LEVEL UP WITH A WEEK OF FREERIDE COACHING AND GUIDING
If you want to take the next step and start riding deep powder and in the trees, then this is the tour for you. You’ll spend 5 full days snowboarding with a qualified coach and guide who will get your riding dialled so you can confidently ride off-piste, in the trees, in deep powder and variable conditions. You’ll learn the skills to be able to navigate the whole mountain, even on the deepest days.
Your coach and guide is one of the most experienced and qualified professionals in the industry and will give you tips and feedback to improve your snowboarding while exploring different ski areas. You‘ll chase the snow and ride at different resorts each day. From the lesser known ski areas like Kamui and Pippu, to old-school local ski hills and even a few of our secret spots which are virtually empty mid-week.
At night Asahikawa is a buzzing city with plenty of ramen shops and izakaya where you can try the local speciality of Asahikawa ramen or Yakitori and the famous Otokoyama sake. After dinner there’s plenty of little bars to check out or simply walk back to the hotel and get ready for another big day riding in Central Hokkaido.
Join the wait list for
Winter 2025 dates
Progression - coaching and guiding
Maximum 6 people
2025 prices coming soon
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.
If you want to take the next step and start riding backcountry terrain then this is the tour for you. With guidance from our highly qualified coaches, you'll improve your freeriding.
No crowds = more pow
Explore the lesser known ski areas surrounding Asahikawa and a few of our secret spots.
Asahikawa City Stay
Surrounding our hotel in Asahikawa is over 2,000 shops and restaurants, full of local delicacies. You'll enjoy the after-ski experiences only available in the city.
Our base for this tour is Asahikawa. We have private transport on and to shuttle you to the best resort each day. We can travel far and wide to find you the best snow and terrain for progression.
Premium is the new Normal
We'll make sure your stay is premium in every way. You'll stay in your own private ensuite room and all the perks like a onsen, sauna, drying room, wax station and great breakfasts. You're steps away from Asahikawa's shopping dining & drinking spots and you'll have private transport on-hand for the entire tour.
Japan Progression Tour
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
COACHING & GUIDING
If you want to take the next step and start riding in powder and in the trees, then this is the tour for you. You'll spend 5 full days snowboarding with a qualified coach and guide who will get your riding dialled so you can confidently ride off-piste, in the trees, in deep powder and variable conditions. You'll be able to navigate the whole mountain, even on the deepest days. You'll also get expert advice on gear and equipment.
On this tour you'll get a unique cultural perspective being based in a lively regional city. By night, you'll have countless food and entertainment options on your doorstep. By day, your guide will shuttle you to and from the resorts in private transport. There's plenty of variety in resorts to choose from. Where you'll ride largely depends on the snowfall and conditions as well as the groups appetite for adventure. The driving times can range from a 30 minutes to 1 hour.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
February is the ideal time of year to ride in Central Hokkaido. What you can expect is light dry, deep snow, perfect for riding powder. Temps will be cold, with temperatures ranging from -10 to -30°C / 14 to -22°F. Days will be short, with an average of 6 hours of sunlight per day. The actual snowfall statistics aren’t measured and there's no need. This place scores some of the biggest storms in Japan so you never need to worry about lack of snow.
While Central Hokkaido is a remote area, fortunately Asahikawa is one of the easiest destination to reach in Hokkaido. There's daily flights from Tokyo to Asahikawa or, if you're coming from another destination in Hokkaido like Niseko or Rusutsu, once you get back to Sapporo, it's only a 1.5 hour train ride.
SMALL GROUP TOUR
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. When we are on mountain we have a maximum of 6 people per coach. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.
Arrive at Asahikawa Airport in Central Hokkaido and we'll shuttle you to our hotel in downtown Asahikawa City. Throughout the tour you'll stay in a modern, city hotel with great amenities including a wax station, onsen, sauna and restaurant for breakfast. You'll stay in a private single room which gives you privacy and plenty of space for your equipment. Buffet breakfast is included throughout your tour, and each night you can explore the the surrounding area's local ramen shops, sushi and countless izakaya.
Meet your expert team
EXPERT GUIDES & LOCAL 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
Meet Christina, one of our most experienced coaches and guides hailing from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s safe to say she's an industry trailblazer, having worked as a snowsports director, instructor, coach, guide, competitive big-mountain snowboarder, examiner and product tester for Burton. Christina will be your biggest cheerleader and empower you to become the best snowboarder you can be.
- 6 nights in a single ensuite room (1 person per room)
- 5 days of on-snow guiding and coaching
- 5 day lift ticket
- Use of avalanche safety equipment – pack, transceiver, shovel & probe
- Safety and instructional sessions for use of avalanche safety equipment
- 5 days of private transfers to and from resorts
- 6 buffet breakfasts
- 1 group dinner (arrival night)
- Mint merch pack
- Complimentary access to onsen (hot springs)
- Airport transfers from Asahikawa Airport to hotel (1 departure time)
- Fully-escorted tour, guides on hand throughout the tour
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Travel insurance
- All lunches – expect to pay USD $10 – $15 per meal
- 5 dinners – expect to pay USD $20 – $30 per meal
- Any meals, drinks, snacks not listed
This tour is suitable for intermediate snowboarders who can comfortably link turns on most runs with rhythm and flow, although you sometimes come into difficulty in challenging conditions i.e. when riding off-piste, in powder, through trees, on steeper runs, cat tracks, icy, tracked or low visibility.
