Good Times Japan Tour
8 Nights I 6 Days Riding
January 28, 2018 to February 05, 2018
$2299 PER PERSON AUD
Hosted by Eero Ettala, Heikki Sorsa & Antti Jussila
Join us in Japan for a week-long tour, riding pow with some of the biggest legends in snowboarding – Eero Ettala, Heikki Sorsa, Antti Jussila and friends. We’re headed to Appi in Northern Honshu. This resort is a powder magnet, and scores bucket loads of light dry snow, and most importantly, no crowds. Appi is a playground for snowboarders (and good times!); It’s home to some of the best freeride terrain in the region, has perfect groomers for laying high speed carves, a progressive park with loads of features and has a nearby cat ski operation to access the backcountry. Combine this with luxury accommodation, loads of dining and drinking options and very little western influence and you’ve got one epic destination!
ALL INCLUSIVE TOUR
We’ve included everything so you can focus on just one thing, Good Times! Apart from getting to ride every day with the pro’s and our Mint Tours guides, we’ve included luxury accommodation, buffet breakfasts and buffet dinners, a photographer on hand to capture all the action, all lift tickets, bus transfers, day trips to nearby resorts, movie nights, demo sessions, access to the latest powder shapes from Nitro Snowboards and we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to keep the stoke going, all week long.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
This tour is running at the peak of the snow season in Northern Honshu. What you can expect on this tour is cold temperatures and deep powder. 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.
We’ve got loads in store for the week and each day will be unique. You’ll get to ride Appi resort as well as a few local secret spots. Our guides are on hand from first to last chair and they have just one focus – Good Times! You can spend your days freeriding with the pro’s, lap the park and learn a few tricks, or just join in for some hot laps all over the hill with our guides.
After riding, you’ve got access to our Good Times bar where you can catch up with the other campers and guides. Each night we’ve included epic buffet dinners where you can load up on all the Japanese and Western food you can handle and wash it down with a few ice-cold Asahi’s. If you want to explore the local area, we’ll have night time tours to the local town, so you can dine with the locals and immerse yourself in Japanese culture with the help of a few sakes. We’ll also have movie nights, tech sessions and plenty of time to catch up with the pro’s. Sound like a Good Time? Yeah, we know. Grab your buddies or come solo, just make sure you don’t miss out on this epic trip!
When we are on mountain, we keep our group size to a maximum of 6 people 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!
Throughout the tour you’ll stay on-mountain at the Appi Grand Villa Hotel. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds, have great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi. You’ve got access to the onsen (hot spring) and all the hotel facilities including shops, rentals and drying room. Also included are buffet breakfasts and dinners at the hotel.
UNLIMITED ACCESS TO POWDER BOARDS
Throughout the tour you’ve got unlimited access to our fleet of powder boards from Nitro Snowboards. You’ll get to ride the latest powder shapes from the Nitro 2018/19 range.
OPTIONAL CAT SKI DAY
For any guests wanting to explore the surrounding backcountry, we have a guided cat ski day planned during the tour. If you want to see what to expect for the cat ski day watch HERE
28 January, 2018 – Arrival
Welcome to Japan! On arrival at Morioka Station make your way to our meeting point to meet the guides and other guests. We will load up your gear in our transport and then make the 50 minute transfer to Appi Resort. Upon arrival, our guides will check you in to your accommodation and then you have free time to get settled. At 6:00pm we will regroup and have a welcome and information session. You’ll get to meet the pro’s and our guides are on hand to run you through the plan for the week and answer any questions you may have. After our welcome session, we’ll head to dinner and get stuck in to an amazing Japanese buffet. Relax with the group and have a few drinks before turning in for the night.
29 January, 2018 – Warm-up Day
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for a full day riding. Meet your guides in the lobby and we’ll make the short walk to the chairlift. We’ll aim to be on-mountain at 9:00am so we can get the first chair and fresh tracks. Your guides will show you around the Appi resort area which includes some of the newly opened tree runs. We’ll spend a full day on mountain, and hunt out some deep powder stashes. After an awesome first day, you’ve got free time to explore the resort. You can head to the pool, enjoy the onsen so you can rest the legs, get a massage or catch up with the other guests for some après drinks. In the evening, meet up with the group for a hearty buffet dinner at our hotel. After dinner, the pro riders will be hosting a movie night. Have a few drinks and watch these legends do what they do best.
