Overall Rating

Tohoku Powder Tour

Tohoku Powder Tour4.5/51
Tohoku Powder Tour4.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Central Powder Odyssey Tour, Gunma & Aizu areas
Tohoku Powder Tour Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2022.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,141

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding

Deposit must be paid by promotion close date to qualify for discount. See T&Cs re Covid 19 policy
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2022.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,141
Tohoku skiing & snowboarding is all about heading to ski resorts that most people have never heard of, where there are freshies galore in the off-piste areas. Head to Geto Kogen, ski areas near Morioka & the mighty Hakkoda.
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): Jan 24 - Feb 03, 2022
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,141
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 05 - Feb 15, 2022
Days: 11
Price: USD 4,141
Availability: Sold Out
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 15 - Mar 15, 2022
Min Days: From 7
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire
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Tohoku Powder Tour

This tour of northern Tohoku (the northern most part of Honshu, the main island of Japan) is designed for those seeking something unique with that perfect twist of adventure. The Tohoku Powder Tour is a road trip where you'll get to enjoy a part of Japan that few get to see. This tour typically sells out very quickly!

On this Tohoku Powder Tour, you can experience the real Japan and satisfy your appetite for riding fresh powder. The tour starts in the Yamagata region where you'll stay in the beautiful Metoiya-So Ryokan, nestled below one of the most beautiful resorts in the Tohoku region, Zao Onsen. Many skiers travel here seeking out its therapeutic onsens, or to see its famous snow monsters, and you will also seek out its epic pow. Here you will explore the resort and slack-country by day and wander the streets at night, dropping into a local brewery and sake bar. After your first days skiing, your guides will take you to Yamagata town where you’ll be treated to amazing kaiseki dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant, complete with a private Maiko performance.

The city of Morioka is another base, which provides a good range of restaurants and izakayas, and access to Iwate ski areas such as Appi Kogen, Shizukuishi, Geto Kogen, Hachimantai and Tazawako in Akita. The Tohoku Powder Tour also heads to the famed Hakkoda in Aomori where you can play in the backcountry and save some energy by doing road drops, and the deserted powder of Aomori Spring Resort.

As a solo traveller or small group, you can join one of the group scheduled date tours. Or if you have your own posse you can make an enquiry regarding a customised private tour (pending guide availability).

Why Tohoku?

So you’ve skied or snowboarded at Niseko, Hakuba and some of the other Nagano ski resorts, and you’re now looking to get away from the many gaijin (foreigners), all those people speaking English, and the crowds in general? If you’re a powder hound who wants to get off the beaten track of international skiers and snowboarders, where there is very little English spoken and cultural immersion (and onsen immersion) is at an all time high, and there are abundant freshies that are easily accessible, Tohoku skiing or snowboarding is for you! 

What is common to many of the Tohoku ski resorts is that there are very few westerners (if any at all) and no-one riding off-piste, so there are fresh powder lines galore. And some of the Tohoku ski areas are so deserted mid-week that it almost feels like your own private ski resort! Much of the Tohoku skiing and snowboarding is at resorts that are small, have minimal advanced piste terrain, and only have enough off-piste terrain variety for one day of riding, but when you have a van, a guide and a driver, you can sample lots of different resorts.

You'll spend 2 nights at Zao Onsen, 5 nights in the city of Morioka, and 3 nights in Kuroishi near Hakkoda. Here's a small sample of Tohoku ski areas potentially covered on this tour:
  • Hakkoda is a legendary snowy ski area with plenty of backcountry opportunities.
  • Geto Kogen receives insane amounts of powder– it’s a snow magnet. Geto has great well spaced trees off a series of ridges.
  • Shizukuishi is very typical of a Tohoku ski resort: smallish, secret tree skiing, and a nice onsen.
  • Hachimantai Shimokura is small and has great side-country if you can appear invisible.
  • Appi Kogen is an upscale resort known for its highly manicured runs and great side country.
  • Tazawako (in the Akita Prefecture) is one of our favourite Japanese powder skiing spots. Tazawako Japan is definitely off the beaten track, you won’t have to beat off many other feisty powder hounds to get to the freshies. Tazawako is a spot where you can get cultural immersion as well as powder submersion!

