Make an enquiry
Itinerary

The Inter-Islander Tour

Furano - Otaru - Kuroishi (Hakkoda Ropeway) - Morioka - Tokyo
17 days
£6,198

RESORT & SIDE-COUNTRY / GUIDED & HOSTED (for 11 days) 

This is - in our most humble opinion - the perfect small group ski /cultural tour. That's because, having accumulated many years of skiing all over Japan, we think it combines the three best ski regions of Japan - Central Hokkaido, the coast of Western Hokkaido and the combined Tohoku prefectures on northern Honshu Island.

To be honest this is an itinerary we often try, and fail, to put together for our tailor-made clients. The logistics are too complicated in these remote regions and we simply can't expect our clients to self-guide their way from point A to point C, via point B.  It would never work, if travelling without the help of a guide and the shared-logistics of a small group. Bolstered by the organisation of our local partners and guided on the mountains by experienced ski guides - then it all works.

You begin by spending five nights in Furano, in the heart of Central Hokkaido. You’ll have the opportunity of skiing or riding on Hokkaido’s highest peak Asahidake, as well as exploring the slack-country of Furano, Kamui, Tomamu, Sahoro and Pippu.

You then head south to the pleasant coastal city of Otaru, for two nights and two days in the deepest snow you'll ever be fortunate enough to experience, at either of the nearby resorts of Kiroro, Kokusai or Teine. The added attraction of staying in Otaru are the old European canals, a nearby whisky distillery and some of the best fresh seafood in all Japan - the snow crab is amazing!

After your stay on Hokkaido it's the  time to make your way down to the port of Hakodate, to once again explore the seafood markets and quaint European style buildings, before catching the ferry across the Tsugaru Strait to Aomori, the northernmost city of the main island of Honshu. You are now in Tohoku, an untapped remote region in Japan renowned for its untracked powder! You spend two nights just below the epic Hakkoda mountain (the best skiing in Japan? Quite possibly) and then transfer for your last four nights in the lively Morioka. Using this small city as you base you head out to any of the five resorts in the region;, Appi Kogen, Shizukuishi, Hachimantai, Tazawako, and Geto Kogen. At night your guides will take you out for delicious local food and the quirky, provincial nightlife of Morioka.

Finally, a direct shinkansen whisks you back to Tokyo - an experience in itself, as the bullet-train reaches its top speeds on this sections of track - in no time at all, for a couple of days in the capital by yourselves before flying directly home to the UK. 

The Inter-Islander Tour
 

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Fly directly from the UK to Tokyo on British Airways.
Day 2
Transfer through Tokyo Haneda and fly north to Hokkaido Island. You then have a shuttle coach transfer booked to take you on to Kitanomine Village in Furano, where you check in to your hotel and meet the rest of the group and your guides. An evening to relax and socialise - finding out about the local conditions and asking any questions you may have.
Days 3-6
Skiing in the Central Hokkaido region, using Furano as your base for these four days on the slopes. You will no doubt ski Asahidake, Tomamu and perhaps Kamui , Pippu or Sahoro. But Furano itself will inevitably feature for at least one day, of course.
Day 7
Road trip south-west to Otaru on the Western coast of Hokkaido. You may have time for an afternoon on the slopes in Teine, which is close to Sapporo City. Settle in to your hotel in the centre of this pleasant coastal town / city.
Day 8
A full day's skiing in one of the nearby resorts...of which Kiroro would be the pick of the bunch if conditions allow. Kiroro is famous for it's average snow fall of 20-metres per annum (!) and amazing tree skiing - your guide will take you through the new backcountry gates where a snowy Shangri-La awaits. A second evening in Otaru, a very pleasant and pretty canal-centred city.
Day 9
A travel day, with no skiing. Head down to Hakodate and you have some time free to explore this fascinating and seldom-visited city. You then catch the inter-islander ferry across to Honshu Island and head to Kuroishi, a small village at the foot of Hakkoda Mountain. Enjoy dinner in the hotel - traditional Japanese hospitality in a rural setting.
Day 10
A full day's skiing on Hakkoda mountain - one of the most magnificent ski mountains in all Japan. One single cable car takes you to the summit and then there are countless routes down - all left gloriously un-pisted. And because you have your own vehicle, wherever you drop out on the circular road its an easy transfer back to the base station and up you head again. After an amazing day's skiing, back to the Japanese inn for onsen and then dinner (included).
Day 11
Continue south to the buzzing provincial city of Morioka, your base for the next four nights. You may get some more skiing in on this day also - if not, spend the afternoon exploring your local surroundings.
Days 12 - 14
Using Morioka as your base, for three full days you explore to the little-known and rarely-visited ski resorts in Northern Tohuku - Geto Onsen, Appi Kogen, Hachimantai, Tazawako and Shizukuishi are all options. Where you end up depends on where the best snow is, though one thing you can know for certain - no crowds and fresh tracks.
Day 15
You say goodbye to the group and your guide will drop you off at Morioka Station. From here you have a bullet-train booked to take you half the length of Honshu Island all the way down to Tokyo. The journey takes only three-hours as the shinkansen reaches its fastest speeds on these stretches of track. Check in to your hotel in the Shinjuku district and the afternoon and evening is free for your to explore and enjoy the excitement of the capital.
Day 16
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 17
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