If you’re not quite up to the ability level for this tour, don’t dismiss the possibility of experiencing the best powder turns of your life! Talk with our team and they will be able to make recommendations for other suitable tours, or how to work towards joining this tour.
All our Japan Tours are 6 nights and run from Sunday to Saturday. You’ll ride every resort mid-week to avoid the weekend day-trippers and maximise your time on-snow. 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 and multi-tour discount.
Join the waitlist for Winter 2025 dates.
BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR
Book this as a private tour with your own guide and all the benefits of a Mint group tour – for any group, big or small. Booking a private tour so you can ride with like-minded friends is the best way to guarantee the speed and ability levels of your group.
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.
WHAT IS A PROGRESSION TOUR?
A Progression Tour offers you the best chance to build your skills so you can feel confident riding deep powder, trees and even works towards snowboarding in backcountry terrain. Our experienced and qualified coaches have an in-depth knowledge of the resorts we visit, and will find you the perfect terrain for progression. On this tour you will ride a mix of in-bounds resort terrain as well as some lift-accessed backcountry zones if ability and weather permits.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
Yes, all lift tickets are included for this tour. Please note that none of the resorts that we visit on this tour are on the Ikon or Epic Pass.
BUDGETING FOR THE TOUR
An estimate of spending money for the week is around USD $250 – $350 to cover lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks. Here’s an indication of what you can expect to pay for meals and activities:
- Lunches – expect to pay USD $10 – $15 per meal
- Dinners – expect to pay USD $20 – $40 per meal
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK?
It’s hard to estimate when the tour will fill up. That being said, Asahikawa is our most popular Japan destination, so our advice is to book as soon as you’ve made the decision to travel. That way you can secure your preferred travel dates and you won’t be disappointed. Bookings close 90 days before a trip departs, however most tours typically fill up well before this.
WHAT IS THE ITINERARY?
For further information, including a tour itinerary send us an enquiry.
WHAT TYPE OF TERRAIN WILL WE RIDE?
On this tour you will ride a mix of terrain from resort to backcountry (ability dependant). There’s a range of terrain to access from alpine, playful or challenging tree runs. Expect deep snow, soft landings and lots of fun features. The backcountry zones are lift-accessed, however there are times when a short boot pack is necessary (typically 5 – 10 minutes). Snowshoes/split boards are not required.
The best thing you can do to get the most out of your Mint experience is to start a pre-trip fitness regime. We’re not looking for you to be an Olympic athlete, but you do need some fitness endurance. You’ll spend five, full and consecutive days on-snow, so you should be physically fit enough to comfortably ride for five consecutive days. Your muscles should be up to this task, and your cardio fitness means you can sustain a consistent pace.
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, visa requirements and transportation information.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING SOLO?
The accommodation for this tour is Single Share i.e. you have your own private room for the tour. About 99% of our guests are travelling solo, so you’ll be in good company. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snowboarding and an eagerness to explore all that Japan has to offer.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN MY GROUP?
This is a small group tour with a maximum of 6 riders per coach. By offering one of the smallest client to guide ratios in the industry ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone.
WHICH RESORTS WILL WE VISIT?
We keep the tour itinerary flexible so you can ride at the best resort on the day. Each day your guide will make the decision on which resort to ride based on a number of factors including weather, snowfall, group ability and interest. We have many resorts and backcountry zones that we can access. The driving time to each destination varies and can range from 30 minutes to 1 hour from our base.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY ON AFTER THE TOUR?
Yes, we can arrange pre or post tour accommodation. 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 COACHES AND GUIDES?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained coaches and guides who are passionate about the mountains. Your head coach is Christina Bruno.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included.
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.
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.
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 ASAHIKAWA?
We’ll provide you with instructions to get to Asahikawa. 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?
We are ski and snowboard friendly. However this tour is designed specifically for snowboarders.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Complimentary use of avalanche safety equipment is included as part of the tour. There is no rental snowboarding equipment available in Asahikawa. Please bring everything you need with you.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Asahikawa can be a very cold place in winter, with temperatures typically ranging from -10 to -30°C / 14 to -22°F. 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. Guests will need to bring their own snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear). Powder boards are recommended. If you need any recommendations just ask your consultant when booking.
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 snowboarding and an eagerness to explore all that Japan has to offer.
Winter 2025 pricing coming soon. Join the waitlist for Winter 2025 tours.
DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS
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.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
View our terms and conditions HERE