Overall Rating

Hokkaido Storm Chaser

Hokkaido Storm Chaser5/532
Hokkaido Storm Chaser5 out of 5 based on 32 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    94%
Wagner Custom Skis
Hokkaido Storm Chaser Enquire
Price p/p Price displayed is per person
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed rate may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations.
Reservations for the '22-23 ski season can be secured with a ¥40,000 deposit, fully refundable until August 31, 2022
USD 2,170

GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Ski Areas

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Sidecountry
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p Price displayed is per person
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed rate may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations.
Reservations for the '22-23 ski season can be secured with a ¥40,000 deposit, fully refundable until August 31, 2022
USD 2,170
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Otaru area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 02 - Jan 08, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Almost Full
Fixed Date(s): Jan 06 - Jan 12, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 12 - Jan 18, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 16 - Jan 22, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 22 - Jan 28, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Jan 26 - Feb 01, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 01 - Feb 07, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 05 - Feb 11, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 11 - Feb 17, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 14 - Feb 22, 2023
Days: 9
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 19 - Feb 25, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 23 - Mar 01, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 27 - Mar 05, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,170
Availability: Sold Out
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Enquire

Storm Chaser Overview

The Hokkaido Storm Chaser tour is a fantastic Hokkaido ski and snowboard safari that chases the storms to get the best powder conditions. It's ideal for the side country powder hound.

For the first part of the Hokkaido Storm Chaser tour you'll stay around the Furano area in Central Hokkaido. In addition to the potential to check out Furano, your guide will pack the van and storm-chase to find the good stuff at resorts such as Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake (weather permitting), Tomamu, and Sahoro.

The 2nd part of the Hokkaido Storm Chaser is based out of the portside town of Otaru, with nearby Japow buffet options of Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine, and Kiroro and the possibility of exploring the utterly untracked and tiny hills of Tenguyama and Asari if conditions are favorable.

The Hokkaido Storm Chaser is a 7-day guided off-piste ski road-trip that hits 6 different Hokkaido ski resorts for each of the 6 ski days. Where the group heads each day isn't set. It depends on where the weather report is indicating the best pow will be. The guides will take you to the best possible in-bounds and lift-accessed side-country powder. Depending on conditions, you can expect to ski out-of-bounds about 70% of the time. If you're not into skiing or snowboarding off-piste/out of bounds/side-country, this trip probably isn't for you.

Aside from inhaling the best possible pow, the guides will also take you to the best possible food. The guides make dinner reservations nightly for the group (optional to go to dinner) and the restaurants are chosen for their authenticity, deliciousness, local specialties, and the ability to meet variable price-points.
Highlights
  • Storm-chase the best powder & conditions each day
  • Stay in quality 3-star hotels
  • Maximize the quality of your skiing by getting the scoop on powder stashes and get resort orientation from your guide who will accompany you on every leg of the trip
  • The guide will take you off-piste and into the side country to show you the best kept powder secrets 
  • Venture out to resorts that most visitors don't get to
  • Sample lots of great Japanese food
  • Relax whilst your guide drives you to the ski areas

Skier/Boarder Ability

This trip is ideal for strong intermediate (at riding powder, not riding groomed trails) to advanced skiers and snowboarders, but expert riders will also enjoy all that powder. 

Given that this tour incorporates quite a bit of off-piste riding, avalanche safety gear is required.


The steep & deep in Niseko

Superb Japanese food

More Hokkaido POW POW

Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Furano

There are two options for where to meet the group:
1. Meet at the Asahikawa AKJ airport at 1:30pm or
2. Meet at the Natulux Hotel Furano at 5:15pm, accessed on your own or by the Resort Liner Bus with service from CTS airport

More information on how to get to the meeting points can be provided.

You'll settle into the hotel on the evening of day one and do a welcome dinner together as a group. The hotel is centrally located and within walking distance to all the amenities that the rural town of Furano has to offer. The hotel features western style rooms in a sleek environment.

Day 2-3: Storm Chase Furano and Surrounding Areas for 3 Days

Days 2-4 are spent skiing the best possible resorts in the region on any given day including Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake (if conditions permit), and Kamui Ski Links. The exact date the group will ski any one of these resorts depends on conditions and will be determined based on the upcoming forecasts.

Your guides will make dinner reservations (optional to attend) each night within walking distance of the hotel. The restaraunts are selected for authenticity, deliciousness, and meeting a variety of price points.