30 January, 2018 – Appi
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for riding. Meet your guides at the base of the gondola at 9:00am where we’ll aim to get first tracks. Each day we will ride to the conditions. If it’s nuking snow (which it’s likely to be!) you’ll want to head into the tree’s for bottomless pow laps. If you’re not ready for the trees, there is wide-open, un-groomed areas to explore. If you’d prefer to stick to the piste, then that’s okay too, Appi has some of the longest, perfectly pitched, groomers that are perfect for carving. They also have an innovative park setup with plenty of jumps, banks, rails and boxes to suit every level of rider. Each day we will mix it up between park sessions, freeriding, riding powder in the trees or getting as low as possible doing team carving laps. Each day you will ride in a no-pressure, fun environment with a great crew. There’s something for everyone on this trip and we want to focus on bringing the Good Times. After riding, you’ve got free time to explore the resort. In the evening, you have the option to join a night tour to the nearby town, Hachimantai. The town has many great restaurants and Japanese style pub’s for you to check out. If you’d prefer to stay at Appi, then you’ve got dinner included at one of 4 restaurants in the hotel which include the buffet, Japanese restaurant, Steak restaurant or Izakaya.
31 January, 2018 – Day Trip
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for a day trip. Meet your guides in the hotel lobby, and get ready for a day trip to one of the nearby resorts, Hachimantai Resort Shimokura. What you can expect here is powder and loads of it. At first glance this resort looks small, but what we’re most interested in here is just off the main runs. There is great fall line tree riding to be had with easy access back to the chairlift. Enjoy the pow laps with the pro’s and guides. Our photographer is on hand to capture all the face shots. After a long day riding pow we’ll stop off at one of the local onsen to rest the legs. We’ll then head back to Appi and head to the buffet for a few hard earned Asahi’s and some great local food. For anyone wanting to kick on, join us in the Good Times bar to catch up on all the action from the day.
1 February, 2018 – Appi / Optional Cat Ski Day
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for riding. If you have pre-booked the optional Cat Ski Day, you will be picked up after breakfast and you will make the drive to the staging area. Your guides will run you through a safety briefing and then load into the cat. You’re set for some thigh burning pow turns from the peak, back to the cat. Depending on weather and the group ability, riders can expect to get 6 – 10 runs. Expect to be riding deep un-tracked powder in a remote backcountry area. Included is lunch on the mountain and transfers back to Appi.
For the rest of the group, meet your guides at the base of the gondola at 9:00am where we’ll aim to get first tracks. We’ll spend a full day on mountain, lapping pow, riding park and letting the good times roll with the pro’s. After riding, you’ve got free time to explore the resort. In the evening, you have the option to join a night tour to the nearby town, Hachimantai. The town has many great restaurants and Japanese style pub’s for you to check out. If you’d prefer to stay at Appi, then you’ve got dinner included at one of 4 restaurants in the hotel which include the buffet, Japanese restaurant, Steak restaurant or Izakaya.
2 February – Day Trip
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for another day trip. Meet your guides in the hotel lobby, and get ready to head back into the trees at Hachimantai Resort Shimokura. At the end of the day, we’ll stop off at the local onsen and then head back to the hotel for dinner, a few drinks and some good company. For anyone wanting to kick on, join us in the Good Times bar to catch up on all the action from the day.
3 February – Pro Rider Demo Day
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then gear up for riding. Meet your guides at the base of the gondola at 9:00am. In the morning we’ll head out for some hot laps on the hill or explore deeper into the trees. We’ll break for lunch on the mountain and then head to the park. Today the pro’s are going to run a demo session. If you want to learn to lap the park like the pro’s, then join the crew for an afternoon of jumps, hits, hand plants and epic bails, of course all the action will be captured by our photographer so you can relive it later. In the evening enjoy a buffet dinner and then it’s time to head to the Good Times Bar. We’re joined by some of the local riders for a night of Good Times with the guests, pro’s, guides and local crew.
4 February, 2018 – Morioka
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and load the bus and get set for an 11:00am departure. After an epic week riding pow with the legends we say goodbye and transfer you either back to Morioka City or Morioka Station. All guests get the option of extending their stay for a night in Morioka city, free of charge. Morioka has some cultural sites, great restaurants, nightlife and bars.
5 February, 2018 – Depart
Check out of the hotel and transfer by bus to Morioka Station.
Your tour includes:
- 7 nights twin share ensuite accommodation, Appi Grand Villa
- 1 night twin share ensuite accommodation, Morioka Grand Hotel Annex
- 6 days lift ticket
- 7 buffet dinners at Appi
- 7 buffet breakfasts at Appi
- 6 days on-snow guiding
- 6 days riding with pro’s & guides
- Photographer on hand to capture all the action
- Hosting throughout the tour by English & Japanese speaking guides
- Day trip to Hachimantai Resort Shimokura, includes lift ticket and transportation
- Arrival transfer – Morioka Station to Appi Resort (one way)
- Resort transfer – Appi to Hachimantai Resort Shimokura & Matsukawa Onsen (return)
- Departure transfer – Appi to Morioka Grand Hotel (one way)
- Access to our fleet of powder shapes from Nitro Snowboards
- Giveaways from Nitro Snowboards
Born and raised in Finland, Eero first popped up on the international snowboarding scene in 2005. Since then he has been proving that he’s not only a jack of all trades when it comes to riding a snowboard; he’s a master. With a career boasting 25 magazine cover shots, 2 x Snowboard Magazine video parts of the year, too many podium results around the world to list and the inventor of the Double Backside Rodeo 1080 it’s not difficult to see how so much hype surrounds this man who simply loves snowboarding and having a good time. Eero recently released his own movie ‘Ender’ in 2016 which goes through the past 10 years of his career and documents how good this guy actually is. Eero is no stranger to riding deep powder in Japan as can be seen in his ‘Cooking with gas’ web series.
