda is a single ropeway (tram) that opens up incredible backcountry terrain. Depending on where you want to go, one run can take 30 minutes or 1.5 hours. At Hakkoda, it's all about the quality. However, because of its location it often shuts down due to bad weather. In this case there are some exciting backup options in the area that will still leave you satiated.

The two days in Hakkoda are backcountry days which are accessed by a tram. That means that while the tram takes care of 90% of elevation gain, you'll still be hiking anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes per run on terrain that varies from flat traverses to moderate climbs. Since you'll be doing 2 runs per day, that means you'll be touring for between 1-3 hours per day. But it's worth it and the snow quality is worth it!

If you have your own touring equipment, you will definitely want to bring it for these two days. If you don't have your own gear, the guides have snowshoes available for you to use for no additional cost.

More than just skiing and snowboarding, Aomori is a unique and interesting culture with its own traditions, dialect and yes - amazing local food. In this town you'll be feasting on sushi, seeing a musical performance, and can even learn some traditional dances (if you're in the mood).

Day 8: Drop Off Day

You'll be dropped at the Aomori bullet train station where you can take a 3.5 hour train back to Tokyo. Or you might choose to catch a train up to Hokkaido.

If you're planning on staying in Tokyo for a few days at the end of the trip, note that you can mail your ski bag to the NRT or HND airports. That way you won't have to lug it around!

Lodging

All of the hotels are 3-star rated, western-style, shared twin room accommodation with ensuite bathroom. Single room accommodation is available subject to availability. If one of your aims is to stay in "luxury" accommodation, this trip probably isn't for you since the hotel choices are clean, comfortable, and very nice, but not what anyone would consider luxury.
  • Pricing and occupancy are based on shared twin rooms. This means that you will be sharing your room with another person in the group and yes, you will have separate beds!
  • If you're traveling alone, we can't guarantee that you'll be paired with someone of your same gender. Ie, if you're a solo female traveler, we can't guarantee that you'll be paired with another female. If you're uncomfortable with this, please select the option for a single room upgrade.
  • If you're traveling as a couple or as friends, you'll be paired together.
  • An upgrade to a single room is possible subject to availability.
  • Each room has its own private toilet and shower.
Morioka Lodging
The hotel in Morioka is the absolute best that this modest city has to offer, right at the perfect intersection of good facilities in a lively area, and directly across the street from one of the best pubs in town.

Each room features free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and bidets. Twin room size is 31 square meters or 333 square feet. Beds are two single beds.

A buffet breakfast is provided, with a range of Japanese and western fare.

Aomori Lodging
Located in the heart of Aomori City, the hotel is the best this humble city has to offer. Featuring WiFi in every room, a superb buffet breakfast with western style options, and individual bathrooms with personal baths and showers, you couldn't ask for more to help you recover before your next big day crushing the pow at Hakkoda. Room size is a bit smaller than the first hotel at 23 square meters or 247 square feet. Beds are two single beds.

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Deluxe business hotel accommodation
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Private ensuite bathrooms
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Daily buffet breakfasts

Food

JST thinks that skiing and snowboarding is about more than just the riding, especially when you're in a country famous for its culinary delights. The guides are excited to take you to the best possible food on any given evening. The guides will have nightly reservations for the group to favorite places in the areas. These meals are optional but highly recommended!

The criteria for selecting restaurants are strict:

  • Most of the restaurant selections can't be found anywhere in English, don't have English menus, and the staff don't speak English (your guide will interpret for you)
  • The guides choose restaurants based on what food is regionally famous in the area and personally tested for authenticity by locals and your guides.
  • The guides understand that not everyone has US$50 to spend on a meal so they choose restaurants which meet a variety of price points, usually between $10-$30 per dinner not including drinks.
  • They choose restaurants with an aim to provide you a diverse cross section of excellent Japanese cuisine from sushi to noodles, from rice to Japanese style BBQ!

Note that participation in dinner isn't mandatory and isn't included in the price of your trip. If you want to have dinner on your own--no problem, just let your guide know!

Also note that sometimes the guides have to deviate from the planned meals because they can't make advanced reservations for everywhere they want to take you, so bear in mind that flexibility might be required.

