Japan Ski Tours

Overall Rating

Japan Ski Tours

Japan Ski Tours4.9/589
Japan Ski Tours4.9 out of 5 based on 89 reviews
Wagner Custom Skis
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Japan Ski Tours

Overall Rating

Japan Ski Tours4.9/589
Japan Ski Tours4.9 out of 5 based on 89 reviews
Japan Ski Tours is a premium Japan ski trip operator. With Japan Ski Tours (formerly Japan Ski Adventures) you can take the ski road trip of a lifetime to chase the best powder. On your Japanese ski tour or snowboard trip you can also enjoy amazing cuisine, traditional cultural performances, great lodging, and take a dip in a remote onsen. Don’t just ski Japan – feel it! Japan Ski Tours offer different Japan ski and snowboard trips in both Hokkaido and Honshu, that include scheduled group tours, and bespoke guiding packages in Iwate, as well as Hachimantai Cat Ski Trips.

JST is run by a group of bilingual guides who grew up in Japan. The company began with one single philosophy; that skiers and snowboarders who come to Japan should have more options to easily experience Japanese culture as well as its world famous pow. Japan Ski Tours is part of the Japan Guides Group along with Fuji Mountain Guides.

Japan Powder Culture Tours Terms & Conditions

BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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.

CUSTOMER INFORMATION FORM

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.

BOOKING YOUR HOLIDAY

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.

CANCELLATION

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.

AMENDMENTS

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.

BOOKING CONDITIONS

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.

YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE

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.

PASSPORTS & VISAS

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.

Best Japan Tour We've Been On

18/03/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Best Japan Tour We've Been On

18/03/2020
Our tail guide Taro pouring a sake in a Hachimantai onsen
Hakkoda on a rare fine day in January
One of the amazing dinners
A phenomenal onsen experience in Aomori Prefecture
Our guide finding plenty of pow stashes
It was rather sad when this incredible trip in northern Tohoku came to an end!! We’ve done quite a few ski tours in Japan with different companies, and whilst it wasn’t the best or deepest snow we’ve experienced (as it wasn’t the greatest season), overall it was the best tour we’ve been on. It was the combination of unique experiences, having fun guides that understood the culture and spoke fluent Japanese so they could easily navigate some great dining and onsen options, and our luck in being grouped with solid skiers who were all on the same page, entertaining, and lovely, considerate people. Staying in cities was also a highlight, rather than getting a “resort-ified” experience by staying at a ski resort.

The tour was fabulous and we’d highly recommend it.

Skiing:
Whilst Japan generally had been experiencing a low snow year, northern Tohoku was faring slightly better than other parts of Japan, and JST managed to find us great untracked powder each day of the tour, even if we had to work a little harder than usual to get to the goods.

There was plenty of variety with respect to the skiing which included some backcountry touring, lift-accessed off-piste and sidecountry, road pick-ups, and a few snowcat runs.

We had 4 different JST guides during the trip, and they were all were pretty relaxed & had a sense of fun whilst also having a good focus on safety considerations. One of the guides at times needed to pre-empt guests’ many questions, whilst the others made it very clear what the plans were. It was pretty impressive that we always had a tail guide (or 2) & Taro filled us in on fascinating insights into Japan. At Hakkoda there are all sorts of interesting guiding politics that go on, so we had to have a local Hakkoda lead guide who wasn’t particularly impressive compared to the JST guides, but thankfully we also had 2 JST guides with us to fill in the blanks.

The Shizukuishi cat skiing was a fantastically fun morning. See our Shizukuishi cat skiing review for more information, but essentially if you go on the Shizukuishi cat without JST guiding, you won’t be allowed to play in the trees.

Eating:
Staying in the cities of Morioka and Aomori gave the guides plenty of dining options to choose from, and their choice of restaurants each night was nothing less than extraordinary! The week started off simply with a yakiniku restaurant (grilled meats), tonkatsu restaurant, and noodles. And then it was full Japanese cultural immersion with a sushi restaurant, kaiseki (multi-course) dinner with a sedate shamisen player, and then another amazing multi-course dinner with a funky upbeat shamisen show.

The breakfasts at the hotels were also very good and provided a lovely balance between Japanese fare and western items.

Morioka in particular had a huge array of bars. The nightlife tended to only really come alive on the weekends but there was a cool bar near the hotel that attracted the only gaijin in town.

Onsen:
The onsen the guides chose for our 2nd daily soaks were really unique. Instead of shiny modern onsen, they chose old traditional onsen, many of which had the option of mixed gender bathing or ladies-only bathing. There was also variety with respect to indoor and outdoor baths, and the pièce de résistance was an ocean side rotenburo where we watched the waves crashing in front of us.

Organisation:
The administration of JST was highly organised. The registration process ensured that we had our expectations appropriately set, the pre-trip documentation was comprehensive, and the arrival day information was great.

