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Asahikawa Freeride Tour

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Asahikawa Freeride Tour Enquire

GUIDED FREERIDE TOUR ASAHIKAWA AREA
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Riding

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Sidecountry
Ability: Advanced
Price p/p
USD 2,750
The city of Asahikawa is an ideal base. Explore the restaurants & bars by night, and by day the guides will take you to the best Central Hokkaido ski area depending on the conditions. Guided freeride trip of the off-piste & sidecountry of ski areas.
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Feb 25 - Mar 02, 2024
Days: 7
Price: USD 2,750
Availability: Filling
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Asahikawa Freeride Tour

Asahikawa city in Central Hokkaido is THE most snow-sure part of Japan with the best snow quality thanks to cold temperatures. Within a short drive you’ve got dozens of places to ride, from quirky old-school resorts to lift-accessible backcountry zones filled with endless hits, pillows, banks and wind lips. There’s arguably no zone in Japan that’s blessed with as many good spots and superb snow quality.

On the Asahikawa Freeride Tour you’ll chase the snow and ride at different resorts each day. You’ll get to shred, send and stomp, some of the most insane terrain in Japan with incredibly beautiful backdrops. The guides have years of experience snowboarding in this region and will monitor storm cycles daily to ensure you’re scoring these zones in the best conditions. The Asahikawa base is the perfect base to not only explore the backcountry areas within the Daisetsuzan National Park, but you’ll also ride the lesser known ski areas and a couple of secret spots. Of course, no trip is complete without a day riding the steaming stratovolcano Asahidake.
 
If you have any questions or want to check availability, please make a booking request.

Asahikawa

Asahikawa is Hokkaido’s second-largest city and is renowned for having the most days with snowfall and the coldest temperatures of all cities in Japan. At night Asahikawa is a buzzing city with plenty of ramen shops and izakaya where you can try the local speciality of Asahikawa ramen and the famous Otokoyama sake. After dinner there are plenty of great bars to check out or simply walk back to the hotel and get ready for another big day riding in Central Hokkaido. Staying in a city provides a unique cultural experience, away from the resorts that have been westernised and are overly curated.

Highlights

  • Powder hunting - the tour itinerary is flexible so as to pick the best conditions each day
  • Off the beaten path - explore the lesser known Central Hokkaido ski areas surrounding Asahikawa
  • Visits Asahidake, the highest mountain in Hokkaido - this conical shaped volcano billows steam from multiple vents
  • Local knowledge - your local guides have in-depth knowledge of the resorts, terrain & local businesses so you'll go to places not easily accessible for other foreigners
  • Easy access - just a short ride on the train from Chitose Airport via Sapporo to Asahikawa, or you can fly in
  • Private transport - the guides will drive you to the ski areas in a modern 4WD van and get you ahead of the pack so you'll arrive for first lifts
  • Evenings - Asahikawa has over 2000 shops and restaurants full of local delicacies. You'll enjoy the after-ski experiences only available in the city
  • Premium lodging - you will stay in a private single room (1 person per room) in a great location
  • Small groups - typical guest to guide ratio is a maximum of 6 people per guide

Ability Level

This tour is suitable for advanced snowboarders and skiers. You should be comfortable on black diamond runs, frequently ride/ski off-piste at a resort or in the backcountry, can confidently navigate any alpine and treed terrain, and maintain a continuous rhythm and pace, even through traverses and flat sections. You also need to be reasonably fit.

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. A good way to guarantee the speed and ability level of your group is to book a private tour so you can ride with like-minded friends. If you have a group of up to 6 people, you can book this as a private tour, pending availability. Please make a booking request to ask more about this.

Central Hokkaido Snow

From early January to late February is the ideal time of year to ride in Central Hokkaido. What you can expect is light dry, fresh snow, perfect for riding powder. Temps will be cold, ranging from -10 to -30°C / 14 to -22°F.

Cultural Activities

The plan for each day differs due to a number of factors, but there is always time for an onsen visit or two throughout the trip. There's no better way to recover after a big day on the slopes than to soak in the mineral rich, geothermal waters. Some of the other local activities that are popular are a visit to the sake brewery for a tasting, a trip to a fave sushi train on the outskirts of town, or a visit to the Field Earth snowboard showroom nearby.

Grouping

Each tour has two guides and a maximum of twelve guests. This provides the ability to split into two smaller groups to better manage any differences in ability or pace. Each day you’ll travel, ride and ski together in a smaller group of six people with a dedicated guide leading the way. Typically each group will visit different locations each day, but we’ll often regroup in the evening for dinner to create a fun and social vibe.

Itinerary

The itinerary may change to reflect the current situation in each destination. Changes may be necessary due to weather, local conditions, transport, public holidays or other factors. Your guide will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

Getting to Asahikawa

From Tokyo or other locations on Honshu

The easiest way to reach Asahikawa from Tokyo is to fly directly to Asahikawa Airport. There are multiple direct flights daily from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Asahikawa Airport. You can book flights directly with Japan Airlines or Air Do/ANA.

