2018 Japan Powder Sessions Program
If you have any questions use the contact form on this site and be in touch. All photos from prior ski trips to Japan.
Join me and my Adventure Project colleagues on the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for 12 days exploring the hidden gems of Japanese ski areas and backcountry. We will base ourselves in 2 distinctive zones; Otaru on the central west coast of Japan, and Furano, further north in the center of the Hokkaido powder belt. We will have 5 nights in each location (depending on the session), using our own private vans to chase the storms and visit as many resorts as possible. This will be our 3rd season in Japan and we can’t wait to show you around the powder capital of the world. Come and experience what all the fuss is about. JAPOW is not one to be missed!
Session 1: Saturday 13th January – Wednesday 24th January 2018
Session 2: Friday 26th January – Tuesday 6th February 2018
Session 3: Thursday 8th February – Monday 19th February 2018
Session 1: 6 pax – $3,785 5 pax – $3,905 4 pax – $4,095
Session 2: 6 pax – $3,805 5 pax – $3,935 4 pax – $4,115
Session 3: 6 pax – $3,795 5 pax – $3,925 4 pax – $4,105
Suitability: Skiers and riders, advanced to expert level. Guests must already be comfortable skiing or riding in deep powder and are able to link fluid turns in double black diamond terrain. You will predominantly be riding in the trees or open gladed terrain. We will spend relatively little time on groomed runs. Whilst the terrain is generally not that steep, some of the trees can be tight. The snow is definitely deep and light though! We are riding in potential avalanche terrain so all guests must have full avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel and probe) and will be put through our avalanche safety training program at the start of the trip. You will also need uphill capability (fat skis and touring bindings/skins or splitboards or powder board/snowshoes/poles) in case we hike/tour.
General overview of the trip: Depart your home city and fly to Tokyo (Haneda or Narita). You may need to overnight in Tokyo if arriving late. You will need to arrive at the Sapporo International Airport in New Chitose (CTS) by the early afternoon on your start date, for pickup by The Adventure Project. Then we will drive to the hotel for the start of the session. Session 1 and 2 we will be driving to Otaru and session 3 we will be driving to Furano. Session 1 will have 6 nights in Otaru and session 2 will have 5 nights in Otaru. Session 3 will have 5 nights in Furano. If we are staying in Otaru, then it is a town and not a ski area, so we will drive each day to one of the local ski areas. There are 6 or 7 decent ski areas close by, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour’s drive away by private van. These resorts have been selected for their lack of crowds, great snow record, good terrain and amenities. We can ski as many resorts as you like, or if there are favorite resorts, we can keep going back. It’s up to you what you would like to do. We are not on a set schedule so we can go where we like (within reason!). Then at night, we can hit the town and try out different restaurants and meet the local people. When we transition from Otaru to Furano, there will be some driving to do. This is a great time to visit a small, under the radar resort called Yubari (also known as Mt. Racey). This is our go to resort when traveling from Otaru to Furano and vice versa. We will likely be the only Westerners there and there is plenty of powder to be had in the trees between the runs. Session 1 will have 4 nights in Furano and session 2 will have 5 nights in Furano. Session 3 will be moving down to Otaru after their 5 nights in Furano. Furano is a large ski area in the north of Hokkaido. Our hotel features ski in ski out access to the resort so on a powder day, we are right there. Most groups will ski a few days in Furano, but there are plenty of other nearby resorts that we like to visit too. Tomamu, Kamui Ski Links, Sahoro and Asahidake are popular options for us. We can even do some touring up at the active volcanos in the Daisetsuzan National Park for those that would like to try something different. All sessions will finish in Chitose. We will stay at a hotel close to the airport (we can ski on the way back to Chitose if you would like) and then on the last day, we will drop off the group at the airport for departure back to Tokyo and on to their home countries (unless staying on for a side trip).
