Overall Rating

Japan Ski & Culture for Beginners

Japan Ski & Culture for Beginners5/55
Japan Ski & Culture for Beginners5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
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Japan Ski & Culture for Beginners Enquire
Price p/p From price based on 6-night twin/double-share room and shared bathroom, staying at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,776

6 Nights | 4 Days Skiing / Boarding

10% off advertised price for bookings between 5th March and 29th April 2023
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Instruction | Terrain Focus: On-Piste
Ability: Beginner to Intermediate
Price p/p From price based on 6-night twin/double-share room and shared bathroom, staying at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,776
Ideal for beginners to intermediates (families, groups, couples & solos) who are looking to learn to ski or snowboard whilst experiencing the fabulous Japanese culture & snow. Packages include ski/snowboard & clothing rentals, lessons, a cultural immersion day & the opportunity to visit the snow monkeys plus much more.
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Fixed Date(s): Apr 02 - Apr 08, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,776
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Apr 09 - Apr 15, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,776
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Apr 16 - Apr 22, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,776
Availability: Available
Fixed Date(s): Apr 23 - Apr 29, 2023
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,776
Availability: Available
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Japan Ski & Culture for Beginners

Never skied or snowboarded before? Or perhaps you have and are at a more novice or intermediate level and wish to improve, could that be you? Do you want to experience some of the world-famous powder snow that Japan is renowned for and experience a rich and diverse culture?

Look no further as our fully all-inclusive 7-day package with small and intimate groups lead by our qualified instructors will have you cruising down the slopes with confidence and style in no time at all!!

Let’s face it, learning a new sport can sometimes be a daunting process without the right knowledge and experienced people to assist. One option is to go to a more traditional ski school which will generally work on the numbers game with large size beginner and intermediate classes with many people on the slopes which increase the chances of injury and a lower chance of rapid advancement. Another option is to come with us and experience quiet resorts with small intimate classes, and English-speaking instructors that turn your learning into a lifetime passion.

Working within everyone’s budget is important and the two tiers of accommodation allow this. Staying in the traditional township of Yudanaka with a short drive to the slopes each day is the luxurious Ryokan Biyunoyado or the comfortable standard option, Lodge Aibiya.

Japan's highest & largest ski area...

...incredible Japanese cuisine...

.....mind blowing cultural experiences

Why Learn with Japan Powder Culture Tours?

It goes without saying that the qualified instructors are experienced and passionate about their trade; that is the minimum you would expect from a ski school. So what is our point of difference? What we have learnt over the years is that there are some very important aspects of ski tuition which are not covered in the traditional ski instructor’s manual. The following are just some of the common sense approaches we use which will generally not be found at a traditional ski school.
  • What can happen in a rental shop is you tell the staff your foot size, height and weight and they hand you some gear, and it is left up to the client to fit the gear. We take this one step further as we know how important it is to your skiing and safety to have the correct fitting equipment. We will measure your foot, fit your boots, tighten them up to make sure there are no pressure points, mount your boots on skis and ensure they are set to a safe level.
  • Once on the snow we teach you how to walk in all types of terrain and different conditions in your boots. We also teach how to correctly carry your equipment to minimise effort and increase balance.
  • We know everyone learns at a different pace and know the importance of mastering a certain movement before moving on. The quicker learners get given different task however our goal is to bring everyone up to the group’s level, so the slower learners are given just as much attention. We do not leave any soldiers behind.
  • The usual teaching model is to talk about a movement, demonstrate the movement, get the client to try the movement then the next step is to follow the instructor. Unless the instructor has eyes in the back of the head, how can they fix any incorrect form? Instead, we teach from the back moving through the group one on one or ski backwards watching our students and reinforce movements through repeating the information until it becomes second nature to the client, repetition being the mother of skill.
  • Where traditional ski schools only give you one piece of the pie, so they have some leverage to get you to come back and spend some more money with them to get the next piece of the pie, we take it to the next level and give our guests the whole pie. We believe it is essential that our guests understand the five main movements (the whole pie) in skiing and snowboarding. Once this understanding is achieved, we can then isolate each movement (piece of the pie) to gain a more fluid progression from beginner to intermediate.
  • Another important aspect is teaching our clients how to read the different terrain, pitch of the terrain, condition of the snow and weather so they have the tools to make good decisions when negotiating their way safely down the mountain when they go off on their own.
Here are just a few of the common sense approaches we use to accelerate our clients learning in a safe and enjoyable environment which are not emphasised at a traditional ski school.

