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Tohoku Backcountry Tour

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Central Powder Odyssey Tour, Gunma & Aizu areas
Tohoku Backcountry Tour Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2023.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,157

LIFTS + TOURING BACKCOUNTRY
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding

Deposit must be paid by promotion close date to qualify for discount. See T&Cs re Covid 19 policy
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2023.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,157
Head to Northern Tohoku on this lift accessed backcountry tour where you'll use the lifts as well as touring gear to score the best powder. This region provides an authentic Japanese cultural experience & lots of historic onsen.
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 17 - Jan 25, 2023
Days: 9
Price: USD 3,157
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Jan 27 - Feb 04, 2023
Days: 9
Price: USD 3,157
Availability: Almost Full
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 14, 2023
Days: 9
Price: USD 3,157
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Tohoku Backcountry Tour

The Tohoku Backcountry Tour is a lift-accessed backcountry tour that takes in some of the best backcountry terrain in this untapped region in northern Tohoku, based in the Iwate Prefecture and the Aomori Prefecture. You’ll be required to have touring gear but that doesn’t mean you have to hike all day. The beauty of this tour is that you will use the lifts most days to gain vertical, smash the pow of the lifts and then once that’s done, start touring into the backcountry to get more fresh tracks. By having touring gear you have the flexibility to go where the snow is best, hike into and out of backcountry areas, and get endless fresh JAPOW!

What makes this tour special is the lack of foreigners, epic amounts of powder, quaint 1,900-year-old onsens, amazing local food and an overall cultural experience. This tour will not only take you to some awesome backcountry areas but will also leave you with a true Japanese experience.

The starting point for this tour is the bustling city of Morioka, which is a quick two and a half hour Shinkansen train trip north from Tokyo, and you'll stay here for the first 4 nights. Sitting in view of Mt Iwate, staying in Morioka provides the flexibility of being able to do short day trips to the nearby ski areas of Geto Kogen, Appi Kogen, Hachimantai, Shizukuishi and Tazawako. Each resort offers awesome terrain straight off the lifts as well as plenty of great backcountry touring.

After a great days riding the group will often stop at an onsen on the way home to sooth those muscles before heading out for dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants near your hotel as well as checking out some cool bars if you’re up for it. With hardly any foreigners apart from yourselves in this area you’ll get to enjoy a unique Japanese cultural ski experience.

For a special experience, you can enquire regarding an optional cat ski day at either Shizukuishi or Hachimantai.

You’ll then travel up to far northern Tohoku for the next 4 nights where you’ll enjoy Aomori Spring's deserted powder or head to the famous Hakkoda, ascending to the peaks to explore the limitless backcountry possibilities amongst the snow-monsters! This area has become a favourite and from the base in Kuroishi you’ll have the flexibility to either head up to Hakkoda or across the plains to Aomori Spring. Both ski areas have some amazing terrain straight off the lifts as well as vast easily accessed backcountry terrain.

At night you’ll relax in the warm and welcoming Hotel Azumashiya, soak in its lovely natural onsen and enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine cooked up by Fukushi-san and his family. It’s hotels like these that make staying in this barely explored part of Japan that little bit special. Fukushi-san will ensure your stay is one to remember and when you see him in the lift line at Hakkoda you will understand why he calls this area home.

If you would like to book this trip or have any questions you can make a booking request here.
 

Ability Level & Fitness

The required skill level is advanced to expert in powder and with at least one season's touring experience. You must be able to ski/board the whole mountain in all conditions confidently at speed and have advanced ability in powder, through trees in steep terrain and in variable conditions. Snowboarders in this level are able to keep speed in flat sections by planning ahead as well as hold a solid traverse line and be able to hop up and manoeuvre in a way as to not slow down the group. You must have a very good level of fitness and be able to hike for around 1-2 hours total per day.

