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%
Myoko Kogen Powder Packages
Tohoku Powder Tour Enquire
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2023.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,322

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 2023.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,322
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 13 - Jan 23, 2023
Days: 11
Price: USD 3,322
Availability: Filling
Fixed Date(s): Jan 25 - Feb 04, 2023
Days: 11
Price: USD 3,322
Availability: Sold Out
Fixed Date(s): Feb 06 - Feb 16, 2023
Days: 11
Price: USD 3,322
Availability: Filling
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, 2023
Min Days: From 7
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire
Enquire

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 (or ends) 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).

If you would like to book this trip or have any questions, you can make a booking request here.

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 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.
Note. Tour 1 & 3 direction of travel is to start in Zao Onsen and end in Aomori. Tour 2 direction of travel is to start in Aomori and end in Zao Onsen.

DAY 1 (arrival and check-in day)

Upon landing in Tokyo it is recommended you take the Shinkansen for a true Japanese travel experience up to the snowy city of Yamagata. There you will be welcomed by your guides and driven to Zao Onsen. Checking into the beautiful Meitoya-So Ryokan for your first two nights, you’ll have time for a relaxing onsen before you get to know your fellow tourers over dinner and drinks. Your guide will also will run you through the tour, current conditions and prevailing weather and answer any questions you may have. (NOTE: If you wish to organise rental ski/SB equipment it is advised that you try to arrive with enough time on the arrival day to be fitted – seek advice from your consultant)

DAY 2 (first snow day)

Zao boasts some 881 metres of vertical and 305 hectares of terrain giving it plenty of scope for some leg burning skiing. With few foreigners around you won’t have much competition as you head off-piste and into Japan’s famous powder. Expect some short chutes, gladded tree runs, some fun powder laps and a look and ski through Zao’s famous snow monsters. Apres is at the local Sake bar and then we head down to Yamagata for a traditional Kaiseki dinner and amazing Maiko performance.

DAY 3

If it’s not dumping in Zao then you’ll hit the road to one of the snowiest resorts in Tohoku, Geto Kogen! As we drive up the road to Geto and see snow banks towering over the van you’ll know you are in for a great day. Whilst it is relatively a small resort there are endless lines off the top lifts with plenty of terrain on offer and just yourselves to enjoy it as the locals stay stoically on piste. After skiing you may enjoy a onsen then drive up to Morioka city and settle in to your home for the next 5 nights.

DAY 4 – 7

The beauty of staying in the city of Morioka is not only will you be able to enjoy the nightlife of a Japanese city, but you will also be able to access multiple resorts, each affected by slightly different weather patterns. Every day your guide will be checking the forecast to see which resort has the best powder conditions. The guides will be able to choose from Appi Kogen, Hachimantai Shimokura, Tazawako, and Shizukushi. Each resort brings something different to your experience, with wide-open bowls, chutes, gladed trees, pillows and all-around fun-filled days. There are some great cultural sites and onsens on the way back to Morioka which we may stop at to soak the muscles ready for the next day's adventure. Each night your guides will take you out to sample the delicious local cuisine and hang at some cool bars.

DAY 8 (Morioka to Hakkoda) Transfer day

It’s time to say goodbye to the Morioka region and head north to Hakkoda. On our way we may detour to a fun ski area few know about, boasting epic tree lines and road drops off the back. Hakkoda is famous for the epic amounts of snow that blanket the mountain. The terrain is epic and one of our favourites in Japan. The powder is ridiculously deep and as it is further north, it is dryer too. For the next three nights we will be staying in the family run Hotel Azumashiya, a ryokan style guesthouse with lovely hosts, regenerative onsens, delicious food and the powder of Hakkoda and Aomori Springs a short drive away.

DAY 9 – 10 (Hakkoda and Aomori Springs)

Hakkoda like many Japanese resorts is pretty simple. One double chair down low for the beginners and one Ropeway (Cable Car) taking you right to the top. It was mainly built for sightseeing and hiking in summer but stories of epic pow, snow-monsters and endless terrain made it a mecca for powder hounds and backcountry skiers. Aomori Springs is little known but has some fun powder filled terrain. The lifted terrain off the back lift is Japanese tree skiing at its finest. If you have skins the terrain above it extends the fun even further! Each night in Azumashiya you will enjoy a variety of local cuisine.

DAY 11 (check-out and departure day)

All good things must come to an end. It’s time to check out and say goodbye to your new friends. After one last onsen you will check out by 10am and be transferred to either Shin-Aomori Station for your Shinkansen back Tokyo or to Aomori Airport for your flight home.


