Niseko Explorer Tour
8 Days I 6 Days Riding
March 07, 2019 to March 14, 2019
$2190 Per Person
Escape the crowds and join us in Niseko during March. You’ll get to spend a week exploring the linked resorts of Niseko United, plus the nearby resort of Rusutsu. You’ll get to ride everyday with a backcountry guide who will lead the charge and help you up-skill. Don’t miss your chance to check out some of the best freeriding 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!
RIDE THE BEST RESORTS IN HOKKAIDO
We keep the itinerary flexible so you can ride at the best resort on the day. Our base for this tour is Niseko, which gives us easy access to Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village, Annupuri, Rusutsu and Moiwa.
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!
SNOW & CONDITIONS
The ski season in Niseko stretches over 5 months from late November to early May. There is still a high chance of scoring fresh powder snow right through to the end of March. Temperatures range from -2°c to -10°c. It’s actually the locals favourite time of year, as the the high season crowds disappear, so there’s little competition for fresh snow after a storm. With the weather more settled, there is less chance of chairlift closures, and more opportunity to safely access the backcountry. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride quality snow, days after a storm.
LUXURY LODGE ACCOMMODATION
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay at our private luxury lodge, located in Hirafu. Our lodge has great communal spaces so you can relax after a long day on the mountain. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and offer glimpses of Mt Yotei that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has a great heating, TV, and free WiFi.
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.
Your tour includes:
- 7 days of professional guiding
- 7 nights twin share accommodation in a luxury lodge in Niseko Hirafu
- 5 day Niseko All Mountain lift ticket
- 1 day Rusutsu lift ticket
- Backcountry safety equipment available for guests to use throughout the week (transceiver, shovel & probe)
- Backcountry safety and awareness sessions
- Private daily resort transfers
- Return Airport Transfers, New Chitose Airport
Here is a sample itinerary:
March 7, 2019
Welcome to Japan! After you have collected your bags, make your way to the Hokkaido Tour Desk to check-in for your bus to Niseko. On arrival at our luxury private lodge, your guide will meet you and check you in. We encourage you to unpack, settle in and rest up for the week of adventure ahead.
Once everyone has arrived we will hold a Welcome Session at our lodge. Your guide will explain what’s in store for the week, distribute backcountry equipment, and do a gear check so you’re ready to go for the tour. Then you can either relax at the lodge, or head out with your guide to one of our favourite Japanese Izakaya’s thats just around the corner.
March 8 – 12, 2019 – Niseko Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village & Annupuri
Each day will follow a similar format. After you’ve prepared breakfast at the lodge, your guide will explain the weather and snow conditions and advise the group where we’ll be riding. We’ll load up the van’s and drive to our chosen resort each day. We’ll either make the short drive to Hirafu, Annupuri or Hanazono resort base.
On arrival to the resort, your guide will run a thorough safety briefing. You’ll spend a full day on mountain exploring the linked resorts of Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri. Your guide is also on hand to provide tips and feedback to help you up-skill.
After riding you’ll typically stop off at one of the local onsen (natural hot springs) so you can rest the legs.
Each evening, join your guide for night-time tours to the best restaurants and hidden bars in Niseko. If it happens to be snowing you can experience the ‘nighta’ where you can ride Hirafu under lights.
March 13, 2019 – Rusutsu
After you’ve had breakfast at the lodge, we’ll load the vans and then make the 40 minute drive to Rusutsu. Great lines can still be found here even a day or two after snow. We will spend the day guiding you through the trees and gullies of Rusustu. So many natural hits here and so few people which makes it one of our favourites. After a full day at Rusutsu, we’ll head back to our lodge for après.
For our final night we’ll head into the local town of Kutchan for dinner at one of the best Izakaya’s around. Followed by some drinks and karaoke at one of the great local bars.
March 14, 2019 – 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 airport and say goodbye.
Throughout the tour we will spend 6 days riding the resorts around the area. These range from big resorts with world-class infrastructure to smaller local resorts where we will have the slopes to ourselves. Some of the resorts we have to choose from are:
Niseko United is made up of 4 interconnected resorts, Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village & Annupuri. It’s located on the western side of Hokkaido, on Japan’s north island. It’s proximity to the ocean means that cold wind blows down from Siberia over the warm currents in the Sea of Japan, forming storms that hit Hokkaido and drop huge amounts of cold blower powder snow. These storms can hang around for days or weeks on end, hence how Niseko earns its powder factory reputation. The surrounding mountains also score huge amounts of snow and are usually much quieter on a powder day, meaning more opportunities for untracked turns.
Moiwa The terrain at Moiwa may be short with only 470 metres of vertical, but it’s very sweet because it’s generally quiet. The resort is serviced by three chair lifts, which provide access to six runs but the highlight here is the many off-piste lines through the trees. Moiwa has some fun terrain with gate access to beautiful untracked tree runs and gullies that run back into the resort.
Rusutsu Resort 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.
The ski season in Niseko stretches over 5 months from late November to early May. There is still a high chance of scoring fresh powder snow right through to the end of March. Temperatures range from -2°c to -10°c. It’s actually the locals favourite time of year, as the the high season crowds disappear, so there’s little competition for fresh snow after a storm. With the weather more settled, there is less chance of chairlift closures, and more opportunity to safely access the backcountry. There is still plenty of nightlife and it’s easy to visit all of Niseko’s famous restaurants.
Throughout the week we stay in our private luxury lodge, located in Hirafu, which is the main village in Niseko. Our 3 story lodge has views amazing views over the resort and Mt Yotei, and plenty of space to relax after riding.
- Full concrete construction with excellent sound proofing
- Generous top floor open plan living area with vaulted ceilings and large windows
- High definition satellite TV / DVD / entertainment system with surround sound
- Full size kitchen with Miele appliances
- Large outdoor balcony
- Twin share bedrooms with 2 x single beds
- Wi-Fi available throughout the building
- Large drying room and laundry
- Full size garage with heated driveways and surrounds
- Views of Mt Yotei and the ski hill from both houses
Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced
Backcountry Level: Easy
Fitness Level: To make the most of your trip we recommend that you have a good level of aerobic fitness.
This is a small group tour with a maximum of 6 guests per departure. To check availability, get in touch:
Email [email protected]
A $500 deposit per person is required to secure your booking with the balance payable 90 days prior to departure. All bookings are subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.