Visit the snow monkey onsen....

...indulge in Japanese sake...

.....karaoke the night away


  • Ski and ride some of the nicest powder without the masses
  • Learn some new skills from the instructor/guides to elevate your ability on the snow
  • No need to work out the best places to ski and ride - your instructor/guide does this for you
  • Enjoy small group sizes (min two and max six people) to accelerate your learning
  • Rejuvenate daily in an onsen (hot spring) to sooth and relax your muscles
  • Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through the 1300 year old Shibu Onsen town.
  • Relax and be driven from location to location with our experienced mountain drivers
  • Make some new friends to share those on snow stories with over a local ale or wine

Skier/Boarder Ability

These tours are designed for beginner skier and snowboarders. If you are looking for an intermediate or advanced tours and have time constraints check out the Nagano Powder Chaser Packages. We can also tailor make packages if you have a family or group that has different time constraints and ability levels, so please enquire.

Partake in Japanese culture....

...the kids will love it...

.....visit an ancient Samurai castle


There is no set itinerary for this package; your host will give you the options each day based on the current snow and weather conditions and the general group consensus as to which Shiga Kogen ski area to ski and board for the day.

For those staying in downtown Yudanaka in a traditional Japanese Ryokan (hotel) or the hostel, each morning you will head off with your host/driver and group to get the best powder on the day.

In the evenings visit one of the many Japanese onsens, wander the historic streets of Shibu Onsen and head out to one of the many restaurants & bars in Yudanaka.

Yudanaka is a culturally rich town and the perfect base for a Nagano powder adventure due to its central location to a variety of quality Nagano ski areas.

A ski holiday in Japan isn't the complete package without the addition of the rich cultural experience offered as part of this package.

Visit historic Shibu Onsen....

..Zenkoji Temple Nagano..

.....Yudanaka is central home base

Accommodation Options & Meals

This package is based in the township of Yudanaka located near the Shiga Kogen ski areas and sits at 600 metres above sea level. Due to its proximity it is ideally located for visiting many of Nagano's great ski areas.

The area is well known for its onsens (hot springs) and it is said that over 1300 years ago a monk who visited the area discovered the healing quality of the water and the popularity of the region grew so much that the Samurai would come to repair their bodies in the rejuvenating waters.

The other attraction to the area is the world renowned snow monkeys who have learnt to keep themselves warm in the natural onsen water. Although the town is visited by foreigners to visit the snow monkeys you will find the town relatively free of westerners when you eat out in the evenings as many just come on day journeys. There is a wide array of traditional eating houses in Yudanaka which serve fresh local and regional produce. In the past few years the restaurant scene has expanded to include a number of new eateries which have a mix of Japanese and Western food to suit every palette. A walk through historic Shibu town is also a must with its quaint shops, temples, shrines, foot onsens and authentic architecture.

There are 2 accommodation options; Ryokan Biyu no Yado (deluxe) and Lodge Aibiya.

Indulge in Japanese cuisine...

...check out the local Sushi Train...

...fun social group meals

Deluxe Option - Ryokan Biyo no Yado

Ryokan Biyu no Yado is a 3.5 star Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and is ranked #1 by Trip Advisor scoring an average of 5 out of 5 from over 160 reviews! Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom and are Japanese-style with woven tatami floors and futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle. Your room also has a traditional Japanese wardrobe (yukata), which is not mandatory to wear at this ryokan, although it is definitely comfortable attire after a day on the slopes.

The ryokan has four upmarket western rooms which are double the size of the Japanese style at an extra cost of 6000 yen per person per night. The ryokan has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for hire for an additional fee.

The night-time meals included in the Ryokan Biyu package are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served by your own private waiter in the hotel dining area. Breakfast (also included) is either Japanese or Western-style. For the remaining night-time meals you have the choice of many authentic Japanese restaurants in down-town Yudanaka or Nakano or you can buy additional meals at the Ryokan.

There are massage services available, free wi-fi throughout the ryokan, a luxurious lounge bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, grand piano, large screen TV, karaoke bar and a souvenir shop.

The Ryokan does not have clothes washing facilities however there is a public laundry a short walk away.  

Deluxe Ryokan Biyu..

...traditional Japanese tatami rooms...

.....outdoor hot springs

Budget Option - Lodge Aibya

Lodge Aibiya is the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Yoshi and Seongmi provide a high level of Japanese service backed up with western insights gained by working overseas. English speaking with a wealth of knowledge of the Nagano area, Yoshi and Seongmi will look after all your needs.

