Aizu Explorer Self-Guided Tour
7 Nights I $1550 PER PERSON
Get off the beaten path and explore one of Japan’s best kept secrets with a 7 night fully inclusive package to the Aizu region. With easy access from Tokyo, light, dry powder snow, amazing cultural experiences and no western influence.Select your dates and explore Aizu with this 7 night self-guided itinerary:
Day 1 – Arrival
Welcome to Japan! You will be transferred by bus from Tokyo Haneda Airport to your accommodation in Aizu; the 4 star, ski-in/ski-out hotel, Listel Inawashiro. The journey from Tokyo takes 4.5 hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Once you arrive at the hotel and check in, you’ve got the afternoon free to explore the area, or perhaps enjoy a soak in the onsen or one of the eight swimming pools that use the water from the Inawashiro hot springs. In the evening you have dinner included at the Listel Inawashiro Hotel restaurant.
Day 2 – Alts Bandai
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the Listel Inawashiro Restaurant and then get ready to depart for your first day on snow. Drop by the front desk early to book your seat on the free shuttle bus to Alts Bandai Resort (Hoshino Resorts Alts Snow Park & Resort). With your lift ticket included, you’ll be ready to spend the day exploring Alts Bandai, which is one of the largest resorts in the region. This large resort has great tree riding, long groomed runs, and maintains one of the best terrain parks in Asia. There is something for everyone at this modern resort. In the afternoon catch the free shuttle bus back to the Listel Inawashiro. Relax in the onsen and then enjoy the buffet dinner in the restaurant.
Day 3 – Grandeco Ski Resort
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at your hotel and then get ready to depart for your next destination. Drop by the front desk early to book your seat on the free shuttle bus to Grandeco Resort. Once you arrive, you’ve got your lift ticket included so you can spend the day exploring the resort. Grandeco is renowned for its snow quality, with abundant light-dry, powder snow thanks to its high elevation. You’ll enjoy your time at Grandeco, with a good range of runs, including some nice mellow tree runs. The lift infrastructure is modern with 4 hooded quad chair lifts and a gondola which are nice and toasty for the frequent cold and snowy days. In the afternoon catch the free shuttle bus back to the Listel Inawashiro. Relax in the onsen and then enjoy the buffet dinner in the restaurant.
Day 4 – Inawashiro Ski Park
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at your hotel and then get ready to depart for your next destination, Inawashiro Ski Park. Drop by the front desk early to book your seat on the free shuttle bus to the resort. Once you arrive, you’ve got your lift ticket included so you can spend the day exploring the resort. This area is blessed with plenty of snowfall and there is enough terrain to explore for the day. There are two main areas of the resort, each with a base area – the Chuo ‘Easy’ Area and the Minero ‘Crazy’ Area. In the afternoon catch the free shuttle bus back to the Listel Inawashiro. Relax in the onsen and then enjoy the buffet dinner in the restaurant.
Day 5 – Choose your resort
Today is your last day staying at Listel Hotel Inawashiro, before you transfer to the Urabandai Lake Hotel. Enjoy the breakfast buffet and then check out of your room. You will be able to store your luggage at the hotel, so you can depart for your last day of skiing or snowboarding while staying at the Listel Hotel Inawashiro. You have the option of staying at the resort and skiing at Listel Ski Fantasia. This is a good option for novice skiers and snowboarders, as well as families. Alternatively drop by the front desk early to book your seat on the free shuttle bus to head back to your favourite resort – Alts Bandai, Grandeco or Inawashiro Ski Park. Once you arrive at the resort, you’ve got your lift ticket included so you can spend the day exploring the resort. In the afternoon catch the free shuttle bus back to the Listel Inawashiro. The hotel will arrange an afternoon transfer to you next destination, the luxury, lakeside Urabandai Lake Hotel. Once you arrive, check in to your room and then head for dinner at the buffet restaurant.
