Nagano Freeride Tour
9 NIGHT GUIDED TOUR
January 08, 2018 to January 17, 2018
$2750 PER PERSON
Resorts: Madarao, Tangram, Yuki Daruma / Cupid Valley, 19 Shiga Kogen Resorts
- Explore North Nagano’s best resorts
- Beat the crowds as our guides show you the best zones
- Improve your freeriding with our daily guiding sessions
- Ride with a small group of no more than 6 people
- Get the opportunity to explore the surrounding backcountry areas
- Head off the beaten path and ride at some of the lesser known resorts.
ABOUT THE RESORTS
On this tour, we ride at Madarao, Tangram, Cupid Valley / Yuki Daruma and have access to the 19 resorts that make up the Shiga Kogen ski area. You can expect daily guiding, deep snow, great tree riding, onsen, local craft beers, and comfortable on-snow accommodation. This tour is running at the peak of the snow season, so you can expect is cold temperatures and deep powder. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Many of these resorts have no crowds, score huge amounts of snow and have some of the easiest tree runs in Japan making it perfect for riders wanting to improve their off-piste and powder riding skills. Both Madarao and Yuki Daruma 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. Shiga Kogen is made up of 19 individual ski areas, which makes it Japan’s largest ski resort. There’s an incredible amount of terrain here which would take weeks to fully explore. It’s also Nagano’s highest ski area, so you can expect cold temps and super light dry powder. Our guides will focus on taking you to the best zones for powder riding.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
Nagano scores it’s biggest storms during January. What you can expect 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.
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. At night our guides are on-hand to show you around the local area and immerse you in the local culture.
When we are on mountain, we keep our group size to a maximum of 6 guest per guide for a more personalised experience. 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!
OPTIONAL BACKCOUNTRY DAYS
For anyone wanting to explore beyond the resort boundaries, you have the opportunity to join our guides for a backcountry day in Madarao and Yuki Daruma. Spend the day exploring the trees and gullies of these resorts with lift assisted ascents. These days are geared towards intermediate riders who are want an easy and safe introduction to riding backcountry terrain.
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Our twin share rooms are equipped with 2 beds and everything you need for a comfortable stay. Every morning you’ve got a hot buffet breakfast to enjoy in the restaurant and each night you’ve got access to the hotel bar or chill out area where you can catch up with your guides and fellow travellers over a beer or a few sake’s, some nights dinner is included.
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.
This tour is fully hosted and guided by Mint Tours. We have Japanese & English speaking guides on-hand throughout the tour. Your tour includes:
- Guided days in Madarao, Tangram, Cupid Valley / Yuki Daruma & Shiga Kogen
- Demo powder boards from Nitro Snowboards
- 2 day lift ticket Madarao
- 2 day lift ticket, Yuki Daruma
- 2 day lift ticket, Shiga Kogen
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Madarao
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Shiga Kogen
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Yuki Daruma
- Buffet breakfast in Madarao
- Buffet breakfast in Yuki Daruma
- Buffet dinners in Yuki Daruma
- Breakfast in Shiga Kogen
- Scheduled airport transfer from Tokyo Narita or Haneda to Madarao
- Private inter-resort transfer from Madarao to Yuki Daruma
- Private inter-resort transfer from Yuki Daruma to Shiga Kogen
- Scheduled airport transfer from Shiga Kogen to Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport
Day 1 – Arrival Day (JAN 8)
Upon your arrival in Narita Airport, Tokyo, you will transfer to Madarao via our coach service. Your guides will check you in to your hotel, and then you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the surrounding area. That night we’ll host you at one of our favourite local restaurants in Madarao. You’ll meet our guides who will run you through the tour, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have.
Day 2 & 3 – Madarao & Tangram (JAN 9 – 10)
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll aim to be on the mountain by 8:30am so you can get first tracks. Your guides will run a thorough safety briefing before we commence the day. Your guides will show you around Madarao plus if the conditions are right, we’ll drop over the back side and explore the connecting resort, Tangram. Both resorts have some of the easiest tree runs in Japan and you can expect to find freshies here well into the afternoon. Your guides will be on mountain with you all day and find fun terrain suited to everyone. For any guests wanting to do a backcountry day we can arrange this while you are in resort. After riding you’ve got free time. We highly recommend experiencing the local onsen (natural hot springs) so you can rest the legs. After an awesome first day, we’ll catch up at one of the local pub’s for après and then visit one of our favourite local restaurants. While at Madarao, we’ll also aim to head to the local town Iiyama to have a night out at one of the fun local Izakaya’s (pub’s).
Day 4 – Transfer to Yuki Daruma (JAN 11)
After breakfast we’ll check out and make a quick morning transfer over to our next destination, Yuki Daruma. Our guides will be on-hand to check you in to the accommodation and then available for a guiding session if anyone is keen to get on-snow. For anyone wanting a day off-snow, we highly recommend that you visit the local onsen (hot-spring) in Yuki Daruma. They have one of the best indoor/outdoor hot springs in the area.
Day 5 & 6 – Yuki Daruma / Cupid Valley (JAN 12 – 13)
We spend 2 days riding at Yuki Daruma / Cupid Valley. This small local resort has amazing natural terrain, small to large drops and natural halfpipe runs. The real highlight here is that the resort is virtually empty and there is no competition for fresh tracks. Expect to be lapping powder runs all day. We will run an optional guided backcountry day at Yuki Daruma which will give guests the opportunity to ride lift accessed backcountry terrain with minimal hiking. The backcountry day is suitable for intermediate riders who want to start venturing into the backcountry. In the evenings enjoy the local onsen (hot spring) and then join the other guests and guides for an amazing Japanese and Western buffet dinner at the resort centre.
Day 7 Transfer to Shiga Kogen (JAN 14)
After breakfast we’ll check out of our hotel, load up the vans transfer to our next destination, Shiga Kogen. Once we arrive at Hotel Shiga Kogen situated in the main area of Ichinose, our guides will be on-hand to check you in to the accommodation. You’ve then got the afternoon free to explore the local area or if the conditions are right, gear up and hit the mountain. In the evening we will regroup for dinner at one of the great local restaurants and a few beers from the local Shiga Kogen Craft Brewery.
Day 8 & 9 – Shiga Kogen (JAN 15 – 16)
We spend 2 days riding at Shiga Kogen. Follow your guides to ride the best zones in Shiga. If conditions are right, we’ll focus our riding on the Yakebitai and Okushiga areas which have the best off-piste and tree runs. We’ll be riding here mid-week so you can expect no lift lines and little competition for fresh powder. Thanks to Shiga’s altitude, the snow quality here is amazing. You can expect super light dry powder, and plenty of it. Finish your days off with a soak in the hot tub and then dinner and drinks at one the many restaurants in Ichinose.
Day 10 – Departure Day (JAN 17)
After an amazing tour through the best resorts in Nagano we will check out and transfer you back to Narita or Haneda airport. If you feel like you can handle more riding we can get you to another destination if desired or spend some time in Tokyo.
Optional Backcountry Day
Throughout this tour you will have access to amazing backcountry terrain. Intermediate and advanced riders may opt to add a fully guided backcountry day in Madarao and Yuki Daruma.
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! 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.
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.
1. Check Availability
Contact us to check availability. Numbers for this tour are limited.
Call us. 1300 205 609
Visit us. 482a Bridge Road, Richmond VIC
Email us. [email protected]
2. Booking terms
Once we have confirmed that there is space available on the tour, we will send you a booking confirmation which contains payment details. To secure your spot on the tour we take a $500 deposit. The final balance is due 60 days prior to departure.