Ability Level

The ability level for this tour is advanced (in powder) and above. You must be able to ski/ride the whole mountain with confidence and at a reasonable speed in powder, through trees and in variable conditions. You must have a good level of fitness. Snowboarders in this level are able to keep speed in flat sections by planning ahead and can hold a solid traverse line and be able to hop up and manoeuvre in a way as to not slow down the group.

Groups are split up into ski/board/ability levels and some groups we will be doing some hiking (traversing/bootpacking) to get to the goods. Skins or split-boards are not required but if the group has touring gear or wants to rent, the guides will happily take you deeper into the backcountry.


Great guides..

...traditional dinners...

...lovely powder.

Itinerary

The general aim is to feast on powder during the day and then feast on amazing Japanese fare at night.

Day 1

From Tokyo you’ll be whisked away at 300km/hr on a Shinkansen train up to the snowy city of Yamagata (advice will be provided regarding this). From there you will be met by your guide and driven to the beautiful Metoiya-So Ryokan for your first two nights nestled below one of the snowiest resorts in the Tohoku region, Zao Onsen. Wander the streets and maybe drop into a local brewery and sake bar.

Day 2

Ski or ride Zao Onsen. In the evening your guide will take you to Yamagata town where you’ll be treated to an amazing kaiseki dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant, complete with a private Maiko performance.

Day 3 

Depending on conditions, you'll ski again at Zao or head north to the Iwate region where you'll check into a hotel in Morioka city.

Day 4-7

Staying in Morioka, your guides will be able to pick and choose the best conditions from a variety of resorts such as Appi Kogen, Hachimantai, Shizukushi and Tazawako. Each resort offers loads of that famous Japanese powder you’ve come for, with hardly any foreigners apart from yourselves. After a day spent deep in the whiteroom you’ll return back to the city for a night of delicious local food at one of the many restaurants and bars in walking distance.

Day 8-10

For your last three nights you’ll travel up to a region in Aomori where you will explore Aomori Spring resort and also ascend to the peaks of Hakkoda to explore the limitless backcountry possibilities and dodge the snow-monsters! With two guides, two vans and a road that rings the mountains that make up Hakkoda Ski Resort, you'll have the option of going wide and blasting fresh deep pow down the 654 meters of vertical to the road before pressing repeat! Expect to see very few foreigners, enjoy epic amounts of powder, relax in 1,900-year-old onsens, and be blown away by unique cultural experiences and of-course amazing food.

Day 11

Sadly it's time to depart for home or you next Japow adventure. The guides will drop you at either Aomori train station or the Aomori Airport.


Lots of powder

...more powder...

...off-piste powder.

Lodging

Meitoya So Ryokan

Meitoya So Ryokan (Takamiya Ryokan) is a historic ryokan that's been lovingly restored and has large Japanese tatami rooms and Japanese/westrn combo rooms. This traditional ryokan is a highlight of the trip, especially the onsen baths and the delicious local food and inviting communal spaces.

Hotel Grand Annex Morioka

Located right in the centre of town 1 minute from the train station. This hotel is the perfect base in which to explore the city of Morioka as well as having easy access to the surrounding ski areas. You’ll love being in the centre of town with all the great restaurants and bars within walking distance. Each room is comfortably appointed with twin western beds and all that you’d expect from a 4 star hotel.

Azumashiya Ryokan

This lovely accommodation in the Aomori Prefecture is run by a friendly and welcoming family. You’ll feel right at home at this hotel overlooking the river and onsen town of Kuroishi. This spot has been chosen for not only the great food and lovely hosts, but also its perfect location between Hakkoda and Aomori Springs ski resorts. It boasts a large outdoor onsen, relaxing lounge space, and large Japanese ensuited rooms with optional western bedding.