Day 6 – UrAbandai Nekoma Resort
Enjoy the buffet breakfast at the hotel and then get ready to depart for your final day skiing or snowboarding. Drop by the front desk early to book your seat on the free shuttle bus to Urabandai Nekoma Resort. With your lift ticket included, you’ll be ready to spend the day exploring Nekoma. This resort is rated as one of the best freeride resorts in the area with good tree riding. It also gets some serious snowfall thanks to its north facing aspect, so it’s the best place to head if it’s a powder day. After a full day exploring the trees and powder stashes at Nekoma, get the shuttle back to your hotel. In the evening enjoy the indoor and outdoor onsen, or perhaps head to the bar for a drink and a game of pool or darts or even test out your golf swing with the golf simulators. After relaxing, enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 7 – Free Day / Optional trip to Aizuwakamatsu ‘ Samurai City’
After your buffet breakfast at the hotel, you’ve got a free day to do what you choose. We highly booking an optional day trip to Aizuwakamatsu City. See the tour itinerary below:
Optional Day Trip – Aizuwakamatsu ‘Samurai City’
If you’d like to spend a day off-snow and explore the local area, you can book a day trip to Aizuwakamatsu ‘Samurai City’ for ¥12,000 per person.
9:00 Tour Departs
You will be picked up from Urabandai Lake Hotel.
9:50-10:20 Shida-hama Beach
Stop at Shida-hama beach which is located on the eastern shore of Lake Inawashiro. Enjoy the beautiful views, with snow down to the shoreline and many swans and ducks can be seen.
11:00-12:00 Buke Yashiki – Aizu Old Samurai Residence
The Aizu samurai residence served as the quarters of the region’s most important and highest ranked samurai, as well as his family, employees, and servants. The original complex was burnt down during the Boshin War in 1868, but has since been reconstructed and furnished to replicate its appearance in the Edo Period. The samurai residence is quite expansive. There are dozens of different rooms, including gardens, guest rooms, a teahouse, an archery range and a rice mill. Inside many of the rooms there are mannequins of the former inhabitants portraying either typical scenes of daily life or dramatic historical events.
Sample the local cuisine and hospitality and enjoy lunch at one of the local Japanese restaurants.
13:20-14:30 Tsuruga-jo Castle
Tsuruga-jo Castle was built in 1384 and changed hands many times between the different rulers of the Aizu region. It was destroyed after the Boshin War of 1868, a rebellion against the newly formed Meiji government, which had taken over control from the Tokugawa shogun and put an end to Japan’s feudal era. Tsuruga Castle was one of the last strongholds of samurai loyal to the shogunate. The castle was rebuilt as a concrete reconstruction in the 1960s. Visitors can climb to the top floor of the castle keep and look out onto the surrounding city. The inside of the building is an interesting museum with displays about the history of the castle and the samurai lifestyle.
**Optional Tea Ceremony
Near the castle there are a few other sites of interest. Still inside Tsuruga Castle Park is Rinkaku Teahouse, where the feudal lords used to hold the tea ceremony. The teahouse is surrounded by a small garden, and visitors can add a Tea Ceremony experience at an additional cost.
14:45-15:30 Stop at Local Supermarket
On the way home your driver will stop at a local supermarket where you can stock up on any supplies or souvenirs you may need.
16:50 Return to Hotel
Your driver will drop you back at the hotel where you can then enjoy your last evening dining at the resort.
Day 8 – Departure
After you’ve enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the hotel, check out of your room and you can store your luggage. Your bus transfer will depart the hotel at 2:30pm and drop you back at Tokyo Haneda Airport at approximately 7:50pm.
Your 7 night self-guided tour includes:
- Return bus transfers from Tokyo Haneda Airport (scheduled service)
- 4 nights twin share accommodation at Listel Inawashiro
- 4 buffet breakfasts at Listel Inawashiro
- 4 dinners at Listed Inawashiro
- 5 days, return bus shuttles between hotels and ski resorts
- 5 days lift tickets, valid at Alts Bandai, Grandeco, Urubandai Nekoma, Inawashiro Ski Park & Listel Ski Fantasia
- Inter-resort transfer, Listel Inawashiro to Urabandai Lake Hotel
- 3 nights twin share accommodation at Urabandai Lake Hotel
- 3 buffet breakfasts at Urabandai Lake Hotel
- 3 dinners at Urabandai Lake Hotel
Please note that you will be required to pay an onsen tax direct to your hotel on arrival, equivalent to ¥150 per person, per day (approx. $1.70)