8 – 22 Jan 2021 

23 Jan – 6 Feb 2021 

7 – 21 Feb 2021 

22 Feb – 8 Mar 2021 

COST

£6,198 per person* / single supplement = £798

Note: an early booking discount is in place until 30th September - save £300 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.

Domestic flight in Japan on Japan Airlines.

Fully guided & hosted for 13 days.

11 days of passes and ski guiding in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region.

Coach transfer from Chitose Airport to Furano.

All local transport on Hokkaido Island in the Tohoku Region of Honshu.

Ferry from Hokkaido Island to Honshu Island.

Private transfers to Morioka Station on the final day of the small group tour.

Shinkansen (bullet-train) from Morioka to Tokyo.

5 nights twin share in Furano at North Country Inn. Breakfast is included.

2 nights accommodation in Otaru at Grand Park Hotel. Breakfast is included.

2 nights accommodation in Kuroishi (Hakkoda Rope Way) at Hotel Azumashiya. Both breakfast and dinner are included.

4 nights accommodation in Grand Hotel Annex in Morioka. Breakfast is included.

2 nights at the Keio Plaza in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Breakfast is included.

Welcome & farewell dinner parties.

Onsen (hotspring) tour.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Rental equipment.

Avalanche gear rental.

 

 

Accommodation & Additional Information

 

ACCOMMODATION

North Country Inn in Furano.

Grand Park Hotel in Otaru.

Hotel Azumashiya in Kuroishi.

Grand Hotel Annex in Morioka. 

Keio Plaza in Shinjuku, Tokyo. 

 

SKI / SNOWBOARD ABILITY REQUIREMENTS

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

12 people max per tour (four person minimum).

Skill Level: advanced / expert in powder

You must have a good level of fitness and you must be able to ski the whole mountain with confidence and at a reasonable speed in powder, through trees and in variable conditions.

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 / bootpacking) 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'

Would recommend Different Snow to everyone

Different Snow organised a tailor made holiday for my wife and I, visiting the snow monkeys, a ride on the bullet train, a short stay in Tokyo and 10 days skiing in Hakuba / Arai, both amazing resorts and plenty of snow. Excellent hotels, all transfers etc and even arranged last minute changes to our itinerary at our request that were dealt with happily and efficiently, nothing was too much trouble for them.

Trevor  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Different Snow - Different Class!

Late last summer we decided on a family ski trip to Japan. It was late notice really but we thought it worth a try. Different Snow somehow managed to put together a great holiday. DS organised all transfers, and provided a brilliant itinerary. We would thoroughly recommend them.

Stuart  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Please visit our TrustPilot page to read the full reviews.

Begin your journey
How to book

It's pretty straight forward. You simply need to take the first step by getting in contact with us...

Contact

Give us a call, or fill in the enquiry form, or send us an email. We’ll listen, give advice and make suggestions.

Itinerary

We create a tailor-made itinerary proposal and email this to you. Together, we then refine it until it is just as you want.

Deposit

A 20% deposit secures the booking. The balance payment is not due until 10 weeks before departure.

Travel Pack

We post out your comprehensive travel pack, which also includes all our local contacts and our invaluable ‘How To…’ guides.