The areas you're going to on this trip are so remote and off the tourist track that it's almost impossible to find an authentic restaurant that is completely non-smoking. Most of the places aren't crowded but there's always a chance that someone sitting in your vicinity might light up a cigarette. Unfortunately, this risk is the price of admission for good food in this region. 

Dietary Restrictions
JST believe that skiing Japan and cultural experiences aren't mutually exclusive so they try as much as possible to give you authentic food options. Unfortunately however, in Japan it's pretty much impossible to have an authentic culinary experience with dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance and veganism, even pescetarians and vegetarians have a famously difficult time. If you have dietary restrictions such as that listed above, your guide and selected restaurants will probably not be able to cater to your needs. This can be discussed with the guide but you should be prepared to eat grocery store food for most dinners.

2023 Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

Full Price: 329,000 JPY per person

  • Based on twin share
  • Base / invoice price is in Japanese Yen
  • Does not include 13% taxes
  • Peace of mind COVID Policy: Reservations for the '22-23 ski season can be secured with a ¥40,000 deposit, fully refundable until August 31

Inclusions
  • Your own bilingual, qualified guide – max 1:4 ratio
  • 7 nights 3 star accommodation with ensuite bathroom (twin share)
  • Daily breakfasts featuring western & Japanese options
  • Lift passes for 6 resorts, 1 day cat skiing
  • Ground transport to ski areas
  • Arrival pick up from Morioka station (or Hanamaki Airport) & departure drop off at Aomori
  • Use of snowshoes for Hakkoda if you don't have touring gear
  • 2 days of guided backcountry at Hakkoda with local guide
  • 3 visits to onsen
Add-ons
  • Single room upgrade (pending availability)
  • Avalanche safety gear rental (beacon, shovel, probe)
Not Included
  • FLIGHTS: International flights in/out of Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) - book flights here
  • TRIP INSURANCE: Highly recommended, as all subsisting costs will be charged in case of absence. Payment by credit card, Visa Premier or Gold MasterCard, may provide cancellation insurance. Check your contract. - buy online here
  • LUNCHES, DINNERS & DRINKS: only those meals stated above are included in the price
  • POWDER SKIS & POWDER BOARDS: It is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment that you have appropriate skis and snowboards for deep, deep powder
  • TRAINS: to & from Morioka & Aomori, JR Pass

Japan Powder Culture Tours Terms & Conditions

BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Booking Policy for the 2022/2023 season

  • 20% of the full cost of the tour will secure a reservation for any of the JPC Tours products. This is fully refundable until 31st August 2022 for any reason and may be further extended.
  • On 1st September 2022 the card on file will be charged a further 30% and the final 50% will be charged on 1st December 2022. Failure to receive balance payments by the 15th September 2022 and 15th December 2022 respectively, will result in cancellation of the reservation which will then be subject to our standard cancellation policy.
  • For bookings after 1st September 2022 there is a 20% deposit required to secure a reservation with the remaining balance due 60 days before commencement of the tour.
  • From 1st September all bookings are to be subject to our standard terms and conditions or by our COVID-19 exclusive policy (see below)

COVID-19 Exclusive Policy

If a COVID-19 travel ban is in effect, prohibiting international travel to and from Japan or to and from your home country, or if a mandatory quarantine is required after arrival into Japan or upon return to your home country:

Up to 30 days prior to your ski trip start date the following applies:

  • You may cancel and receive a refund minus the service fee of ¥15,000 per person.
  • or you may receive a 100% trip credit towards a future JPC Tours trip, with no service fee applied.

Less than 30 days before your JPC Tours trip start date the following applies:

  • You may cancel and receive a 50% refund with a 50% cancellation fee.
  • or you may receive a 75% trip credit towards a future JPC Tours trip, with a 25% cancellation fee.
  • Due to the substantial time and financial investment required in getting our trips prepped for winter, sudden cancellations even under Covid related circumstances will incur the above-mentioned cancellation fees.

Terms of Agreement & Policies/Booking Information

Please carefully read the policies below before you make a reservation.

