Overall Rating

Aizu Zao Powder Tour

Aizu Zao Powder Tour0/50
Aizu Zao Powder Tour0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Recommend
    0%
  • Would Revisit
    0%
Japan Ski Tour Tohoku Area
Aizu Zao Powder Tour Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share mixed-group tour for 2020.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,183

UNTAPPED POWDER
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding

Book & pay by cut off date for special
Early bird: 4.5% discount on advertised prices if you book by Aug 30
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share mixed-group tour for 2020.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,183
The Aizu region in Southern Tohoku is as Japanese as it gets with rich cultural experiences, fabulous food, lots of onsens, and of course fresh powder. Also visit Zao with its pretty onsen village and more powder. Get away from the ordinary.
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 15 - Jan 25, 2020
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,183
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Jan 26 - Feb 05, 2020
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,183
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 16, 2020
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,183
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Feb 17 - Feb 27, 2020
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,183
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 15 - Mar 15, 2020
Min Days: From 7
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire
Enquire

Aizu Zao Powder Tour

This tour is being officially launched for 2020, although the WhiteRoom Tours guides have been running a few test tours and scoping trips over the past few years.

The Aizu Zao Powder Tour is aptly named as it heads to the Aizu Region and its many ski resorts, and Zao Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture. These Southern Tohoku areas are about as Japanese as it gets, so in addition to scoring fresh lines, you'll get the full Japanese experience. Stay in a traditional ryokan, soak in the onsens, relish the gorgeous food, and enjoy an area that's largely untapped when it comes to foreigners chasing powder.

Aizu Ski Resorts

Only two hours by Shinkansen from Tokyo, but a world away, the Aizu region sits under the majestic Bandai-san (Mt Bandai), a towering volcano that is surrounded by 12 ski resorts caked in powder. Few westerners visit this area, making it one of the last remaining places in Japan where powder lays untouched days after it snows. From your base at Urabandai Lake Resort you’ll explore the in-bounds and backcountry terrain of Minowa, Grand Deco, Alts Bandai, Nekoma and Inawashiro ski resorts. Each offers up something different from charging through birch forests in knee deep powder to hiking the ridges of Nekoma or dropping down pillow laden pitches to a road pick up and an end of day soaking in the onsen. Storybook Samurai Japow awaits.

If you are needing a rest (optional) from all that pow smashing, the guides will take you on a cultural day tour in the Aizu region. First stop Ouchijuku, one of the few traditional thatched roofed towns left in Japan, famous also for its soba noodles and miso. The group will also visit the ancient Samurai town of Aizuwakamatsu and explore Tsuruga Castle, once home of samurai loyal to the shogunate during the Edo period, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, then sample local sake at the famous Suehiro Sake Brewery.

One of the limitations of snowboarding and skiing in Aizu is that it's really difficult to get around to the different ski resorts via public transport, but you won't need to worry about that because you can sit back and relax whilst your guide drives you around.

Zao Onsen

The last three nights will be spent in Zao Onsen which is just under 2 hours to the north. Zao is the second oldest onsen town of its kind in Japan. Many travel there to seek out its therapeutic onsens, or to see the famous snow monsters, yet you'll be there to also seek out its epic pow. During the 80’s Zao was a happening ski town crowded with skiers decked out in amazing fluro ski suits and dancing the night away in the town's three discos. Today, like many of Japan’s ski resorts, it is a sleepy village with old lift infrastructure and some dilapidated buildings. However, it is slowly renewing itself thanks to increasing foreign visitors but it is still largely off the beaten powder hound path.

You will explore the lift accessed backcountry by day and wander the streets at night, dropping into a local brewery and sake bar. On the last night the guides will take you to Yamagata town where you will end the tour in true Japanese style at one of the town's traditional Japanese restaurants, complete with a private Maiko performance.

Guide Ratio

  • 6 to 1 client to guide ratio
  • 12 people max per tour
  • 4 person minimum.


