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Nagano Powder Chaser

Nagano Powder Chaser4.5/532
Nagano Powder Chaser4.5 out of 5 based on 32 reviews
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Price p/p From price based on 3-night stay at Lodge Aibiya (2 days skiing/boarding) in a twin share room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 916

3, 4, 5 & 6 Nights | 2, 3, 4 & 5 Days Skiing/Boarding

10% off advertised price for bookings before 30th May 2022
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided-Progression | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p From price based on 3-night stay at Lodge Aibiya (2 days skiing/boarding) in a twin share room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 916
Don't let a lack of time, budget or resort knowledge hold you back from a ski/snowboard trip in Nagano this winter. Experience many of Nagano's best ski areas with guides who have an intimate knowledge; based in the culturally rich town of Yudanaka. Tours can be CUSTOMISED for 3 nights or more.
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Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Custom Booking Period: Dec 20 - Apr 30, 2023
Min Days: From 3
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.

Nagano Powder Chaser

The Nagano Powder Chaser tour packages are for skiers or boarders who want to chase that world famous Japanese POW at a variety of resorts in Nagano. The tour packages cater for two tiers of skiers, the advanced skiers who wish to experience as much powder as possible and explore the “slack country” of each of the resorts, and the intermediate skiers and boarders who want to have a taste of powder and improve their powder and on-piste technique.

No trip to Japan is complete without experiencing an amazing culture and meeting the local people that make this winter wonderland unique.

Note: Groups are organised according to ability level and where possible the guides separate the disciplines with a 1:6 guide to client ratio. You will be riding with the 8 and 10-day tour groups. If your group size is larger than 4 people, you can be allocated your own instructor/guide.

If you have any questions or want to book, you can enquire directly with the tour operator here.


  • Experience Japanese life and culture by staying off the mountain in the culturally rich town of Yudanaka (adjacent to Shibu Onsen)
  • Option of staying in a beautiful Japanese ryokan for a fraction of the cost of on-mountain accommodation
  • Ski and ride some of the nicest powder without the masses
  • For intermediates, 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
  • Rejuvenate daily in an onsen to sooth and relax tired muscles
  • Visit the world famous snow monkeys and walk through the 1300 year old town of Shibu Onsen
  • Relax and be driven from location to location from our experienced mountain drivers
  • Make some new friends to share those on snow stories with over a local ale or wine

Resorts Visited

The Nagano Powder Chaser tour has the ability to visit many different resorts in the Nagano prefecture. The resorts visited are dictated by the conditions on any given day and each area has its own individual micro climate so don’t be surprised if you visit the same resort a number of times.

The resorts visited may include: Oku Shiga Kogen, Yakebitaiyama, Ichinose and Giant, Yokote &  Kumanoyu (all part of Asia’s largest ski area Shiga Kogen), Madarao, TangramTogakushi, Myoko Suginohara and Nozawa Onsen.

Drive times to these resorts vary from 25 minutes to 50 minutes in good road conditions.

Japan's highest & largest ski area...

...incredible Japanese cuisine...

.....mind blowing cultural experiences

Skier/Boarder Ability & Equipment Requirements

These tours are best suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders.

In all cases people should be light-hearted and have a good sense of humor, as even the best laid-out plans can vary due to uncontrollable circumstances!

Please do not over-state your ability as the advanced groups are for those who already have a good grasp of riding powder.

There are various other tours that are similar to this that vary with respect to duration or ability level. See the JPCT overview for a summary of the tours.

Visit the snow monkey onsen....

...indulge in Japanese sake...

.....karaoke the night away


There is no set itinerary for this package; your guide/host will make a decision each day based on the current snow and weather conditions and the general group consensus as to where to ski and board.

Each night you will stay in down-town Yudanaka in a traditional Japanese Ryokan (hotel) or the lodge, and each morning you will head off with your guide/driver and group to get the best powder on the day.

Yudanaka is a culturally rich town and the perfect base for a Nagano powder chasing 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

These packages are based in the township of Yudanaka located near the Shiga Kogen ski areas. It is also close to various other Nagano 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.

