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Aizu Freeride Tour

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Aizu Freeride Tour Enquire

GUIDED LIFT-ACCESS TOUR
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Skiing/Riding

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p
USD 1,795
Head to Aizu which is untapped and well worth visiting for its uncrowded resorts, no lift lines and very little western influence. This guided tour heads to various resorts near the onsen hotel & breakfast & dinner are included.
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Feb 11 - Feb 17, 2024
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,795
Availability: Enquire
Fixed Date(s): Feb 18 - Feb 24, 2024
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,795
Availability: Enquire
Fixed Date(s): Feb 25 - Mar 02, 2024
Days: 7
Price: USD 1,795
Availability: Enquire
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Aizu Freeride Tour

Join the Aizu Freeride Tour and you’ll explore a region known for its deep powder snow, unique traditions, food, culture, famed onsen, and pristine wilderness.

Aizu is untapped and well worth visiting for its uncrowded resorts, lack of lift lines, and very little western influence. If you’re looking to get away from the high profile resorts and explore somewhere more authentic, then put Aizu on the top of your list. The team of local and international guides will show you the allure of riding in this place.

The Aizu Freeride Tour is all about powder hunting which means the guides monitor overnight snowfall to find you the best conditions the next morning. Aizu has over 12 ski resorts that can be accessed within easy reach of the centrally located hotel including: Nekoma and the interconnected Alts Bandai; Minowa; and Gran Deco, with terrain ranging from wide-open piste, perfectly crafted terrain parks, to deep untracked tree riding and skiing.

As Aizu is truly ‘off the beaten track’, you will also experience local cuisine, hospitality and knowledge from your hosts and the local community of Aizu. You’ll visit an award-winning sake brewery where you can sample the many different varieties of sake, you’ll visit a local soba restaurant that harvests its own buckwheat to hand-make the noodles, and no tour to Aizu is complete without a visit to the historic Tsuruga Castle, the last stronghold of the samurai.

If you have any questions and/or want to check availability you can make a booking request.

Highlights

  • No crowds - This area is untapped and well worth visiting for its uncrowded resorts, no lift lines and very little western influence.  
  • Chase the snow - The Aizu Freeride Tour is all about powder hunting which means the team monitor overnight snowfall to find you the best conditions. Each day the guide will drive you in the van to the best area for good snow.
  • Premium lodging - Your stay will be premium in every way. The lakeside hotel is a quick drive away from the resorts. You'll stay in a deluxe hotel with all the mod-cons, plus the best onsen in the region.
  • Local knowledge - Long-standing relationships with local guides, professional athletes, local businesses and resorts allow the group special access to places and people and an enriched experience.
  • The resorts - Aizu has over 12 ski resorts that can be accessed within easy reach of the centrally located hotel.
  • Easy access - Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Koriyama, which takes less than 1.5 hours, and you'll be transported to the hotel.
  • Almost everything included - This is a stress-free trip with a stay at an onsen hotel, buffet breakfasts and dinners are included and prepared with local produce. Also included is a dedicated powder guide to monitor the storms and find you the best snow daily, private transport on-hand to take you to the best resorts each day, all lift tickets for the trip, and a van to pick you up and drop you off from the train station on arrival and departure day.

Ability Level

This tour is suitable for intermediate to advanced snowboarders and skiers. You should be comfortable on black diamond runs, be able to ride/ski off-piste at a resort, can confidently navigate alpine and treed terrain and maintain a continuous rhythm and pace, even through traverses and flat sections. The more accurately you’re able to self-assess your on-snow abilities, the more you (and others in your group) will be able to relax and enjoy your tour.

Or if you want to be able to guarantee the speed and ability level of your group, you can to book a private tour if you have 5 more people so you can ride with like-minded friends.

Itinerary

The itinerary is kept flexible so as to access the best conditions and terrain on the day. Each day your guide will assess the conditions and decide which is the best place to ride based on weather and snowfall.

Sunday - Arrival Day

Make your way to Koriyama Station where your guide will meet you and transfer you to the resort. Once you arrive, your guides will be on hand to check you into the hotel. You’ll have a little free time to settle in, grab a beer, have an onsen and relax. That night you'll be hosted in the hotel bar where you’ll meet the guides who will run you through the tour, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have. After the welcome session, join your guides for dinner at the hotel. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the guests and guides over a few beers or a sake.

Monday to Friday - Ride / Ski Days

Each day will follow a similar format. You'll spend 5 days riding the surrounding Aizu Resorts. Here's roughly what you can look forward to:

Mornings

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, then get ready to depart. Your guides will brief you the evening before regarding the departure time and what to pack i.e. extra equipment, shoes, extra layers etc. Each morning the group will load the 4WD vans and drive to the resort. The drive times can range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on weather and snowfall. Once at the resort, your guides will brief you on the location and the plan for the day.

At the Resort

Your guides are on hand throughout the day to show you the resort. The aim is to ride and ski a lot of powder, glades and trees. Of course weather and conditions are impossible to predict, so you must be prepared to ride or ski anything. You are welcome to join the guiding session or explore the resort unguided.

Afternoons

After riding, the group may opt to visit a local cultural attraction before returning to the hotel. This can include a sake brewery, Tsuruga-jo (samurai castle), ice fishing, sushi train, or everyone's favourite, a stop at the local 7-Eleven to grab all the necessities. Back at the hotel, catch up at the bar for après or hit the onsen. The hotel has the best onsen in the region with both indoor baths, and an outdoor bath overlooking a frozen lake.

