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Itinerary

The Japan Ski Holiday

Niseko - Tokyo - Nozawa Onsen - Kyoto
two weeks

With two weeks in Japan you have the time to visit two contrasting ski resorts in Japan – five days of skiing in internationally-renowned Niseko and then a couple of days on the slopes in quaint, authentic, atmospheric Nozawa Onsen. There’s also time for couple of days in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, and Tokyo – the world’s most exciting city.

Throw in rides on bullet-trains and a trip to the snow monkeys bathing in onsen waters, and we'd claim this as the ultimate Japan skiing itinerary. We know it works, because it’s our most popular itinerary (often with minor variations to suit) and our clients invariably love this holiday.

 

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Depart from the U.K., flying to Hokkaido Island in Japan.
Day 2
Probably transferring through Tokyo, you arrive in Sapporo Chitose Airport. It's then coach or private transfer to Niseko, where you check in to your accommodation and relax after the international flights.
Days 3-7
Five days' skiing or snowboarding in and around Niseko. We can hire backcountry guides, make full-day excursions to nearby Rusutsu, Moiwa or Kiroro and / or head off snow cat skiing for the day.
Day 8
Transfer to Sapporo Chitose Airport and fly down to Tokyo Haneda. Make your way to your central hotel. Spend a first evening of neon-induced sensory overload in the Shinjuku district of the capital city.
Day 9
A full day at leisure in Tokyo, ticking off the sights and exploring the backstreets.
Day 10
Catch the morning shinkansen (bullet-train) to Nagano prefecture and head up to Nozawa Onsen village. Excursion to visit the nearby snow monkeys in the afternoon.
Days 11 & 12
Two days' skiing in Nozawa Onsen, enjoying the hot spring village in the evenings.
Day 13
Train from Iiyama Station (close to Nozawa Onsen) to Kyoto, perhaps breaking the journey in Kanazawa en route and visiting its Samurai district.
Days 14 & 15
Two full day exploring the cultural heart of Japan in Kyoto. We have excursions on offer, or you could head out under your own steam and explore the temples, shrines and palaces.
Day 16
Shared taxi transfer from your accommodation in Kyoto to Kansai Airport. Fly directly home on British Airways.

How much would this ski holiday cost?

Obviously, cost depends on what standard of accommodation you prefer, 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 16-day itinerary would be circa £2,600 to £3,000 per person, including moderately decent accommodation (during mid / low season), transfers, lift passes in both Niseko and Nozawa Onsen, a Japan rail pass, excursion to see the snow monkeys, domestic flights within Japan and economy class flights from the UK.

If you were to move the dates to January (but still avoiding Christmas & New Year / Chinese New Year), this would then likely impact the costs by circa a couple of hundred pounds per person. And, of course, if you wanted the finest, most luxurious accommodation then....the sky's the limit really, as both Niseko, Kyoto and Tokyo have it all (Nozawa Onsen not quite so much)!

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 our ATOL licence, which is preferable from your perspective.

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.

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.

If the objective is to simply experience the best skiing on Hokkaido and then the best skiing on Honshu Island, then you could consider swapping Nozawa Onsen for the Hakuba Valley or Myoko Kogen? We like the contrast between Niseko (modern, brash, international) and Nozawa Onsen (characterful, authentic, Japanese), but you are compromising on the skiing slightly by making this selection.

You can, of course, reverse the itinerary - begin in Kyoto and end up on Hokkaido Island. Or perhaps, simply reverse the order of the itinerary on Honshu Island, flying from Hokkaido to Itami Airport, which is close to Kyoto and then, after visiting Nozawa Onsen, end up in Tokyo before flying home.

There are so many options if you want to see more of Japan. Perhaps spend time in Kanazawa, Takayama or even Hiroshima. Alternatively, head out to the countryside and stay in a traditional ryokan for a couple of nights.

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)

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

They put together a well thought out and carefully researched tailored three week trip. Different Snow’s guidance notes and travellers’ aid pack were comprehensive and really well thought out. Their recommendations for hotels, sightseeing, entertainment and dining were spot on.

David  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Please visit our TrustPilot page to read the full reviews.

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