Overall Rating

Central Odyssey

Central Odyssey5/52
Central Odyssey5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Central Powder Odyssey Tour, Gunma & Aizu areas
Central Odyssey Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,063

GUIDED SAFARI - AIZU & GUNMA
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,063
The ultimate pilgrimage to the Aizu Region & Gunma Prefecture to satisfy your appetite for powder, Japanese cuisine & genuine Japanese culture, far away from the sheep that go to the mainstream ski resorts. Gunma is the new frontier of powder gem ski resorts in Japan.
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 02 - Jan 09, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 09 - Jan 16, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 30 - Feb 06, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 13, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2021
Days: 8
Price: USD 2,063
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Enquire

Central Odyssey Tour

The ultimate pilgrimage to the Aizu Region & Gunma Prefecture to satisfy your appetite for powder, Japanese cuisine & genuine Japanese culture, far away from the sheep that go to the mainstream ski resorts. Gunma Prefecture is the new frontier of powder gem ski resorts in Japan.

The Central Odyssey Tour is the ultimate pilgrimage to satisfy your appetite for powder, Japanese cuisine and genuine Japanese culture, far away from the sheep that go to the mainstream ski resorts. The Central Odyssey heads to the Aizu Region and the Gunma Prefecture, which is the new frontline of powder gem ski resorts in Japan.

After a warm up night in a more western style hotel, you’ll then get your Japanese on by staying in two Japanese hotels where you can have an onsen and feast on a range of local cuisine. You can also stay in a tatami room (washitsu) and sleep on futons on the floor if you want the full cultural immersion.

What’s typical of most of the ski resorts visited in Gunma and Aizu, is that there are very few westerners or others chasing the powder, so fresh lines are easy to come by if you know where to look, which of course the guides do. Many of the ski resorts are small and don’t have enough terrain to keep powder hounds salivating for more than a day or two, which is what makes them perfect to include on an odyssey.

Being able to sample multiple ski resorts is one of the major benefits of the Central Odyssey Tour, and the guides keep it rather flexible. Off-piste riding may be considered a little wayward at some of these small ski resorts, but with discretion and leadership from your guide, you’ll be rewarded with abundant freshies in the trees.

Each tour runs for one week with a Saturday departure. The tour starts and finishes at a train station so you can easily get to and from Tokyo or your next destination.

Areas and Resorts Visited

One of the base areas is in Urabandai, which is close to a few of the best Aizu ski resorts.

The other base area is in the village of Katashina in Gunma Prefecture, which is close to a number of great little ski areas, including a couple of our new favourite powder gems.

Powder Recon has been ideally named because the guides have spent a lot of time doing reconnaissance work to scope out the best powder spots in Honshu to take you to.

Ability Level

The Central Odyssey Tour is ideal for advanced to expert off-piste skiers and snowboarders. If there is a slight divergence in ability levels, the guides try to divvy the group into two to match riders by speed and terrain preferences. You should be competent riding in the trees, and snowboarders should be able to read the terrain and maintain speed on traverses.

The terrain is mostly lift accessed off-piste and sidecountry, but if you have touring gear bring it along and the guide will take you on an exploration to push out a little from the ski areas to find even better snow. You don’t need to be an experienced tourer, but just have a sense of adventure and willingness to put a little work into sourcing the primo snow.

Groups and Guides

There will be either 1 or 2 guides depending on the size of the group, however the guide to client ratio will not exceed 1:5. The head guide is an experienced snowboarder (16 seasons in Japan at over 200 resorts), certified instructor with off piste/back country knowledge of the ski areas, and avalanche qualified.

Transportation

Transport for the tour will be provided in private 4WD vans. The tour will incorporate a bit of driving, but your guides do it all for you, so you can just sit back and relax.

Itinerary

There is no set itinerary for the Central Odyssey Tour because the whole idea is to chase the best conditions at the many different resorts, but here’s a general outline. The tour may also run in the reverse direction.

Saturday

  • Catch the train to Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture which takes about 50-60 minutes from Tokyo, or the trips takes about 100-120 minutes if you’re coming from the Tokyo Narita Airport.
  • Check into the Metropolitan Hotel which is attached to the train station.

Sunday/Monday/Tuesday

  • Your guides will drive you to the Bandai region where you’ll ski/ride at a different ski resort each day in the Aizu region.
  • Stay at a Japanese ryokan, soak in the onsen each night and enjoy the fabulous Japanese cuisine.

Wed/Thurs/Fri

  • The group heads to the Gunma Prefecture to stay in the Katashina region.
  • Ski/ride at a different ski resort each day.

Saturday

  • The guides will drop you at the Koriyama shinkansen station, from where you can get a train back to Tokyo or onto your next adventure.

The Powderhounds checked out an Odyssey tour first hand which included the Aizu part of this tour and then we headed north to Iwate.

Accommodation

The Central Odyssey trip involves staying in 3 different hotels during the week. Below is a general guide to the lodging for the tour, although there is some potential that an alternative but equivalent hotel may be utilised.

Takasaki

Hotel Metropolitan Takasaki is a deluxe western style hotel located adjacent to the Takasaki train station.

Aizu

You’ll stay in a Japanese ryokan in Urabandai, which is well positioned to access the various Aizu ski resorts. To fully absorb the Japanese culture, you can stay in a Japanese tatami room with futons. The tatami rooms have a private toilet whilst bathing is communal in the onsen facilities. Or you can stay in a twin western room with private toilet and shower. The hotel has a lovely onsen, with both indoor and open air baths for both genders, as well as a sauna. The onsite dining room serves buffet breakfast and dinner, with a large array of cuisine choice.

Gunma

The Japanese ryokan in the small village of Katashina is rather quaint and offers a good taste of Japan in tatami rooms. There is a small onsen onsite and the food is to die for, with set meals that still offer abundant choice.

2021 Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

Rates AUD 2,990
  • price is per person twin/double share accommodation
  • price/invoice currency is in Australian Dollars
  • includes all taxes
Inclusions
  • 7 nights accommodation in traditional Japanese or Western-style rooms, twin share
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • 6 days morning guiding (Sunday to Friday), 1:5 guide to guest ratio
  • 6 days lift passes
  • Private transport to and from ski resorts, hotels and train stations
  • 24 hour hosting - staff support as required
  • Information pack issued 2 weeks prior to arrival in Japan
  • All dinners included at restaurants carefully selected by the Powder Recon staff
Add-ons
  • Premium ski/snowboard rental equipment at discounted prices
  • Ski touring equipment or snowshoes
Not Included

Booking Conditions

  • All bookings will be held for 7 days once quotes have been issued. 
  • A 25% deposit is required to secure bookings (credit card payment available)
  • Payments will be invoiced in Australian Dollars (AUD)