Join us for our Premium women's freeride week next winter
This is an all-inclusive powder trip to one of the snowiest major resorts on the planet during the peak of a La Niña winter. So you can spend your week deep in the whiteroom, you’ve got a snowboard guide on-hand who knows 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. In fact, you could call her a professional. Your guide for the week is Freeride World Tour athlete Erika Vikander. This hard-charging professional snowboarder has just one goal for the week – to find you the best POWDER!
Erika will give you a locals perspective from day one and the keys to this incredible powder kingdom. She knows all the secret tree zones and powder stashes. You’ll explore parts of the mountain you didn’t know existed, avoid lift lines, hit the best spots for coffee and lunch ramen and of course show you all the epic photo spots for the ‘gram.
This is a premium ski-in, ski-out experience so you can maximise your time on snow. No packed tourist buses, no driving and no stress – just walk out of the hotel and you’re straight into Rusutsu’s legendary powder and trees with an experienced guide leading the way. Plus we include luxe accommodation, onsen visits, breakfasts, dinners, airport transfers, photos, videos and plenty of good times all week long.
Register your interest for winter 2024
Guest to Guide Ratio
6 guests : 1 guide
Register your interest for winter 2024Currency Convertor
Freeride - powder and 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.
We’ve included everything on this trip so you can focus on just one thing, riding pow! Apart from riding every day with Erika, you’ll stay in ski-in/ski-out luxury accommodation with breakfasts, dinners, guiding and airport transfers included, plus well have our videographer on-hand to capture some of the action throughout the week.
Pro Guide Erika Vikander
Your guide 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.
Erika is always happy to share some tips to level-up your freeriding.
La Niña = Huge Snowfall
It's going to get deep in Rusutsu this winter! The Japan Meteorological Agency predicted a snowier than average winter in Hokkaido thanks to another La Niña.
We'll give you a locals perspective from day one and keys to this incredible powder kingdom. You'll benefit from their extensive local knowledge which will give you access to many of the secret spots where you'll find fresh snow long into the afternoon.
The fun doesn't stop after snowboarding. There's plenty of options to keep you entertained. Catch up with the girls for après, relax in the onsen, enjoy dinner and drinks in the company of new friends or head to one of the local Izakaya or 7-Eleven for a local experience.
LIFTS & TERRAIN
Rusutsu is reasonably large by Japanese resort standards. There's 800 hectares of rideable terrain and you're allowed to ride off-piste and in the trees. The lift infrastructure is amazing with 18 lifts including 4 gondolas, and 6 high-speed quad chairs, most with hoods which are perfect for those cold minus 20 days.
Throughout the tour you’ll stay on-mountain at the Rusutsu Resort Hotel. You've got ski-in, ski-out access to the region’s best powder. Our twin rooms have everything you'd expect from a 4 star hotel. Each room has amazing views to the surrounding snowy landscape. The hotel has restaurants, hotel bar, convenience store, onsen, sauna, wave pool, rental shop, snowboard stores and day spa.
If you haven’t heard of Rusutsu before, what you need to know is it’s one of those rare places where waist-deep means exactly that. Huge snowfalls are a regular occurrence during January and February. It can snow so much here that you don’t see sunshine for weeks.
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
RUSUTSU - A POWDER PARADISE
Rusutsu is just a 40 minute drive from Niseko and is our favourite place to snowboard in Hokkaido for a number of reasons. It's a large resort by Japan standards and there's plenty of terrain to keep you occupied for a whole week. It has the most incredible powder and tree riding to be found anywhere in the world; it's relatively quiet compared to it's neighbours; freshies are easily found into the late afternoon; you can ride fall-line tree runs straight off the lifts; there's countless opportunities to pick your line with the resort spread across three mountain peaks; and to top it all off, high quality gondola's and hooded chairlifts will keep you toasty on the cold days.
You could visit a resort with your friends and try to figure out where to go, but why not get all the answers from day one? Answers that can make or break your snowboarding holiday. Your guides will get you into the secret tree zones and powder stashes, exploring parts of the mountain you didn't know existed, avoiding lift lines, showing you the best spots for a banging lunch or an epic photo spot for the 'gram. Your guide will give you a locals perspective from day one and keys to this incredible powder kingdom.
