Overall Rating

Pow Pow Japan Tour

Pow Pow Japan Tour5/55
Pow Pow Japan Tour5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
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Price p/p From price based on 8-day sample itinerary, twin-share room (group of 6).
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,503

Cultural Ski & Snowboard Adventure

To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Self-Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Price p/p From price based on 8-day sample itinerary, twin-share room (group of 6).
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,503
Ski Japan's famous powder in conjunction with a rich cultural experience on this hosted tour. The tour is hosted by a local Japanese person who speaks fluent English; whilst the focus of the tours is primarily snow sports, you will experience the culture, food & festivities beyond the normal ski/snowboard adventure.
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Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Custom Booking Period: Jan 01 - Apr 15, 2024
Min Days: From 5
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire

Pow Pow Japan Tour

This 8 day sample itinerary is fully customisable from 5 nights to 14 nights for private groups of up to 9 between early January and mid April when a tour could be combined with cherry blossom season (subject to availability).

Your tour host (Mr Kobayashi) was born and raised in Niigata and has been skiing since he was 7 years old and is a qualified ski instructor. He is very passionate about skiing and has hit probably every possible run there is to offer in Tokomachi, Myoko and Itoigawa. He speaks good English and he has spent time working abroad and actively helps the English speaking community within the local city.

This tour offers far more than just skiing (although the main focus of the tour is still the skiing) as you will stay in authentic Japanese ryokans and inns, graze on authentic Japanese cuisine, & soak in therapeutic hot springs. By having a local Japanese host you will visit places that most tourists never get to go, as he will fill any communication gaps with local service providers for you. 

This is not a guided ski tour. Your host will transport you around, show you and/or steer you in the direction of the best places to eat and things to visit/see, and will manage all of your accommodations. You will have the autonomy to explore each ski area as you wish. There is however an option to upgrade to have an on-mountain ski guide if you wish.

Your private transportation will be in a Toyota Hi Ace 10-seater mini van with roof racks to carry your gear. 

Ski Areas VisitedWhilst this itinerary has some flexibility, it will primarily follow the path of the sample itinerary. The total number of nights and the number of nights at each location may vary and the resorts visited and daily activities can vary.

In essence, the resorts you would have access to from Arai would include the Myoko ski resorts of AkakuraSuginoharaIkenotaira Onsen and Seki Onsen, and Lotte Arai & Tangram/Madarao.

From Takada in Joetsu city you can hit Seki Onsen and from Itoigawa you can visit Charmant Hiuchi ski area (or there is also the option of Cupid Valley Ski Area which is a favourite for powder days or Seaside Valley ski area which is more suited to on-piste skiers & boarders). 

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is a sample of how a 7-night/8-day tour would operate however it is customisable and may also alter at the time subject to accessing the best weather & snow conditions.

Day 1 (Arrival Day)

Staff will pick you up from Joetsu-Myoko train station and take you to a beautiful ryokan in Arai where you will spend your first 4 nights. If any rental gear is needed, staff will help get you kitted out.

In the evening, your host will take you to a favorite local restaurant (this is where having a Japanese speaking host is very handy!!). Over dinner you will be able to meet with the staff and discuss options for skiing/boarding for the next few days. PowPow prides itself in tailoring its trips based on your groups ability, the likely snow conditions and weather forecast, as well as any interest you have in Japanese culture and events.

Day 2 & 3 (Ski Days)

After breakfast you will be driven to your ski area of choice (which could be one of the Myoko Kogen ski areas including Seki Onsen, Lotte Arai & Tangram/Madarao) by your host.

You will have the whole day to explore the ski area, have lunch at your own leisure, and in the afternoon your host will pick you up at the agreed time.

En-route back to the hotel, your host will take you to Takada city so you can enjoy dinner, drinks and karaoke.

Again your host will organise a restaurant for you (or you can do your own thing) and the following day's destination will be discussed & decided.

Day 4 (Snowmobile Tour)

In the morning we will head to Suginohara Ski area for a Snowmobile tour (this is optional and an additional cost to the prices shown). Here you will have lessons on how to ride a snowmobile, and then get to have a jaunt through a tree course.

After your snowmobile tour you will be free to explore the Suginohara ski area.

Day 5 (Cultural Day)

Your group will have the option to relax in Joetsu city for the day where you can go shopping and take part in cultural experiences such as calligraphy painting, kimono, or tea ceremony. Depending on the date of booking your host may be able to take you on a tour of a local sake brewery.

