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AN AUTHENTIC JAPANESE DEEP POWDER EXPERIENCE

That’s right, we’re going back to where it all started for us in Japan. We’re doing one very special week back in Myoko at the peak of the pow season.

This trip is for Japow lovers! You’ll spend the week ripping pow from first to last chair. Your guide will give you a locals perspective from day one – from the secret spots and stashes to the best onsen, izakaya and ramen joints.

If you haven’t been to Myoko before, what you need to know is this buzzing little onsen town scores bucket loads of snow. It’s one of those places where waist-deep means exactly that. Once you arrive and see the towering snowbanks you’ll know that you’re in for a deep powder adventure.

We’ll chase the snow so you can ride the best resort each day. You’ll have a dedicated pow guide to drive you to the best resort so you’ll be ahead of the punters and into the waist deep stuff. From our base in Myoko we have access to over 8 resorts in the region such as Lotte Arai, Madarao, Tangram, Seki Onsen, Togakushi, Myoko Suginohara, Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko.

You’ll stay at a private locally-owned lodge just for your group and experience true Japanese hospitality (omotenashi). Your Japanese hosts will prepare home-cooked breakfasts and incredible dinners that are made with local produce. After a long day riding powder, relax back at the cosy lodge with an ice-cold draught beer, a great crew and if you’re lucky our Japanese hosts will play the Shamisen (traditional Japanese string instrument).

Dates

15 JAN - 21 JAN, 2023

Guest to Guide Ratio

6 guests : 1 guide

Price

USD $2,250 per person

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Tour Type

Freeride - Be prepared to ride in the trees

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.

Highlights

Flexible Itinerary

Our base for this tour is Myoko, which gives us easy access to over 9 resorts in the region including Madarao, Tangram, Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Suginohara, Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira and Togakushi.

Highlights

Powder hunting

We have our 4WD van ready to chase the storms and shuttle you to the best resort each day. Storm chasing means we keep the itinerary flexible to find you the best snow.

Highlights

Traditional Accommodation

You'll stay at a private locally-owned lodge just for your group and experience true Japanese hospitality (omotenashi). After a long day riding powder, relax back at the cosy lodge with a great group and if you're lucky our Japanese hosts will play the Shamisen (traditional Japanese string instrument).

Highlights

Local food

Your Japanese hosts will prepare home-cooked breakfasts and incredible dinners that are made with local produce.

Myoko Freeride Tour

Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info

ABOUT MYOKO

This lively onsen town sits at the foot of the impressive Mt Myoko and thanks to its close proximity to the coast, it scored an incredible 22 meters of snowfall last winter season. It's one of those places where waist-deep means exactly that. Big snowfall is a regular occurrence during the months of January and February. While it's an area that is already on the radar for many skiers and riders, 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.

ALL-INCLUSIVE TOUR

We've included nearly everything to make this a stress-free trip. You'll have exclusive use of a private traditional Japanese ski lodge, you've got your own private room for the trip (no sharing with snoring room mates), home-cooked breakfasts and dinners prepared with local produce, a dedicated powder guide to monitor the storms and find you the best snow daily, private transport on-hand to take you to the best resorts each day, all lift tickets for the trip and we'll pick you up and drop you off from the bullet train on arrival and departure day.

POWDER HUNTER

We’ll chase the snow and ride at different resorts each day. Our centrally located lodge in Myoko is the perfect base to not only explore the Myoko resorts - Suginohara, Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko, but also the lesser known ski areas – Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Kuriohime, Togakushi, Madarao, Tangram and a couple of our secret spots. Our guides have years of experience snowboarding this region and will monitor storm cycles daily to ensure you’re scoring these zones in the best conditions.

STAY IN A PRIVATE JAPANESE LODGE

For an authentic Japan experience, you'll stay at a locally-owned traditional Japanese ski-lodge. You'll experience true Japanese hospitality (omotenashi) while staying here. Your Japanese hosts will prepare home-cooked breakfasts and incredible dinners that are made with local produce. After a long day riding powder, relax back at the cosy lodge with an ice-cold draught beer, a great crew and if you're lucky our Japanese hosts will play the Shamisen (traditional Japanese string instrument). 

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.

SMALL GROUPS

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. We take a maximum of 6 people on this tour. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.

Tour Inclusions

YOUR TOUR INCLUDES

 

✔ Single Room at a Private Ski Lodge
For 6 nights you will stay at a traditional and locally owned Japanese ski lodge just for our group. All guests will stay in their own private room with shared bathroom facilities. This is an authentic lodge with basic amenities but it has plenty of authentic charm for a real Japan experience. There is free WIFI and thoughtful the property, a cosy lounge and dining area to relax and plenty of room to store your gear.

✔ Daily Guiding
5 days of guiding is included on this tour with our professional and qualified backcountry guides. You’ll chase the snow and ride at the best resort daily either at the local Myoko resorts – Suginohara, Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko, or the lesser known ski areas – Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Kuriohime, Togakushi, Madarao, Tangram and a couple of our secret spots.

✔ Lift Tickets
A 5 day lift ticket is included for this tour which is valid at the Myoko resorts – Suginohara, Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Togakushi, Madarao and Tangram.

✔ Freeride Tips
Our team are always happy to pass on their knowledge and experience with you to help you up-skill.

✔ Private Transport Throughout the Tour
You’ll have private transport on-hand to drive you to the resort each day to make your trip as care-free as possible. No public buses or waiting. Our guide will get you to the resort each day and of course to the onsen and 7-Eleven at the end of each day.

✔ All Breakfasts and Dinners
Every day your Japanese hosts will prepare home-cooked breakfasts and incredible dinners that are made with local produce.

✔ Arrival and Departure Day Transfers
On arrival and departure days our local operator will meet you at Joetsu-Myoko Station and transfer you to the lodge. Our door-to-door transfers make the trip a breeze.

✔ Fully-Escorted Tour
Your guide stays with the group throughout the tour. They are not only with you all day on-snow, they are also on-hand each evening. They are always more than happy to share their experience with you on the mountain, and share a drink and some laughs at the end of the day.

✔ Discount Codes
If you need new equipment for this tour, just ask and we can provide you with discount codes from our industry partners.

Tour Dates

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 Myoko, then start a new tour in a different destination the following day. Ask us about tour combos.


DATES

Select your preferred dates from the departures below. Please note that we take a maximum of 6 people per week. Get in touch early to secure your preferred dates and avoid disappointment.

WEEK 1   15 January – 21 January, 2023
WEEK 2   22 January – 28 January, 2023


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.

FAQ

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 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 ride a lot of powder, glades and trees so please be prepared to ride in deep powder for 5 days straight. 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. The accommodation for this tour is single share i.e. 1 person per room. Your group will be made up mostly of solo travellers so 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 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 confident intermediate to advanced snowboarders who can ride off-piste, 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 conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride anything. There are lots of glades and trees – please be prepared to ride in the trees.


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. You’ll spend the week exploring the Myoko resorts and the nearby powder-magnets; Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen, Kuriohime, Togakushi, Madarao and Tangram.


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.


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 MYOKO?
We’ll provide you with a guide with options to get to Myoko. 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?
Yes, we include lift tickets for every day riding on this tour.


CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Yes! We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment. We recommend bringing a powder board for all our Japan tours.


WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
We’ll send you a gear guide as soon as you sign up for a tour. 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 a helmet is mandatory to ride in Niseko. 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.

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