Summary

Difficulty

Moderate

Starts

04 Feb 2019

Length

5 days

Price

237,000 yen

Accommodation & Meals

Included

Location

Not in Hakuba

Group Size

4 people

Our most popular tour

Get away from ski resort towns and foreign crowds to see Japan's real backcountry while staying at authentic Japanese inns.

What's it about?

The objective of this backcountry tour is to enjoy real Japanese hospitality, accommodation, and food in unique setting away from ski resorts. It isn't just about the backcountry skiing or snowboarding.

A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that serves genuine Japanese banquet style meals for breakfast and dinner and usually has a fantastic in-house onsen (volcanic hotspring bath). We might stay at one of two Ryokans during the tour, depending on conditions. Most are within 2 hours drive of Hakuba, and once there, we often ski to and from the door and seldom see other skiers. We will not ski any resorts or use any lifts on this tour.

The terrain will always include alpine and tree skiing, depending on conditions. Some venues require significant approach walks every day to access bigger runs.

Tour Difficulty

Moderate - Suitable for upper-intermediate skiers/riders and those with intermediate backcountry experience. Please read our skill and experience definitions before signing up for a tour.

Who does it suit?

Generally more mature-minded people. Adventerous and easy-going open minded travellers who are not fussy eaters (this tour really does not suit fussy eaters.)

Rescue Insurance, Cancellation and Ability

Comprehensive mountain rescue insurance is compulsory. For more important info on that topic, and our cancellation policy, please see below, or here.

Logistics

We meet in Hakuba on the evening before the first day and have dinner together. Accommodation is included for that night. The next morning, we'll relocate to our Ryokan and start backcountry skiing. We may change locations midway through the trip depending on conditions. On the afternoon of the last day, we'll return to Hakuba for a farewell dinner. Accommodation on this last night in Hakuba is also included.

Inclusions

  • 5 days of professional guiding with an ACMG qualified Ski Guide and a tail guide.
  • 6 nights of accommodation.
  • All meals.

Exclusions

  • Compulsary personal mountain rescue insurance (see below).
  • Transport before and after the tour. You have to get yourself to Hakuba.

Accommodation and Cuisine

Japanese Ryokan accommodation is traditionally in shared rooms, perhaps 2-4 people per room. Couples will always get their own room. Solo travellers will be grouped - we aim for two people per room. The bedding is futon mattresses rolled out on tatamti floors. If you prefer a private room and/or a western style bed, please discuss the [limited] options with us.

Japanese Ryokan accommodation includes set-menu banquet meals. They are very Japanese and to be honest, not so adaptable to strict dietary requirements. If you have serious allergies, please discuss this with us before booking. As for fussy eaters - you may not enjoy the food experience as much as the rest of us. Traditional Japanese cuisine is an important experience on this tour. Please consider this before booking.

Lunches

These are Japanese o-bento style and supplied by the Ryokan. However, some venues are unable to provide this service, in which case we will be responsible for our own lunch supplies.

Equipment

A detailed gear list will be provided after booking. In the meantime, please consider the following.

  • 3-antenna digital beacon, and a proper avalanche shovel and probe.
  • Touring skis or a splitboard. No snow shoes, sorry.
  • 30-40 liter backcountry-specific backpack capable of carrying your skis or snowboard. Smaller packs are too small, and that includes most rental packs.
  • Warm down or synthetic puffy jacket that can be worn over your shell jacket. A combination of lighter jacket and vest is also a good option.

On this tour you will be uncomfortable in heavy and bulky resort clothing. Most people signing up already own light backcountry layering. If not, please take this chance to buy some. 

Be honest about your abilities.

No refunds are given if you are unable to keep up with a tour due to fitness or backcountry experience below that required by the tour.

Please read our definitions of skier/boarder skill levels and backcountry experience.

Rescue Insurance is Compulsary.

All customers MUST have their own mountain rescue insurance which covers mountain helicopter rescue, hospitalization and repatriation to their home country. This is your responsibility. You will be required to provide proof of insurance before attending any tour.

Travel insurance seldom covers all of this. Even if your travel insurance has special cover for "off-piste" or "guided backcountry",  it probably does not cover helicopter rescue, or may require you to contact the insurer before calling a helicopter, which is not practical.

We will not arrange short-term local insurance on your behalf as it seldom covers non-Japanese residents. And becasue you have no chace to review the policy fineprint. And because in the event of a claim, you would have to read and write Japanese to correspond with the insurer.


Booking and Cancellation.

Availability is filled on a first-to-pay basis. To secure a booking you will need to pay in full in advance.

No refunds are provided for any cancellation after November 1st.

TRAVEL CANCELLATION INSURANCE AT THE TIME OF BOOKING IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Check with your credit card company if they provide this cover at the time of payment.