MINT CHICKS JAPAN PROGRESSION TOUR
7 Nights I 6 Days riding
February 04, 2017 to February 11, 2017
$2499 PER PERSON
Want to improve your riding in the snowiest place on earth! Our Mint Chicks Progression Tour allows women of all ages to improve their snowboarding in a down to earth and supportive environment. Perfect for intermediate snowboarders who want to learn how to ride powder. Our home base is magnificently located in one the oldest ski resort in Japan that’s famous not only for it’s impressive scenery, but also for the colossal amounts of snow that it scores each season. We conduct our snowboarding sessions on the gentle, rolling terrain in and around Myoko where the uncrowded slopes are perfect for progression. In no time your’ll be floating surfy turns through the powder in the perfectly spaced trees. Along the way you’ll be hosted by our qualified coaches. Our Mint Chicks crew have years of experience in making sure you achieve your goals and are on-hand to help out every step of the way.
Arrival Day – February 4
Welcome to Japan! Once you arrive at Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport, you’ll be on the bus and headed to Myoko. The bus ride to Myoko takes approximately 5 hours, and you’ll make some food and rest stops along the way. Once you arrive into our snowy resort, your guides will be on hand to check you in to our lodge and make sure you are settled in and feeling at home. In the evening we’ll bring the group together for dinner at one of our favourite local Izakaya’s. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the other ladies as well as your coach and host.
Warm-up Day – February 5
We start the day with a home cooked, hearty and healthy breakfast at our lodge. Then it’s time to get your gear together and meet your coach for your first day on-snow. Your coach will do a gear check in the morning to ensure that everyone is prepared for the day ahead. We’ll make the short walk to the closest chairlift and kick off our first session. Our first morning on snow is very relaxed and everybody is encouraged to ride at their own pace. The morning coaching session is all about warming up and getting used to the conditions and terrain. The warm up session is also a good opportunity to work out your riding goals for the trip. After our morning session we’ll break for lunch and head to one of our favourite mountain restaurants. After everyone has refuelled and warmed up, we’ll head out for our afternoon session. We’ll explore another part of the resort and your coach will be on-hand to give you encouragement, tips and feedback along the way. After riding, head back to the lodge and you’ll have free time until dinner. In the evening we’ll head out for a group dinner at one of the local Izakaya’s.
Coaching Days – February 6 to 9
Each day will follow a similar format starting with an early breakfast at the lodge. Your coach will meet you each morning and we’ll aim for a 9am departure. We’ll either make the short walk to the closest chairlift, or if conditions are going to be optimal at a nearby resort, we’ll jump on the bus and travel to another area. If conditions allow, we’ll aim to run the coaching sessions in the morning. Your coach will tailor the session to suit group and individual needs. After our morning session, we’ll break for lunch on mountain and then it’s up to you what you’d like to do in the afternoon. You can keep riding, your guide will be on-hand for freeriding sessions where you’ll get to explore more of the resort or you can take the opportunity to relax and rest the legs and head back to the lodge. After riding, you’ve got your afternoons free to relax. Back at the lodge we’ve got a communal chill out area where you can kick back, watch some movies and chat with the others. In the evening we’ll head out for a group dinner at one of the many restaurants. The food in Myoko is amazing with lots of local produce on offer. There are a few small bars for anyone wanting to finish off the day with a few cocktails and maybe some karaoke.
Freeride Day – February 10
We keep the itinerary flexible for your final day. If you want to maximise your time on-snow you can go riding with your Mint Chicks coach and new shred buddies, if you want to buy some souvenirs you can head to the nearby town for some shopping, or if you’ve always wanted to visit the Snow Monkey’s you can make the trip to Jigokodani Monkey Park and see the Japanese Macaque’s soaking in the natural onsen. It’s up to you what you’d like to do. Your guides are on-hand to help you plan any activities for the day. In the evening we’ll head out to our favourite restaurant in Myoko for a final group dinner and some cocktails so we can celebrate an epic week of riding.
Departure Day – February 11
We say goodbye, high fives all round after an epic week of riding. Everyone will travel back to Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport with a few new tricks in their bag as well as a bunch of new snowboarding friends.
Your tour includes:
- 7 nights twin share accommodation at our traditional Japanese lodge with onsen
- Healthy home cooked breakfast daily
- 6 day lift ticket
- 5 coaching sessions with our qualified coaches
- Daily freeride sessions with Mint Chicks coaches
- Nightly tours to local restaurants and bars
- Free access to powder boards from Nitro Snowboards
- Board setup, and tech sessions
- Return scheduled bus transfers from Tokyo Narita Airport to Myoko
- Giveaways from Mint
Each morning you’ll rise early for breakfast at the lodge and gear up for a big day riding ahead. Your coach will either make the call to ride the local resort by our lodge or to make the short bus ride to the neighbouring resorts. We will have a morning coaching session where we’ll work on individual goals, break for lunch on mountain and then it’s up to you what you’d like to do. Your afternoon’s can be spent freeriding with your coach, exploring the village or relaxing at the lodge. After riding head back to the lodge and relax. It’s also a great opportunity to jump in the onsen and soothe any aches from a long day on the mountain. We’ll typically head into the village at night to eat at one of the local restaurants. There are many Japanese dining options in the village. There are a few friendly bars in town for anyone wanting to explore the nightlife. Just remember, we’re going snowboarding tomorrow!