Rates, Inclusions & Add-Ons

2022 Rates

  • 440,000 yen
  • base/invoice currency is Japanese yen inc tax - convert to your currency here
  • prices are based on twin/triple share room
  • Please enquire for a quote for a customised private tour
  • 12 people max per tour. 4 person minimum. 6 to 1 client to guide ratio.
Inclusions
  • 10 nights accommodation twin/triple share
  • 8 days guiding & hosting at various ski resorts
  • Transfers from Yamagata station to Sao Onsen, transfer to Aomori train station or Aomori Airport
  • 8 days of lift tickets
  • 5 dinners showcasing the areas delicious food including a welcome Kaseki dinner party with Maiko performance
  • Daily breakfast
  • Onsen (hot spring) tour
  • Daily van transport to ski areas
Add-ons
  • Avalanche safety equipment 14,500 yen for 9 days
  • Single share accommodation 7500 yen per night
  • Tokyo stopover, Kyoto stopover
Not Included

COVID-19 Deposit and Cancellation Policy

In response to the current situation the following deposit and cancellation terms and conditions will apply:

MULTI-DAY TOURS

  • Free cancellation of all Whiteroom tours for any reason applies until official notice is given by the Japanese government that Japan’s borders will open for tourist travellers. This means all deposits or payments made will be fully refundable until we have received this notice and once we do we will contact you and give you the option to either receive a refund or travel with us to Japan. No professional fees will be applied. Note this does not apply to deposits paid to other third-party suppliers who may have non-refundable deposits or other stricter T+C’s.
  • DEPOSITS are required to secure your spot on a tour.
  • FINAL PAYMENTS – Whiteroom Tours will not be requesting any final payments unless it is known that borders are opening. If a third-party supplier has other policies in place regarding deposits we will advise you of this before any payments are made.
    • Whiteroom will only request final payment once we can confirm that Japan’s borders have opened. If they have not opened prior to 30 days before the tour start date we will cancel the tour and you will receive a full refund. We will be in touch regarding any change.
    • From 29 days prior to your check-in or tour start date if travel bans are put in place at the last minute due to COVID 20% of total booking value will be forfeited and 80% applied to any tour booking made within the next two seasons.
    • Please note that Whiteroom Tours reserve the right merged or cancel tours if they don’t meet minimum numbers up to 30 days prior to the tour start date, and may also cancel or amend tours or start dates due to guide availability. All clients will be given an option to join a similar tour or a different tour start date or be given a full refund.
    • WRTs advise that all tour clients do not book flights or if they must please book changeable/low fee fares. We will not be responsible for any change fees due to changed tour start/end dates.

DAY GUIDING PRODUCTS

  • Free cancellation of all Whiteroom guiding and associated Whiteroom products for any reason applies until official notice is given by the Japanese government that Japan’s borders will open for tourist travellers. This means all deposits or payments made will be fully refundable until we have received this notice and once we do we will contact you and give you the option to either receive a refund or travel with us to Japan. No professional fees will be applied. Note this does not apply to deposits paid to other third-party suppliers who may have non-refundable deposits or other stricter T+C’s.
  • A 20% deposit is required to secure your booking.
  • FINAL PAYMENTS – Final payment is due 30 days prior to your start date or 5 days from booking if less than 30 days. NOTE:
    • Whiteroom will only request final payment once we can confirm that Japan’s borders have opened. If they have not opened prior to 30 days before the start date we will cancel the guided or instructional booking and you will receive a full refund. We will be in touch regarding any change.
    • From 29 days prior to your start date if border closures are put in place at the last minute due to COVID 100% of total payments made will be applied to any guiding or instructional booking within the next two seasons.
    • Please note that we reserve the right to cancel any guided or instructional days or start dates due to availability. All clients will be given an option to move to another date or be given a full refund.
    • If borders are open for travel, normal terms and conditions apply (see below).