CUSTOMER INFORMATION FORM

To enable us to complete your arrangements you must complete the customer information spreadsheet as complete as possible at the time. This does not guarantee your booking as we need to confirm that the accommodation you have requested is available. If there is no availability for some/all of your components we will advise you of this and offer an alternative where possible. The alternative product offered may be a different price and prices will be adjusted accordingly. The information which you provide may be used by JPC Tours for further communication to you (unless requested otherwise) but no information will be divulged to any third party.

BOOKING YOUR HOLIDAY

Once we have confirmed your accommodation requirements JPC Tours will send you a deposit invoice of 20% of the total booking which is nonrefundable once received. We do hold the deposit in credit for you if you wish to book with us at another date. You will then have 7 days to reconfirm your space with your deposit. The payment options for the deposit are through our New Zealand or Japanese bank account or via PayPal as bank transfer or credit card. Any fees associated with the transfer are the client’s responsibility. The final balance is to be paid 60 days prior to the commencement of the tour either via our New Zealand or Japanese bank account or through PayPal. We also have the option to pay by cash yen at the start of the tour for those who wish to avoid the transaction fees and perhaps gain by purchasing cash yen at the time you consider the best rate. If you pay directly into our New Zealand or Japanese account from an overseas institution you are required to cover any applicable fees. This is usually a fee on your end and a $30NZD/¥4000JPY fee when the funds land into our account. If we have been charged any fees for accepting such transactions these fees will be passed on in full. Paying through PayPal there is a 3.4% fee to be paid at your end or via credit card 4.5% through paypal.

CANCELLATION

Once we receive written notification that you are cancelling your trip the following fees will apply. Of the total price of the reservation, a fee of 25% will be charged for all cancellations made more than 3 months before the start of your trip. Cancellations made between 1 and 3 months prior to the start of your program will be charged a 50% fee. Cancellations made with less than one month of advanced notice will not be refunded. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to the departure date, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

JPC Tours cannot be held responsible for snow conditions. Trips cannot be cancelled or amended on the basis of snow conditions. No refunds will be made if you voluntarily leave a tour for any reason after the tour has begun. Refunds will be at the discretion of JPC Tours if you are involuntarily forced to leave a tour for any reason. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals, services, lift tickets or any component of the tour not utilized.

AMENDMENTS

If you need to amend any arrangements after your original booking these must be advised in writing. One amendment is free of charge. Any further changes will incur administration costs of ¥3000 per amendment plus any costs levied by our overseas agents and suppliers. Any change to an existing booking constitutes ‘an amendment’. A transfer to another tour is viewed as a cancellation and not as an amendment, and cancellation fees will apply.

BOOKING CONDITIONS

JPC Tours receives bookings subject to the following conditions.

  1. A booking is accepted only after JPC Tours receives the deposit and issues the client a Confirmation Invoice. The balance must be received 60 days prior to the commencement of the tour; otherwise JPC Tours may treat the booking as cancelled by the client.
  2. Date changes are subject to availability. Date changes may be requested at any time up to 2 months prior to your departure date. Date changes made between 2-3 months prior to the tour will be charged a ¥20,000 fee per person. A ¥10,000 fee will be charged per person for all date changes made more than 3 months prior to the tour.
  3. Where this booking would otherwise be subject to the provisions of the Consumer Guarantee Act (C.G.A) 1993, if the supply is a supply for business purposes the client agrees that the services are supplied for business purposes in terms of section 2 and 43 of the C.G.A 1993, and that the provisions of the said Act do not apply to the supply to the client. Such client is not a consumer for the purposes of these booking conditions.
  4. Adventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in our release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in a JPC Tour. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident. Managing risk is JPC Tours number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent to side country pursuits (e.g., avalanche, inclement weather, tee-accidents, rock fall, and high winds) but they cannot eliminate them. Please clearly understand that skiing in bounds and out of bounds is an inherently hazardous sport and both actions are only undertaken with the full knowledge and consent from the participant that these are inherently dangerous activities. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which skiers have been injured and worse. While these accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge that risk and make their own choices about whether to engage in this activity. We ask that each participant is physically and mentally fit, is properly attired and equipped, and continues to assess him/her-self throughout the tour to ensure as safe a time as possible. We ask that participants honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their guide.
  5. Due to the inherent risk involved in alpine pursuits, and in the interest of your safety, JPC Tours strongly recommends all participants to bring insurance that provides full medical and emergency evacuation coverage. JPC Tours will NOT provide insurance for participants on any JPC tour. If a participant does not have proper insurance documentation, he/she will be liable for her own medical and emergency evacuation expenses and will receive no refund, date change, or any kind of compensation from JPC Tours. Please take this seriously and lean on the side of caution.
  6. JPC Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, including a confirmed tour, due to circumstances beyond our control. If this occurs, you will be given the option of changing to another tour or receive a full refund. JPC Tours is not responsible for any incidental expense you have incurred as a result of your booking. If you choose and alternative tour and it is at a lower value than your original tour, you will be refunded the difference. If the alternative tour is of a higher value, then you will pay the difference in price. Thankfully this has never happened to date.
  7. JPC Tours role as tour operator is to arrange through third party suppliers the hotel accommodation, train journeys, rental vehicles, ski passes, cultural activities and other facilities which together provide the holiday arrangement detailed in the itinerary. You should note:

