Japan Powder Retreat
Mint Women - Kiroro Resort, Hokkaido
February 10, 2020 to February 16, 2020
AUD $3295 Per Person
Join us for an all-inclusive powder and progression adventure to the snowiest resort in Japan. You’ll spend 7 days with our coaches and guides exploring Kiroro, on the northern island of Hokkaido. This resort scores an incredible 21 metres of snow each winter! And to top it off, we stay on-mountain in a 5 star luxury hotel! If that grabbed your attention, then read on..
Our Base – Kiroro Resort
If you’re going to make the trip to Japan, then you might as well ride at the best resort, and Kiroro is synonymous with the having the best powder on earth. Snow here is bountiful, abundant, plentiful, there aren’t enough words to describe the amount. It’s snow-sure reputation has something to do with its prime location, on a coastal corner not far from the Sea of Japan. Throughout winter, fierce Siberian storms push over the ocean and drop pure white goodness on this coastal treasure.
If you’re the kind of gal who like the facts, you’ll be pleased to know that Kiroro tops the Japan powder tally, season after season. It even beats its high-profile neighbours, Niseko and Rusutsu in the powder stakes. It’s officially the snowiest resort in Japan. And you’re in for a treat, because we’ve timed our tour to run during peak powder season, so powder turns are virtually guaranteed.
And the terrain won’t disappoint either. Kiroro has something for everyone whether it’s your first time in powder, or you’re a seasoned campaigner. There are perfectly groomed pistes, wide-open powder meadows that are left un-groomed, and designated side country and tree riding areas that are patrolled. These areas are perfect to get your lift accessed powder fill, within minimum effort. If you are keen to explore beyond the resort boundaries, the key thing is that you need to know what you’re doing. Our team of professional coaches will show you where to find the best lines and then bring you back into the resort safely.
Ride with Christy Prior – Olympian & X Games Medalist
For 2020 we’re excited to announce that our guest-coach and resident yogi will be none other than Christy Prior – professional athlete, Winter Olympian, and 2 times X Games Medalist. Spend your week riding with Christy and you’ll get to see why she has been labelled by the World Snowboard Tour as the “most talented and ambitious female snowboarder out there right now.” Christy will be joining us to coach, ride and throw a high five once you’ve scored your first pow turn or stomped a landing into deep Japan pow! She will also be leading our nightly yoga sessions throughout the week.
Luxury 5 Star Accommodation
Throughout the tour you’ll stay on-mountain at the Marriot, The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. This is a 5 star, luxury hotel with direct access to the region’s best powder. You’ll stay in a mountain-side Superior Room with views across the snow covered landscape that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi. The hotel also has a hot spring, indoor and outdoor pool, fitness centre and shops. Buffet breakfast and dinners are included and are thoughtfully prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
Daily Snowboard Coaching
If you’re ready to get your riding dialled, then you couldn’t be in better company. Our coaches are on-hand every day and have just one focus – You! They’ve got you’re back, whether it’s your first time in powder, or you’re wanting to take your freeriding to the next level. Our coaches have years of experience helping women reach their goals. From beginners through to Olympic athletes, they have coached snowboarders at every level. We typically keep our group size to 5 ladies per coach so we can fast-track your progression. Each day we will ride to the conditions, and change the plan and pace to suit. Our coaching sessions run each morning, followed by afternoon freeride sessions. This allows you to focus on the technical side of snowboarding in the mornings, then put it into practice each afternoon.
Get to Know Our Coaches
Throughout the week you will be hosted by our qualified coaches and guides including:
Christy Prior Christy is a New Zealand Olympian, a World Cup Slopestyle Champion, and has been labelled by the World Snowboard Tour as the “most talented and ambitious female snowboarder out there right now.” Christy fell in love with snowboarding and dropped everything to “eat, ride, sleep, repeat.” Although Christy’s unparalleled rise through the snowboarding ranks made her stand out from everyone else, it was far from an easy ride. Massive geographic distances from the epicentre of the sport and mounting injuries proved to be constant obstacles for a girl with her heart set on innovating her sport. At one critical point, Christy had one last shot to bet big on herself. So, she loaded up the credit cards and travelled across the country competing in several international contests on her own dime. With an arsenal of podium finishes at competitions around the world, she has proved to everyone that she is a force to be reckoned with. Whether it’s yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, snowboarding, friends, or anything else, if this platinum blonde wonder-woman is doing it, she is doing it with tremendous style and she is doing it her own way.
Rachel Newton We’re lucky enough to have one of the world’s most qualified female coaches as part of our team. Originally hailing from New Zealand, Rachel rose through the professional snowboarding ranks, and eventually became a high-performance coach for regional and national snowboard teams. Whether it’s your first time snowboarding or you’re a professional athlete, Rachel’s direct and considered approach will fast-track your progression. Her passion for snowboarding is infectious. Just take a lap with Rachel through the park, on piste or in the trees and you’ll be smiling ear-to-ear. Her energy, enthusiasm and expert advice will take your snowboarding to the next level and then some. Rachel now calls Canada home and is based in Rossland, BC, home to one of our favourite resorts in North America, RED Mountain.