Our accommodation for the tour is centrally located in the middle of Akakura Onsen which is the main village. A comfortable and cosy Japanese lodge with natural inspired interiors and modern facilities including a private indoor onsen (hot spring), drying room, restaurant, laundry facilities, chill-out room and English speaking staff. Located central to all the restaurants and bars and only a 5 minute walk to the ski run. All guests are accommodated in a twin share room, with Japanese bedding (futon). Single share rooms are also available. Bathing facilities located in the female only onsen on the ground floor of the lodge, there is also a private shower. A home cooked breakfast is served every morning in the restaurant and dinners or special dietary requirements can be catered for on request. The lodge is equipped with free WIFI.
As part of the tour, we include 5 x half day coaching sessions with our qualified instructors. We keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of the sessions and progress at your own pace. All our lessons are conducted on terrain suitable for progression.
Our Coaches & Guides
Our supportive coaches and guides are some of the most experienced riders and elite athletes in their field so you’re in good hands and in for an epic time. They are on hand throughout the tour to make sure your stay is not only fun but also safe.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our camp is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. Not only are our coaches and guides with you on-mountain during the day, they keep the stoke going well into the night, so you’ll always have crew to hang out with and places to go.
If you’d like a bit more room we can arrange a private room for guests. Just ask when 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 with the accommodation being so close to the ski-area. We also 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.
Free Access to Powder Boards
Our Mint Chicks tour is supported by our good friends at Nitro Snowboards. They are giving us afleet of powder boards to test drive in the deep Japan pow! We’ll have many boards to choose from including our favourite female specific powder board, the ‘Slash’. We love this board!
Snow & Conditions
This tour is running at the the peak of Japan’s snow season. At this time of year the Niigata region gets hammered with consistent storms that bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow. Due to it’s close proximity to the Sea of Japan this region scores the highest annual snowfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu. Myoko has been known to top Japan’s snowfall tally, with some seasons scoring over 16 metres! With stats like this, powder is virtually guaranteed.
From the moment you arrive and see the towering snow banks lining the streets and steam billowing from natural hot springs, you will feel like you are in a traditional Japanese resort. While being one of Japan’s most famous ski resorts, Myoko is not overly commercialised, so you’ll enjoy a real Japanese experience. There is enough English signage to feel comfortable, but the lack of large numbers of international guests helps you feel immersed in the culture. There are excellent restaurants and bars that cater to all budgets plus you can purchase all the basics in the village. Being an onsen town, you also can access many different onsen throughout the village for a small fee.
Myoko Resort Area
Myoko is made up of four main resorts – Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Suginohara and Ikenotaira. Each resort has excellent facilities including hooded chairs and/or gondola’s and on-mountain dining. Most importantly we love that Myoko is a lot quieter than the larger resorts (Niseko & Hakuba) so lift lines are usually non-existent and on a powder day (which is often!) there’s lots of opportunity for freshies well into the afternoon. A shuttle bus loops around all of the resorts. You can easily spend a morning riding freshies at Suginohara then jump on the bus and spend the afternoon riding cruisy groomers at Akakura Onsen.
Akakura Onsen & Akakura Kanko
From our accommodation, you can access the two interlinked resorts of Akakura Onsen & Akakura Kanko. It is a two minute easy walk to the nearest ski lift. These areas offer an excellent variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced groomed and off-piste terrain across the two resorts.
Home to wide groomed slopes with rolling terrain, as well as three terrain parks. Suitable for novice to intermediate riders or if you’re up for hitting the park, it’s suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.
With Japan’s longest run at 8.5 km, long wide groomers for carving, a huge terrain park and ungroomed areas at the top of the mountain, Suginohara has some of the best terrain in the area. Suitable for novice and advanced riders. Be sure to look out for the Snow Monkeys on the drive to ‘Sugi’.
Our Mint Chicks Japan Progression Tour is perfect for intermediate riders who can comfortably link turns on blue/red runs. If you are looking to step up your game and learn how to ride different types of terrain in different conditions, then this tour is for you! It doesn’t matter if you haven’t ridden (or even seen!) powder before. Our coaching and freeride sessions will get you confident to shred Myoko’s powder stashes. Even on the deepest days! If you’d like to speak to one of our Mint Chicks guides to see if this tour is suitable for you please get in touch [email protected]
To secure your spot we require a $500 deposit with the balance paid 60 days prior to departure. Group numbers are strictly limited.