MYOKO FREERIDE WEEKS
6 Nights I 5 Days Guiding
$1950 PER PERSON
Week 1 16 January – 22 January, 2020
Week 2 23 January – 29 January, 2020
Week 3 2 February – 8 February, 2020 ** SOLD OUT **
Week 4 9 February – 15 February, 2020
Week 5 16 February – 22 February, 2020
Week 6 23 February – 29 February, 2020
- Chase the big winter storms that this region is famous for
- You’re guaranteed to ride the best snow every day with our flexible itinerary
- We’ve got access to over 9 resorts, so you can expect to ride deep, untracked snow every day
- Explore Nagano and Niigata’s best resorts with 5 days of guiding
- Beat the crowds as our guides show you the best zones
- Ride with a small group of no more than 7 people
- Head off the beaten path and ride at some of the lesser known resorts.
Our base for this tour is Myoko, which gives us easy access to over 9 resorts in the region such as Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira Onsen, Myoko Suginohara, Seki Onsen, Arai, Madarao, Tangram and Kurohime. This is a powder hunter tour where you’ll get to chase the big winter storms in Japan. We keep the itinerary flexible so your guide can hunt down the best conditions all day, every day. Each day your guide will assess the conditions and decide which is the best place to ride based on weather and snowfall. Each day we’ll load up the van’s and drive to our chosen area. This flexibility ensures that we will find you the best snow and conditions all day, every day!
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 riding in a relaxed and fun environment. At night our guides are on-hand to show you around the local area and immerse you in the local culture.
Off Snow Adventures
We want you to explore the local area and experience the culture. If time and conditions allow, our guides will arrange a visit to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, and also the neighbouring town of Takada.
When we are on mountain, we keep our group size to a maximum of 7 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!
Snow & Conditions
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 make sure all our guests stay in comfortable accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay in a traditional Japanese lodge. Our comfortable single share rooms are equipped with a single bed and offer glimpses of Myoko-san that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has heating, TV, and free WiFi. Every morning you’ve got a hot breakfast to enjoy in the restaurant and each night you’ll enjoy a home cooked Japanese dinner, plus you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has ice cold Asahi on tap.
Each morning your guide will explain the weather and snow conditions for the day and advise the group where we’ll be riding. We’ll load up the van’s and drive to our chosen resort each day. Once at the resort we will spend the day exploring the hill and showing you our favourite powder stashes. Your guide is there to get you the most out of your time on snow, we will assist in showing you around the resort as well as finding any type of terrain you desire to ride. Spend the day cruising the groomers, get stuck into some famous Japan tree runs, find some pillows to hit or session a drop into a deep powder landing – whatever you want to ride we can find it for you!
After your legs have had enough powder we may opt to visit a traditional Japanese onsen to relax and soothe the muscles. These unique natural hot springs use geothermal water from the ground, which contain minerals that are said to be great for sore muscles and the skin.
Or if you’re looking to immerse yourself in local culture, we can visit the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, or the neighbouring town of Takada.
In the evenings, you can kick back with a beer or sake and enjoy a traditional home cooked Japanese dinner. Then you can set out to explore the many bars in the village.
The great thing about this tour is each day will be unique and exciting. Our flexible itinerary means your tour will feel less like a tour and more like an adventure!
Snow & Conditions
This tour is running at the the peak of Japan’s snow season. At this time of year the Nagano and Niigata region get hammered with consistent storms that bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow. Due to it’s close proximity to the Sea of Japan this region scores the highest annual snowfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu. Myoko has been known to top Japan’s snowfall tally, with some seasons scoring over 16 metres! With stats like this, powder is virtually guaranteed.
Myoko Resort Area
Myoko is made up of four main resorts – Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Suginohara and Ikenotaira. Myoko is a lot quieter than the larger resorts, so lift lines are usually non-existent and on a powder day (which is often!) there’s lots of opportunity for freshies well into the afternoon.