Ability Level

For the Aizu Zao Powder Tour you need to be an advanced or above skier or snowboarder. You must be able to ski/ride the whole mountain with confidence and at a reasonable speed in powder, through trees and in variable conditions. You must have a good level of fitness. Snowboarders at this level are able to keep speed in flat sections by planning ahead and can hold a solid traverse line and hop up and manoeuvre in a way as to not slow down the group.

Groups are split up into ski/board/ability levels and some groups we will be doing some hiking (traversing/bootpacking) to get to the goods. Skins or split-boards are not required, but if the group has touring gear or wants to rent gear, the guides will happily take you deeper into the backcountry.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Day

After landing in one of Tokyo’s international airports, you will either catch the train to Koriyama Station where your guide will meet you and transfer you to Urabandai Lake Resort, or depending on your arrival time there is the option of catching the direct bus to Urabandai Lake Resort. After checking in you will have a welcome drink in the hotel's bar where you will get to meet your tour mates and the guides will run through the current conditions and tour plan. This will be followed by a welcome dinner at the hotel's main restaurant.

Day 2 – First Day On Snow

On the first day the guides will introduce you to the avalanche safety gear, run you through how to use it, and ensure that all your gear is functional and ready for the next 9 days of pow smashing. The group will hit up one of the local resorts to warm up the legs and get the first taste of that famous Japanese powder.

Day 3 – 7 Ski/Shred, Eat, Sleep and Repeat

Each day your guide will choose one of the 6 resorts in the area. This choice will be made based on prevailing conditions and the group. When the group heads to Alts Bandai there will be the option, subject to availability, of cat skiing up to three runs on an abandoned part of their ski resort. Enjoy full vert fresh pow! On one of these days or perhaps the transfer day the guides will take you down to the town of Aizuwakamatsu and Ouchijuku. First stop is Ouchijuku, one of the few traditional thatched roofed towns left in Japan, famous also for its soba noodles and miso. You will also visit the ancient Samurai town of Aizuwakamatsu and explore Tsuruga Castle, once home of samurai loyal to the shogunate during the Edo period, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, then sample local sake at the famous Suehiro Sake Brewery.

Day 8 Transfer to Zao (Possible Rest/Cultural Day)

You will say goodbye to the Aizu region and head north to Zao Onsen, a traditional onsen town, the 2nd oldest of its type in Japan. On the way you will either ski at one of the lesser known Zao area resorts or enjoy a cultural day. In the evening you will check into the newly renovated Ryokan Meitoya So where you will enjoy a Zao welcome dinner.

Day 9 – Ski Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen is home to the most famous snow-monsters in Japan. You will explore the in-bounds and lift accessed backcountry terrain here. Zao is like Nozawa Onsen was 8 years ago, a quaint onsen village with lovely restaurants and bars, few people on the mountain and loads of fresh tracks to be had. The guides will take you to see the snow monsters under lights at night as well as the local sake brewery, craft beer bar and other highlights.

Day 10 Ski Zao Onsen and Farewell Dinner

You will explore Zao’s backcountry more during the day, then it’s off to Yamagata for a special farewell dinner. You will get to experience a traditional Maiko performance at one of Yamagata’s historic restaurants. The Maikos will sing and dance as well as play Japanese drinking games designed to test both skill and sobriety! This will be a truly unique experience.

Day 11 – Departure Day

It’s time to say goodbye to your new found friends and be transferred to Sendai station for a Shinkansen train back to reality.

Lodging

Urabandai Lake Resort - Aizu

Located within Bandai-asahi National Park and on the shores of Lake Hibara, the Urabandai Lake Resort Hotel offers quality deluxe accommodation, beautiful indoor and outdoor onsens over looking the lake, and delicious restaurants and an aprés ski bar complete with pool tables, tabel tennis, foosball and virtual golf. There is also a karaoke room if you want to get fully into the Japanese resort hotel vibe. The location of this hotel is excellent for the tour, allowing short 20-50min drives to the nearby Aizu resorts.