Juliane Bray Juliane has been a pioneer for women’s snowboarding. From her early days as a professional snowboarder, she rose through the ranks to compete at the highest level. There aren’t many athletes that can claim they have had their own pro model snowboard, but Juliane has! Juliane’s long career has seen her with multiple wins at the Burton Open, she’s competed at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics and was the first New Zealand athlete to win a Snowboard World Cup. She brings her years of experience and knowledge from the competitive circuit to her role as a high-performance coach. Juliane is a pro at helping riders who have plateaued. She’ll have you trying new tricks and breaking through barriers you never thought possible. She’ll get you covering more ground and trying new things in no time. When Juliane isn’t our rock-star coach in Japan, you can find her in Wanaka, New Zealand, coaching the high performance squads at Cardrona Resort.
Fiona Duncan Fiona has been instrumental in building the the womens program at Mint Tours. She has worked both behind the scenes and on-the-snow in every role possible to help grow our women’s snowboarding community. She’s a natural leader, and a passionate communicator, so it’s no surprise her career as a professional snowboarder led her to become a high-performance snowboard coach and guide in New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Her personal mission is to encourage women to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle and have the best time possible while doing it. When Fiona isn’t on-snow, you can either find her at the beach or in her pilates studio; she’ll be sharing her passion for surfing with the next generation of female surfers, or teaching the local community the benefits of pilates and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Daily Yoga Sessions with Christy Prior
Snowboarding and yoga. It’s the perfect combination, and the secret to many professional snowboarder’s long careers. Each evening, join professional snowboarder and yoga instructor, Christy Prior as she leads a group yoga and stretching session to help you recover after your long day riding powder.
Professional Snowboard Photographer on hand
Throughout the tour we’ll have our professional snowboard photographer on hand to capture all the action. You’ll be able to download all your Japan shots daily, so you can keep all your followers up to date with your drool-worthy adventure. We’ll make sure you go home with your iconic Japan powder shot, plus all the highlights from the week, on and off-mountain.
Join Our Community
Once you’re booked on, we’ll invite you to join our group chat so you can get to know the other women on tour. If you’re travelling solo it’s a great way to meet the others and sync up your travel plans.
Is this tour for you?
Whether you’re looking to progress your snowboarding, or just want to ride in Japan with like-minded women, we’ve got you covered. Each day you will ride with similar level snowboarders. Throughout the week we will have coaching and guiding sessions available for the following ability levels:
Group 1: You have learned the basics and can link turns most of the time on green runs.
Group 2: You can link your turns on-piste and can comfortably ride intermediate terrain (green & blue runs).
Group 3: You are able to link turns with rhythm and flow on most black runs, including off-piste.
Group 4: You can ride the whole mountain and can make turns anytime, anywhere and in any conditions, including in powder and trees.
Easy Airport Transfers
What we like about Kiroro is it’s so easy to get to. It’s a stress-free trip, especially if you’re travelling solo or it’s your first time to Japan. Once your flight arrives in Sapporo, grab your bags and get on the bus. It’s a scenic door-to-door trip, from the airport straight to our hotel. Grab a window seat and in just under 2 hours you will arrive at our powder paradise. Our guides will be on-hand to greet you and help you settle in.
During our coaching sessions we typically keep our group size to a maximum of 5 people for a more personal experience between our guests and guides. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us.
Snow & Conditions
This tour is running at the peak of Kiroro’s snow season. At this time of year, Kiroro sees consistent storms that bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow. Much of the resorts is north facing which keeps the snow in pristine condition.
Your tour includes:
- 5 Star Accommodation
For 6 nights you will stay in 5 star luxury at the Marriot, Tribute Portfolio Hotel. All guests will stay in a twin share Superior Deluxe Room. Our deluxe rooms feature 2 comfortable single beds with high quality linen and duvets, plenty of room for your equipment, ensuite bathroom, free WIFI and USB outlets, and thoughtful touches like bathroom toiletries, robes, slippers and bottled water.
- Daily Coaching Sessions
Every day you will spend a minimum of 3.5 hours with our qualified coaches in our group coaching sessions. Our coaching sessions typically run from 9am – 12:30pm. You’ll enjoy the personalised attention as we limit our group size to a maximum of 5 women per coach.
- Daily Guiding Sessions
Each afternoon we hold guiding and freeride sessions which are led by our qualified coaches. You’ll get to explore more of the mountain and cover more ground, as you put your skills into play after your morning coaching session.
- Photographer on Hand
Throughout the tour we have our photographer on hand to capture all the action.
- Photography Package
You’ll be able to download all your Japan shots daily, so you can keep all your followers up to date with the drool-worthy conditions that you’re currently scoring. We’ll make sure you go home with your iconic Japan powder shot, plus all the highlights from the week, on and off-mountain.
For breakfast, join us at Kiroro’s talk-of-the-town breakfast buffet which serves eggs cooked to order, home-baked bread, French croissants and much more, all prepared with local produce.