After riding there's plenty to do. Visit the luxe new indoor/outdoor onsen, hit après with Erika and the Mint team, head to the local izakaya for a drink with the locals, visit the 7-Eleven for snacks, go shopping in the kooky mall and amusement park or just relax in your room and enjoy the views over the snowy landscape. Each night we'll regroup for dinner where you can enjoy Japanese and Western food prepared with the freshest local Hokkaido ingredients and maybe a sake or two. Sound like the perfect snowboard trip? Then grab your friends or come solo, just make sure you don’t miss out!
LUXE SKI-IN/SKI-OUT ACCOMMODATION
We want your holiday to be as stress-free as possible, so that’s why you’ll stay on-mountain at the Rusutsu Resort Hotel. Our twin rooms have high quality linen and duvets, plenty of room for your equipment, ensuite bathroom, free WIFI and thoughtful touches like bathroom toiletries, robes and slippers. Each room has amazing views to the surrounding snowy landscape. The hotel has an onsen, restaurants, bars, a small convenience store, sauna, wave pool, rental shop, snowboard stores and day spa.
At Mint Tours we believe premium is the new normal, so we’ve included everything on this trip so you can focus on just one thing, riding pow! Apart from riding every day with Erika, you'll get to stay in ski-in/ski-out luxury accommodation with breakfasts, dinners, guiding, tips and airport transfers included plus our videographer is on-hand to capture some of the action throughout the week.
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.
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
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.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- Twin Share Accommodation
For 6 nights you will stay at the ski-in/ski-out, Rusutsu Resort Hotel. All guests will stay in a twin share room. Our rooms feature 2 comfortable single beds with high quality linen and duvets, plenty of room for your equipment, ensuite bathroom, free WIFI and thoughtful touches like bathroom toiletries, robes and slippers. Complimentary access to the onsen (hot spring) is included throughout your stay.
- Daily Snowboard Guiding Sessions
Each day we hold guiding and freeride sessions which are led by Erika Vikander. You’ll get to explore the mountain and cover more ground with these hard charging ladies leading the way.
- Freeride Tips
Throughout the week Erika will give you freeride tips and feedback to help you charge the trees and float in the deep pow.
- All Breakfasts
For breakfast, join us at the restaurant which serves all your Japanese and Western favourites, including eggs cooked to order, home-baked bread, French croissants and much more, all prepared with local produce.
- All Dinners
For dinner, join us at our hotel restaurant. You will be treated to the freshest local seafood, delicious meats and vegetable dishes, warming and hearty curry, Japanese soups and noodles just to name a few. For those with a sweet tooth, the irresistible dessert buffet isn’t one to be missed.
- Airport Transfers
Once you arrive at Sapporo New Chitose Airport, simply jump on the bus and in no time you’ll be transported to our powder paradise. Our door-to-door transfers make the trip a breeze. On departure day, we’ll drop you back at New Chitose Airport.
- Filmer on Hand
We will have our filmer on hand to capture some of the action throughout the week.
- Fully-Escorted Tour
Our guides stay 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.
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 Rusutsu, then start a new tour in a different destination the following day. Ask us about tour combo ideas.
Register your interest for winter 2024
PRO-TIP – GO PRIVATE!
If you have your own group of snowboarding friends, pick your own dates and book a private departure – with your own coach and all the benefits of a Mint group tour. 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, IATA, and ATTA 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 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 resort, which gives you the ultimate advantage when your chasing powder. We’ll aim to ride a lot of powder, glades and trees so please be prepared to ride in powder and trees for 5 days straight. Of course weather and snow 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 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 and the guest to guide ratio is 6 guests per guide. 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 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 through flat sections. 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. If you’re not sure about your ability or if this tour is right for you just ask. We are always happy to help or recommend a suitable tour option.
WHICH RESORTS WILL WE VISIT?
This tour is based entirely at Rusutsu 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. Your guides for this tour are Christina Bruno and Erika Vikander. Our lead guide has plenty of experience riding at Rusutsu, so it’s fair to say she knows all of the secret spots.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included. If you need assistance booking flights, we can recommend the best flight options for the tour.
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.
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 RUSUTSU?
We include airport transfers from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Rusutsu. We’ll provide you with a guide with details on how to get to Rusutsu. 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?
You can book this tour with or without lift tickets.
Rusutsu is an Epic Pass destination. Guests who hold a valid EPIC Pass can get a complimentary 5 day lift consecutive lift ticket for Rusutsu Resort.
For guests who don’t have an EPIC Pass, we have a 5 day lift ticket available for purchase.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
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?
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.
PRICE PER PERSON
Register your interest for winter 2024
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour, a 50% deposit is payable. 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.