Situated in Niigata, roughly 20 kilometres from the Sea of Japan is Myoko. This lively onsen town sits at the foot of the impressive Mt Myoko and thanks to its close proximity to the coast, it scores an average of 15 meters of snowfall a season. We base this tour at a small traditional lodge in Akakura Onsen, which is the main village in Myoko. Once you arrive and see the towering snowbanks surrounding the lodge, you’ll know that you’re in for a deep powder adventure. This tour is based in Myoko, but we have access to over 9 resorts in the region. With a dedicated guide and private transport, you’ll be ahead of the pack and into the waist deep stuff while you explore the surrounding resorts, including Madarao, Tangram, Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Kuriohime, Suginohara, Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira and Togakushi. Each day our guide will assess weather and snowfall and drive to the best area for riding powder. With this flexibility, guide can hunt down the best conditions all day, every day.
Our base for this tour is Myoko, which gives us easy access to over 9 resorts in the region. This is a powder hunter tour where you’ll get to chase the big winter storms in Japan. We keep the itinerary flexible so your guide can hunt down the best conditions all day, every day. Each day your guide will assess the conditions and decide which is the best place to ride based on weather and snowfall. Each day we’ll load up our van’s and drive to our chosen area. This flexibility ensures that we will find you the best snow and conditions all day, every day!
WHERE WE RIDE
Akakura Onsen & Akakura Kanko These resorts offer some of the best lift accessed freeriding in the region. It’s an area that is already on the radar for many powder enthusiasts, but as it’s remained relatively quiet, you can be sure that on a powder day the trees will stay untouched for long enough to tire you out!
Ikenotaira Home to groomed slopes with rolling terrain, easy well spaced trees, and three terrain parks.
Suginohara With Japan’s longest run at 8.5 km, long wide groomers for carving, a huge terrain park and un-groomed slopes at the top of the mountain, Suginohara has some of the best terrain in the area.
Seki Onsen On first glance looks like every other semi-closed down ski resort in Japan. Don’t let this fool you though, this place often scores 70% more snowfall than the other Myoko resorts! Most people attribute their best days in Japan to Seki Onsen, when this place turns on it’s absolutely on!
Myoko Arai is close to the coast so it receives plenty of snow with 21 metres last winter! And the terrain won’t disappoint either with 70% of the resort left un-groomed and there’s 10 avalanche controlled backcountry zones with over 1000 meters of vertical. It’s locally known as Japanese Whistler, but without the crowds.
Madarao & Tangram These interlinked resorts are always a crowd pleaser. When you score Madarao and Tangram on a powder day, it’s one of the best. We love it for it’s great fall line tree runs to suit every level of rider. They also leave many wide-open, un-groomed areas which is the perfect way to improve your powder riding skills.
Cupid Valley The resort tops out at 960m but still has 530 meters of vertical to get some powder turns and it’s unlikely you will see many other people here, this place is a local secret and we love it for it’s empty lift lines and fresh tracks all day!
Togakushi Another small resort that is worth the trip for a good mix of powder and culture. If we choose to ride here, we’ll go mid-week, which means we’ll have this powder paradise to ourselves. After riding we’ll head into the local village to sample the soba noodles and visit the Togakushi Shrine which is situated in an ancient cedar forest.
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour riding in a relaxed and fun environment. At night our guides are on-hand to show you around the local area and immerse you in the local culture.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
This tour is running at the peak of Japan’s snow season, so be prepared. The consistent storms bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow to this region. Your guides have an in depth knowledge of the local area and will be able to find any type of terrain to suit your ability – whether that be riding mellow tree runs or chasing some of the deep powder that Niigata is renowned for. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride light dry snow days after a storm.
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, our maximum group size is 7 people. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.
We make sure all our guests stay in comfortable accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay in a traditional Japanese lodge. Our comfortable single share rooms are equipped with a single bed and offer glimpses of Myoko-san that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has heating, TV, and free WiFi. Every morning you’ve got a hot breakfast to enjoy in the restaurant and each night you’ll enjoy a home cooked Japanese dinner, plus you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has ice cold Asahi on tap.
We take the hassle out of travel and make it a stress-free trip, especially if you’re travelling solo or it’s your first time to Japan. Once your flight arrives in Tokyo, grab your bags and get the train to Myoko. This is the quickest and easiest option to reach the resort. Here our guides are on-hand to meet you. We’ll make a short door-to-door trip, from the station straight to our hotel. Grab a seat in our 4WD van and we’ll take you to our hotel, check you in, and make sure you’re set up for the adventure ahead. Alternatively you can upgrade to door-to-door bus transfers from Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport.
PRE TOUR SUPPORT
After you sign up for a tour, you will receive pre-trip emails with specific information about your tour, the arrival and departure day process, information about the destination, packing suggestions, and other relevant information to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to this, you have access to our customer care team who are just a phone-call away. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
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.