One of the huge pros of JST is that it’s run by bilingual guides who grew up in Japan and live in Japan year-round. They have a mix of Japanese, Japanese/western and western guides, and are really well connected in with the locals at the destinations visited. See our video here

JAPOW off the beaten path

05/03/2020

Katy

Powder Puppy
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Katy

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

JAPOW off the beaten path

05/03/2020
Background: This was our third snow trip to Japan. Having already done Hakuba/Nagano and both central and southern Hokkaido (twice) we were ready to check out a new region - enter Japan Ski Tours "Frontier Explorer" itinerary.

Initially I had hoped to do what I usually do on snow chasing trips - gather our own group of friends, hire a private guide for our ski/snowboard days, and mimic a solid itinerary but book all my lodging, etc on our own. This was the solid itinerary. As it turned out I couldn't rally any friends this year so my husband and I went out on a limb and joined this set group tour...fingers crossed we would get a solid group of skiers/snowboarders and would like the pace of the more set itinerary.

Spoiler alert - we loved it! I am so used to doing all the logistics for my group that it was such a treat to be able to sit back and let Japan Ski Tours and their capable team take care of everything. Of our three trips to Japan the snow was the most touch and go on this trip...something we knew before we left. I am only saying this because I see some of the previous reviews seemed to have knocked Japan Ski Tours for this. This is totally out of a guiding company's control. Japan has the most reliable snow in the world but that doesn't mean it's perfect.

Through the expertise of the JST team we managed to stretch some favorable storms just before our trip and a surprise big storm day on our first day into four epic powder days in the Tohoku region. They knew exactly where to go to find the stashes (even 3 days post storm). Upon moving up to our second base area for days 5 and 6, we were able to find a few fresh lines, despite the lack of any notable fresh snow, again, with the expertise of our JST team. We really only got skunked on our 6th and final day and Daniel...our amazing round-the-clock guide, driver, coordinator, translator, hand holder, and local expert still worked his hardest to find us anything skiable. We did have to throw in the towel a touch early on this very last day because mother nature was just not cooperating...but he made sure the rest of the day was filled with as much activity and cultural experiences as the group wanted. Speaking of the cultural aspect, the added bonus of having a built in local expert, who just so happened to also be our guide, knowing exactly which onsen to take us to each day post skiing and with awesome dinners arranged for us each night, was such an added highlight I didn't appreciate nearly enough when booking this trip. This added bonus was just off the charts, particularly for this region of japan which is very much not

Having done many, many, many international snow chasing trips as "custom itineraries," for fear of what a group tour would look and feel like, I can honestly say I don't think I could have asked for a better first experience jumping into a set group tour. And if it is this region of Japan you are looking to explore - you won't want to do it without the expertise of Brent, Daniel, Cedric and the rest of the JST team. They made this trip unforgettable. See our video here

Incredible tour with Japan Ski Tours - Hokkaido Storm Chaser!

Ananda
04/03/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Incredible tour with Japan Ski Tours - Hokkaido Storm Chaser!

Ananda
04/03/2020
We had an absolutely wonderful time on the Hokkaido Storm Chaser tour. Though we were at the lower end of the skiing ability in the group (though hopefully still above the minimum threshold defined for the tour) we had an amazing time. All of the guides were professional, super helpful, and very fun to be around. The tour itself ran like clockwork and we never had to worry about any logistics throughout. The guides took us to spots on the mountain we never could have found on our own, so we had way more fun than we could have possibly done on our own at the same resorts and ski areas. The descriptions for lodging set low expectations (i.e. their descriptions indicate small rooms, etc.) but we found the lodging to be great at both hotel locations we stayed with rooms comparable in size to where we've stayed in European resorts. As promised, the guides also took us to very tasty restaurants for meals throughout the trip. I just got back and I already want to book this trip again! See our video here

Hokkaido Powder Chaser Tour A++

Rainey
03/03/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Hokkaido Powder Chaser Tour A++

Rainey
03/03/2020
Excellent, excellent trip can or recommend more highly! If you are looking for lift-accessible deep dry powder in Japan and are comfortable skiing country this is THE trip for you! It was a “low” year in Japan yet the Japan Ski Tour team made sure we were skiing in at least knee deep stuff every day and checked the forecast to see where the best snow would be each day. We skied everything from big resorts to active volcanos. Had a blast! Guides all very enjoyable, professional and spoke great English. Food choices were all true delicious Japanese cuisine and hotels were all 4 star. Also stopped at several Onsens which really added to the experience. When I come back to ski again in Japan will likely sign up for this tour again. If this kind of terrain is in your wheelhouse you will not regret going to Japan with this group. See our video here

Japan Ski Tours

Amy Cutting
29/02/2020