Whiteroom Tours Terms & Conditions

Rate & Price Variation:

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right until final payment has been received in full, to vary prices and rates in the event of changes in currency exchange or price increases made by our suppliers or airlines. The total shown on this statement is based in Japanese Yen for the land package, with the indicative AUD, USD, GBP, CAD, NZD, EURO currency amount based on the exchange rate at the time of quotation/booking. Final payment is required in the currency you confirmed the booking in and cannot be changed after a deposit payment. The final due amount will be calculated using the exchange rate on that day. This means that any increase or decrease in the exchange rate will affect the total of your package and final due amount of your package. Whiteroom Tours is not liable for any price increases. Only payment in full will lock in the exchange rate. If you plan to make the full payment at the time of booking or before the final due date you must notify your consultant who will re-calculate using the inter-bank exchange rate on that day.
If your booking has increased in price due to an exchange rate fluctuation and you do not pay the increased price your booking will be subject to cancellation. Please note that cancellation charges will apply. All prices are subject to availability & can be withdrawn or varied without notice. Airline taxes remain subject to change at all times until payment has been received in full and your tickets have been issued.

Quotations and Validity:

All prices quoted are valid at time of quote. All quotes are subject to confirmation of the components at time of booking. All components of your quote are subject to availability at time of booking request. The prices listed are based on the costs and exchange rate at the time or printing or creation of the quote. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to alter these prices at any time due to exchange rate fluctuations, rate change by a supplier or error.

Bookings:

When you have advised Whiteroom Tours that you wish to go ahead with a booking we will then seek confirmation from our suppliers. If there is no availability for some/all of your components we will advise you of this & offer an alternative where possible. The alternative product offered may be a different price. Prices will be adjusted accordingly.

Deposit:

By making a payment on a booking you agree to Whiteroom Tours booking conditions.
A deposit of 20% of the total booking value is required for all bookings. Some properties may require an additional deposit to secure the booking as outlined on your quote or advised by your consultant. All deposits are non-refundable once received. Whiteroom Tours will/may/might forward deposits to suppliers to secure accommodation & or services. Payment of deposit acknowledges acceptance of all booking conditions.

Final Payment:

Is due no later than 70 days prior to departure, or 5 days from booking confirmation if booking is within 70 days. Should airlines impose ticketing time limits, fare withdrawal, fare or tax increase, full payment of fare & taxes may be required before this time. Failure by the client to pay the outstanding balance by the due date may cause the auto-cancellation of the booking whereupon the deposit paid by the client shall be forfeited. Final documents will not be released until the booking is paid in full. Late payment fees may be incurred on your booking.

Payment Options:

By making a payment on a booking you agree to Whiteroom Tours booking conditions. Direct deposit: check with your consultant to confirm which currencies you can receive your invoice in.

Credit Card

Credit card payments are made through our online Stripe/Xero invoice portal and are available in all major currencies. Please notify your consultant your intention to pay by credit card and your preferred currency. Australian VISA, Mastercard and AMEX attract a 1.8% surcharge. International VISA, Mastercard & AMEX attract 3% surcharge. International Japanese Yen payment by VISA, Mastercard & AMEX attract 4% surcharge.

Payments from overseas

If you choose to pay directly into our AUD or JPY account from an overseas institution you are required to cover any applicable fees. This is usually a fee on your end and a $15 or ¥3,000 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.

Cancellations by the traveller:

Any cancellations must be received in writing. Minimum fees are:

  • Up to 70 days prior to departure – full deposit will be forfeited.
  • Between 30 and 69 days of departure – 50% of total paid will apply.
  • Within 30 days of departure – 100% of total paid will apply.
  • Supplier cancellation fees will also apply if applicable.
  • Whiteroom Tours cannot be held responsible for snow conditions. Holidays 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 Whiteroom Tours if you are involuntarily forced to leave a tour for any reason. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals, service or any component of the tour not utilised. Please note these conditions apply to Whiteroom Tour land content only.

Cancellations by Whiteroom Tours:

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour before it is confirmed to run. A tour is confirmed to run once it has reached the minimum participants required as defined by Whiteroom Tours. This applies to all tours. Whiteroom 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 receiving a full refund. Whiteroom 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.

Tours & Ability:

Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to remove a client from any tour if he or she is of an ability not suited to that tour. No refund will be due for any unused portion of the tour. The client takes full responsibility for the self-categorisation of their ability.

Professional fees:

Whiteroom Tours charges the following non-refundable fees. These professional fees are in addition to any fees which may be charged by airlines, accommodation providers, transfer suppliers or any other supplier.
¥3,000 Booking Amendment: charged per amendment once a booking has been confirmed.
¥20,000 Booking amendment inside 14 days: charged per amendment for changes inside 14 days of departure. ¥3,000 Late payment: charged per week for any final payments not received by the due date.