Deluxe Option - Ryokan Biyo no Yado

The Ryokan Biyu no Yada in the township of Yudanaka is a 3.5 star Japanese style hotel. Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom and are either Western twin (with a tatami sitting area) or Japanese-style (twin, triple & quad) woven tatami floors with futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle.

The hotel has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for rent for an additional fee.

Indulge in Japanese cuisine...

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

...fun social group meals

Night-time meals (included in the package) are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served in the hotel dining area plus options to eat at other restaurants in town. Breakfast (also included) is a Japanese/Western-style buffet.

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 wifi in the common lounge area, a bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, Japanese drum shows, karaoke and a souvenir shop.

Deluxe Ryokan Biyu..

...traditional Japanese tatami rooms...

.....outdoor hot springs

Budget Option - Lodge Aibiya

Lodge Aibiya is located in Yudanaka township 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. The Lodge also has a service where they take you to the adjoining town several times a week to a large supermarket if you want to cook in house. There is an in-house laundry service available at an extra cost. There is also a separate lounge room with large screen TV to chill out in.

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.

Lodge Abiya..

...comfy western-style beds...

.....shared cooking facilities

2022/23 Dates, Rates & Inclusions


There are no set dates for these packages; they can start any day of the week and are available as a 3, 4, 5 or 6 night package (or a package can be tailored to suit you or your group). Tours start early December and run until early May. Japanese accommodation holiday rates apply between Dec 28th and 3rd Jan at Ryokan Biyu.  

Package Prices (Japanese Yen)

 DELUXE OPTION: Ryokan Biyu Yo Nado
 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included   Adults 13+
 3  2  3B + 1D  149,000
 4  3  4B + 1D  169,000
 5  4  5B + 2D  209,000
 6  5  6B + 2D  239,000

Family room & western room upgrades also available at Ryokan Biyu. Enquire for quote.

 # Nights  # Ski Days   Meals Included  Single /
Shared Bathroom
Twin /
Shared Bathroom
Deluxe Twin /
Private Bathroom 
 3  2  3B  139,000  119,000  139,000
 4  3  4B  169,000  149,000  169,000
 5  4  5B  199,000  179,000  199,000
 6  5  6B  239,000  219,000  239,000

Triple and quad room rates for groups available at Lodge Aibiya. Enquire for a quote.


  • Ryokan Biyu is based on "Twin Share" in a Japanese room meals outline above included. Single supplement ¥6000 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 20,000 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.
  • Prices for family deluxe rooms at Lodge Aibiya are based on 2 adults + 2 children and include a private bathroom
  • 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 and standard accommodation options
  • Pick up and drop off at Yudanaka train station (for Ryokan Biyu customers only. Lodge Aibiya is only a short walk from the station)
  • Daily lift tickets & transport to best snow each day
  • Daily breakfast (and dinner for those staying at Ryokan Biyu)
  • Visit to the sake museum
  • Ski guide/instructor (max 1:6 instructor to guest ratio)
  • Transport to the world-famous snow monkey park (Ryokan Biyu has a complimentary drop off and pickup shuttle and clients of Lodge Aibiya can use the bus from Yudanaka station and does not include monkey park admission)
  • A walk through historic Shibu town which dates back 1300 years
  • Rejuvenating Onsens (at Ryokan Biyu, Lodge Aibiya guests can purchase onsen passes from the reception)
  • Plus many more hidden gems...
  • Avo safety pack (transponder, shovel & probe) - 2,000 yen/day; requirement for all guests riding off-piste
  • Single supplement at Ryokan Biyu - enquire
  • Western room upgrade at Ryokan Biyu - $enquire yen/night
  • Single room upgrade at Lodge Aibiya - $enquire yen/night
  • Taiko drum performance - JPY 3,000 p.p. (selected dates)
  • Authentic Geisha performance - JPY 4,000 p.p. (selected dates)
  • Karate performance - JPY 3,000 p.p. (selected dates)
  • Visit Nagano and the Zenkoji Temple
  • Evening tour in a Pistenbully snow cat to the highest lift access point in Japan to see the snow monster trees & includes hot drinks & homemade breads - JPY 5,000 p.p. (selected dates)
  • Traditional Thai massage 5,000 yen per hour
  • Snow equipment rentals & clothing
Not Included

