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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 really need to know and understand Japan. And we've lived there, we've worked there, and we spend a great amount of time there every year. Japan is a country which dances to its own (taiko) drumbeat and here at Different Snow we have the knowledge, the relationships 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! 

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 journalist 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 on all things Japan and ski.

After all the above, 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 an agency). Note - any potential job with Different Snow would be UK based and we have no positions available based in Japan, nor can we help you secure one.
What our customers say

4.5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

A brilliant holiday

We had a family holiday (three generations) to Niseko, with some time in Tokyo. A brilliant holiday. Different Snow were so knowledgeable about Japan and skiing, so helpful and friendly, and full of good suggestions - even down to restaurants and non-skiing activities. We are looking forward to our next trip with them!

Roger  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

meticulous in preparation and so knowledgable

We are about to take our third trip to Japan organised by Different Snow, which says it all. The itinerary and planning has always been faultless and we have had the best times travelling stress-free. I would 100% recommend Different Snow to anyone considering travelling to Japan either to ski or just to explore.

Mark  ·  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...


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.