Nagano & Niigata Freeride
7 Day Guided Tour
January 23, 2020 to January 29, 2020
$1750 Per Person
Spend a week exploring Niigata and Nagano’s best resorts for powder-riding with our head freeride guide, Chuck Morin. This is a small group tour with a maximum of 6 riders, so you’ll be ahead of the pack and into the waist deep stuff with a dedicated guide and private transport. Here’s what you can expect:
Day 1 – Arrival Day
You’ll be met at Myoko-Kogen Station and transferred by bus to our lodge. After checking in, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the surrounding area, head to the onsen, or just relax. In the evening, we’ll regroup and run a Welcome Session where our guide who will run you through the tour, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have. Join the group for dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 – Lotte Arai Resort
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load up the van and drive 30 minutes away to the 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 that receives on average 21 metres of snowfall. 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. 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. In the evening, join the group back at the lodge for dinner and drinks.
Day 3 – Madarao & Tangram
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load up the van and drive across the valley to the interlinked resorts, Madarao and Tangram. Riding here is 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 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. In the evening, join the group back at the lodge for dinner and drinks.
Day 4 – Seki Onsen
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load up the van and make the short drive to the nearby resort, Seki Onsen. On first glance this resort looks like every other semi-closed down ski resort in Japan. Don’t let this fool you though, this place often scores 70% more snowfall than the surrounding resorts and as an added bonus, it’s a lot quieter than the surrounding resorts as you need your own transport to get here which largely keep the holiday-makers away. Most people attribute their best days riding in Japan to Seki Onsen, when this place turns on it’s absolutely amazing! In the evening, join the group back at the lodge for dinner and drinks.
Day 5 – Suginohara
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load up the van and make the short drive to our local resort, Myoko Suginohara. This is our favourite of all the Myoko resorts. It receives plenty of snow and the top of the resort typically has great snow quality during winter thanks to its high elevation. Sugi is about 350 metres higher than the other Myoko resorts. We’ll spend the day exploring the tree runs, plus you’ll get to stretch the legs riding Japan’s longest run. In the evening, join the group back at the lodge for dinner and drinks.
Day 6 – Togakushi
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load up the van and drive to a very local resort in Nagano, Togakushi. It’s a small resort but it’s worth the trip for a good mix of riding powder with virtually zero competition for fresh lines and also for the culture. We’ll ride here mid-week, which means we’ll have this powder paradise to ourselves. After riding we’ll head into the local village to sample the soba noodles and visit the Togakushi Shrine which is situated in an ancient cedar forest.
Day 7 – Departure Day
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 the train station and say goodbye.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
This tour is running at the peak of Japan’s snow season, so be prepared. The consistent storms bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow to this region. Your guides have an in depth knowledge of the local area and will be able to find any type of terrain to suit your ability – whether that be riding mellow tree runs or chasing some of the deep powder that Nagano and Niigata is renowned for. 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 offer one of the smallest client to guide ratio’s in the industry which ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. Our small groups allow greater manoeuvrability and ease of access to the best areas a destination can offer. When we are on mountain, our maximum group size is 6 people. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.
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.
We take the hassle out of travel and make it a stress-free trip, especially if you’re travelling solo or it’s your first time to Japan. Once your flight arrives in Tokyo, grab your bags and get the train to Myoko. This is the quickest and easiest option to reach the resort. Here our guides are on-hand to meet you. We’ll make a short door-to-door trip, from the station straight to our hotel. Grab a seat in our 4WD van and we’ll take you to our hotel, check you in, and make sure you’re set up for the adventure ahead. Alternatively you can upgrade to door-to-door bus transfers from Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport.
PRE TOUR SUPPORT
After you sign up for a tour, you will receive pre-trip emails with specific information about your tour, the arrival and departure day process, information about the destination, packing suggestions, and other relevant information to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to this, you have access to our customer care team who are just a phone-call away. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
WHY TRAVEL WITH MINT?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. We are a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conduct business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
This is a 7 day tour. The price per person is AUD $1750. Guests stay in a single share room. If you would like a quote in your local currency, please contact us. To secure a spot on tour we take an AUD $500 deposit per person, and the final balance is due 90 days prior to the tour departure.
- 6 nights single share accommodation in Akakura Onsen, Myoko (private room)
- 6 breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 5 days of professional guiding
- 5 days of private transfers to / from selected resort
- Mint guide on hand throughout the tour
- 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.
Why travel with Mint?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. Mint is a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conducts business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we can take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre-or post tour arrangements.
What happens on arrival and departure day?
Once you’ve signed up for the tour we will send you through a comprehensive guide with details about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information.
What if i’m travelling solo?
About 99% of our guests are travelling solo. The accommodation for this tour is single share, which means you have a private room.
Do you ever cancel a tour?
No! Once you’ve signed up for this tour, you’re going! We won’t ever cancel this trip due to low numbers, so you can go ahead and book your flights early and rest easy knowing you’re going.
How many people are on tour?
Each tour is different, but we know that by offering one of the smallest client to guide ratio in the industry allows you to ski or snowboard at your preferred pace, and ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. When we are on mountain, we have a maximum of 7 people per guide. 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!
Is this the right tour for me?
We ensure that everyone who joins these trips are a good fit for the difficulty level. This helps ensure that you’re booked on the right tour, as are the other people joining you.
What happens if I need to cancel?
Got cold feet? Couldn’t find a good flight or get the time off work? Cancel up to 7 days after your initial booking and get 100% of your deposit back, no questions asked.
Who are the guides?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained guides who are passionate about the mountains. Most of our guides work for us season after season, so our returning guests will see many familiar faces.
Can you book flights?
Yes. Let us take the hassle out of selecting the right flights for the tour. We can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. All guests on tour need to be covered be comprehensive travel insurance. Once you have booked on the tour, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We offer all of our tour guests discounted snow specific travel insurance.
What happens once i’ve booked?
Once you’ve booked your spot on tour, you will receive pre-trip emails with specific information about your tour, the arrival and departure day process, information about the destination, packing suggestions, and other relevant information to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to this, you have access to our customer care team who are just a phone-call away. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
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.
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Send your enquiry and one of our tour specialists will be in touch asap!
2. Over the phone
Call us on (03) 8563 9437 (within Australia) or +61 (03) 8563 9437 (international) between 9:30 am and 5:00pm AEST Monday to Friday and speak to one of our tour specialists.
Drop in to our shop for a chat. We’re located at:
98 Surf Coast Hwy, Torquay, VIC 3228
You can book your spot one of two ways:
Once we receive your booking form, we’ll provide you with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.
2. Over the phone
Call us on (03) 8563 9437 (within Australia) or +61 (03) 8563 9437 (international) between 9:30 am and 5pm AEST Monday to Friday, and follow the prompts to speak to one of our tour specialists.
Please note that this is a small group tour that is subject to availability at time of booking.