Groups are split up into ski/board/ability levels and AT/skins set-up or split-boards are required. You must have some experience using this equipment. The idea of these tours is to use the lifts for their vertical bump, smash the easy pow then use the touring gear to go further and further away from the lifts in search of more fresh lines. On some days the group will not use the lifts at all – it’s all up to the group and the conditions.

Itinerary

This itinerary is an example of tour #1. The tour will be run largely by the weather and each day will fit around where the best conditions are. This is the beauty of such a tour.

Tour #1 – Start Morioka / End Aomori
Tour #2 – Start Aomori / End Morioka
Tour #3 – Start Morioka / End

Aomori DAY 1 (arrival and check-in day)

Upon landing in Tokyo it is recommended you take the Shinkansen for a true Japanese travel experience up to the snowy city of Morioka. There you will be welcomed by your guides and driven to Morioka Grand Hotel where you will meet your fellow road trippers over dinner and drinks. Your guide will also will run you through the tour, current conditions and prevailing weather and answer any questions you may have. (NOTE: rental equipment is not available on this tour. You must have your own backcountry equipment and be familiar with it.)

DAYS 2 – 4 (first snow days)

The beauty of staying in the city of Morioka is not only will you be able to enjoy the nightlife of a Japanese city but you will also be able to access multiple resorts and backcountry areas, each affected by slightly different weather patterns. Every day your guide will be checking the forecast to see which area has the best conditions and each area brings something different to your experience. For most days you can expect short 30 min hikes off the lifts and traverse hikes of a similar time back to the base. There are some great cultural sites and onsens on the way back to Morioka which you may stop at to soak your muscles ready for the next days’ adventure. Each night your guides will take you out to sample the delicious local cuisine and hang at some cool bars.

DAY 5 Transfer day

It’s time to say goodbye to the Morioka region and head north to Hakkoda. On the way the group may detour to a fun ski area few know about, boasting epic tree lines and road drops off the back. Hakkoda is famous for the epic amounts of snow that blanket the mountain. The terrain is epic and one of our favourites in Japan. The powder is ridiculously deep. For the next four nights you will be staying in the family run Hotel Azumashiya, a ryokan style guesthouse with lovely hosts, regenerative onsens, delicious food and the powder of Hakkoda and Aomori Springs a short drive away.

DAY 6 & 8

Hakkoda will blow you away, sometimes literally. Known for its temperamental weather and pea soup like visibility you’ll either have your best day on the trip or one of the toughest. With one ropeway (cable car) taking you right to the top, it is from there where you will hike out and enjoy Hakkoda’s epic backcountry terrain. It was mainly built for sightseeing and hiking in summer but stories of epic pow, snow-monsters and endless terrain made it a growing mecca for powder hounds and backcountry skiers. You will also head over to Aomori Springs. This little known resort has some fun powder filled terrain and the terrain from the top of the back lift is Japanese tree skiing at its finest. Each night in Azumashiya you will enjoy a variety of local cuisine.

DAY 9 (check-out and departure day)

All good things must come to an end. It’s time to check out and transfer to Aomori Train Station or Airport and say goodbye to your new friends.


Lots of powder

...more powder...

...off-piste powder.

Lodging

Hotel Grand Annex Morioka

Located right in the centre of town 10 minutes walk from the train station. This hotel is the perfect base in which to explore the city of Morioka as well as having easy access to the surrounding ski areas. You’ll love being in the centre of town with all the great restaurants and bars within walking distance. Each room is comfortably appointed with twin western beds and all that you’d expect from a 4 star hotel.

Azumashiya Ryokan

This lovely accommodation in the Aomori Prefecture is run by a friendly and welcoming family. You’ll feel right at home at this hotel overlooking the river and onsen town of Kuroishi. This spot has been chosen for not only the great food and lovely hosts, but also its perfect location between Hakkoda and Aomori Springs ski resorts. It boasts a large outdoor onsen, relaxing lounge space, and large Japanese ensuited rooms with optional western bedding.

Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2023 Rates

  • 410,000 yen
  • 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
  • 4 to 1 Client to Guide ratio. 4-8 people max per tour. 3 person minimum.
Inclusions
  • 8 nights accommodation twin/triple share
  • 7 days guiding & fully hosted
  • Transfer from Morioka station & transfer to Aomori train station or Aomori Airport
  • Lift passes for any resort as required
  • 5 dinners showcasing the areas delicious food including a welcome dinner party in Morioka
  • Daily breakfast
  • Onsen (hot spring) tour
  • Daily van transport to ski areas
Add-ons
  • Avalanche safety equipment 14,500 yen
  • Single share accommodation 7500 yen per night
  • Tokyo stopover, Kyoto stopover
Not Included

Terms & Conditions of Whiteroom Tours

COVID-19 DEPOSIT AND CANCELLATION POLICY

(Updated 9 March 2022) We understand that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic you may have concerns about booking a trip to Japan. In response to the current situation Whiteroom will continue to offer flexible and fair booking options. Our goal is to provide you with maximum peace of mind when booking while also ensuring that we keep our wheels turning. In addition to what’s below, we want you to know that we are open to discussion and figuring out what works for all of us, as has always been the case. For all CURRENT bookings made previous to 1 MAR 2022 the following terms and conditions will apply once Japan’s borders open for inbound tourist travel with a compulsory quarantine period of 3 days or less both upon arrival into Japan and upon returning home. For all NEW bookings for the ’22-23 season the following terms and conditions will apply from 1 March 2022.

TOUR PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable to a future tour till August 31, 2022.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due by October 31, 2022. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your tour.

GUIDING AND INSTRUCTIONAL PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable till 60 days prior to the start date.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due 60 days prior to your start date. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your booking.

GENERAL TRAVEL PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable to a future booking till 60 days prior to the start date.
  • NOTE: other suppliers may request a higher deposit percentage or specific amount and these amounts may be non-refundable. Supplier terms and conditions will be outlined on your quote confirmation if they are stricter than our own.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due 60 days prior to your start date, or 5 days from booking confirmation if booking is within 60 days. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your booking

COVID-19 EXCLUSIVE POLICY

If a travel ban is in effect restricting travel to Japan or to and from your home country or if it is mandatory to quarantine either upon arrival into Japan or when returning to your home country for 4 or more days in either instance the following terms and conditions will apply unless third party supplier terms and conditions are stricter (you will be advised of this upon booking):

Up to 60 days prior to your start date:

  • 100% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 10% of the total booking (this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

30 – 59 days prior to your start date:

  • 50% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 50% of the total booking (10% this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

Less than 30 days prior your start date:

  • 25% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 75% of the total booking (10% this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

Back-to-back cancellations:

  • If we are holding only a deposit and are forced to cancel your trip two seasons in a row, that amount will become entirely non-refundable and non-transferable.
  •  

RIGHTS RESERVED

We reserve the right to cancel trips at any time due to unsettling political, social or environmental events, in which case the same transfer/refund options we’re offering for COVID will apply. We additionally reserve the right to cancel due to inadequate client registrations, at which time we will offer a refund in full.

EXCLUSIONS

We cannot offer refunds for missed reservations, early departures, inclement weather/extreme avalanche danger, snow conditions, or force majeure events beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and are not responsible for additional expenses incurred in preparing for the trip (e.g. airline tickets, visa application fees, equipment purchases, etc).

RATE & PRICE VARIATION

All prices on this website are based on Japanese yen rates which are then converted to your chosen currency based on mid market rates. Whiteroom reserves the right until final payment has been received in full, to vary prices and rates in the event of changes in currency exchange or price increases made by our suppliers or airlines.

Final payment is required in the currency chosen at the time of booking confirmation. The total amount due will be calculated using the exchange rate on that day. This means that any increase or decrease in the exchange rate will affect the total of your package and final due amount of your package. Whiteroom Tours is not liable for any price increases. Only payment in full will lock in the exchange rate.