Responsibility:

Whiteroom Tours acts only as an agent for the companies (Principals) providing or offering the means of travel, accommodation and other services and as such has no control over any services or products provided by these Principals. All bookings made are subject to the booking terms and conditions under which these services are provided. The Company and its Principals reserve the right, without liability or right of compensation, to prohibit or restrict any activity, or cancel or alter any service or itinerary component, without notice. Whiteroom Tours will not be held responsible for the inability of the Principals to comply with any special request relating to age, medical conditions, physical ability or disability, dietary requirements, allergic conditions, smoking or non-smoking accommodation.

Travel Insurance:

Whiteroom recommends purchasing travel insurance when you pay your deposit as that way you may be covered for accidents that prevent you from travelling as well as for your holiday.

Transfers:

Any transfers missed or not utilised by the client are non refundable. The cancellation policy of each service provider will determine whether a missed transfer can be moved to an alternate time/date. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to amend departure times & service providers at our discretion. You will be notified by Whiteroom Tours should this occur.

Lift Passes:

Any lift passes not utilised for any reason by the client on any of our tours are non refundable.

Airfares:

Can be purchased through Whiteroom Tours as part of your travel package. The conditions for the purchase of the airfare will be dependent on the airline & airfare that you are booked on and will be advised to you by Whiteroom Tours at time of quotation and confirmation. All fares quoted remain subject to availability at time of booking. Price may vary until fully paid and ticketed.

Privacy:

Whiteroom Tours collects information about you in order to book components of your travel package. You authorise Whiteroom Tours to provide this information to suppliers who require this information before they will provide products or services to you.

Security bond & passport details:

Your credit card details may be required as a security bond on the potential cost of property damage &/or expenses incurred. Japanese law requires that accommodation providers take a copy or make notes of your passport details. By signing this form you agree to provide a copy of your credit card if requested and supply your passport details if required.

Booking form:

A booking form is required for each passenger booked to travel. For group bookings, it is the responsibility of the person whose name holds the booking, to ensure that each member of their group is aware of the booking conditions and completes and returns a booking form. Booking forms are required at the time of booking deposit or flight reservation. The information provided on your booking form is essential for your booking details and travel arrangements. This information is required for your booking to proceed. Whiteroom Tours will not book any component of your travel package without receiving a signed booking form from you.

Refunds:

If you are eligible for a refund once a booking has been cancelled, the balance less any non-refundable amounts & cancellation fees will be forwarded to you upon receipt of the refund from the supplier or airline. Whilst Whiteroom Tours will endeavour to get your money to you as soon as possible, some refunds can take up to 12 weeks to process.

Liability:

I acknowledge & understand that skiing & snowboarding are sports that are hazardous and have inherent risks of injury &/or death. I voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injury or death that may result to me from skiing or snowboarding. I hereby release Whiteroom Tours & their employees & agents of any obligation to advise me in relation to the dangers obvious or not, inherent in the sport. I accept that I will participate in such sport(s) of my own free will & never at the direction of Whiteroom Tours &/or their employees and agents. I voluntarily take full responsibility for any damage or injury to myself or which I may cause to others.

Japanese accommodation:

Some Japanese properties may differ from those encountered in Western ski resorts. Whilst hospitality & service levels often surpass Western standards, rooms generally have less furniture & hanging/storage space. Ensuites are generally smaller & are of a modular design. Some Japanese properties also allow smoking in common areas & guest rooms. Traditional Hotels or Ryokans often have rooms with Tatami Matt flooring and futon beds. Some rooms will not have ensuites and instead will have shared bathing in segregated bathrooms or onsens. We will inform you of these cultural differences and you may be pleasantly surprised by how easily you can adjust to the Japanese way of life. If not please request a western style accommodation.

Waiver:

If you are participating in a Whiteroom Tour or are being guided by Whiteroom Guides you will need to read and sign our wavier and send this back to us before participation. Failure to do so will result in you not being able to accompany our guides on any activity.