From Sapporo or other locations in Hokkaido

You can take the train to Asahikawa Station. The station is located a short 2 minute drive from the hotel. Once you arrive, head to the taxi rank out the front of the station and take a taxi to the hotel. The fare is typically JPY 700 / USD $5.

Arrival & Departure Times

The arrival and departure point for this tour is Asahikawa Airport and transfers from Asahikawa Airport 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 airport to your accommodation at your own cost. Please note that bus arrival and departure times are approximate and may be affected by weather and traffic conditions.

Arrival day - Sunday
Arrival Airport: Asahikawa Airport (AKJ)
Meeting Time: 1:30 PM
Meeting Point: Your guide will meet you at the Arrivals Terminal. You will be provided with a map of the meeting point 30 days prior to departure. If you wish to arrive at another time, you will be provided information for the scheduled public bus to the hotel.

Departure day - Saturday
Departure Airport: Asahikawa Airport (AKJ)
Departure Time: The transfer will depart the Asahikawa Hotel at 10:00 am and will drop-off at Asahikawa Airport by 10:45 am at the latest.

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Make your way to the meeting point at Asahikawa Airport where your guide will meet you. You will be transferred by bus to your hotel in Asahikawa. After check in, we encourage you to settle in to your room, unpack and set-up your equipment for the adventure ahead. At 5:00 PM, meet your guides in the hotel bar for an information session. Your guides will explain what’s in store for the week, the current weather, run through equipment and answer any questions you have. After the information session, join your guides for dinner. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the other guests and your guide.

Day 2 to 6 – Asahikawa Storm Chasing

You'll spend 5 days riding the surrounding Asahikawa Resorts. We keep the tour itinerary flexible so you can ride at the best resort on the day. Your guide will monitor storm cycles to ensure you’re scoring the best conditions at each resort as weather and snowfall affect each resort differently. We have over half a dozen resorts that we can access. Drive times can range from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Each day will follow a similar format:

Mornings

The breakfast buffet is open from 6:30am and you can enjoy breakfast at your leisure. Your guide will advise the departure time the evening before. Please be ready to depart on-time with all your riding equipment and don’t forget to bring cash for lunch. You can bring a small day pack to leave in the car. You may want to bring a towel or dry clothes to put on after an onsen visit. Each morning your guides will explain the weather and snow conditions for the day and advise the group where you’ll be riding. There are half a dozen resorts to choose from, so your guides will keep a sharp eye on the weather so they can find you the best snow daily.

Throughout the day

Once at the resort the aim is to spend a full day on-mountain. You can join your guide or you can explore the resort at your own pace. Each day the group will break for lunch on mountain. After riding, your guide will make plans according to time, the groups interest and energy levels. This could include a visit to an onsen, sushi train, 7-Eleven or another local attraction like a sake brewery before returning to the hotel.


Evenings

On return to the hotel, your guides will be on-hand to answer any questions and offer any assistance. You’ve got free time. Head to the hot spring to relax, grab a beer with the crew in the lobby bar, or explore the area surrounding the hotel. Your guides will plan a few group dinners throughout the week so you can share a few stories about the days’ turns. You are welcome to join or explore Asahikawa independently.

Day 7 - Departure

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check out at 10:00am. All good things must come to come to an end, and after a big week of riding deep, Japanese powder the guides will transfer you back to the airport and say goodbye.

All Mint Tours in Japan are 6 nights and run from Sunday to Saturday. You’ll ride every resort mid-week to avoid the weekend day-trippers and maximise your time on-snow. If 6 nights isn’t enough, you can continue onto another tour such as the Otaru Freeride Tour.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation

Throughout the tour you will stay at OMO7 Asahikawa in downtown Asahikawa. This is a 4 star city hotel with modern amenities like restaurants, bar, wax tune station, sauna and hot spring. All guests stay in a single studio room with 1 single bed, 1 couch and ensuite bathroom (1 guest per room). All guests have their own room throughout the tour, whilst couples can stay in a twin room. 

Meals

6 buffet breakfasts are included during your stay. There are a variety of western and Japanese options. One buffet dinner is included at the hotel on arrival night.


Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2024 Rates

USD2,750

About Rates:

  • base/invoice currency is USD
  • rates are per person in a private room
  • taxes are included
Inclusions
  • 6 nights in a single ensuite room, 4* hotel (1 person per room)
  • 5 days of on-snow guiding
  • 5 days lift tickets
  • Use of avalanche safety equipment – pack, transceiver, shovel & probe
  • 5 days of private transfers to and from resorts or backcountry areas
  • 6 buffet breakfasts
  • 1 group dinner (arrival night)
  • Mint merch pack
  • Airport transfers from Asahikawa Airport to hotel (1 departure time)
  • Fully-escorted tour, guides on hand throughout the tour
Add-ons
No optional extras to display
Not Included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • All lunches – expect to pay USD $10 – $15 per meal
  • 5 dinners – expect to pay USD $20 – $40 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.