The Lodge has an option of quad share single western bed dorm rooms for group bookings and twin share rooms with shared bathroom. They have a twin room with double bed which is ideal for couples or for those that want to upgrade to the single supplement and there is the option to upgrade to the deluxe rooms with private bathrooms which can sleep up to four people.

There is a well equipped kitchen for those who would like to cook themselves or you can enjoy the many traditional Japanese restaurants only a short walk away. There are two different types of lounge rooms and a separate cinema room. There are separate male and female shared shower rooms.

A free continental breakfast is provided each day with breads, cereal, fruits, yoghurt, coffee, tea and fruit juices.

Free WI-FI is available throughout the lodge. A gift shop with crafts made locally and beverages, local Shiga Kogen beer and snacks are available for sale. Experience the tradition at a local ryokan onsens for a small fee.

The lodge is only a 3 minute walk from the train station with local convenience stores nearby.

There is an in house laundry service available at an extra cost.

Lodge Abiya..

...comfy western-style beds...

.....shared cooking facilities

2022/23 Dates, Rates & Inclusions

These packages are based on fixed dates for a fixed numver of days. 

 DELUXE OPTION: Ryokan Biyu Yo Nado
 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included   Adults 13+  Child (6-12) 
Single Suppliment 
 6  4  6B + 2D 270,000  230,000  +6,500/night

 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included  Single /
Shared Bathroom
Twin /
Shared Bathroom
Deluxe Room
Private Bathroom 
 6  4  6B  260,000  240,000  260,000
 Private Room Upgrade  1B    6,000/night  


  • Ryokan Biyu is based on "Twin Share" in a Japanese room meals outline above included. Single supplement ¥6500 per night per person. Please enquire for upgrade to Western style rooms or VIP room with its own private onsen.
  • One on one tuition for single travellers is an extra 30,000 yen per day.
  • All prices are based on a minimum of two people for each individual tour to proceed and you can make an enquiry for rates for one on one tuition tours. 
  • Tailor made packages are also available. Please enquire.
  • Lodge Aibiya single and twin rooms use shared bathroom facilities
  • If you are a single traveler the guides will endeavour to mix you with another group and if not possible there will be an extra charge for one on one instruction. 
  • B = breakfast, D= dinner
  • Deluxe & standard accommodation options
  • 4 x days of lifts passes for skiing or snowboarding
  • Daily breakfast (some dinners for Ryokan Biyu Packages)
  • Transportation to best snow location each day
  • Ski or snowboarding group instruction in English (max 1:6 ratio)
  • Rental gear hire and assistance with fitting (includes board/boots, skis/boots/poles, jacket, pants, helmet, goggles and gloves)
  • Transport to the world-famous snow monkey park
  • Transportation to best snow location each day
  • An evening tour in a Pistenbully snow cat to the highest lift access point in Japan 2307metres to see the snow monster trees and includes hot drinks and homemade breads
  • A walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
  • A full cultural immersion day which includes Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, a Samurai and Ninja shop and other retail therapy and a visit to the 1998 Winter Olympic Museum
  • Visit to the sake museum
  • As part of the cultural immersion day, in the evening an interactive Karate performance with an ex Grand master champion of Japan and a Taiko Drum, Shamisen Guitar, and Lion Dance performance
  • Rejuvenating Onsens (at Ryokan Biyu, Lodge Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
  • Upgrade to private room (where available)
  • Private one-on-one lessons (JPY 30,000 per day)
  • Airport shuttle / transfers to/from Yudanaka
Not Included

Booking Policy for the 2022/2023 season

• 20% of the full cost of the tour will secure a reservation for any of the JPC Tours products. This is fully refundable until 31st August 2022 for any reason and may be further extended.
• On 1st September 2022 the card on file will be charged a further 30% and the final 50% will be charged on 1st December 2022. Failure to receive balance payments by the 15th September 2022 and 15th December 2022 respectively, will result in cancellation of the reservation which will then be subject to our standard cancellation policy.
• For bookings after 1st September 2022 there is a 20% deposit required to secure a reservation with the remaining balance due 60 days before commencement of the tour.
• From 1st September all bookings are to be subject to our standard terms and conditions or by our COVID-19 exclusive policy (see below)

COVID-19 Exclusive Policy

If a COVID-19 travel ban is in effect, prohibiting international travel to and from Japan or to and from your home country, or if a mandatory quarantine is required after arrival into Japan or upon return to your home country:

Up to 30 days prior to your ski trip start date the following applies:

  • You may cancel and receive a refund minus the service fee of ¥15,000 per person.
  • or you may receive a 100% trip credit towards a future JPC Tours trip, with no service fee applied.