Another Finnish legend, Heikki has to be one of the most influential snowboarders in history. From dropping some of the heaviest video parts to competing in X-Games and Winter Olympics in halfpipe, Heikki has definitely earned his place among snowboarding royalty. Heikki has multiple video parts from Japan and is no stranger to ripping turns in the pow and showing crew a damn good time while doing it. There aren’t many guys who go as big as Heikki, so join him for a few laps around the hill and you will soon see what we mean!
We couldn’t be more stoked to have Antti join us again for Camp Good Times. Antti has grown up surrounded by the snow and steel of Finland, and brick and whatever else he decides to shred each season. Antti’s first trip to Japan was for Camp Good Times 2017, and it’s safe to say he’s hooked on riding Japanese powder and immersing himself in the local culture. Whether he’s riding the streets of Finland or taking it to the backcountry in Japan, he’s a natural. Check out his killer part in the opener for Method Movie HERE
Home grown legend and all round good times enthusiast Mitch is always a welcome addition to the Mint Tours crew. Hailing from Mt Buller and often seen shredding parks all over Australia, this local larrakin knows how to ride a snowboard and his love for the sport is contagious. Mitch has been part of the Nitro family for years and has been riding in Japan and all over the world.
Our Mint Tours Guides & Coaches
Our coaches are qualified trainers and have worked at some of the biggest international camps like; High Cascade, Windells, Snow Park NZ and The Camp Whistler. Each day we ride in small groups to make sure you get the most out of your time riding with our pro-riders and coaches.
Each day will be different, but here is roughly what you can look forward to:
7:30am – Team Breakfast
Meet in the restaurant for a hearty buffet buffet breakfast. Your guides and pro riders will develop a plan that best suites each days snow and weather conditions. After you’ve got enough breaky get your gear on and get strapped in.
8:30am – Morning Session
The mornings we will head out with our guides and pro riders. Each day we ride to the conditions. If it’s nuking snow (which it’s likely to be) follow your guides into the trees for some pow laps. Each day we will mix it up between freeriding, riding powder in the trees or getting as low as possible doing team carving laps. There’s something for everyone on this trip and we want to focus on bringing the Good Times, this isn’t like going to class for riding lessons, this is riding in a no pressure fun environment with a great crew. Each day and score untouched pow laps with guys who know how to ride powder like no others!
12:30pm – Lunch
Each day we will aim to meet up for lunch on mountain. Dine on some authentic Japanese food and use this time to talk to the guides and pro riders about new tricks and tips for your riding.
1:00pm – Afternoon Session
This is where the good times really kick in. Use all the new tips and tricks from the morning and put them into play. Lap the park with your pro riders, get into a few more powder stashes, or settle in for an onsen and some drinks in the arvo. It’s completely up to you.
5:00pm – Apres & Nightlife
After a long day of shredding on the hill catch up with the crew at the bar to discuss important matters such as the best turn you had that day, how low your carves are getting or who won the prestigious award of best bail of the day. After these matters have been sorted we will head for dinner at the buffet and let the Good Times continue into the night! If you’re wanting to get off the mountain and head to the local town, there are plenty of bars and restaurants for us to explore in Hachimantai. It’s also a great chance to get involved in the local Japanese customs of Karaoke and Sake!
We define good times as, but not limited to:
- Snowboarding with mates; new & old
- Hand plants
- Jump line trains
- Team chairlift laps
- Shredding pow
- Partying with a good crew
- Landing your first method grab
- Top to bottom Euro Carve laps
- Getting stoked with legends
We could go on forever, but we think you get the point, let the Good Times roll…
As part of the tour we have included private bus transfers from Morioka Station to Appi Resort. On arrival day your guides will meet you at Morioka Station and transfer you to our hotel. We request that all guests meet at Morioka Station at 3:00pm.
The easiest way to travel to Morioka Station is on the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo. There is a direct train from Tokyo Station and the trip takes 2 hours. Rail passes can be purchased from Mint Tours for ¥19,000 (approx $225 AUD) or you can purchase a Rail Pass from Tokyo Station for ¥20,000.
If you’d like to extend the tour, just ask one of our consultants about options. We can arrange for you to arrive earlier, or stay on after the tour. Many guests will choose to travel to other resorts before or after the tour. We can arrange transfers to other resorts as well as accommodation and lift tickets.
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! We have our guides on-snow every day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area. With our small groups, you’ll feel like part of the Mint crew and not just another face in the crowd.
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.