GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Get off the beaten path with us in Northern Honshu. We’re headed to Aomori Spring Resort. The annual snowfall statistic for this area is unknown, but a guesstimate would be around of 14-20 metres per season. Due to its northerly position, the snow quality is much lighter and dryer than most other Honshu ski resorts.
Like many Japanese ski resorts, Aomori Spring Resort is not particularly large, however what it lacks in size, it definitely makes up for with the abundance of snow. There are plenty of trees at Aomori Spring and no competition for the abundant fresh powder. For anyone wanting to explore beyond the resort boundaries, you can join a guided backcountry day if the weather and conditions are right. The summit of Mount Iwaki is 700 metres of vertical above the lift-serviced terrain, so there are plenty of backcountry opportunities for those keen to earn their turns. The resort also has a half pipe and a progressive Holy Bowly style terrain park (think skatepark made out of snow) that includes a variety of free-form, flowy features that’s friendly for every ability, all under the magnificent backdrop of Mt. Iwaki.
On this tour you will spend 6 nights and 5 full days riding at Aomori Spring Resort. This is an all-inclusive tour with almost everything included in the price – ski-in/ski-out accommodation, lift tickets, guiding, breakfasts, dinners a night time tour and dinner in a local town, airport transfers, and we’ve even got our media team on hand to send you home with a video from the trip.
To keep the stoke levels high, you’ve got a couple of snowboard guides on-hand who know a thing or two about hunting down the best lines, finding the best snow, and making sure you have a good time while doing it. Your guides for the week are Freeride World Tour athlete Erika Vikander, Winter Olympian Juliane Bray and our head guide Scott Anfang.
Register your interest for winter 2024
6 nights I 5 days on-snow
Register your interest for winter 2024
All rounder - powder, pistes and park
Why Travel With Mint
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. We are a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conduct business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
Aomori Spring Resort
This area is untapped and well worth visiting for its consistent snowfall, no lift lines and very little western influence. Throughout the tour, our guides will show you why this region is one of our favourite places to go snowboarding in Japan.
Pro Guide Erika Vikander
One of your guides is Freeride World Tour athlete Erika Vikander. She's long been competing, guiding and filming in Japan so we couldn't think of a better host for a freeride tour.
Snow & Conditions
Aomori Spring receives copious amounts of snow but the resort doesn’t boast about it so who knows exactly how much snowfall there is. If the nearby city of Aomori is anything to go by which receives 13 metres of snow each winter, a guesstimate of what the resort receives would be around of 14-20 metres per season! The slopes of Aomori Spring are mostly north facing which also keeps the snow in pristine condition.
Optional Backcountry Days
For anyone keen to earn their turns, you can book a guided backcountry day in-resort. To reach Mt Iwaki, we will take the gondola from Aomori Spring resort then hike to the peak of Iwaki-san. Once we’ve reached the top, there are many faces and bowls to explore on the way down. This area is a powder factory and a total playground, with small to medium sized drops, wind lips to slash, wide open areas to lay down high speed pow turns and tight trees to challenge.
Lots of snowfall, no crowds
Our guides are going to show you why this region receives its legendary reputation as possibly the holy grail of snowboarding in Japan. This is an un-westernised area that is blessed with lots of snowfall, has absolutely no crowds, and you can score fresh lines straight off the chairlift.
Local Town Visit
To give you a local perspective we'll take a night-time tour down to one of the local towns so you can get a feel for the region and eat some delicious local food.
Premium is the new Normal
We'll make sure you your off-snow experience is as good as the deep Aomori powder. Your stay will be premium in every way. You've got twin share ski-in/ski-out accommodation, a photographer/ videographer, transport and professional guides on hand throughout the week.
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
AOMORI SPRING RESORT
Aomori Spring Ski Resort is well and truly off the radar for most westerners who head to Japan in search of powder and a cultural experience. Unlike the busy & well-known resorts where fresh tracks disappear within an hour and any cultural experiences are heavily diluted, Aomori Spring Resort is the real deal. It's harder to reach, which keeps things quiet.
OPTIONAL BACKCOUNTRY DAYS
If conditions are right, you can book a backcountry day when you are in-resort. To reach Mt Iwaki, we will take the gondola from Aomori Spring resort then hike to the peak of Iwaki-san. Once we’ve reached the top, there are many faces and bowls to explore on the way down. This area is a powder factory and a total playground, with small to medium sized drops, wind lips to slash, wide open areas to lay down high speed pow turns and tight trees to challenge.