Less than 30 days before your JPC Tours trip start date the following applies:

  • You may cancel and receive a 50% refund with a 50% cancellation fee.
  • or you may receive a 75% trip credit towards a future JPC Tours trip, with a 25% cancellation fee.
  • Due to the substantial time and financial investment required in getting our trips prepped for winter, sudden cancellations even under Covid related circumstances will incur the above-mentioned cancellation fees.

Terms of Agreement & Policies/Booking Information
Please carefully read the policies below before you make a reservation.


To enable us to complete your arrangements you must complete the customer information spreadsheet as complete as possible at the time. This does not guarantee your booking as we need to confirm that the accommodation you have requested is available. If there is no availability for some/all of your components we will advise you of this and offer an alternative where possible. The alternative product offered may be a different price and prices will be adjusted accordingly. The information which you provide may be used by JPC Tours for further communication to you (unless requested otherwise) but no information will be divulged to any third party.


Once we have confirmed your accommodation requirements JPC Tours will send you a deposit invoice of 20% of the total booking which is nonrefundable once received. We do hold the deposit in credit for you if you wish to book with us at another date. You will then have 7 days to reconfirm your space with your deposit. The payment options for the deposit are through our New Zealand or Japanese bank account or via PayPal as bank transfer or credit card. Any fees associated with the transfer are the client’s responsibility. The final balance is to be paid 60 days prior to the commencement of the tour either via our New Zealand or Japanese bank account or through PayPal. We also have the option to pay by cash yen at the start of the tour for those who wish to avoid the transaction fees and perhaps gain by purchasing cash yen at the time you consider the best rate. If you pay directly into our New Zealand or Japanese account from an overseas institution you are required to cover any applicable fees. This is usually a fee on your end and a $30NZD/¥4000JPY fee when the funds land into our account. If we have been charged any fees for accepting such transactions these fees will be passed on in full. Paying through PayPal there is a 3.4% fee to be paid at your end or via credit card 4.5% through paypal.


Once we receive written notification that you are cancelling your trip the following fees will apply. Of the total price of the reservation, a fee of 25% will be charged for all cancellations made more than 3 months before the start of your trip. Cancellations made between 1 and 3 months prior to the start of your program will be charged a 50% fee. Cancellations made with less than one month of advanced notice will not be refunded. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to the departure date, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.
JPC Tours cannot be held responsible for snow conditions. Trips cannot be cancelled or amended on the basis of snow conditions. No refunds will be made if you voluntarily leave a tour for any reason after the tour has begun. Refunds will be at the discretion of JPC Tours if you are involuntarily forced to leave a tour for any reason. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals, services, lift tickets or any component of the tour not utilized.


If you need to amend any arrangements after your original booking these must be advised in writing. One amendment is free of charge. Any further changes will incur administration costs of ¥3000 per amendment plus any costs levied by our overseas agents and suppliers. Any change to an existing booking constitutes ‘an amendment’. A transfer to another tour is viewed as a cancellation and not as an amendment, and cancellation fees will apply.