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/western 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 10 minutes walk 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

2023 Rates

  • 455,000 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
  • 6-10 people max per tour. 4 person minimum. Max 6 to 1 client to guide ratio.
Inclusions
  • 10 nights accommodation twin/triple share
  • 8 days guiding & fully hosted
  • Transfers between Yamagata station & Zao 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

Terms & Conditions of Whiteroom Tours

COVID-19 DEPOSIT AND CANCELLATION POLICY

(Updated 9 March 2022) We understand that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic you may have concerns about booking a trip to Japan. In response to the current situation Whiteroom will continue to offer flexible and fair booking options. Our goal is to provide you with maximum peace of mind when booking while also ensuring that we keep our wheels turning. In addition to what’s below, we want you to know that we are open to discussion and figuring out what works for all of us, as has always been the case. For all CURRENT bookings made previous to 1 MAR 2022 the following terms and conditions will apply once Japan’s borders open for inbound tourist travel with a compulsory quarantine period of 3 days or less both upon arrival into Japan and upon returning home. For all NEW bookings for the ’22-23 season the following terms and conditions will apply from 1 March 2022.

TOUR PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable to a future tour till August 31, 2022.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due by October 31, 2022. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your tour.

GUIDING AND INSTRUCTIONAL PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable till 60 days prior to the start date.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due 60 days prior to your start date. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your booking.

GENERAL TRAVEL PRODUCTS

  • DEPOSIT: A 20% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is fully transferable to a future booking till 60 days prior to the start date.
  • NOTE: other suppliers may request a higher deposit percentage or specific amount and these amounts may be non-refundable. Supplier terms and conditions will be outlined on your quote confirmation if they are stricter than our own.
  • FINAL PAYMENT: A non-refundable final balance will be due 60 days prior to your start date, or 5 days from booking confirmation if booking is within 60 days. Failure to make this payment will result in the cancellation of your booking

COVID-19 EXCLUSIVE POLICY

If a travel ban is in effect restricting travel to Japan or to and from your home country or if it is mandatory to quarantine either upon arrival into Japan or when returning to your home country for 4 or more days in either instance the following terms and conditions will apply unless third party supplier terms and conditions are stricter (you will be advised of this upon booking):

Up to 60 days prior to your start date:

  • 100% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 10% of the total booking (this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

30 – 59 days prior to your start date:

  • 50% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 50% of the total booking (10% this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

Less than 30 days prior your start date:

  • 25% of payments made are transferable to the following year.
  • Or you may also cancel and receive a refund less 75% of the total booking (10% this amount can be reclaimed in the form of a credit on a future booking)

Back-to-back cancellations:

  • If we are holding only a deposit and are forced to cancel your trip two seasons in a row, that amount will become entirely non-refundable and non-transferable.
  •  

RIGHTS RESERVED

We reserve the right to cancel trips at any time due to unsettling political, social or environmental events, in which case the same transfer/refund options we’re offering for COVID will apply. We additionally reserve the right to cancel due to inadequate client registrations, at which time we will offer a refund in full.

EXCLUSIONS

We cannot offer refunds for missed reservations, early departures, inclement weather/extreme avalanche danger, snow conditions, or force majeure events beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and are not responsible for additional expenses incurred in preparing for the trip (e.g. airline tickets, visa application fees, equipment purchases, etc).

RATE & PRICE VARIATION

All prices on this website are based on Japanese yen rates which are then converted to your chosen currency based on mid market rates. Whiteroom 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.

Final payment is required in the currency chosen at the time of booking confirmation. The total amount due 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 recalculate using the mid market 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 of quoting. Whiteroom Tours reserves the right to alter these prices at any time due to exchange rate fluctuations, rate change by a supplier or consultant 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.

By making a payment on a booking you agree to these terms and conditions as outlined on this page.

ITINERARY

The itinerary supplied with your final documents represents the products & services that will be supplied & supersedes any previous arrangements or understanding, whether written or oral.

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 based on the descriptions provided on the Skier/Rider Level tab on each tour page.

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.
¥5,000 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.
¥5,000 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.

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.

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 and 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

Your safety is Whiteroom’s number one priority. However skiing and snowboarding are sports that are hazardous and have inherent risks of injury and/or death. By travelling with Whiteroom you voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injury or death that may result from skiing or snowboarding. As such you agree to hereby release Whiteroom Tours and their employees and agents of any obligation to advise you in relation to the dangers obvious or not, inherent in the sport. You accept that you will participate in such sport(s) of your own free will and never at the direction of Whiteroom Tours and/or their employees and agents. You voluntarily take full responsibility for any damage or injury to myself or which you may cause to others.

JAPANESE ACCOMMODATION

Some Japanese properties may differ from those encountered in Western ski resorts. Whilst hospitality and service levels often surpass Western standards, rooms generally have less furniture & hanging/storage space. Ensuites are generally smaller and some are of a modular design. Some Japanese properties also allow smoking in common areas & some 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 bath houses 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 you will be required to read and sign our wavier before participation. Failure to do so will result in you not being able to accompany our guides on any activity.