Meitoya So Ryokan - Zao Onsen

Meitoya So is a tastefully renovated ryokan with large Japanese and Japanese/Western rooms. Situated in the centre of Zao Onsen, this traditional ryokan is a highlight of the trip. The onsens also make it special, as well as the delicious local food and inviting communal spaces. This is a lovely way to spend your last 3 nights on tour.

Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2020 Rates

  • base/invoice currency is Japanese yen inc tax - convert to your currency here
  • prices are based on twin/triple share room
  • Please enquire for a quote for a customised private tour
  • 12 people max per tour. 4 person minimum
Inclusions
  • 10 nights accommodation twin/triple share
  • 8 days guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Transfers from/to Koriyama and Sendai train stations & daily transport
  • 8 days of lift tickets
  • 9 dinners showcasing the areas delicious food including a welcome Kaseki degustation & farewell dinner party in Yamagata complete with Maiko performance
  • Daily breakfast
  • Onsen (hot spring) tours
  • Alts Bandai 3 run cat ski experience (if available on the day)
Add-ons
  • Avalanche safety equipment 14,500 yen
  • Single share accommodation
  • Tokyo stopover, Kyoto stopover
Not Included

Whiteroom Tours Terms & Conditions

Rate & Price Variation:

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right until final payment has been received in full, to vary prices & rates in the event of changes in currency exchange or price increases made by our suppliers or airlines. If the cost of any service increases due to exchange rate fluctuations, tax changes, price increases or any other reason, you are required to pay the increase when notified by us. If you choose not to pay the increased price you may choose to cancel the booking. Please note that cancellation charges will apply.

Whiteroom Tours is not liable for any price increases. Rates quoted are correct for each product at time of quoting; however these rates may change prior to your final payment date. All prices are subject to availability & can be withdrawn or varied without notice. Airline & airline taxes remain subject to change at all times until payment has been received in full & your tickets have been issued. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to correct prices & rates in the event of consultant error.

Quotations and Validity:

All prices quoted are valid at time of quote. All quotes are subject to confirmation of the components at time of booking. All components of your quote are subject to availability at time of booking request. The prices listed are based on the costs and exchange rate at the time or printing. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to alter these prices at any time. Please contact Whiteroom Tours for up-to-date prices and dates.

Bookings:

When you have advised Whiteroom Tours that you wish to go ahead with a booking WRTs will then seek confirmation from suppliers. If there is no availability for some/all of your components we will advise you of this & offer an alternative where possible. The alternative product offered may be a different price. Prices will be adjusted accordingly.

Deposit:

By making a payment on a booking you agree to Whiteroom Tours booking conditions.

A deposit of 20% of the total booking value is required for guiding only bookings. All other bookings require a minimum deposit per person (to be advised) within 7 days from booking confirmation. Some properties may require an additional deposit to secure the booking as outlined on your quote or advised by your consultant. All deposits are non-refundable once received. Whiteroom Tours will/may/might forward deposits to suppliers to secure accommodation & or services. Payment of deposit acknowledges acceptance of all booking conditions.

Final Payment:

Is due no later than 60 days prior to departure, or 7 days from booking confirmation if booking is within 60 days. Should airlines impose ticketing time limits, fare withdrawal, fare or tax increase, full payment of fare & taxes may be required before this time. Failure by the client to pay the outstanding balance by the due date may cause the auto-cancellation of the booking whereupon the deposit paid by the client shall be forfeited. Final documents will not be released until the booking is paid in full. Late payment fees may be incurred on your booking.

Itinerary:

The itinerary supplied with your final documents represents the products & services that will be supplied & supersedes any previous arrangements or understanding, whether written or oral.

Payment Options:

By making a payment on a booking you agree to Whiteroom Tours booking conditions.

Direct deposit – you will find Whiteroom Tours banking details on your statement. You must include your booking # and booking name on any direct deposit. Failure to correctly identify your payment will delay our ability to recognise it & lead to delays in processing.

