Overall Rating

Aizu Powder Hunter Tour

Aizu Powder Hunter Tour5/51
Aizu Powder Hunter Tour5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Aizu Powder Hunter Tour Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,598

SNOWBOARDING POWDER CHASER
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Riding

To be eligible for this special price you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,598
Based in Urabandai in the AIZU region of Tohuku; this tour is all about chasing the powder and riding the storms at ski areas such as Inawashiro, Nekoma, Alts Bandai, & Minowa plus cat skiing at Alts Bandai. Solo travellers welcome to join.
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Feb 02 - Feb 08, 2020
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,598
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Feb 16 - Feb 22, 2020
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,598
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2020
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,598
Availability: Filling
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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AIZU Powder Hunter Tour

Highlights

  • Chase the big winter storms in the Aizu region
  • You’re guaranteed to ride the best snow available every day with a flexible itinerary
  • Spend a morning or afternoon catskiing / boarding
  • Riding in a small group of 5 people keeps the group moving at a fast pace on a powder day
  • Staying in a luxury Japanese hotel with restaurant, bar, onsen & more

Join an Aizu Powder Hunter Tour and you’ll get to experience an area that is blessed with lots of snowfall, no crowds and very little western influence. Throughout the tour the guides will show you why the Aizu region is one of their favourite places to ride in Japan.

Your base for this tour is Urabandai Lake Resort and from here you can easily access many of the surrounding resorts. The terrain ranges from big mountain lines to undulating tree riding. The itinerary is kept flexible so your guides can find the best conditions and terrain on the day. Being off the beaten track, you will also experience real Japanese cuisine and hospitality.

What's a "Powder Hunter Tour"?

These are tours are all about chasing the big winter storms. By keeping the itinerary flexible your guide will assess the conditions and decide which is the best place to ride based on weather and snowfall. Your local Japanese guide who has a lifetime of experience riding in these areas as well as reading the conditions and terrain, will make sure you find the goods.  There are over a dozen resorts within easy reach from the hotel base including Alts Bandai, Nekoma, Minowa and Inawashiro. Each day the group will load up the 4WD vans and drive to the chosen destination for the day.

Small Groups

By limiting the group size to a maximum of 5 people per guide ensures you get the most out of your time with less time waiting around for the group to congregate, which means more time riding powder!!!!

Snow Conditions 

February through to early March is the best time of year to experience skiing and snowboarding in Aizu. What you can expect is light and dry snow, perfect for riding powder. Temps will be cold, with temperatures ranging from -1 to -10 degrees celsius. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Even if there isn't fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and your guide's local knowledge will ensure you’ll ride powder even days after a storm.

Cat Ski Session

The tour includes a cat ski session. All guests on tour get to experience cat-skiing/ cat-boarding in Japan. You don’t have to compete for fresh lines here because the group has exclusive access to the cat-ski zone, and exclusive use of snowcats to shuttle you to the top after each run. We have the cat ski operation at our disposal so we can access the amazing terrain in this area.

Luxury Accommodation

Throughout the tour you’ll stay at the Urabandai Lake Resort. The hotel has modern, western-style rooms, restaurants, bar, onsen and convenience store. The comfortable rooms are equipped with 2 single beds, great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi.

The tour includes daily buffet breakfast and dinner in the hotel's restaurant and each night you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has icy cold beers on tap as well as a pool table, darts and golf to keep you entertained.

Itinerary

The itinerary is kept flexible so you can ride at the best ski area based on snow and weather conditions as selected by your guides each day. Here is a sample itinerary:

Sunday – Arrival Day

Make your way to Koriyama Station (we can provide information regarding this) where you’ll get a bus transfer. Once you arrive, your guides will be on hand to check you in to the hotel then you’ll have the afternoon free to settle in, grab a beer, have an onsen and relax. That night you'll be hosted in the hotel bar where you’ll meet your guides who will run through the tour logistics, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have. After the welcome session, join the guides for your first of many amazing buffet dinners at the hotel. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the guests and guides over a few beers or sakes.

Monday & Tuesday – Alts Bandai & Nekoma Resorts

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll depart for the day's destination. For the first two days on snow, the aim will be to ride at Alts Bandai and Nekoma Resorts. These resorts have one of the biggest rideable areas in Southern Tohoku and are modern but definitely not westernised. The lack of westerners means that on weekdays the resorts are virtually empty, and when it snows, there is opportunity for freshies all day long.