Day 4: Storm Chase Furano Area/Transfer to Otaru

After the third ski day in the Furano area, you'll transfer bases to southern Hokkaido. After a 2.5 hour drive, you'll land in the quaint port-side town of Otaru. Mostly undiscovered by ski-travellers, Otaru provides lots of interesting ski and snowboard options as well as nightlife and apres options.

Day 5-6: Storm Chase Out of Otaru

Following the format of the first 3 days, your guide will select the best possible options to ride out of the Japow buffet of Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine, and Kiroro with a possibility of exploring the utterly untracked and tiny hills of Tenguyama and Asari if conditions are favorable.

Day 7: Final Day of Skiing and Drop-offs

On day 7, the group snags one last day of skiing in before heading to CTS airport for the drop off. The ski day ends slightly early at 2:30pm. You have a few options here depending on your timeframe; either fly out of CTS airport on a late flight or get dropped off at your hotel of choice in Chitose City, located right next to CTS airport.

Accommodation

General notes:
  • 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 (subject to availability). If you'd prefer to have your own room, please select this option. Single rooms are often times unavailable, but if they are, the hotel will charge an extra 12,000JPY - 20,000JPY per night depending on the season.
  • Each room has its own private toilet and shower.
  • The hotels serve a western-style breakfast every morning and also feature a lounge for a laid back apres ski.
Furano: Nights 1-3
Your hotel in Furano is the La Vista Furano Hills, located in the center of town next to Furano station. The primary reason for selecting this hotel is that its walking distance to the amenities that the town of Furano has to offer. Unlike many ski towns, the Furano "resort area" is quite spread out and lacks good options within walking distance. With this hotel however, we're able to walk around town for our evening meals and to get an apres beer or two.

The La Vista is one of the newest establishments in Furano, opening in late 2019. The hotel boasts a spectacular rooftop indoor and outdoor onsen (hot springs), with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The rooms are quite spacious by Japanese standards, comparable to the standard western hotel room size. The large daily buffet breakfast features Hokkaido specialities with both Japanese and western options available.

Stats:
  • Room size: 26 square meters or 236 square feet
  • Bed size: two single size beds
  • Roof top, indoor and outdoor open air onsen, with views of the surrounding mountains
  • Daily buffet breakfast, serving both Japanese and western options.
  • Entire hotel features free Wi-Fi Each room has a safe.

The La Vista Furano

Outdoor hot pools with great views

And a lovely onsen
Otaru: Nights 4-6
In Otaru, you will stay at the Hotel Nord Otaru. This centrally located hotel is within short walking distance of the famous canal, a pedestrian avenue aptly named "sushi street", a fish market with live crabs you can order, a sake brewery we'll be visiting, and a number of bars.

Parts of the hotel have been newly renovated and feature simple, clean design but nothing particularly fancy.

Stats:
  • Twin room size: 25 square meters or 269 square feet (this is quite small by western standards)
  • Bed size: two single size beds
  • Bar with big windows and a 180 degree view of the quaint port-town
  • Entire hotel features free Wi-Fi
  • Each room has a safe
  • Buffet breakfast serves both western and Japanese
  • The hotel is centrally located and ideal for walking around town and exploring

Hotel Nord Otaru

Lovely modern western-style rooms

A huge buffet breakfast selection

Food

Every evening your guide has a reservation ready for the group to one of the favorite restaurants in the area. Skiing and snowboarding is about more than just the riding, especially when you're in a country famous for its culinary delights.

The criteria for selecting restaurants are:

  • The guides choose restaurants based on what food is regionally famous in the area and personally tested for authenticity by locals and the guides.
  • We understand that not everyone has $US50 to spend on a meal--that's why restaurants are chosen which meet a variety of price points, usually between $10-$40 per dinner not including drinks.

On this trip the group typically indulges in Shabushabu, Yakiniku, Teppanyaki, Sushi, traditional Soba noodles, and Tonkatsu.

NB
The guides specialize in providing a local culinary experience that meets a variety of price-points and operate under the belief that well known restaurants and chefs are easy to find and experience, while a true local experience is what is difficult and sought after. As guides to these areas with years of experience, they've talked to locals and found some great gems. If you're looking for a high-end "resorty" culinary experience (such as Michilen-Star restaurants or food by famous chefs) this trip probably isn't for you.

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 which meals you are or aren't interested in at the beginning of your trip!

Also note that sometimes they have to deviate from the planned meals due to unforeseen events, so bear in mind that flexibility might be required.

Dietary Restrictions
Skiing in Japan and cultural experiences aren't mutually exclusive. That's why the guides 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

310,000 yen + tax per person for a group tour


Private tour bookings price - please enquire.

 

  • Price is per person
  • Base invoice currency is Japanese Yen. Convert here
  • Price does not include 13% tax 
  • Lodging is twin share in separate single beds
  • Balance due 1 month before trip
  • 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 for any reason
Inclusions
  • Guided off-piste & orientation tours (max 1:4 ratio)
  • 6 nights 3 star accommodation (twin share)
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 6 days of lift passes
  • Arrival transfer from Asahikawa Airport
  • English-speaking guides
  • Departure transfer to Chitose Airport or Chitose hotel
  • All ground transport to/from ski areas
  • Tourist Visa Sponsorship
Add-ons
  • BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING: Guided backcountry isn't included in this trip. If you would like a day of guided backcountry, they can recommend a company that specializes in this service
  • Single supplement upgrade pending availability
  • Avalanche safety gear rental (beacon, shovel, probe)
Not Included
  • Flights in/out of Hokkaido - search for cheapest flights here
  • Ski travel insurance - buy travel insurance 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

Japan Ski Tours Terms & Conditions

22/23 Season Updated Booking Policy

Updated February 20th, 2022:

We understand that due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, you may be experiencing some concern and uncertainty with regards to your `22-23 winter travel plans. JST will continue to offer flexible booking options so you can book your ski trip with confidence. The following COVID-19 terms and conditions will apply to bookings for the ’22-23 winter season.

Booking policy for the '22/23 winter season:

A ¥40,000 refundable deposit will secure a reservation on any of the JST products. This deposit is fully refundable until August 31, 2022 for any reason, and may be further extended.

On September 1, the card on file will be charged 50% of the remaining balance due, with the final balance charged on November 1.

Failure to receive balance payments by September 10 and November 10 respectively, will result in cancellation of the reservation which will then be subject to our standard cancellation policy (see below).

From September 1st, 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 ¥10,000 per person;

or you may receive a 100% trip credit towards a future JST trip, with no service fee applied.

Less than 30 days before your JST 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 JST 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.

Cancellation

Once we receive written notification that you are canceling 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 4 months before the start of your trip. Cancellations made between 2 and 4 months prior to the start of your program will be charged a 50% fee. Cancellations made with less than two months 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.

Japan Ski 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 JST 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.

Responsibility and dependence on suppliers

JST acts only as an agent for the other companies providing or offering accommodation, lift tickets and other services and as such has no control over any services or products provided by these supplying companies. All bookings made are subject to the booking terms and conditions under which these services are provided. JST and its suppliers reserve the right, without liability or right of compensation, to prohibit or restrict any activity, or cancel or alter any service or itinerary component, without notice. JST will not be held responsible for the inability of the suppliers to comply with any special request relating to age, medical conditions, physical ability or disability, dietary requirements, allergic conditions, smoking or non-smoking accommodation.

Cancellation by JST

JST 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. JST 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.

What Storm Chasing means

While we do "storm chase" as much as possible, we are constrained by the limitations of our itinerary and hotel reservations. There may be instances where we have to leave our base accommodation and move to the next area as soon as a storm is coming in. If you're not willing to run the risk that the timing of the itinerary might not work with the storm systems during your trip, your best bet is to rent a Camper Van and travel around in real-time with the storms. Since our trips aren't Camper Van based, we'll be following our itinerary as described on our website and storm chasing within those limitations.

Change of Date

Date changes are subject to availability. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 2 months prior to your departure date. Date changes made between 2-3 months prior to the tour will be charged a ¥15,000 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.

Medical and Emergency Evacuation Insurance

Due to the inherent risk involved in alpine pursuits, and in the interest of your safety, Japan Ski Tours strongly recommends all participants to bring insurance that provides full medical and emergency evacuation coverage. Japan Ski Tours will NOT provide insurance for participants on any JST 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 Japan Ski Tours. Please take this seriously and lean on the side of caution.

Hazard Management and Skier Responsibilities

Managing risk is JST’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent to sidecountry 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 or not 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.