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Simply Ski

Arai - Niseko
2 weeks

Ten days skiing, with no messing about. The first four days on the slopes are based down the Japanese Alps - big mountains, varied terrain, huge amounts of snow. You then head north to western Hokkaido Island, using Niseko as your base from which to explore the region - epic tree skiing, volcanic landscapes, huge back bowls. This is one for the skiing (and snowboarding) purists.

We've picked our two favourite ski resorts - for the perspective of the ski and snowboarding enthusiast - one on each island. Though it could be any two ski resorts in combination, though always contrasting the experience of both Honshu and Hokkaido. Myoko Kogen & Furano? Hakuba Valley & Rusutsu? Shiga Kogen & Asahikawa? All equally exhilarating and the premise remains the same.


Content & Map

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1
Depart from your home country. flying direct to Japan.
Day 2
Arrive in Tokyo Haneda or Tokyo Narita and you immediately head for Arai Resort in the Japanese Alps. You can either transfer by road (longer, less hassle) or by bullet-train (quicker, but you've got your bags). We can discuss the pro's and con's of either.
Days 3-6
Four full days on the slopes of Arai and nearby Myoko Kogen, the best mountains in the Japanese Alps. We can arrange local guides if you prefer to be shown where the best snow is to be found.
Day 7
Bullet-train to Toyama City and from here you fly north to Hokkaido Island. You are met at Sapporo Chitose Airport an taken to Niseko.
Days 8-12
Five days skiing in and around Niseko. In this region of western Hokkaido the ski resorts of Rusutsu, Moiwa and Kiroro are all easily day-trip-able and then you can head in to the backcountry in Shirebetsu, Chisenupuri or even on Mount Yotei itself.
Day 13
A final (and sixth) day's skiing in Niseko. After you come of the slopes, road transfer back to Sapporo Chitose Airport for a final night in an airport hotel, ready for an early check-in the following morning.
Day 14
Fly home from Hokkaido Island, either via Tokyo, Hong Kong or Helsinki. Arrive back home same day.

Suggestions & Variations

With no set departures or fixed dates this itinerary can be extended, or even curtailed, to suit your available dates or match your budget.

Obviously, it is obviously possible to insert some non-ski days in to this itinerary - Tokyo, Sapporo and even Kyoto are all conveniently en route.

We are using Arai as the base on Honshu Island and Niseko as the base from which to explore the best of what Hokkaido has to offer. However, it need not necessarily be so. You could replace Arai with the Hakuba Valley on Honshu, or instead head to central Hokkaido and the Asahikawa / Furano region instead of popular Niseko. Or, if you prefer to stay in the big mountains, just stay on Honshu and instead of losing a ski day flying between islands, instead head to Shiga Kogen?

It is of course possible to reverse the itinerary and it works equally well - begin on Hokkaido and then cone down to Honshu afterwards. In many ways this itinerary works better this way around, as your final night could be in Tokyo before heading home.


How much would this holidays cost?

Obviously, cost depends on which accommodation you choose, how many excursions and activities you want to book, whether you wish to include ski hire and local backcountry guides, etc. An indicative lead-in price for this two-week itinerary would depend on how many ski guided days you would like to include and, leading on from this, how many people these costs are shared between.

However, Arai is luxury accommodation only and indicative costs would be north of £3,000 per person, including on luxury accommodation (mid / low season), transfers, lift passes in Arai, some ski guiding days in both Arai and Niseko, days trips to Rusutsu and /or Kiroro from Niseko and economy class flights from the U.K.

If you were to move the dates to January (but still avoiding Christmas & New Year / Chinese New Year), this would then rise by approximately a couple of hundred pounds per person. And, of course, if you wanting the finest, most luxurious accommodation may not have too many choices in Arai, but in Niseko the sky is the limit! Solo travellers should also be aware that costs increase, as you carry the burden of the accommodation cost alone.

We don't have to include international flights. However, by keeping it all within one package, your arrangements are protected by ATOL.

Different Snow strive to offer the most competitive prices in all instances. However, we pride ourselves first and foremost on quality - we are an independent specialist tour operator and, therefore, are not beholden to any supplier. We make our decisions based only on who's best in each and every instance.

What our customers say

5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

Very happy honeymooners...

Wonderful experience from start to finish. The binder they send you is like your Bible when you are out there. It has everything in you will need, from hotel addresses to train times, to advice about what to do whilst you're there. Trust the binder! Definitely will be using them for my next Japan trip.

Ashleigh  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Niseko in January

I gave Different Snow a tight brief and they provided what I asked for and also helpful timeous responses to emails. Anytime I had a need to talk to Nick he was engaging and added value to the discussion. I would have no hesitation to use them again.

Gordon  ·  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.