Evenings

Each evening, join your group for dinner at the hotel. You’ll have a buffet dinner at the hotel. For anyone wanting to relax after dinner, head to the bar for a drink and a game of pool or darts.

Saturday - Departure Day

All good things must come to come to an end, and after an epic week riding, the guides will transfer you back to Koriyama Station and say goodbye.

Arrival & Departure Times

The arrival and departure point for this tour is Koriyama Station, serviced by the Tohoku Shinkansen, on the JR East Shinkansen Lines. Transfers from Koriyama Station are included in the tour. There are set arrival and departure times for this tour to meet these transfers. If you are unable to arrive and depart as per times below, you will need to make your own travel arrangements to/from the station to your accommodation at your own cost.

Arrival Day - Sunday
Meeting Time: 3:00 pm
Meeting Point: KORIYAMA STATION

Getting to Koriyama Station

Koriyama Station is easy to reach from Tokyo. It takes just 1.5 hours on the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station. From Haneda or Narita airports, the travel time will be a little longer. For more information about the train schedule and ticket pricing, you can use Google Maps. To assist planning your train travel or to book tickets, you can visit a JR EAST Travel Service Centre. You can purchase a train ticket with a credit card at any of these centres.

Koriyama Station Meeting Point

The meeting point at Koriyama Station is the West Exit Bus Terminal at 3:00pm sharp. Mint Tours will provide you with a map for the meeting point closer to departure. The drive to your hotel takes approximately 1 hour (weather and road conditions permitting).

Departure Day - Saturday
Departure Tome: 9:00 am

On departure day, the bus will travel direct from the hotel to Koriyama Station, with departure at 9:00am. The travel time to Koriyama Station is approximately 1 hour depending on weather and road conditions.

Accommodation and Meals

Throughout the tour you will stay at the Urabandai Lake Resort. The hotel has modern, western-style rooms, restaurants, a bar, indoor and outdoor onsen, and convenience store.

The comfortable rooms are equipped with 2 single beds, great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi.

Each day you’ve got buffet breakfast and dinners included with western, Japanese and Chinese dishes with a focus on fresh and seasonal produce. To keep you entertained at night you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has icy cold beers on tap as well as a pool table, darts and golf simulator.


Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2024 Rates

USD 1,795

About rates:

  • rates are per person in a  twin share room
  • base/invoice currency is USD
  • rates include all taxes
  • if you have any questions and/or want to check availability, you can make a booking request 
Inclusions
  • 6 nights accommodation in a twin share ensuite room at an onsen hotel (2 people per room)
  • 5 days of resort guiding
  • 5 days of lift tickets
  • 5 days of private transfers in 4WD vehicles to & from resorts
  • Return arrival & departure day transfers from Koriyama Shinkansen Station
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners
  • Cultural excursions – sake brewery, castle etc.
  • Fully-escorted tour, guides on hand throughout the tour
Add-ons
No optional extras to display
Not Included
  • Flights
  • Train ticket to/from Tokyo to Koriyama Station
  • Travel insurance
  • All lunches – expect to pay USD $10 – $15 per meal
  • Any meals, drinks, snacks not listed

Mint Tours Booking Terms & Conditions

DEPOSIT PAYMENTS

A deposit of 50% per person is payable within 3 days of confirmation of booking, unless otherwise stated. Deposit amounts may vary for selected trips and special campaigns that may be run by us from time to time and will be set out in special conditions upon booking.

BALANCE PAYMENTS

For FIT package bookings, the balance (or final payment) is due in full 60 days (Australia, New Zealand) or 90 days (USA, Canada, Europe, Japan) prior to departure. Bookings made within this period must be fully paid upon confirmation.

For tour bookings, the balance (or final payment) is due in full 60 days (Australia, New Zealand) or 90 days (rest of world) prior to departure. Bookings made within this period must be fully paid upon confirmation.

Mint Tours reserves the right to charge late booking fees for any booking made inside of 30 days of departure.

STANDARD CANCELLATION FEES

For FIT package bookings, a cancellation made outside of 90 days will incur a minimum fee of 10% (of total package) per person plus any charges levied by ground operators, hotels, airlines or lift companies. A cancellation made within 90 days before departure will incur a 100% cancellation fee of the total booking amount.

For Tour bookings, a cancellation made outside of 60 days (Australia, New Zealand) or 90 days (rest of world) will incur a minimum fee of 10% (or total tour price) per person plus any charges levied by ground operators, hotels, airlines or lift companies. A cancellation made within 60 days (Australia, New Zealand) or 90 days (rest of world) before departure will incur a 100% cancellation fee of the total booking amount.

Airfares are subject to up to 100% cancellation fee once tickets are issued. Any refunds due cannot be processed until the relevant funds have been returned by suppliers to Mint Tours and Mint Tours cannot be responsible for supplier delays in issuing refunds. Note that airlines can take up to 90 days to process refunds.

Insurance covering cancellation is strongly advised as some cancellation penalties are strict. Refunds will not be given for unused guiding, accommodation, car rental, transfers, ski passes, rentals, lessons and activities.

AMENDMENT FEE

A charge of $50 will apply for each and every amendment after booking instructions have been received. The charge is in addition to any cancellation fees that may apply.

CREDIT CARD CHARGES

All credit cards incur a 3% surcharge. If cancellations are made, the merchant fee will not be refunded.