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Myoko Powder Hunter

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MYOKO GUIDED OFF-PISTE TOUR
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Riding

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p
USD 1,995
This powder hunting tour stays in Myoko, which is one of the snowiest places in Japan. Stay in an authentic Japanese inn with onsen, enjoy in-house breakfasts & dinner, and have guides take you to the best in-bounds powder stashes at Myoko & nearby ski areas.
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Myoko Powder Hunter

The Myoko Powder Hunter Tour is an all-inclusive guided tour with a flexible itinerary and a small group of 6 people. Spend the week ripping pow from first to last chair in the off-piste zones at resorts like Madarao, Tangram, Seki Onsen, Togakushi, Myoko Suginohara, the two Akakura resorts. The aim of the game is to ride powder every day, which is the reason for the flexible itinerary and having private transport on hand to get you to the resorts quickly. Your guide will give you a locals perspective from day one, from the secret spots and stashes to the best onsen, izakaya and ramen eateries.

If you haven’t been to Myoko before, what you need to know is that this area is one of the snowiest in Japan. It’s one of those places where waist-deep means exactly that. Thanks to its location roughly 20 kilometres from the Sea of Japan, big snowfall is a regular occurrence during the months of January and February. Once you arrive and see the towering snowbanks lining the streets, you’ll know that you’re in for a deep powder adventure.

For an authentic Japanese experience, you’ll stay in a basic but comfortable onsen (hot spring) hotel in Myoko where you’ll experience true Japanese omotenashi (hospitality). Each guest will stay in their own private ensuited room (1 person per room) with breakfasts and dinners included. After a long day riding powder, there’s nothing better than relaxing back at the hotel onsen. There are also a few lively bars and restaurants surrounding the hotel for after dark.

Myoko is easy to reach from Tokyo which makes the Myoko Freeride Tour a great option if you’re travelling solo or it’s your first time to Japan. Get on the bullet train in Tokyo and in just under 2 hours you will arrive at the local Shinkansen station. Once you arrive, the guides will take you to the hotel and make sure you’re set up for the adventure ahead.

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

Highlights

  • Powder hunting - the tour itinerary is flexible so as to pick the best conditions each day at Myoko ski areas and other nearby resorts
  • Amazing food - expertly prepared dinners & breakfasts with the freshest local ingredients
  • Onsen accommodation - stay in an authentic Japanese hotel with the largest onsen complex in Myoko
  • Local knowledge - your local guides have in-depth knowledge of the resorts, terrain & local businesses, so you'll go to places not easily accessible to other foreigners
  • 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 before first lifts
  • Private room lodging - you will stay in a private single room (so no listening to a snoring room mate) with an ensuite bathroom in a great location, or if you want to share with someone you can

Ability Level

This tour is suitable for strong 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 the other option is to book a private tour for your group so you can ride with like-minded friends and know the speed and ability level of your group. You can make a booking request to find out more and to check availability.

Terrain and Snow

On this tour you will ride a mix of resorts. All the guiding is in-bounds. There’s a range of terrain to access from alpine, playful or challenging tree runs, some with features such as pillows and drops.

From mid January to mid February is the ideal time of year to ride powder in the Myoko region. Myoko scores some of the biggest storms in Japan during January and early February so you never need to worry about lack of snow. Whilst it's an area that is already on the radar for many skiers and riders, it’s remained relatively quiet. On a powder day the trees will stay untouched for long enough to tire you out.

Other Tours

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 book another multi-day tour and start a new tour in a different destination the following day.

Itinerary

The itinerary may change to reflect the current situation in each destination. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary. Changes to the itinerary 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.

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Make your way to the meeting point at JoetsuMyoko Station by 3:00 PM where your guide will meet you. You will be transferred by bus to your hotel in Myoko. The drive takes about 30 minutes. After check in, you can settle into your room, unpack and set-up your equipment for the adventure ahead. At 6:00 PM, meet your guide in the hotel lobby for an information session. Your guide 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 guide for dinner at the hotel. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the other guests and your guide.

Day 2 to 6 – Myoko Storm Chasing

You'll spend 5 days riding Myoko and the surrounding resorts. The tour itinerary is kept 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. Drive times can range from 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on where the guide chooses to ride and the group's interest.

Each day will follow a similar format:

Mornings - The breakfast buffet is typically open from 6:30 am so 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. Each morning your guides will explain the weather and snow conditions for the day and advise the group where you’ll be riding.

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 which could include a visit to an onsen, sushi train, 7-Eleven or another local attraction before returning to the hotel.

Evenings - On return to the hotel, your guide will be on-hand to answer any questions and offer any assistance. You’ve got free time. Head to the onsen to relax, grab a beer at one of the apres spots, or explore the village. Each evening the group will have dinner at the hotel and share a few stories about the turns of the day.

Day 7 - Departure

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by departure at 9:45 am. 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 train station and say goodbye.

Accommodation & Meals

You will stay in a 200 year old onsen hotel, the Akakura Hotel Annex, for an authentic Japanese experience. It's a basic 2-star hotel, but you'll experience Japanese hospitality (omotenashi).

All guests stay in a single room with ensuite bathroom (1 guest per room - unless of course you elect to share with someone). The hotel is old school and the rooms are basic (as are most lodges and hotels in Myoko), yet it has everything that you need for a snow holiday. Amenities include a coin operated laundry and wifi.

The main feature of the hotel is that it has four different onsen and all are natural hot springs with water flowing directly from Mount Myoko. The hotel has the largest number of onsen in the Akakura Onsen district.

Meals included are 6 buffet breakfasts and 6 set-course dinners at the hotel during your stay. All meals are prepared with local ingredients where possible.


Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2024 Rates

USD 1,995

About rates:

  • base/invoice currency is USD
  • rates a per person in a private single/twin-share room
  • taxes included
Inclusions
  • 6 nights accommodation in a private single/twin/double ensuite room at a locally owned onsen hotel
  • 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 Joetsu-Myoko Station
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners
  • Cultural excursions – onsen, shrine, waterfalls, lake etc.
  • Fully-escorted tour, guide 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
  • 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.