Overall Rating

Northern Powder Odyssey

Northern Powder Odyssey4.5/512
Northern Powder Odyssey4.5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
    92%
  • Would Revisit
    92%
Northern Powder 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.
AUD 2,990

GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, 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.
AUD 2,990
Get off-the-beaten track in Northern Tohoku where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and negligible foreigners! Visit Northern Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
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Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 02 - Jan 09, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 09 - Jan 16, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Jan 30 - Feb 06, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 13, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2021
Days: 8
Price: AUD 2,990
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Northern Odyssey Tour

The Northern Powder Odyssey Tour is a great value trip that takes you to Northern Tohoku, the most northern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. This tour heads to ski resorts that are off the radar of foreign skiers and snowboarders, so very few gaijin (foreigners) visit these areas.

The ski resorts in the Iwate, Akita and Aomori Prefectures are the antithesis of Niseko and Hakuba that are completely over-run with westerners. In Northern Tohoku, there is very little competition for the abundant fresh powder, very little English is spoken (but your guides will help with communication and organising logistics), the cuisine is authentically Japanese, and other cultural experiences are plentiful. Most of the accommodation is in Japanese hotels with an amazing onsen (hot spring) for soaking the aching body, and with fantastic Japanese cuisine. On a Northern Powder Odyssey Tour, you can experience the real Japan and satisfy your appetite for riding fresh powder.

Besides the abundance of fresh powder and lack of westerners, there are characteristics that are common to many of the Tohoku ski resorts. Many are small and only have enough off-piste terrain to keep you entertained for a day or two, so they are not destination resorts you’d want to head to for a week long trip.

One of the major benefits of the Northern Powder Odyssey Tour is that you can sample multiple ski resorts and the guides keep it really flexible. The guides can drive you around and can get you straight to the goods and show you where the powder stashes are. Off-piste riding may be considered taboo at some of the Tohoku 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 Tokyo or your next destination.

Areas and Resorts Visited

You and your guides are in search of the best lines and best conditions….this means that the actual destinations visited are subject to the weather and where the powder will be the deepest. So the guides keep it flexible and chase the snow and best weather.

From the base in the Iwate Prefecture, here are a few examples of ski resorts that may be visited: Hachimantai, Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Shizukuishi plus other hidden gems.

From the base in the Aomori Prefecture, you’ll likely visit Aomori Spring and possibly Hakkoda if the weather gods are king. There are also a couple of other secret ski areas nearby.

A few ski resorts are so deserted midweek that they'll almost feel like your own private ski resort!


Ability Level

So that you get the most out of the adventure, the guides try to group the tours into ability levels. You don’t have to be a pro, you just need to have a sense of adventure and want to ride powder including off-piste tree skiing.

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 (14 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 fair 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 Northern Powder Odyssey Tour because the whole idea is to chase the best conditions at the many different resorts, but here’s a general outline.

Saturday

  • Catch the train to Morioka
  • Stay in a deluxe Morioka hotel near the station and explore the city

Sunday to Wednesday

  • Your guide will drive you to ski/ride at a different ski resort each day in the Iwate or Akita Prefecture
  • Stay at a Japanese ski-in ski-out hotel at a quiet Iwate ski resort, soak in the onsen each night & enjoy the fabulous Japanese food

Thurs/Fri

  • Stay at lovely Japanese hotel in the Aomori Prefecture with lovely onsen
  • Ski/ride at Aomori Spring or other nearby ski areas

Saturday

  • You’ll be transferred to a local train station, from where you can get back to Tokyo or onto your next adventure.

Experience the real Japan...

..and its amazing food...

...ahh and the daily onsen.

The Powderhounds checked out this tour first hand (NB back then the tour went to the Aizu and Iwate areas and not to Aomori). See the Powderhounds' Powder Odyssey Tour review.

Accommodation

The Northern Powder Odyssey Tour is a road trip, so you need to be happy to pack up your bags a few times during the trip so that you can chase the powder and best conditions.

Accommodations are typically 3.5 star and above and room have a private en-suite. Rooms are all on a twin or triple share basis. The quality of some of the accommodation will surprise you given the low cost of this tour.

Morioka Hotel

The hotel is reasonably modern and offers well sized rooms with western beds, and ensuite bathroom.

Iwate Hotel

The accommodation for the Iwate base is at a quiet ski resort in a ski-in ski-out position. This Japanese style hotel offers rooms with western beds and private toilet, or you can opt for Japanese tatami rooms. The hotel has a couple of options for onsen (hot springs) including indoor and outdoor baths.

Aomori Hotel

The hotel base for this leg of the trip is located near Hirosake in a secluded forested area, offering views of Mt Iwaki. This Japanese hotel has rooms with western beds and private bathroom, or you can request a room with Japanese style sleeping on the tatami. The hotel has beautiful onsen with both indoor and outdoor baths. The dining at the hotel is a particular highlight.

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
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)