SNOWFALL & CONDITIONS
The annual snowfall statistic for these areas is unknown, but a guesstimate would be around of 14-20 metres per season. Due to its northerly position, the snow quality is much lighter and dryer than most other Honshu ski resorts. These areas are known for their frequent big winter storms. The infrequent bluebird days keep the crowds away which results in lots of fresh snow.
PARK AND PIPE
Aomori Spring invests heavily in their park and are one of the few resorts to have an Olympic standard super pipe. The resort also has progressive park features including Holy Bowly style terrain park (think skatepark made out of snow) that includes a variety of free-form, flowy features that's friendly for every ability, all under the magnificent backdrop of Mt. Iwaki.
At the northernmost tip of Japan's Honshu is Aomori Prefecture. Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, and in just over 3.5 hours you will be transported to Aomori, a region known for its deep powder snow; unique traditions; food; culture; famed onsen and pristine wilderness. The lack of crowds and very little western influence makes it one of our favourite places to ride in Japan. Our base for this tour is a remote ski-in/ski-out hotel.
We offer one of the smallest client to guide ratio’s in the industry which ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. Our small groups allow greater manoeuvrability and ease of access to the best areas a destination can offer. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.
Meet your expert team
LOCAL GUIDES & PARTNERSHIPS
Mint opens doors around the globe. Our long-standing relationships with local guides, local legends, professional athletes, local businesses and resorts allow us special access to places and people. Travelling with us, you go behind the scenes to get a close-up view of each destination. You’re enriched by the knowledge of our experts and local guides.
Meet your expert team
The Freeride World Tour is the "Olympics" of big mountain snowboarding and consists of 45 of the most elite freeride athletes on the globe. Erika is 1 of the 6 women on this tour. Prior to her Freeride career, Erika reached the top of the slopestyle ranks, taking podiums at the highest level, including The Dew Tour, Grand Prix, Burton US Open and even the Sochi Olympic qualifiers.
Meet your expert team
Scott is our lead guide and coaching director who brings over 20 years industry experience to his role. He is a three-term AASI National Snowboard Team Member and the current coach of American Association of Snowboard Instructors National snowboard team. Scott is also Co-founder of GoSnow industries, the first on-demand booking platform for snowsport instructors. Sponsors: Burton Snowboards, Smith optics, Hestra Gloves, Patagonia outerwear, Anon helmets, Purl Wax.
Meet your expert team
Juliane first traveled to Japan in 2001 where she won a World Cup
Boarder Cross race and has been coming back to Japan ever since. She’s also had multiple
wins at the Burton Open, she’s competed at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics in Half Pipe
and Boarder Cross, she was the first New Zealand athlete to win a Snowboard World Cup and
has had her own pro-model snowboard. Juliane has been guiding and coaching for Mint
Tours in Japan and New Zealand for the last 7 years
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- 6 nights ski-in/ski-out accommodation in a twin share ensuite room (2 people per room)
- 6 Dinners – choose from buffet or set menu (Japanese Kaiseki or French)
- 5 day lift ticket
- 5 days of on-snow guiding with professional Mint Tours guides
- Scheduled arrival and departure day transfers from Aomori Airport or Shin-Aomori Station
- Night-time cultural tour in local town
- Fully-escorted tour, guides on hand throughout the tour
- Filmer on hand throughout tour
- Movie highlights from the week
All our Japan Tours are 6 nights and run from Sunday to Saturday. You’ll ride every resort mid-week to maximise your time on-snow and avoid the weekend day-trippers. If 6 nights isn’t enough, then book one of our multi-tour combo’s. Join us in Asahikawa, then start a new tour in a different destination the following day. Ask us about tour combo ideas.
- Register your interest for winter 2024
Book this tour as a private departure – with your own guide and all the benefits of a Mint group tour – for any group, big or small (even just one traveller). Get in touch to discuss.
WHY TRAVEL WITH MINT?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. Mint is a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conducts business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we can take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre-or post tour arrangements.
CAN I TRAVEL TO JAPAN?
Travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and most European countries no longer need to apply for a visa or ERFS certification in advance. At this stage, travellers are still required to either:
- Be triple vaccinated and provide a vaccine certificate, OR
- Have a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure.