Cheque – Cheques will not be accepted within 10 days of booking departure and incur a processing fee.

Credit Card – Please contact WRTs to pay by credit card. WRTs accept VISA, Mastercard or AMEX. VISA or Mastercard attract a 2.5% surcharge. AMEX 3.5%.

Cancellations by the traveller:

Any cancellations must be received in writing. Minimum fees are:

  • Up to 60 days prior to departure – full deposit will be forfeited.
  • Between 30 and 59 days of departure – 50% of total paid will apply.
  • Within 30 days of departure – 100% of total paid will apply.
  • Whiteroom Tours cannot be held responsible for snow conditions. Holidays 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 Whiteroom Tours if you are involuntarily forced to leave a tour for any reason. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals, services or any component of the tour not utilised. Please note these conditions apply to Whiteroom Tours land content only.

Cancellations by Whiteroom Tours:

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour before it is confirmed to run. A tour is confirmed to run once it has reached the minimum participants required as defined by Whiteroom Tours. This applies to all tours. Whiteroom Tours 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 receiving a full refund. Whiteroom Tours 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.

Professional fees:

Whiteroom Tours charges the following non-refundable fees. These professional fees are in addition to any fees which may be charged by airlines, accommodation providers, transfer suppliers or any other supplier.

$30.00 Booking Amendment: charged per amendment once a booking has been confirmed.
$100.00 Booking amendment inside 14 days: charged per amendment for changes inside 14 days of departure.
$50.00 Late booking: charged for bookings made inside 21 days of departure.
$30.00 Late payment: charged per week for any final payments not received by the due date.
$50.00 Travel document re-issue: charged per person in addition to supplier re-issue fees.
$50.00 Additional administration: such as special receipts or invoices for claiming deductions etc.

Responsibility:

Whiteroom Tours acts only as an agent for the companies (Principals) providing or offering the means of travel, accommodation and other services and as such has no control over any services or products provided by these Principals. All bookings made are subject to the booking terms and conditions under which these services are provided. The Company and its Principals 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. Whiteroom Tours will not be held responsible for the inability of the Principals to comply with any special request relating to age, medical conditions, physical ability or disability, dietary requirements, allergic conditions, smoking or non-smoking accommodation.

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is highly recommended for all holiday packages. We recommend you take our travel insurance upon booking and paying deposit, to cover you for cancellation fees in the unfortunate event of a cancellation.

Transfers:

Any transfers missed or not utilised by the client are non refundable. The cancellation policy of each service provider will determine whether a missed transfer can be moved to an alternate time/date. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to amend departure times & service providers at our discretion. You will be notified by Whiteroom Tours should this occur.

Airfares:

Can be purchased through Whiteroom Tours as part of your travel package. The conditions for the purchase of the airfare will be dependent on the airline & airfare that you are booked on and will be advised to you by Whiteroom Tours at time of quotation and confirmation. All fares quoted remain subject to availability at time of booking. Price may vary until fully paid and ticketed.

It is the passenger’s responsibility to:

  • Ensure correct spelling of names for persons travelling is advised to Whiteroom Tours at time of booking on the booking form & correctly shown into your itinerary.
  • Provide Whiteroom Tours with flight details for any flights not booked with Whiteroom Tours & ensure these details are shown correctly into your itinerary.
  • Advise Whiteroom Tours of any changes to the above supplied flight details & ensure that these details are shown correctly into your itinerary. Whiteroom Tours will not be held liable for any missed connecting flight, transfer, accommodation or any other service due to incorrect supply of flight information. 

Frequent Flyers:

If you are a current member of a Frequent Flyer program, we will require your membership number for entry into your booking. You should still retain your boarding passes and other receipts such as car rentals and hotel documents to ensure that all points are accurately credited to your account by the travel provider. Whiteroom Tours cannot be held responsible for copies of airline tickets/accounts once you have travelled. Not all airfares booked will accrue Frequent Flyer points. Please check with your consultant at time of booking or with your Frequent Flyer provider.