ADVANCE YOUR SNOWBOARD SKILLS AT OUR FAVOURITE FREERIDE RESORTS IN JAPAN
For intermediate snowboarders who want to level up. Through a combination of coaching and guiding you’ll learn the skills to confidently ride the trees, gullies and bowls at the legendary ski resort in Hokkaido including Niseko, Rusutsu and Kiroro. You’ll spend 5 full days with our qualified coach and guide who will get your riding dialed 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.
This tour is based at Niseko, however if conditions are right, we have the option to explore the nearby ‘powder-magnets’ including in the entire Niseko United resort area or travel further afield to Rusutsu and Kiroro. Our flexible itinerary, small group of 6 and private transport ensures that you’ll be scoring the best conditions daily.
These resorts are the best places in Hokkaido to improve your snowboarding for a number of reasons. They score huge quantities of the light, dry powder that Hokkaido is renowned for – 14 metres annually. They have some of the best fall line tree riding in Japan that is accessed straight off the lifts with minimal traversing; and as they are the large resorts, there’s a variety of terrain, from easy off-piste areas to perfectly manicured groomers are ideal for any level of rider.
Japan currently has restrictions on entry for foreign nationals from Australia and all other countries. Travel to Japan is not possible. Should this situation change our tours will run as per the schedule below:
16 January - 22 January 2022
Guest to Coach Ratio
6 guests : 1 coach
AUD $2,995 per personCurrency Convertor
Progression - For intermediate snowboarders looking to up-skill
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.
Take your all mountain freeride skills to the next level. You'll spend 5 full days with our expert coach.
Premium is the new Normal
We'll make sure your stay is premium in every way. You'll stay in a luxe 4-star hotel that’s near Hirafu’s famous shopping dining & drinking spots and you'll have private transport on-hand for the entire tour.
Our base for this tour is Niseko, which gives us easy access to all the powder magnets in the region such as Niseko United, Rusutsu, Kiroro and Moiwa.
Ride the Niseko backcountry
The Niseko back-country is accessed via a system of gates. Each of the gates will take you on a different adventure, accessing new aspects and snow conditions, and a variety of different terrain features like pillows, wide open faces, tree runs & natural half-pipes.
Our guides will get you ahead of the pack so you arrive at the resorts before the masses. We'll shuttle you to the best resorts daily in our modern 4WD vans.
Niseko Progression Tour
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
SNOW & CONDITIONS
From late January to late February is the ideal time of year to ski and snowboard in this region. What you can expect is light dry, deep snow, perfect for riding powder. Temps will be cold, with temperatures ranging from -5 to -25 degrees Celsius. Days will be short, with an average of 6 hours of sunlight per day.
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. Our Niseko Progression Tour is a small group tour with a maximum of 6 guests.
Throughout the tour you'll stay in modern 4-star luxury at the Hyatt House in Niseko. All guests will stay in a large twin share Studio Suite with plenty of room. Chatrium Hotel is located in a prime position right in the heart of Hirafu amongst all the restaurants, bars and shopping and only 600m from the ski slopes. Your room has floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain views, kitchenette and ensuite. The hotel offers a bar, cafe and restaurant, concierge services, a cosy lounge with a fireplace, boot dryers, equipment storage, complimentary laundry, Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24 hour fitness centre.
Niseko needs little introduction, with its colossal amounts of snowfall and legendary freeriding, the resort has something for everyone. The four ski resorts in Niseko are accessible with a single ‘All mountain’ pass giving you access to kilometres of groomed runs and in-bounds tree riding options. However, if you’re looking to get into the waist deep stuff and the conditions are right, there are plenty of backcountry options right across the mountain. Apart from Niseko itself there are plenty of smaller resorts surrounding this area which share in the colossal snow storms and are home to some great terrain and quieter (or non existent) lift lines.
Rusutsu is just a 40 minute drive from Niseko and is one of our favourite places to ski and snowboard in Hokkaido for a number of reasons. Rusutsu scores huge quantities of the light, dry, fluffy stuff that Hokkaido is renowned for; it has some of the best fall line tree riding in Japan that is accessed straight off the lifts with minimal traversing; it’s perfectly manicured groomers are ideal for any level of rider; it gets minimal crowds in comparison to the nearby resorts and to top it all off it has a kooky amusement park complete with rollercoaster’s and carousel, weird but cool.
If you’re in search of uncrowded terrain and epic powder days (who isn’t?) then a day trip to Kiroro will blow your mind. With up to 18 metres of light, dry, famous Hokkaido powder snow each season, freshies are easily come by (and still enjoyed late into the afternoon). Perfect for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders, a third of the slopes are rated as black runs, and being spread across two mountain peaks so there are countless opportunities to pick your line. Being a well established ski resort, Kiroro boasts an incredibly maintained lift infrastructure, meaning you’re bound to find your favourite tree-run to lap in no time.