WHAT IS A FREERIDE TOUR?
Our Freeride Tours offer you the best chance to ride deep, Japan powder. Our experienced guides have an in-depth knowledge of the resorts we visit, which gives you the ultimate advantage when your chasing deep, un-tracked snow. We’ll aim to snowboard and ski a lot of powder, glades and trees so please be prepared to ride and ski in the trees for 5 days straight. Of course weather and conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride or ski anything.
WHAT HAPPENS ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DAY?
Once you’ve signed up for the tour we will send you through a comprehensive guide with details about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING SOLO?
About 99% of our guests are travelling solo, so you’ll be in good company. Solo travellers will be paired with another guest to share a room with. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snowsports and an eagerness to explore all that Japan has to offer.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THIS TOUR?
Each tour is different, but we know that by offering one of the smallest client to guide ratio in the industry allows you to ski or snowboard at your preferred pace, and ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us.
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?
This tour is best suited to intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders who can link turns in powder snow, can make a variety of turn shapes and can traverse and hold speed. If you’re not sure, give us a call. Weather and ski conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride or ski anything. Please be prepared to ride and ski in the trees.
WHICH RESORTS WILL WE VISIT?
Aomori Spring Resort
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY ON AFTER THE TOUR?
For most tours you can arrive earlier or stay later. We can tailor the trip to suit your travel plans. Speak with one of our tour specialists when you are booking and they will be more than happy to assist.
WHO ARE THE GUIDES?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained guides who are passionate about the mountains. Our guides for this tour are Erika Vikander and Scott Anfang.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included. If you need assistance booking flights, we can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes. All guests on tour need to be covered by comprehensive travel insurance. Once you have booked on the tour, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We offer all of our tour guests discounted snow specific travel insurance.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I’VE BOOKED?
Once you’ve booked your spot on tour, we will send you through a booking confirmation and provide updates about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information. We will send out a Pre Departure Guide 30 days prior to departure.
CAN I BRING MY PARTNER WHO DOESN’T SKI OR SNOWBOARD?
We can tailor the tour to suit your non-skiing or snowboarding partner. Speak with one of our tour specialists when you are booking and they will be more than happy to assist.
HOW DO I CHECK MY ABILITY LEVEL?
The best way to check if a tour is suited to your ability is by speaking with one of our tour specialists. They will be able to determine if the tour you have selected is a good fit for your ability, as well as suggesting other tour options.
HOW DO I GET TO AOMORI?
We’ll provide you with instructions to get to Aomori. If it’s your fist time to Japan or if you’re unsure about travel arrangements, often we can link you up with other tour guests to travel with.
HOW DO I CHECK AVAILABILITY?
Speak with one of our tour specialists. As this is a small group tour with limited availability, it’s best to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
DO YOU TAKE SKIERS & SNOWBOARDERS?
Yes. We are ski and snowboard friendly. Please note that the majority of our tours are led by snowboard/splitboard guides.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Yes. Avalanche safety equipment and snowshoes/touring ski’s are available to rent. We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment. We do recommend bringing powder boards or ski’s for all our Japan tours.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Aomori can be a very cold place in winter, with temperatures typically ranging from 0 to -10 degrees Celsius. We strongly recommend that guests dress in layers of clothing specific for traveling in backcountry areas. We recommend that guests have a good quality waterproof jacket and pants, insulated layer(s), merino base layers, merino gloves and waterproof gloves, goggles with low light & high light lenses, sunglasses, balaclava, beanie, and helmet. We recommend that all guests bring their own ski or snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear). Powder boards and ski’s are recommended.
WHO WILL BE ON MY TOUR?
Your group will be made up of travellers from diverse backgrounds and will be varied in age. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snowsports and an eagerness to explore all that Japan has to offer.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
Yes, a 5 day lift pass is included.
PRICE PER PERSON
Register your interest for winter 2024
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour a 50% deposit is payable to secure your booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to tour departure.
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Click on ‘Enquire’ below and send us your details. Once we receive your request one of our Japan Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.
2. OVER THE PHONE
Call us and follow the prompts to speak to one of our Japan Tour specialists.
Within Australia (03) 5296 0314
Drop us an email and one of our Japan Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.