Akakura Onsen & Akakura Kanko From our accommodation, you can access the two interlinked resorts of Akakura Onsen & Akakura Kanko. These resorts offer some of the best lift accessed freeriding in the region. It’s an area that is already on the radar for many powder enthusiasts, but as it’s remained relatively quiet, you can be sure that on a powder day the trees will stay untouched for long enough to tire you out! Your guide will be with you all day to get you the best turns. A local favourite.
Ikenotaira Home to groomed slopes with rolling terrain, easy well spaced trees, and three terrain parks. Suitable for beginner to intermediate riders or if you’re up for hitting the park, it’s suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.
Suginohara With Japan’s longest run at 8.5 km, long wide groomers for carving, a huge terrain park and un-groomed slopes at the top of the mountain, Suginohara has some of the best terrain in the area. Suitable for intermediate and advanced riders. Be sure to look out for the Snow Monkeys on the drive to ‘Sugi’.
Seki Onsen This secret little gem is not part of the main Myoko Resort and on first glance looks like every other semi-closed down ski resort in Japan. Don’t let this fool you though, this place with it’s unique location often scores 70-100% more snowfall than the other Myoko resorts! The old school double chair and single ‘meat-hook’ chair gains you access to some epic short and steep terrain. Most people attribute their best days in Japan to Seki Onsen, when this place turns on it’s absolutely on!
Myoko Arai is located only 22km from the coast, so the storms bring plenty of moisture from the Sea of Japan. Allegedly, one of the reasons that the Arai Mountain Resort closed back in 2006 was because there was too much snow and they couldn’t keep up with the task of snow removal and managing avalanche risk! This makes it an ideal freeride destination: with copious snowfall; a range of advanced terrain; uncrowded slopes; and no ban on off-piste riding.
Madarao & Tangram These interlinked resorts are always a crowd pleaser. When you score Madarao and Tangram on a powder day, it’s one of the best. We love it for it’s great fall line tree runs. Another great reason to stop off here is that both Madarao and Tangram not only allow riding in the tree’s, they encourage it and have gladed runs to suit every level of rider. They also leave many wide-open, un-groomed areas which is the perfect way to improve your powder riding skills.
Cupid Valley This is a small resort that has great lift infrastructure, including a gondola at the base. It is a small local resort that has one of the best onsen in the area. Th resort tops out at 960m but still has 530 meters of vertical to get some powder turns on! It’s unlikely you will see many other people here, this place is a local secret and we love it for it’s empty lift lines and fresh tracks all day!
Togakushi Another small resort that is worth the trip for a good mix of powder and culture. If we choose to ride here, we’ll go mid-week, which means we’ll have this powder paradise to ourselves. There is a good amount of terrain, and no competition for fresh lines. After riding we’ll head into the local village to sample the soba noodles which this area is famous for. Then before we head off, we’ll stop off to visit the Togakushi Shrine which is situated in an ancient cedar forest.
- 6 nights single share accommodation (private room)
- 6 breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 5 days of professional resort guiding with qualified instructor
- 5 days of private transfers to / from selected resort
- Mint guide on hand throughout the tour
- Safety briefings
- Visits to local onsens
- Visits to local towns & attractions
- Return transfers from Myoko Kogen Station to your hotel (arrival & departure day)
We stay in a traditional Japanese Lodge, located in Myoko Kogen. Throughout the tour guests stay in single share private rooms. Home cooked breakfasts and dinners are included. All rooms are simply furnished with a single bed and can offer glimpses of Mt Myoko that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has great heating, access to a male or female bathroom, TV and free high speed WiFi. The hotel also has a drying room, laundry facilities, and most importantly a common area which serves ice cold Asahi beer on tap.
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
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.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our tour is perfect for solo travellers. 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.
Please note that we do not include lift tickets for this tour. As this is a powder hunter tour with a flexible itinerary, each day our guides will select a resort to ride at based on weather and conditions. Not including lift tickets allows us to have a flexible itinerary. Guests will be required to purchase lift tickets at each resort on the day. This offers a considerable cost saving to guests as we can ride at many local and inexpensive resorts. You can expect to pay approximately $30 – $50 AUD per day for lift tickets.