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Itinerary

The Powder Hunter

Asahikawa - Furano - Shiga Kogen
14 days

This itinerary has a very clear, uncomplicated objective. You want to ski Japan's best, untracked powder? Across both islands? Then the answer is simple: concentrate on the Central Hokkaido region, away from the crowds over in Niseko. And then head down to the Japanese Alps, but again eschew busier Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen and instead head straight to the highlands of Shiga Kogen. Mission accomplished.

This is not necessarily an itinerary to follow for the cultural traveller, though we can add on time in Tokyo, Kyoto and elsewhere in Japan of course. Instead we are focussing on the powder snow only.

You begin based up in Asahikawa City, which gives you easy access top Asahidake mountain - the best ski mountain in Japan - as well as Kamui and the cat ski operation over in Otoe. After several days here it is simply a short train ride south to Furano, the perfect base to explore nearby resorts of Tomamu and Sahoro - though you may just want to stay with the slopes on your doorstep and enjoy Furano itself.

Next it is time to fly south to Honshu Island, where you are met at the airport and take a shared taxi to Shiga Kogen. In keeping with the rationale followed on Hokkaido, we are eschewing the main ski resorts in the Japanese Alps and instead zero in on Shiga Kogen - a massive area, with few people and, due to altitude, more snow.

And what do you achieve? Simple. Powder, with no tracks. All day, every day. For two weeks.

Content & Map
 

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Depart form the U.K. flying to Hokkaido Island in Japan, via Tokyo.
Day 2
Arrive in Asahikawa Airport and catch the airport shuttle bus in to the city and your hotel. Check in and relax after you international flights.
Day 3
Full day at Kamui Ski Links, the local resort to Asahikawa City. A day to find your ski legs in this queiest of ski resorts, with powder traps galore. Get in amongst the trees!
Day 4
Full day at Otoe, a local cat ski operation. Loads of vertical, fresh tracks a-plenty on some interesting terrain.
Day 5
Head to Asahidake ropeway, for a full day with your private guide on the volcano. This will be, probably, the best day's skiing (or riding) of your life. After youc ome off the mountain you head to Furano in the evening and check in to your hotel in Kitanomine village.
Days 6-8
Skiing in the Furano region. At least one day on Furano mountain itself, and then you can head off wit your guide to either Tomamu, Sahoro or Yubari for the extra days...or perhaps a second day on Furani mountain (it warrants it). For the ski tourers amongst you, who wish to earn your turns, head out in to Daisetsuzan National Park with your guide.
Day 9
Make your way to Sapporo Chitose Airport on the coach, fly south to Tokyo and then jump on the bullet train to Nagano City. From here its a quick change on to the Nankai Electric branch line, on which its an extra hour on to Yudanaka Onsen. Check in to your ryokan, in this most traditional of Japanese villages.
Days 10-15
Four full days with our local guide you explore the Japanese Alps. Shiga Kogen is the natural attraction, right on your doorstep and with endless possibilities. However, you are not restricted to this as Madarao, Tangram, Togakushi, Ryuo, Kijimadaira and even Nozawa Onsen are all within easy reach also. The guys we use in this region know the resorts intimately and will make decisions daily, based on prevailing conditions and your ability. Push it as hard as you would like. Evenings are spent staying in a traditional ryokan - onsens, Japanese food and cultural activities.
Day 16
Shared taxi transfer back to either Tokyo Haneda or Tokyo Narita airport and fly home to the UK, to arrive home the same day.

how much would this holiday 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. And this this itinerary, you really should...so we have. Therefore, an indicative lead-in price for this 16-day itinerary would be circa £3,300 per person, including on moderate accommodation (mid / low season), transfers, lift passes, private ski guides, rail tickets, snow monkey excursion and economy class flights from the U.K. This is based on four of you travelling together.

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 then....the sky's the limit really! 

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.

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What our customers say

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Every detail was taken care of

We love to travel and I love planning trips, but Japan was just a little bit out of my comfort zone. I appreciated Nick’s expertise and was willing to pay for it! It was worth every penny in my mind. We appreciated the “guides” and all the suggestions.

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We had a trip of a lifetime holiday

Different Snow presented us with an excellent itinerary to suit our budget and accommodated specific requests. We had a whistlestop tour of Tokyo followed by great powder skiing in Hakuba then a cultural exploration of Kyoto. A fascinating and rewarding trip!

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