JPC Tours receives bookings subject to the following conditions.
1. A booking is accepted only after JPC Tours receives the deposit and issues the client a Confirmation Invoice. The balance must be received 60 days prior to the commencement of the tour; otherwise JPC Tours may treat the booking as cancelled by the client.
2. Date changes are subject to availability. Date changes may be requested at any time up to 2 months prior to your departure date. Date changes made between 2-3 months prior to the tour will be charged a ¥20,000 fee per person. A ¥10,000 fee will be charged per person for all date changes made more than 3 months prior to the tour.
3. Where this booking would otherwise be subject to the provisions of the Consumer Guarantee Act (C.G.A) 1993, if the supply is a supply for business purposes the client agrees that the services are supplied for business purposes in terms of section 2 and 43 of the C.G.A 1993, and that the provisions of the said Act do not apply to the supply to the client. Such client is not a consumer for the purposes of these booking conditions.
4. Adventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in our release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in a JPC Tour. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident. Managing risk is JPC Tours number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent to side country pursuits (e.g., avalanche, inclement weather, tee-accidents, rock fall, and high winds) but they cannot eliminate them. Please clearly understand that skiing in bounds and out of bounds is an inherently hazardous sport and both actions are only undertaken with the full knowledge and consent from the participant that these are inherently dangerous activities. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which skiers have been injured and worse. While these accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge that risk and make their own choices about whether to engage in this activity. We ask that each participant is physically and mentally fit, is properly attired and equipped, and continues to assess him/her-self throughout the tour to ensure as safe a time as possible. We ask that participants honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their guide.
5. Due to the inherent risk involved in alpine pursuits, and in the interest of your safety, JPC Tours strongly recommends all participants to bring insurance that provides full medical and emergency evacuation coverage. JPC Tours will NOT provide insurance for participants on any JPC tour. If a participant does not have proper insurance documentation, he/she will be liable for her own medical and emergency evacuation expenses and will receive no refund, date change, or any kind of compensation from JPC Tours. Please take this seriously and lean on the side of caution.
6. JPC Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, including a confirmed tour, due to circumstances beyond our control. If this occurs, you will be given the option of changing to another tour or receive a full refund. JPC Tours is not responsible for any incidental expense you have incurred as a result of your booking. If you choose and alternative tour and it is at a lower value than your original tour, you will be refunded the difference. If the alternative tour is of a higher value, then you will pay the difference in price. Thankfully this has never happened to date.
7. JPC Tours role as tour operator is to arrange through third party suppliers the hotel accommodation, train journeys, rental vehicles, ski passes, cultural activities and other facilities which together provide the holiday arrangement detailed in the itinerary. You should note:
a) That your vacation arrangements are subject to terms and conditions imposed by, hoteliers, train operators, rental car operators, ski resorts and other suppliers of services. Many of those terms and conditions limit or exclude the liability of the supplier and may often be the subject of international convention between countries.
b) JPC Tours does not own or control the hoteliers, train operators, rental car operators, ski resorts or the various suppliers, and JPC Tours does not actually provide those services itself. JPC Tours will take all possible care to ensure that its suppliers have a reputation for maintaining a high standard.
However, JPC Tours is unable to accept responsibility in any way for day-to-day problems with the services provided or for any loss, damage, delay, inconvenience or injury to persons or property, or any other loss howsoever arising. In particular JPC Tours is unable to accept responsibility for any aspect of your holiday arrangements affected by matters over which JPC Tours has no control including, without limitation, war or threat of war, riots and civil strife, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, weather conditions, fire, flood, drought, industrial disputes or governmental or official action or reasonable apprehension of the foregoing, cancellation, curtailment, or rescheduling of flights, or any failure on your part to obtain the correct visas and valid passport for travel.
8. While JPC Tours will use its best endeavors to operate all tours as advertised, reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made without notice where deemed necessary or advisable by JPC Tours.
9. JPC Tours does not accept responsibility for disruption, inconvenience, cancellation or alteration directly or indirectly caused by or aggravated by the failure of any computer data processing equipment or media microchip integrated circuit or similar equipment, software or processing, storage or retrieval system.
10. It is a condition of the acceptance of your deposit in respect of this tour that all monies paid to JPC Tours, whether by way of deposit or otherwise in respect of the tour, may be disbursed by JPC Tours as and when it sees fit or in respect of the services to be provided or fees payable under the tour program and the payment of a deposit for the tour shall be deemed to be a direction by you to JPC Tours to disburse such monies as foresaid. All monies received by JPC Tours are deposited in its name with its bankers, until appropriate disbursement to the suppliers of services or their agents.
11. The flight segment of the tour is to be arranged by the customer and JPC Tours cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise due to your air travel arrangements.
12. Receipt of a deposit will be taken as an understanding by JPC Tours that the participant has read and agrees to abide by these terms and conditions stated.
13. The booking conditions and the supply of services herein shall be governed by and interpreted according to the laws of New Zealand, and both the client and JPC Tours irrevocably submits themselves to the jurisdiction of New Zealand courts in respect of any proceedings arising out of or relating to these booking conditions or services provided hereunder.


Passport and visa fees, insurance, excess baggage charges, extra meals, laundry, drinks, souvenirs, items of a personal nature including medication, departure taxes, and tipping are not included in the price of your holiday. Entrance fees to venues detailed in the itinerary will generally be included, unless specified otherwise in the itinerary.


A valid passport is required for travel and some countries require that it be valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure from those countries. Japan works on a 90 holiday visa for most countries however some countries are excluded from this and require further documentation before travel into Japan is permitted.
The above information should be taken as a general guideline and JPC Tours will endeavor to resolve any issues that may arise in a prompt and professional manner.