10 Day - Tohoku and Hokkaido Ski Safari
Ski 8 different resorts in 9 days including Geto Kogen, Cat-Skiing at Shizukuishi, Hachimantai, Hakkoda, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Teine and Niseko.
Indulge 3 nights in traditional ryokans (Japanese Inns with hot spring baths) on the stops in Tohoku. Enjoy the off mountain amenities of Niseko and experience why it’s the hottest ski resort in the world.
Once arriving in Narita Airport, hop on the Narita Express train to Tokyo. In Tokyo, transfer to the Tohoku-Hokkaido bullet train to Kitakami. At Kitakami station, your knowledgeable mountain guide will be waiting for you outside the turnstiles, welcoming you with a signboard bearing your name and ready to escort you and your companions to a comfortable 4-wheel drive van that will carry you on the first half of your adventure.
For your first night enjoy a kaiseki (Japanese multi course meal) dinner with locally sourced ingredients while seated around a fire pit. Afterwards take a dip in the onsen (Japanaese hot spring bath) and get your body and mind ready for a week of mountain hopping.
After enjoying an early morning breakfast, your guide and driver will meet in you in the lobby to take you to Geto Kogen Ski Resort, your first ski stop on this 10 day safari. Geto Kogen known for its massive amount of snow fall and its numerous on and off piste tree runs is a great way to get your feet “wet”. Your guide will know where the untracked lines and the deepest pow are, although here, you probably won’t have to look too hard to find it.
After your day, your driver will meet you and your guide and will take you to the next Japanese lodge on this journey. This hotel is known for the numerous onsen baths. Enjoy soaking in all of the different baths. Afterwards, you will be treated to a Japanese dinner with high grade wagyu.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet in you in the lobby to take you to the Shizukuishi Ski Resort. The resort is a relatively small but used to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships back in the 90s. The allure of the mountain however is the old Woman’s Super G course that has been converted into a cat ski course. More often than not, you will be able to enjoy waste deep powder, 4,500m of elevation on open field just for you and your friends.
After a day, surfing the pillows of snow, your guide will take you to myour lodging for the night. After a dip in the onsen, enjoy another night of local Japanese cuisine.
Today, your guide will take you to Hachimantai Shimokura & Panorama. The main attraction for this 2-in-1 resort is the Shimokura tree run area which opened recently and the backcountry tour which your guide can take you on. The tracks will be pristine because you will find hardly any other people at this off the beaten track resort. The deep and fluffy powder snow which we dare say you may be getting used to, is plentiful and undisturbed.
After your day of skiing, you will be taken to the your hotel for the evening meal and rest.
Day 4 begins at Hakkoda Ropeway. Situated about 23 km south of Aomori City, the gondola connects the Hakkoda Resort to the top of Hakkoda Mountains. Serviced by this single gondola, your guide can take you on a number of different off-piste lines.
Come down the through the famous Hakkoda Snow Monsters as Hakkoda is really a heaven for back country enthusiasts. After a day of exploring the Hakkoda Mountains, your guide will take you to the train station where you will hop on the bullet train once again on-route to Shin-Hakodate, Hokkaido. There you will be greeted by a new driver who will take you to a local hotel in town.
After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, your driver will take you to Rusutsu Resort. Situated between three summits, Rusutsu which was voted Japan's Best Ski Resort in 2017 is the perfect place if you like trees and you don’t like crowds. Powderhounds also loves this ski resort, voting it among the best ski resorts in Japan for its off-piste skiing, tree skiing, lift infrastructure, powder and overall. Your guide of the day will help you find the best powder and lines of the day so you can enjoy some of the best Japan has to offer.
Afterwards, your driver will take you to the hotel for the night. If you are up for it, an exquisite Japanese/French dinner at the one star Michelin star restaurant, Maccarina, can be arranged for that evening as well.
Kiroro, the second of the Yotei Valley triumvirate (Niseko, Kiroro, Rusutsu) is often described as the family friendly resort of the three because of the excellent ski school and the available beginner courses. However there is an enormous expanse of side and backcountry areas that you can explore. Short hikes to untouched bowls and bountiful tree skiing are Kiroro’s main attractions. Kiroro is also known to have the most snowfall of Hokkaido, although when the pow is waist deep everywhere, who is really measuring?
After your day at Kiroro, your guide will take you to the your hotel in Otaru, which is in close proximity to Teine, the resort you will be stopping by tomorrow.
After your breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel to take you to Teine. Teine is a small ski resort, located close to Otaru, was host of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics, The resort is comprised of two small areas, Olympia and Highland but your guide will take you to Highland to access some of the steepest and deepest terrain in Japan. The slackcountry powder will be divine and the few on-piste advanced runs are delightfully steep.
After your day of exploring Teine, your guide will take you to Niseko, where you will spend the next three nights.
Day 8 - 9
You have finally made it to Niseko. Niseko will not disappoint with the combination of champagne powder and off mountain infrastructure. Enjoy the strawberry fields and other gated tree courses by day and onsens, Michelin star eateries and watering holes by night. How you spend your time these two days is up to you. During the day we will arrange a guide that will take you to where the powder is best. As for apres-ski, we can recommend restaurants, souvenir shops, onsens, bars and more depending on how you want to spend the last few days and nights.
Once you have your breakfast and finish packing up, you might feel a sense of fulfillment with a twinge of sadness that this 10 day trip through the northern mountains of Japan have come to an end. Breathe in the cool clean air of Hokkaido while you take in scenery and perhaps start scheduling your next ski safari on your 2.5 hour journey to Shin Chitose Airport.