For dinner, join us at Hokkaido’s renowned buffet on the second floor of our hotel. You will be treated to the freshest local seafood, delicious meats and vegetable dishes, warming and hearty curry, Japanese soups and noodles just to name a few. For those with a sweet tooth, the irresistible dessert buffet isn’t one to be missed.
- Daily Yoga Sessions with Christy Prior
Each evening join Christy Prior in our yoga room for her nightly yoga and stretching session.
- Kiroro Lift Ticket
You’ll receive your 5 day Kiroro lift ticket when you arrive at the hotel.
- Easy Airport Transfers
Once you arrive at New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, simply jump on the bus and in no time you’ll be transported to our powder paradise. Our door-to-door transfers make the trip a breeze. On departure day, we’ll drop you back at New Chitose Airport.
- Snowboarding Tech Sessions
Our coaches will run snowboarding tech sessions throughout the week which will cover everything from board set-up, board selection, waxing and tuning, and of course answer any questions.
Each morning we’ll have buffet breakfast at the hotel which consists of a wide selection of western and Japanese foods including eggs, bacon, breads, rice, fresh fruits, cereal, yoghurt, miso, soups and salads. You won’t go hungry! To prepare for the day ahead, hit the onsen in the morning, do some stretching and then it’s time to gear up and head out onto the snow. If you want test out one of our powder boards, ask one of our friendly guides to help you set up the board. Before we head out on snow, your coach will complete a gear check, and run through the plan for the day. Our hotel is impressively located on-mountain at Kiroro, so the Gondola is just steps away.
Morning Coaching Sessions
Each morning we’ll have a dedicated coaching session where you’ll work on individual goals. Our morning coaching sessions typically run from 9:00am until 12:30pm. Your Mint Chicks coaches are on-hand the whole session to give you feedback, encouragement and of course to make it fun. No matter what you want to work on, your coach will be able to provide you with the tools to take your snowboarding to the next level!
After our morning session is complete, we’ll break for lunch on mountain. Take the opportunity to rest the feet, warm up with a hot drink and lunch, and work out what you’d like to focus on for the afternoon.
Snowboarding in deep powder can be hard work, so each afternoon you can choose what you’d like to do. Join our afternoon guiding sessions where you can explore more of the mountain with our guides. Your guides are on hand so you can get the most out of your time on-snow. If you’d prefer to go freeriding with your new skills and new shred-buddies, feel free to head off on your own, or just head back to the hotel for an onsen and some rest and relaxation.
After a long day riding deep Japan powder, there is no better way to warm up and soothe the muscles than to hit the onsen. Our hotel has a beautiful indoor and outdoor onsen with natural geothermal water. Relax and revive, while taking in the snowy views. There is also a day spa where you can get a massage, or if you still have energy to burn, you can hit the fitness centre or pool. If you’re ready to awaken your inner yogi, join our afternoon yoga and stretching session led by Christy Prior. Each evening, catch up with the ladies and other Mint Tours guests and guides at the hotel bar. Grab a hot drink or something stronger and catch up on the days’ happenings. Each night we have a buffet dinner included at the hotel. You’ll be able to sample some of the freshest seasonal produce from the region, plus there is a great selection of international dishes. Round off your meal with a trio of sake samplers from the local area. For anyone wanting to kick on, join the other guests and guides in the bar for some after dinner drinks and fun, or if you’re game we can break out the Karaoke.
We want your holiday to be as comfortable as possible, so that’s why you’re staying on mountain in 5 star luxury at the Marriot, Tribute Portfolio Hotel. All guests will stay in a twin share Superior Room. Our rooms feature 2 comfortable single beds with high quality linen and duvets, plenty of room for your equipment, ensuite bathroom, free WIFI and USB outlets, and thoughtful touches like bathroom toiletries, robes, slippers and bottled water. Each room has amazing views to the mountain. The hotel has multiple restaurants, a hotel bar which serves drinks and snacks, a small convenience store, indoor and outdoor onsen facility, pool and fitness centre, rental shop, snowboard store, day spa, drying room, karaoke room, and coffee shop.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact, about 99% of our guests are travelling solo. Our tour is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. To encourage a social atmosphere, are our coaches and guides with you on-mountain during the day and they keep the fun going well into the night, so you’ll always have people to socialise with.
If you’d like a bit more room we can arrange a private room on request. Please ask at time of booking
Time on Snow
It’s up to you how much time you would like to spend snowboarding. You can easily ride from first to last chair, however we understand that it’s your holiday so you can participate in as much or as little as you like. Our Mint guides and coaches will be available for scheduled daily coaching and guiding sessions. You are welcome to join in or if you’d prefer to do your own thing that’s also okay.
Is this tour for you?
Our coaching and guiding sessions are perfect for novice to advanced riders, and you will always ride with like-level snowboarders. If you’d like to speak with one of our guides to see if this tour is suitable, please get in touch
Email. [email protected]
Call. (03) 8563 9437
Please note that we limit our group numbers for this tour. Bookings close on the 30th of September unless sold out prior.
If you would like some further information about the tour please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
To secure your spot on tour, we take an AUD $700 deposit and the balance is due 90 days prior to departure. We will issue all guests travel documents and Pre Departure Guides one month prior to travel.