Alts also has one of the most progressive terrain parks in Asia, and was home to the Nippon Burton Open for many years, so management understands snowboarding and still maintains one of the best terrain parks in Japan. Nekoma is rated as one of the best freeride resorts in the area with great tree riding. It also gets some serious snowfall thanks to its north facing aspect, so it’s the first place to head on a powder day.

Your guides will run a thorough safety briefing before you get on snow and are on hand to show you around the resort areas. Your guides will spend two full days guiding you through the trees and gullies. There are so many natural hits here and so few people which makes it a favourite. After riding, hit the local onsen (natural hot springs) so you can rest the legs.

After an awesome first day, you’ll catch up at the hotel bar for après and then have a buffet dinner at the hotel. For anyone wanting to relax after dinner, head to the bar for a drink and a game of pool.

Wednesday – Minowa

After breakfast at the hotel, the group will load up the vans and depart. There are many resort options to choose from and if the conditions are right you’ll head to the little known resort of Minowa. This small resort is definitely off the radar for western visitors and will leave a big impression on you. Today you will get to ride some of the best lift accessed in-bounds and side-country terrain in the area. The real fun here is in the trees, and there are loads of spots to choose from and barely any competition for the fresh powder. Follow your guides for a big day hunting down fresh lines.

After riding, head back to the hotel for hard earned beers and an onsen before dinner. You’ll have a buffet dinner at the hotel followed by a few drinks in the bar.

Thursday – Inawashiro or Grandeco

Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then get ready to depart for your next destination which could be either Grandeco or Inawashiro. Once you arrive, follow your guides to the top where the best terrain is found. Grandeco is renowned for its snow quality, with abundant light-dry, powder snow thanks to its high elevation. You’ll enjoy your time at Grandeco, with a good range of runs, including some nice mellow tree runs. The lift infrastructure is modern with 4 hooded quad chair lifts and a gondola which are nice and toasty for the frequent cold and snowy days. Inawashiro has great fall line tree runs which are more challenging.

In the afternoon you’ll head back to the hotel. Relax in the onsen and then enjoy the buffet dinner in the restaurant.

Friday – Cat Ski Day / Alts Bandai

After you have enjoyed a hearty breakfast, you’ll be loaded up in the vans and depart for your cat ski day. On arrival at the area, your snowcat guides will brief the group about the resort and location, provide you with safety info about the area and safe operation of the snowcats. For anyone wanting to get a few warm up runs in-resort, there will be plenty of opportunity to do so. The group will head to the cat ski zone with snowmobile & snowcat and then divide into smaller groups and spend the morning riding powder with the guides. After each descent, you’ll load back into the cat and ride back up to the drop off zone.

You’ll make your descent from the cat ski zone, back through the resort and into the mountain cafe at the resort base. Tuck into some hearty and delicious local foods.

In the afternoon you’ll head out for another guided session in-resort and explore plenty more lines. After your cat ski session, your traditional Japan experience keeps on going with a visit to an outdoor onsen, and then have an amazing traditional Japanese dinner with local delicacies, washed down with a few more ice-cold Asahis and a local sampler of sakes.

For your final evening, you’ll meet in the bar. Join your guides and photographer for a photo session to re-cap on the week that was. You’ll get to see the weeks biggest pow turns and best sprays on the big screen. It’s the perfect ender to a week riding pow in Aizu!!

Saturday – Departure Day

All good things must come to come to an end, and after an epic week riding deep, Japanese powder you will transfered back to Koriyama Station and say goodbye.

Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2020 Rates

AUD $2,350 per person

  • Base/invoice currency is Australian Dollars (AUD)
  • Prices are per person including tax
  • Price is based on twin-share accommodation
  • Convert to your currency here
Inclusions
  • 6 nights single share accommodation
  • 6 Buffet breakfast with Western & Japanese food
  • 6 Buffet dinners with Western & Japanese food
  • 5 day All Mountain lift ticket valid at 22 resorts
  • Daily on-snow guiding with professional Mint Tours guides
  • Mint guide on hand throughout tour
  • Guided Cat Ski session at Alts Bandai
  • Arrival and departure day bus transfers from Koriyama Station to hotel
  • Private transfers daily in comfortable 4WD vehicles
Add-ons
  • Avalanche safety gear rentals (required)
Not Included

Mint Tours Terms & Conditions

A $500 deposit per person required to secure booking with balance payable 60 days prior to departure.

All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.