Lotte Arai Freeride Week
About the Resort
Situated in Niigata, just 18 kilometres from the Sea of Japan is a little-known ski area, Lotte Arai Resort. It’s a 5-star uber-luxe resort that is home to some of the best powder on Earth. And if last season’s tally of 21 metres of snowfall gets you excited, then read on.
If this place isn’t on your powder radar, there’s a very good reason. It was abandoned for ten years before it’s recent re-launch, and the resort has had a 5-star makeover. Think luxury rooms, gondolas, lounge bars, bakeries, whiskey and wine bars, private karaoke rooms, indoor swimming pools, onsen, day spas, a zip line, indoor rock climbing walls, and restaurants showcasing the best of the local Niigata produce. This is the only truly 5-star resort on Japan.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect when you join us for a week riding at Japan’s most luxe 5-star resort.
While the luxury off-snow offering is impressive, it’s the mountain that is the highlight. To start with, you’ve got 1000 meters of vertical from peak to base. The terrain is rolling and open and there’s some big lines to ride from the peak. And to top it off, Lotte Arai leaves 70% of the resort ungroomed which makes it freeride heaven. You’ve got 10 avalanche controlled, ungroomed, backcountry style zones to explore throughout the tour. There’s a reason why local riders refer to it as Japanese Whistler.
And the snow? We’ll if last season’s 21 metres of snowfall is anything to go by, you’re going to need to pack your powder board (and snorkel). Throughout winter, fierce Siberian storms push over the Sea of Japan, dumping pure white goodness on this coastal treasure. By January, Lotte Arai has typically already received around 12 metres of snowfall. So you get the idea of just how much it snows. It CONSTANTLY snows.
To deal with this colossal snowfall, Lotte Arai Resort has employed one of the best avalanche forecasters in the business, Dave Iles from Whistler. Dave and his team spend their days ensuring the terrain is safe to enjoy. Fortunately the snowpack at Arai settles, stabilises and bonds quickly so avalanche closures aren’t long. When Dave’s team opens the resort after significant snowfall, it’s pure powder paradise.
So you can spend your week deep in the white-room, you’ve got 2 guides on-hand who know a thing or 2 about hunting down the best lines, finding the best snow, and making sure you have a good time while doing it. In fact, you could call them professionals. Your guides for the tour are Freeride World Tour athletes Erika Vikander and Michaela Davis-Meehan. These hard-charging, professional snowboarders have competed at the highest level and have just one goal for the week – to find you the best POWDER! Their passion for the mountains, and their commitment to supporting and growing the freeride community make them the perfect hosts. They are always more than happy to provide you with some tips and feedback on the mountain, and share a beer and some laughs at the end of the day.
When we are on mountain, our guest to guide ratio is 4 people per guide. This makes 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.
Media Team on hand
Throughout the tour we’ll have our media team on hand to capture all the action. At the end of the tour we’ll have a movie night where we’ll sit around and see the highlights from the tour.
Luxury 5 Star Accommodation
Throughout the tour you’ll stay on-mountain at Lotte Arai Resort Hotel. This is a 5 star, luxury hotel with access to the region’s best powder. The hotel has all the modern amenities that you’d expect from a 5 star hotel, onsen, day spa, indoor pools, fitness centre, rock-climbing, bars, bakery, wine cellar, shops and restaurants using the freshest locally sourced ingredients. You’ll stay in a Superior twin share room that is equipped with 2 single beds that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has amazing views of Okenashiyama and the surrounding area. Each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, refrigerator and free WiFi. As part of this tour, breakfasts and dinners are included at the hotel.
- 6 nights twin share accommodation with ensuite, Superior Twin room
- 6 days breakfast
- 6 nights dinner
- Return bus transfers, Joetsu-Myoko Station (Airport transfers available)
- 5 days of professional guiding at Lotte Arai Resort
- 5 day lift ticket for Lotte Arai Resort
- Media team on hand capturing all the action
- Images/video provided at end of tour
- Mint Tours guides on hand throughout the tour
- Safety briefings
- Evening yoga/ stretching sessions
Enquiries, More Information & Bookings
Contact us for a full itinerary and tour options. Please note that this is a small group tour with limited numbers.