NISEKO EXPLORER TOUR
7 nights | 6 days riding
January 17, 2017 to January 24, 2017
$2250 PER PERSON
Niseko United, Kiroro, Rusutsu & Moiwa
This is a powder hunter tour where we take a maximum of 6 guests. We keep the itinerary flexible so your guide can hunt down the best conditions all day, every day. We have access to many resorts in the region such as Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro and Moiwa. Your guide will assess the conditions and make the call on the day where is the best place to ride. We base this tour in Niseko. This resort is a mecca for powder hungry skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. Niseko’s unique location ensures that cold air coming from Siberia crosses the Sea of Japan, picks up moisture and develops into storms that drop epic amounts of cold dry snow on the Niseko range and surrounding areas. On this tour we stay in luxury, modern twin share accommodation in Niseko. This will be our base for 7 nights and your guide will transport you daily to our chosen location. Your guide will decide on riding spots each day based on weather and snowfall, as each mountain in the area can have vastly different snowfall and weather conditions, despite being in close proximity to each other. This flexibility ensures that we will find you the best snow and conditions all day, every day!
We keep the itinerary flexible so we can ride at the best resort on the day. Here is a sample itinerary:
Day 1 Arrival Day You’ll be met at Sapporo Chitose Airport and transferred by bus to your hotel in Niseko. After meeting your guide and the other guests, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the surrounding area. In the evening we’ll regroup and drive to the neighboring town for dinner at one of the many local restaurants.
Day 2 Kiroro Ride Day We have an early start and make the drive to Kiroro and stop off and get breakfast along the way. For our first ride day we’ll spend the day riding Kiroro. This is a large resort by Japanese standards with great lift infrastructure and facilities. Kiroro usually gets around the same amount of snow as the world famous Niseko, sometimes more! Kiroro also has some of the best side country terrain in Japan, with gates gaining access to beautiful untracked tree runs and gullies that run back into the resort. After riding we’ll aim to find a local onsen to rest the legs after a long day shredding pow. In the evening we’ll regroup and head out to one of the local restaurants in Niseko for a meal.
Day 3 – 5 Niseko Ride Days Each day will follow a similar format. Your guide will pick you up each morning and we’ll make the short trip to the resort base. Niseko United is made up of 4 individual areas, and despite being in close proximity to each other, they get varying amounts of snow and wind. Your guide will assess the conditions and drive to the best area on the day. With your guide leading the way, you’ll be assured to find the best snow and terrain to suit the group as well as our secret powder stashes! After riding we’ll typically head to one of the local onsen to warm up and relax after a long day shredding pow. Every evening we’ll organize a group dinner where you’ll get to sample Hokkaido’s finest produce.
Day 6 Moiwa Ride Day We’ll make the short trip to Moiwa early so we can be assured of fresh tracks. 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 two 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. After riding we’ll drive to one of the local onsen to relax and soothe the muscles after a big day riding. In the evening we’ll head out for a group dinner at one of our favourite local Izakaya’s.
Day 7 Rusutsu Ride Day We’ve saved the best for last. We’ll have an early start so we can arrive at Rusutsu for first chairlift. Rusutsu is home to some of the best fall line tree riding in Japan that is accessed straight off the lifts with minimal traversing; plus it gets minimal crowds in comparison to the nearby resorts. Follow your guide into the trees for some of of the best runs of your life. After riding we’ll head back to our hotel where you can get ready for your final night. We’ll head out to the local town of Kutchan for dinner, drinks and some karaoke for anyone who’s game.
Day 8 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.
Your tour includes:
- 7 nights twin share accommodation with en suite at Always Niseko
- Guiding every day
- 6 days lift pass for Niseko / Moiwa / Rusutsu / Kiroro
- Private daily transfers to all resorts
- Return scheduled airport transfers, Sapporo Chitose to Niseko
- Door to door transfers in Niseko
- Meet and greet at Sapporo Chitose Airport on arrival
- Private transfers to all ski resorts
- Daily hosting by Mint Tours guide to local restaurants and bars
- Access to our fleet of Nitro Powder boards
Niseko is 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. Niseko’s main village, Hirafu, is packed full of great restaurants, bars, and shops to explore. It really is a world class ski resort! Throughout the tour we will ride many of the resorts in the Niseko region, and your guide will be with you every day to show you around some of their favourite spots both on the hill and in the village.
Small Group Sizes
We keep our client 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 organising people and more time on snow! Our transport includes vans driven by your guide for the entirety of the tour.
We stay in twin share accommodation throughout the tour at the brand new Always Niseko development just 700m from the closest chairlift. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and can offer glimpses of Mt Yotei that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has a private bathroom with shower and bath tub, TV, storage and free high speed WiFi. This location has some great bars and restaurants around and is a short 5 minute walk to the heart of Grand Hirafu. The ski lifts in Grand Hirafu are within walking distance but your guide will collect you each morning and drive to the chosen ski area for the day. It can often be quite busy in the morning at Grand Hirafu so we will most likely start the mornings at a different resort to avoid the crowds and maximise our time in the powder.
Snow & Conditions
Hokkaido scores it’s biggest storms during the months of January and February. Expect cold temperatures and a lot of snow. Temperatures in the village usually range from -5 to -15 degrees celsius. Up on the mountain it can get down to around -20 degrees celsius, so make your you pack those thermals and a good balaclava! These low temperatures earn Hokkaido’s world famous reputation for consistent and dry snow. Most days throughout winter you can expect to be riding powder from the top of your boots to your waist. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures usually ensure we will be able to ride light dry snow days after storms.
Each morning we will discuss our plans based on weather and snow conditions for the day. Your guide will present options for the day and a decision will be made, driving the group out to the 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 our legs have had enough powder we will usually find a traditional Japanese onsen to relax and sooth our sore bodies. 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. In the evenings we will set out to explore the local area and get some delicious local food.
The great thing about this tour is each day will be unique and exciting. Our flexible itinerary means your tour with us will feel less like a concrete tour schedule and more like an adventure!
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 Niseko is 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.
Kiroro Snow World A large resort with great lift infrastructure and facilities. Kiroro usually gets around the same amount of snow as the world famous Niseko, sometimes more! Kiroro also has some of the best side country terrain in Japan, with gates gaining access to beautiful untracked tree runs and gullies that run back into the resort.
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 two chair lifts, a covered high speed quad and a 2-seater lift, 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 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 for the powder hungry skier and boarder!
+ 17 January – 24 January, 2017
If you would like to extend your trip you can always arrive before the tour starts or stay on after the tour commences.
$2,250 AUD per person
Not your currency? Contact us for a quote in your local currency.
To secure your spot we require a $500 deposit with the balance paid 60 days prior to departure. Group numbers are strictly limited. The tour is subject to Mint Tours terms and conditions. Places on this tour are strictly limited, no new places will be released once sold out.