    a) That your vacation arrangements are subject to terms and conditions imposed by, hoteliers, train operators, rental car operators, ski resorts and other suppliers of services. Many of those terms and conditions limit or exclude the liability of the supplier and may often be the subject of international convention between countries.

    b) JPC Tours does not own or control the hoteliers, train operators, rental car operators, ski resorts or the various suppliers, and JPC Tours does not actually provide those services itself. JPC Tours will take all possible care to ensure that its suppliers have a reputation for maintaining a high standard. However, JPC Tours is unable to accept responsibility in any way for day-to-day problems with the services provided or for any loss, damage, delay, inconvenience or injury to persons or property, or any other loss howsoever arising. In particular JPC Tours is unable to accept responsibility for any aspect of your holiday arrangements affected by matters over which JPC Tours has no control including, without limitation, war or threat of war, riots and civil strife, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, weather conditions, fire, flood, drought, industrial disputes or governmental or official action or reasonable apprehension of the foregoing, cancellation, curtailment, or rescheduling of flights, or any failure on your part to obtain the correct visas and valid passport for travel.

  8. While JPC Tours will use its best endeavors to operate all tours as advertised, reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made without notice where deemed necessary or advisable by JPC Tours.

  9. JPC Tours does not accept responsibility for disruption, inconvenience, cancellation or alteration directly or indirectly caused by or aggravated by the failure of any computer data processing equipment or media microchip integrated circuit or similar equipment, software or processing, storage or retrieval system.

  10. It is a condition of the acceptance of your deposit in respect of this tour that all monies paid to JPC Tours, whether by way of deposit or otherwise in respect of the tour, may be disbursed by JPC Tours as and when it sees fit or in respect of the services to be provided or fees payable under the tour program and the payment of a deposit for the tour shall be deemed to be a direction by you to JPC Tours to disburse such monies as foresaid. All monies received by JPC Tours are deposited in its name with its bankers, until appropriate disbursement to the suppliers of services or their agents.

  11. The flight segment of the tour is to be arranged by the customer and JPC Tours cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise due to your air travel arrangements.

  12. Receipt of a deposit will be taken as an understanding by JPC Tours that the participant has read and agrees to abide by these terms and conditions stated.

  13. The booking conditions and the supply of services herein shall be governed by and interpreted according to the laws of New Zealand, and both the client and JPC Tours irrevocably submits themselves to the jurisdiction of New Zealand courts in respect of any proceedings arising out of or relating to these booking conditions or services provided hereunder.

YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE

Passport and visa fees, insurance, excess baggage charges, extra meals, laundry, drinks, souvenirs, items of a personal nature including medication, departure taxes, and tipping are not included in the price of your holiday. Entrance fees to venues detailed in the itinerary will generally be included, unless specified otherwise in the itinerary.

PASSPORTS & VISAS

A valid passport is required for travel and some countries require that it be valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure from those countries. Japan works on a 90 holiday visa for most countries however some countries are excluded from this and require further documentation before travel into Japan is permitted.

The above information should be taken as a general guideline and JPC Tours will endeavor to resolve any issues that may arise in a prompt and professional manner.