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Our Story

the Japan ski specialists

That's all we do. Because nowhere else on this planet matches Japan for its powder snow, which falls abundantly and dependently in the most enthralling and unique country you will ever visit. Therefore, we believe a ski holiday can and should be more than just that - it is Japan itself that is the star of the show.

'Coming Of Age' Day in Tokyo
'Coming Of Age' Day in Tokyo

After years of skiing in the same old European ski resorts our perpetually inquisitive minds faced a conundrum: how could we continue to quench this thirst for snow without offending our adventurous spirit? So we headed East, Japan was embraced and Different Snow was born.

Japan should never be merely an appendage to a worldwide ski programme, as is the case with most other ski tour operators;

"we sell Europe & North let's do Japan as well! Someone get on a plane and head for Niseko, and perhaps also another ski resort if you've got time (are there any other ski resorts in Japan?). Let's get it on our website as quickly as we can"

Unfortunately for them, it's just not that easy. To operate successfully and offer real choices you need to really know and understand Japan. Which takes time. And we've lived there, we've worked there for years at a time, and we spend a great amount of time in Japan each and every ski season. Japan is a country which dances to its own (taiko) drumbeat and here at Different Snow we have the knowledge, the relationships, the experience and the know-how to help you get the most from your available time and money.

Suffice to say, no-one else in knows Japan and its ski resorts as well as we do and you need us.

We've skied in every ski resort we feature (and many others which didn't quite make the cut). Indeed, each and every year you'll find us back in Japan; researching new opportunities, servicing our relationships and making new connections, negotiating and contracting to secure the best value for our guests, and...well, just skiing an awful lot across both Hokkaido and Honshu islands.

We’ve thought about you, whether you’re a nervous newbie or brazen adventurer, and if we don’t like something, or we don’t believe it is right for you, we simply won’t suggest it. Think of us as up-front, honest guardians rather than sugar-coating sales spinners. Whether you’re travelling as a couple or with family or friends, and whether your budget is limited or limitless, we want to share our passion and help you experience winter in Japan, which is just waiting to be explored.

And Different Snow are ATOL protected, meaning you are protected financially - your money is safe! 

Tailor-Made Holidays to Japan

Our sister company - Different Japan - specialises in unique holiday experiences, tailored to the individual. Across all seasons, we've travelled from the beaches of Okinawa to the wild National Parks of Hokkaido, and everywhere in between. Our luxury tailor-made tours often include the major highlights - be it neon-drenched Tokyo, picture-perfect Mt. Fuji, or Kyoto's many temples & shrines - and then also many off-the-beaten-track villages, hidden ryokans and enthralling experiences.

Nick Coates
Nick Coates Founder

Nick Coates

Nick founded Different Snow in 2013, though before then he'd clocked up over 18 years in senior roles in the travel industry. However, Japan and - more specifically - skiing in Japan had always been his passion, ever since he lived in Tokyo for much of the 90's. During those years he headed to the ski slopes most weekends, thoroughly confused as to why he was the only foreigner enjoying the ridiculously good powder. 

Nick spends much of the winter in Japan every ski season. He has also lead several promotional press trips to Japan's ski resorts, as well as working as a consultant to the Japan ski industry. In short, he is considered the UK's go-to person for all things Japan and ski.

After having said all that, you'd think he would be a far better skier than he actually is. It's quite embarrassing really. 

Call Nick Email Nick

Do you have a passion for Japan?

And...are you a keen skier or snowboarder? We are always on the look-out for new team members, but you need to share our twin passions. We can teach you about the travel industry, we will send you to Japan on research trips each and every ski season...but we need to know about your Japan travel experience first. Get in contact...though not if you're speculating on behalf of an agency. And note - any potential job with Different Snow would be UK-based exclusively and we have no positions available which are based in Japan, and nor can we help you secure one.
What our customers say

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  ·  U.S.A.

I can’t rate Different Snow highly enough...

Different Snow put together a well thought out and carefully researched tailored three week trip. Their recommendations for ski resorts, hotels, sightseeing, entertainment and dining were spot on.

David  ·  United Kingdom

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...


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


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


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.