If you plan to make the full payment at the time of booking or before the final due date you must notify your consultant who will recalculate using the mid market rate on that day.

If your booking has increased in price due to an exchange rate fluctuation and you do not pay the increased price your booking will be subject to cancellation. Please note that cancellation charges will apply. All prices are subject to availability & can be withdrawn or varied without notice. Airline taxes remain subject to change at all times until payment has been received in full and your tickets have been issued.

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 of quoting. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to alter these prices at any time due to exchange rate fluctuations, rate change by a supplier or consultant error.

BOOKINGS

When you have advised Whiteroom Tours that you wish to go ahead with a booking we will then seek confirmation from our 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.

By making a payment on a booking you agree to these terms and conditions as outlined on this page.

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.

TOURS & ABILITY

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to remove a client from any tour if he or she is of an ability not suited to that tour. No refund will be due for any unused portion of the tour. The client takes full responsibility for the self-categorisation of their ability based on the descriptions provided on the Skier/Rider Level tab on each tour page.

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.
¥5,000 Booking Amendment: charged per amendment once a booking has been confirmed.
¥20,000 Booking amendment inside 14 days: charged per amendment for changes inside 14 days of departure.
¥5,000 Late payment: charged per week for any final payments not received by the due date.

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

Whiteroom recommends purchasing travel insurance when you pay your deposit as that way you may be covered for accidents that prevent you from travelling as well as for your holiday.

PRIVACY

Whiteroom Tours collects information about you in order to book components of your travel package. You authorise Whiteroom Tours to provide this information to suppliers who require this information before they will provide products or services to you.

BOOKING FORM

A booking form is required for each passenger booked to travel. For group bookings, it is the responsibility of the person whose name holds the booking, to ensure that each member of their group is aware of the booking conditions and completes and returns a booking form. Booking forms are required at the time of booking deposit or flight reservation. The information provided on your booking form is essential for your booking details and travel arrangements. This information is required for your booking to proceed. Whiteroom Tours will not book any component of your travel package without receiving a signed booking form from you.

REFUNDS

If you are eligible for a refund once a booking has been cancelled, the balance less any non-refundable amounts and cancellation fees will be forwarded to you upon receipt of the refund from the supplier or airline. Whilst Whiteroom Tours will endeavour to get your money to you as soon as possible, some refunds can take up to 12 weeks to process.

LIABILITY

Your safety is Whiteroom’s number one priority. However skiing and snowboarding are sports that are hazardous and have inherent risks of injury and/or death. By travelling with Whiteroom you voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injury or death that may result from skiing or snowboarding. As such you agree to hereby release Whiteroom Tours and their employees and agents of any obligation to advise you in relation to the dangers obvious or not, inherent in the sport. You accept that you will participate in such sport(s) of your own free will and never at the direction of Whiteroom Tours and/or their employees and agents. You voluntarily take full responsibility for any damage or injury to myself or which you may cause to others.

JAPANESE ACCOMMODATION

Some Japanese properties may differ from those encountered in Western ski resorts. Whilst hospitality and service levels often surpass Western standards, rooms generally have less furniture & hanging/storage space. Ensuites are generally smaller and some are of a modular design. Some Japanese properties also allow smoking in common areas & some guest rooms. Traditional Hotels or Ryokans often have rooms with Tatami Matt flooring and futon beds. Some rooms will not have ensuites and instead will have shared bathing in segregated bath houses or onsens. We will inform you of these cultural differences and you may be pleasantly surprised by how easily you can adjust to the Japanese way of life. If not please request a western style accommodation.

WAIVER

If you are participating in a Whiteroom Tour or are being guided by Whiteroom you will be required to read and sign our wavier before participation. Failure to do so will result in you not being able to accompany our guides on any activity.