Meet your expert team
Professional, dedicated and very, very experienced. Not only do our expert coaches know how to find the best snow and terrain, they also know how to pass on the benefits of that knowledge in a clear and comprehensive way to get the best out of you too.
Meet your expert team
Greg has been part of the Mint family forever. With 13 years guiding and coaching experience in the Niseko area, it's fair to say he knows a few of the secret spots. Overall, he's been instructing snowboarding for over 25 years - working at Coronet Peak, Remarkables, Steamboat, Beaver Creek, Vail, Thredbo and Niseko. Greg is a Fully Certified Snowboard Instructor since 2001 and member of the New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance and an NZSIA Life Member. Greg also holds a New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management, Level 5.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- 6 nights twin share accommodation, Hyatt House Niseko
- Breakfast daily
- Daily on-snow coaching and guiding by qualified coaches and guides
- Daily private transfers in 4WD vehicles to & from resorts
- Return airport transfers, New Chitose Airport to Hirafu Welcome Centre
- Return transfers from Hirafu Welcome Centre to Hyatt House (arrival & departure day)
- Cultural excursions
- Fully-escorted tour, guides on hand throughout the tour
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 Niseko, then start a new tour in a different destination the following day. Ask us about tour combo ideas and multi-tour discounts.
WEEK 1 31 January – 06 February, 2021
WEEK 2 07 February – 13 February, 2021
PRO-TIP – GO PRIVATE!
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.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BORDERS ARE CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The global health crisis has impacted everyone enormously, so we want to make sure your future travel plans are safe and reassure you that we are committed to supporting our customers in the best way that we can. You can view our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates HERE
WHAT IS A PROGRESSION TOUR?
Our Progression Tours will improve your snowboarding through a combination of coaching and guiding. These tours are perfect for intermediate snowboarders who have limited experience riding off-piste or in powder. Our qualified coaches will offer you tips and feedback as you explore the resorts. Our experienced coaches 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 ride a lot of powder, glades and trees. Of course weather and conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride 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. If you are travelling solo, you will be paired with another guest to room with. The accommodation for this tour is twin share i.e. 2 beds per room. Your group will be made up mostly of solo travellers. 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. We have a maximum of 6 people on this tour. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder.
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?
This tour is best suited to intermediate snowboarders who can link turns with rhythm and flow on intermediate and some advanced terrain; can make a variety of turn shapes and can traverse and hold speed. If you’re not sure, give us a call. Weather and conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride anything. This is the perfect tour to improve your off-piste and powder riding skills.
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. Incredibly, Niseko has over 12 ski resorts we can access within easy reach of our centrally located hotel with terrain ranging from wide-open pistes, perfectly crafted terrain parks to deep untracked tree riding and skiing.
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. Most of our guides work for us season after season. If you have a preferred Mint guide, just let us know and we’ll be able to tell you which tours they are leading.
CAN YOU BOOK FLIGHTS?
Yes. Let us take the hassle out of selecting the right flights for the tour. We can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
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 be 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. Prior to the tour commencing we will invite you to a group chat which is managed by your tour manager and guides.
HOW CAN 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 NISEKO?
We’ll provide you with a guide with details on how to get to our meeting point. 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.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
We don’t include lift tickets for two reasons. Firstly, for guests who hold a valid IKON Pass or EPIC Pass, these can be used at Niseko United Resorts and Rusutsu Resort which offers a significant cost saving. Secondly, we want you to be riding the best snow each day which is why we have a flexible itinerary. There is no single lift ticket that covers all the resorts we ride; and we don’t want to lock you in to pre-purchasing lift tickets so you have to ride certain resorts. You can just purchase a lift ticket on the day, wherever we may end up. This means we can travel far and wide to score you the best snow; from the major resorts, to the smaller hidden gems.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Yes! We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment. We do recommend bringing powder boards for all our Japan tours.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Japan can be a cold place in winter, with temperatures typically ranging from 0 to -20. We strongly recommend that guests dress in clothing specific for traveling in backcountry areas. We recommend that guests have a good quality waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight insulated layer, 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 snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear). Powder boards 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.
PRICE PER PERSON
The Niseko Progression Tour is AUD $2,995 per person
Pricing is in Australian Dollars and based on twin share accommodation. Please contact us if you would like a quote in your local currency. We can accept payments in USD, AUD, NZD, GBP, CHF, EUR, JPY, CAD.
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour, a non-refundable 25% deposit is payable within 3 days of booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to tour departure. You can view our terms and conditions HERE and COVID-19 policy HERE
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Click on ‘Enquiry’ 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.
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.