Cost: is in USD per person, twin-share and is based on number of people in the group. We can make any number of changes depending on group wants, needs, and size-just be in touch. Group size is limited to 6. Deposit: $500 USD per person, per trip and is NON-REFUNDABLE, unless The Adventure Project cancels your trip. Payment can be made by check, bank transfer or PayPal. Availability will be on a first come first served basis. We have the capacity to run 3 groups per session, with a maximum of 6 guests per group with 1 guide, so 18 guests in total with 3 guides. The minimum we need is 4 guests for a group to run.
Inclusions: 12 days of hosting and guiding by The Adventure Project (TAP). There is a maximum of 6 guests per guide. Private van hire and driving from TAP. Comprehensive avalanche safety training. Opportunity to explore local restaurants and cultural sites after skiing. Pickup and drop off at the New Chitose Airport (must be at the scheduled time). 5 night’s twin-share accommodation at the Grand Park Hotel Otaru, including buffet breakfast (please note, session 1 has 6 nights’ accommodation in Otaru and 4 nights’ accommodation in Furano). 5 night’s twin-share accommodation at the New Furano Prince Hotel, including buffet breakfast and free onsen (please note, session 1 has 4 nights accommodation in Furano and 6 nights accommodation in Otaru). Up to 10 guided days on the mountain exploring as many under the radar resorts as you would like.
Exclusions: Airfare (meet at Sapporo Airport in New Chitose). Lift tickets (not included as we don’t know where we will be skiing each day, budget $35 a day). Accommodation in Chitose at end of trip (hotel to be advised, budget $50 per person twin-share). Lunches ($10). Dinners ($15). Gratuities. Logistics: Visas- most guests should be able to receive a 90 day tourist visa on arrival, for free. This is your responsibility to check the current regulations for your passport. Flights fly to Tokyo, either to Haneda (HND) or Narita (NRT) International Airports, and then take a domestic flight to Sapporo International Airport in New Chitose (CTS). It is strongly recommended that you arrive at the same airport that you are leaving for Sapporo from, especially if you have a tight connection. We will most likely meet you at the arrival gate for your airline. Any additional transportation fees are the responsibility of the guest.
Hotels: In Otaru, we choose to stay at the Grand Park Otaru, a large hotel overlooking the beautiful Ishikari Bay. Otaru is a port city on the central west coast of Hokkaido, about 45 minutes from Sapporo. It is famous for its canal district that runs through the center of the city, lined by many shops, restaurants and converted warehouses. It is the ideal location for exploring the ski areas closer to Sapporo and getting a really traditional Japanese experience. It is an easy drive to the ski areas that we will be visiting in the area (15 minutes to 1 hour). Kokusai, Kiroro, Tengu, Teine and Asari are some of our favorites. Furano is the ideal base for our exploration of northern Hokkaido and is considered to be the capital of the Hokkaido Powder Belt. Furano has amazing skiing and it’s worth spending several days exploring the resort. Furano boasts long runs with decent vertical (959m 0r 3,146ft) and has some great terrain. There are plenty of fun tree skiing options and secret stashes in the resort but our favorite area has to be the “Premium Zone”, an awesome area of open bowls and trees accessed by a quick 25 minute hike. The powder stays fresh in this zone for days and we’ve had some epic turns in this area in the past. Furano is a nice blend of traditional Japanese culture and a Western ski resort feel. We also have great skiing nearby at the resorts of Kamui Ski Links, Tomamu, not to mention some other under the radar resorts that we know of…… Our hotel of choice in Furano is the New Furano Prince Hotel and it offers ski in ski out access and its own onsite onsen (free admission for guests). End of trip we will be staying at an agreed upon hotel in Chitose, close to the airport, on the last night (night 11). We will advise on which hotel to book at a later date. On the last day of the program (day 12), we will drop off all guests at the domestic departures, unless guests have made alternate arrangements.
We hope to share this magical, cultural, DEEP ski experience with you this winter!!