Corona Virus Update as of 25th April 2020 – Message From JPCT

Japan Powder Culture Tours understand that due to the ongoing developments of the Coronavirus situation that you may be having some anxiety and doubts with regards to your winter travel plans to Japan this season. Rest assured JPCTs are full steam ahead this season with guides and instructors on the ground so they will be operating tours as usual this season.

However, we are under no illusions that there will not be ongoing problems with this situation which may include your ability to get to Japan. Bearing this in mind we are easing our cancellation policy for bookings made for the 2020/2021 season to assist skiers, borders and telemark skiers and give you the peace of mind that your deposit will not be forfeited if you are unable to join us.

So, for the 2020/2021 season, the following will apply: We have a 20% deposit which is payable within 7 days of invoice to secure your spot on the tour. You can cancel by 30th September 2020 with no penalty. To then confirm your booking a further 20% will be charged on the 1st October 2020 and the remainder is due 40 days prior to your tour.

If you must cancel your 2020/2021 tour your 20% deposit can then be used for a credit for later in the season, bearing in mind we operate right into May, or the deposit can be used for the following season.

In the past we have not ever cancelled a trip due to tour group size and we hope to continue this tradition. We run our beginner programs with a minimum of 2 people and our longer 8 and 10 day tours with a minimum of 4 people, and our policy of running our tours regardless will remain.

So we hope our new policy puts your mind at ease and we wish everyone of you the best through these trying times. We would love to see you in the future and share with you our little piece of utopia here in Japan with a truly authentic Japanese ski and riding experience next to none.

Japan Powder Culture Touts (JPCT) Booking Conditions


  • Deposit is 20% of full tour price per person.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Final balance due: 30 days prior to departure.
  • All payments are in Japanese Yen (JPY) 


  • more than 30 days prior to departure, full deposit forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days 100% forfeited.
  • Tour operator highly recommends you take out travel insurance at time of sending your deposit. 


JPCT reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure. In this case you will receive a full refund. You will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation, damages, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience.

All bookings are subject to JPCTs terms and conditions and subject to availability at time of booking.

Other Important Information

Terrain & Safety

The rules when skiing at resorts in Japan can be a lot different to what is experienced in Western resorts around the world. At a high percentage of the resorts in Japan, trail skiing is the norm and anything off the main marked trails is deemed "out-of-bounds". The out of bounds is not patrolled so as far as the resort is concerned; skiing there is at your own risk. The out of bounds skiing provided by ESA is deemed (what has been termed in Japan by westerners) “slack country” or “side country”. Many times these out of bounds areas are in between two marked courses so at the bottom of the run you meet up on a marked course to take you back to the lifts, hence the term “slack country”.

Some resorts are more lenient with "out-of-bounds" skiing and others very strict. Some will have signs that state "ski at your own risk" where others may not. JPCT consider everything that is not on a marked trail to be out of bounds.

If you wish to experience the "out-of-bounds" (skiing off any of the marked trails) areas:
  1. You must carry the essential avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe & backpack to carry such gear)
  2. You must be able to ski at a sufficient ability / level to manage the conditions on the day for any out-of-bounds runs
  3. You will need to undertake an safety instruction session on the use of your avalanche equipment (even if you already know how to use it)
  4. You will be required to sign a release of liability agreement prior to undertaking any out-of-bounds skiing with ESA
The JPCT team have the following credentials:
  • knowledge and experience at skiing the various resorts they visit in the Nagano and Niigata areas
  • accreditation and different combinations of instructors, ski patrol, avalanche awareness and first aid
  • ski instructors have a minimum of level 2 NZIAS certification
Exclusion of Liability & Risk
Adventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in the JPCT release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in adventure sports activities. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident.