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

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

Book by Aug 31 to secure 10% discount. 50% deposit required to secure booking.
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Sidecountry
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p .
AUD 4,178
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.
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Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 02 - Jan 08, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 12 - Jan 18, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 16 - Jan 22, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 22 - Jan 28, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 01 - Feb 07, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 10 - Feb 16, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 20 - Feb 26, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Mar 02 - Mar 08, 2021
Days: 7
Price: AUD 4,178
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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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.

2021 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 tax 
  • Lodging is twin share in separate single beds
  • 50% deposit required to secure booking
  • Balance due 1 month before trip
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
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

Updated July 28, 2020:

Here at JST HQ, we understand that due to continuing developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, you may be experiencing some concern and uncertainty with regards to your winter travel plans. JST is now offering 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 20/21 winter season.

The special COVID-19 cancellation policy will apply under the following circumstances:

• If you cannot leave your home country or enter into Japan due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and/or,
• If quarantine measures are in place at the time of your trip (either on arrival in Japan or return to your home country).

Under the above COVID circumstances, the following options are available for cancellation requests up until 60 days prior to the start of your tour date.

• Option 1: Receive a 100% credit towards a future trip with Japan Ski Tours. Credits do not expire.
• Option 2: Receive a 90% refund

Under the above COVID circumstances, the following options are available for cancellation requests up until 30-60 days prior to the start of your tour date.

• Option 1: Receive a 75% credit towards a future trip with Japan Ski Tours. Credits do not expire.
• Option 2: Receive a 50% refund

Instead of the usual 50% deposit, this year a 25% deposit will secure your reservation. Guests can cancel by August 31 with a no questions asked full refund. To stay reserved, guests will be notified and the card-on-file will be charged an additional 25% on September 1. The final 50% is due two months prior to your booking start date.

While our trips don't usually have a minimum group size requirement, for the 20/21 season, JST reserves the right to cancel a trip if it does not have a minimum of four guests reserved by 60 days before the trip's departure date. If a trip is cancelled due to insufficient guest numbers, a 100% refund will be provided to all members of the cancelled trip.