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Itinerary

The Central Hokkaido Tour

Furano (Asahidake / Sahoro / Pipu / Tomamu / Kamui) - Tokyo
14 days
£4,525

RESORT & SIDE-COUNTRY / GUIDED & HOSTED for 9 days

Let's not overcomplicate matters; Hokkaido has the best powder snow in the world. Fact. The Central Hokkaido region is quieter than the Western Hokkaido region, where you'll find Niseko. Fact. And the snow here is drier, every bit as deep and the terrain more varied. Fact. Furano is an amazing ski resort it in its right and also enjoys easy access to numerous other ski mountains in the region. Yet another fact. So if you want to ski or ride the best powder and contend with no crowds competing for tracks, then the answer is to simply  base yourself in Furano and then head out each day, with a locally knowledgeable guide and small group of like-minded powder enthusiasts, to wherever the conditions are best. The perfect plan.

Therefore you’ll get to ski the amazing powder and sidecountry terrain of Furano, Asahidake, Tomamu, Kamui, Pippu, and Sahoro. Your comfy 4WD van simply heads out every morning to whichever ski resort is looking best on any given day. But you won't be staying on-piste - oh no...you're here for the deep stuff off the sides. Lift-accessed, but truly epic. Like heli-skiing...but without the need for heli. You'll need to be able to keep up, so advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders only, and together you'll get the most out of Central Hokkaido’s epic terrain. 

Based close to Kitanomine Village, just outside Furano, evenings will be spent with your guides and fellow travellers in the restaurants and bars of this authentically Japanese town.

You then say goodbye to the small group in Hokkaido Island and fly down to Tokyo, for a city-break en route home.  Two nights and a full day of exploration by yourselves (or yourself, if travelling solo). 

Central Hokkaido
 

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Depart from the UK flying directly to Japan on British Airways.
Day 2
Land in Tokyo Haneda and immediately transfer to a domestic flight to Hokkaido Island. When you arrive you are then booked on a ski shuttle coach service to take you through to the door of your hotel in Furano, Central Hokkaido. Here you are welcomed by your guide(s) and host, meet the rest of the group and settle in to your comfortable accommodation for the next 10 nights. This evening your lead guide will run you through the tour, appraise the probable weather conditions and answer any questions you may have. And then...to bed.
Days 3 - 5
The first ski day will involve a safety briefing and the issuing of any avi packs which need allocating. And then you head to the slopes - the first two days are usually spent on the resort on your doorstep, Furano. Find your ski legs again and enjoy the powder stashes only the locals know about. The third day will probably be an away day to Kamui Ski Links, up near Asahikawa. They have some great off-piste terrain out back and absolutely no crowds competing for tracks. On the way back from Kamui its probable that you'll stop for a soak in a secluded volcanic onsen. During the evenings you have the many restaurants and bars of Kitanomine village (turn left) and Furano town (turn right) within easy walking distance.
Day 6
If you want a rest day, then let this be it. There are plenty of cultural experiences to be had locally which will help you get more of a sense of Japan. However, if you are made of sterner stiff then its back to the slopes of Furano mountain for a free ski day. Your guides have already shown you where to go - now do it yourself!
Days 7 - 11
Five solid more days on slopes...and with many local ski mountains to tick off. Asahidake is, most definitely, for one day - the highest mountain in Hokkaido, with a single ropeway heading up one flank. So many routes back down, filled with glades, powder-filled ridges and chutes galore. Then on the other days you may head to Pippu (no crowds, plenty of trees, deep powder) or Tomamu (short hikes to the deep north-facing backside). They like to save the last day for Furano again...it certainly warrants more time. Of course, on the final night is a karaoke party - why wouldn't it be?!
Day 12
Say goodbye to the group and catch the door-to-door shuttle coach service back to Sapporo Chitose Airport. From here you fly back down to Tokyo and make your way in to your hotel in the Shinjuku 'entertainment' district. Late afternoon and evening at leisure.
Day 13
A full day at leisure in Tokyo - the word's most exciting city! Different Snow have produced comprehensive, pragmatic and sometimes irreverent 'How To...' guides to help you explore - full of practical advice, recommendations, sightseeing notes and tips.
Day 14
Make your way out to Tokyo Haneda on the direct Airport Limousine coach and fly directly home to the UK, whereby you arrive home the same day in the mid-afternoon.

Dates, Cost & Inclusions

 

DATES

26 Dec 2020 – 8 Jan 2021

5 – 18 Jan 2021

15 – 28 Jan 2021 

25 Jan – 7 Feb 2021

4 – 17 Feb 2021

14 – 27 Feb 2021 

24 Feb – 9 Mar 2021 

6 – 19 Mar 2021 

COST

£4,525 per person* / single supplement = £695

Note: an early booking discount is in place until 30th September - save £250 per person

*note that this cost may vary and this is usually down to the costs of the international flights. This is more likely over Christmas / New Year or other peak dates. We will confirm the price if you call us (or email) to check availability.

TOUR INCLUSIONS

International flights on British Airways.

Japan domestic flights on Japan Airlines.

Fully hosted whilst in Furano.

10 nights twin share accommodation at North Country Inn, Furano. Breakfast is included.

2 nights twin share accommodation in the Gracery Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo. Breakfast is included.

8 days worth of lift passes and guiding in the Central Hokkaido region.

1 rest day (option free ski or cultural experience day).

Welcome dinner at North Country Inn.

Farewell dinner in Furano town.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Rental ski or snowboard gear.

Avalanche gear rental.

 

Accommodation & Ability Requirements

 

ACCOMMODATION

North Country Inn, Furano.

Gracery Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo.

In Furano you will staying in the North Country Inn. Nothing fancy, but clean and perfectly comfortable with plenty of facilities - two restaurants, bar lounge with satellite TV, foreign exchange, WiFi throughout,  a communal laundry, and regular guest shuttle to the ski lifts. It has both traditional Japanese and Western-style rooms, all with en suite bathrooms. There is also an onsen style bath available.

In Tokyo you are staying in the Gracery Hotel, right in the heart of Shinjuku - amidst the neon madness. It is a fine hotel, large and with plenty of facilities in the most perfect location. But rooms can be small - this is Tokyo after all!

It is possible to upgrade the accommodation options in both instances - call us for a list of options and we'll get you a cost. 

SKI / SNOWBOARD ABILITY

6:1 Client to Guide ratio (i.e. two guides will accompany the group).

12 people max per tour (four person minimum).

Skill Level Required: Advanced in powder

Please make an honest assessment of your abilities whilst keeping fitness in mind as to not slow the group down.

You must be able to ski 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 as well as 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 / boot packing) to get to the goods. Skins or split-boards are not required but if the group has touring gear or wants to hire they will happily take you deeper into the backcountry.

What our customers say

4.5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

Highly recommend

We had no idea what to expect in Japan (or how we would get around), we couldn't have done it without the expertise and guide documents from Different Snow. Everything on the holiday ran very smoothly and we felt like we could call at any time if we had any questions.

Grace  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Every detail was taken care of

We love to travel and I love planning trips, but Japan was just a little bit out of my comfort zone. I appreciated Nick’s expertise and was willing to pay for it! It was worth every penny in my mind. We appreciated the “guides” and all the suggestions.

Meg  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Please visit our TrustPilot page to read the full reviews.

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