Antti Autti’s Aizu Tour
5 Nights I 4 Days Riding
February 13, 2018 to February 18, 2018
$1780 PER PERSON
Join Finnish pro rider Antti Autti and his filmer as they explore the resorts and backcountry zones in Aizu. You’ll get to travel to a virtually undiscovered area that is blessed with lots of snowfall and has absolutely no crowds. The areas we stay have amazing onsen, great food and friendly locals. On this tour you will spend 4 full days riding with our guides in the Aizu region and get the opportunity to do a backcountry day.
Throughout the tour, Antti will be showing us why this region is one of his favourite places to ride and film and give us tips and insights along the way. We’ll also have our local Japanese guides on-hand to show you some of Aizu’s best kept secret spots. Our base for this tour is Urubandai Lake Hotel and from here we can easily access so many of the surrounding resorts. The terrain out here ranges from big mountain alpine lines to undulating tree riding. We keep the itinerary flexible so we can find the best conditions and terrain on the day. We’ll have our local snowboard guide leading the way who has a lifetime of experience riding in these areas as well as reading the conditions and terrain. Outside of the riding we will be visiting authentic onsens throughout the region to give you a local Japanese experience. Being off the beaten track you will also experience real Japanese cuisine and hospitality. Here’s what to expect on tour:
- See what Antti’s Japan Tours are all about HERE
- You’ll get to ride with legendary Finnish Pro Rider Antti Autti WATCH HERE
- You’ll spend 3 days exploring Aizu’s uncrowded resorts
- You’ll get to experience snowboarding culture in Aizu while travelling with our local Japanese guides.
- You’ll sample many of the local onsen at the end of each day.
Snow & Conditions
February is the best time of year to experience snowboarding in Aizu. What you can expect is light, dry, snow, perfect for riding powder. Temps will be cold, with temperatures ranging from -1 to -10 degrees Celsius. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride light dry snow days after a storm.
Daily Onsen Vists
At the end of each day we’ll be heading to one of the local onsen (hot springs) to soak in the mineral rich, geothermal waters. For millennia the culture of onsen (hot springs) has been rooted in the Japanese way of life. Hot springs have been cherished not only as a way to gain relief from fatigue, but also as a place to cleanse the body, treat illness, or just to interact with other people.
When we are on mountain, we keep our group size to a maximum of 6 people per guide for a more personal experience between our guests and guides. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder!
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay at a luxury boutique hotel, Urubandai Lake Resort. The lakeside hotel has restaurants, bar, onsen and free wifi. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi. Every morning you’ve got a hot buffet breakfast to enjoy in the restaurant and each night you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has great craft beers on tap, pool table, darts and golf, followed by a buffet dinner.
We have limited spots available for this tour.
Your 5 night tour includes:
- Hosting and guiding by Finnish pro snowboarder Antti Autti, local Japanese snowboard guides & Mint Tours
- 1 Guided backcountry day with qualified guide
- 3 Resort guided days, with local snowboard guides
- 3 days lift tickets for selected resorts
- Professional filmer on hand throughout the tour
- One way scheduled transfer from Haneda Airport to Urubandai Lake Hotel
- 4 nights accommodation in a twin share ensuite room at Urubandai Lake Resort
- 4 dinners & 4 breakfasts at Urubandai Lake Resort
- Daily bus transfers to selected resort
- 1 night accommodation in a twin share ensuite room in Aizuwakamatsu City
- One way bus transfer from Aizuwakamatsu City hotel to Aizuwakamatsu Station
As this is a powder hunter tour we keep the itinerary flexible so we can ride at the best resort on the day. Here is a sample itinerary:
Arrival Day – 13 February, 2018
Welcome to Japan! Make your way to Haneda Airport (Tokyo) where we’ll arrange your bus transfer to the resort. Once you arrive, your guides will be on hand to check you in to our hotel. After checking into your hotel, you’ll have the afternoon free to settle in, grab a beer, have an onsen and relax. That night we’ll host you in the hotel bar where you’ll meet our guides who will run you through the tour, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have. After our welcome session, join our guides for our first of many amazing buffet dinners at the hotel. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the guests and guides over a few beers or sake’s.
Alts Bandai & Nekoma Resorts – 14 & 15 February, 2018
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll aim to be on mountain by 9:00am. For our first two days on snow, we’re aiming to ride at Alts Bandai and Nekoma Resorts. These resorts have one of the biggest rideable areas in Southern Tohoku. Alts Bandai is linked to Nekoma via a shuttle and a dual mountain lift pass covers both areas. These resorts are modern but definitely not westernised. The lack of westerners means that on weekdays the resorts are virtually empty, and when it snows, there is opportunity for freshies all day long. Alts also has one of the most progressive terrain parks in Asia, and was home to the Nippon Burton Open for many years so management understands snowboarding and still maintains one of the best terrain parks in Japan. Nekoma is rated as one of the best freeride resorts in the area with good tree riding. It also gets some serious snowfall thanks to it’s north facing aspect, so it’s the first place to head to on a powder day. Your guides will run a thorough safety briefing before we get on snow and are on hand to show you around the resort areas. We’ll spend a full day on mountain, ride the trees and hunt out some powder stashes. We will spend two full days guiding you through the trees and gullies. There are so many natural hits here and so few people which makes it one of our favourites. After riding hit the local onsen (natural hot springs) so you can rest the legs. After an awesome first day, we’ll catch up at our hotel bar for après and then have a buffet dinner at the hotel.
Minowa – 16 February, 2018
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll load up the vans and aim to be on mountain by 9:00am. We have many resort options to choose from and if the conditions are right we’ll head to a little know resort, Minowa. This small resort is definitely off the radar for western visitors and will definitely leave a big impression on you. Today you will get to ride some of the best lift accessed in-bounds and side-country terrain in the area. The real fun here is in the trees, and there are loads of spots to choose from and barely any competition for the fresh powder. Follow your guides for a big day hunting down fresh lines. After riding, head back to the hotel for a few hard earned beers and an onsen before dinner. We’ll have a buffet dinner at the hotel followed by a few drinks in the bar.
Backcountry Day – 17 February, 2018
After you have enjoyed a hearty breakfast, we’ll load up the vans and get prepared for your backcountry day. One of our guides will discuss what to expect for weather, suggest layering and demonstrate several safety equipment functions. Your guides will conduct a further after briefing outside which includes Companion Rescue Training and how to properly use your avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. They will also brief you on mountain safety. Our guides are trained in avalanche rescue and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share with you. Questions are welcomed and encouraged. Once we’ve briefed the group, we’ll get on-snow and then it’s all leg power to the peak with your snowshoes or splitboard. If the weather is kind, we’ll aim to reach the summit of our selected area. If the weather isn’t suitable there are shorter touring options below the treeline with equally as fun terrain. We’ll aim to be on mountain for a full day. After riding, we’ll travel to Aizuwakamatsu City for our final night. After you’ve checked in and rested the legs in the onsen, meet the group for dinner. For our final Saturday night we’ll head in to the local town for dinner at one of the best Izakaya’s around. Followed by some drinks and karaoke at one of the great local bars.
Departure Day – 18 February, 2018
All good things must come to come to an end, and after an epic week riding deep, Japanese powder we will transfer you back to Aizuwakamatsu Station say goodbye.
“If someone asks how would I describe myself I’d say I’m someone who walks his own path. Always have.
I was born and raised in a little town up in Arctic Circle called Rovaniemi. There weren’t that much else to do so I rode at my small local hill all day, every day. I must say that I wasn’t that talented – but I was ambitious. There were tons of better riders than me around, but I was so hooked on riding I just couldn’t get enough of it. It wasn’t long after those endless days paid off and I found myself traveling around the world, and as my friends were still playing their Nintendo’s, I was competing against the best riders. But I didn’t want to be another challenger. Every day, I wanted to ride my snowboard like never before. That passion gave me quite a ride: world championship victories, first European to win at X Games, Olympics – and yet the road was just began.
When I was still in the top of contest circuit I did something that many thought was insane. I followed my heart. Still, I wanted to ride better every day and I felt I wasn’t able to be what I wanted if I kept competing. So I quit doing so and went to backcountry. I told I’m not coming to the Olympics, I go to ride powder.
For a Finnish rider, it was at least an interesting move. Finland isn’t known for producing freeride slayers, and even fever makes it as a pro. But I felt I wasn’t just a stranger in my homeland: only few riders in the world also produces their own films.
And that’s exactly what I did. I wanted to get things done by my own way: I needed to make kind of films that got me stoked when I was young. Films that were filled with passionate riding and amazing soundtrack. And I guess I wasn’t the only one: in 2014, Approach & Attack was Onboard Magazine’s most viewed film.
Still after 15 years, snowboarding is the thing that inspires me every day – and I’m grateful that I’ve found my passion and I get to live it. Keep searching for your own passion, and when you do, never let it go.”
For more info on Antti, check out his site HERE
Mint Tours Guides
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Small Group Numbers
Our guest to guide ratio is 6 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us. There’s nothing worse than riding with a large group, especially on a powder day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area.
Unlimited Access to Powder Boards
All Mint Tours guests get exclusive access to our demo fleet of powder boards from the Nitro Snowboards range.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our tour is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. Not only are our guides with you on-mountain during the day, they keep the stoke going well into the night, so you’ll always have people to socialise with and places to go.
This tour is suitable for confident intermediate to advanced snowboarders with good physical fitness and powder riding experience.
This guided backcountry day is suitable for confident intermediate to advanced snowboarders with good physical fitness and powder riding experience.
Backcountry Rental Equipment
All guests are required to carry backcountry equipment for this tour including a pack, beacon, shovel and probe. Please advise us if you’d like to rent equipment.
To secure your spot on the tour please contact us. We require a $500 deposit per person with balance payable 90 days prior to departure. All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.
For bookings contact us
Phone 1300 205 609
Email [email protected]