Day 6 (Travel to Itoigawa City & Ski/Board)

Today you will head from your hotel in Arai to Itoigawa city; the city of jade, sea and snow. The city is small with only 45,000 residents and is located right on the Sea of Japan coast and is famous for its jade which can be found on its beaches & its primary industry is fishing. Not much English is spoken in this town so having a Japanese host is a real benefit!!

After settling into your hotel in Itoigawa city (where you will stay for the next 2 nights) and renting gear if required, you will be driven to Charmant Hiuchi ski area (or Seaside Valley ski area which is more suited to on-piste skiers & boarders).

After skiing you will be able to explore Itoigawa city. While not as big as Takada, Itoigawa has many interesting bars and it is famous for is crab dishes and local sake!

Day 7 (Ski / Snowboard OR Road trip to Kanazawa)

Your last day could be spent as a full day hitting the snow at Charmant Hiuchi ski area (or one of the other nearby ski areas). Or your host can take you down south to Kanazawa city. Like a mini Kyoto, Kanazawa is a wonderful mesh of Japanese traditions, with deep history of samurai and ninja occupation, yet seamlessly intertwined with a modern bustling city.

Day 8 (Departure Day)

Your host will help you return any rented gear and take you to Itoigawa train station where you will head home or onwards to your next adventure.


Arai - Kawaratei

Come relax for the week in a 4.5 star Ryokan with personal transport to the slopes, local festivals and city center. Kawaratei is rated #1 by Japanese consumers. Removed from the oversaturated westernized areas of Myoko, located between the mountains and the city, you will be able to visit both while enjoying a truly Japanese experience. Kawaratei's two onsens are some of the best in Japan.

Kawaratei Ryokan

Japanese tatami rooms

Traditional Japanese cuisine

Both are believed to hold high healing properties, improving skin condition as well as helping internal blood circulation. So it’s a great place to soak after a hard day in the snow. After an onsen, you can then unwind under the hands of a professional masseuse or party it up in the onsite Karaoke room.

Kawaratei provides Japanese style tatami rooms, all with ensuite and equipped with TV, fridge and free WiFi. With PowPow Japan you will be able to stay here for a significantly discounted price than if reserved elsewhere.

Kawaratei Ryokan lobby

Outdoor onsen at Kawaratei

Relaxing sauna

2024 Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons


Group Size  Price (JPY)
 4 258,440
 5 250,770
 6 227,760
 7 220,090
 8 212,420
 9 204,750
  • base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
  • displayed prices are per person twin-share rooms
  • based on 8-day sample itinerary (request a quote for your specific requirements)
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 days lift tickets for each person
  • Hosting & interpreting
  • Transport to/from ski areas & cultural activities each day
  • Transport to/from train station
  • Ski & snowboard rentals - JPY 5,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Backcountry guiding (full day) - JPY 18,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Sidecountry guide (half day) - JPY 12,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Sidecountry guide (full day) - JPY 15,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Tea ceremony - JPY 2000 yen p.p.plus tax
  • Ski park guide (half day) - JPY 12,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Calligraphy experience -JPY2,000yen p.p.plus tax
  • Kimono experience - JPY 5,000 p.p. plus tax
  • Sushi making experience -- JPY 5,000p.p.plus tax
  • Knife making workshop - JPY 25,000
  • Snowmobile tour (5km course - 30 mins) - JPY 8,000 p.p. plus tax
Not Included

Terms & Conditions

Booking Process

  • 25% deposit is required to secure the booking (bookings are held for 10 days once quotes have been issued)
  • balance is due 60 days from the travel date. (If a customer fails to pay the balance by the due date and cannot provide reason and reassurance of full payment being made in the near future, they will forfeit their deposit and the booking will be cancelled)

Payment methods

Payments can be made using Paypal which includes credit card payments accepted by PayPal.

Cancellation by customer

Greater than 90 days from travel date = loss of deposit 
60 to 90 days = 50% of total trip cost
30 to 60 days = 75% of total trip cost
less than 30 days = 100% of the trip cist

It is highly recommended that you get travel insurance to cover you for loss incurred in case of cancellation.

Cancellation by Pow Pow Japan

As Kobayashi is the only main operator for our tours, in the event of an injury that prevents him from working; or a family death during the time of a booking: If it past a time he cannot recover costs from hotels and other reservations he will a provide an 80% refund of deposit. If he can recover costs, they will receive a full refund of the full amount of the deposit.