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Itinerary

The Shiga Safari

Shiga Kogen - Tokyo
10 days

Use Shiga Kogen as your base in the Japanese Alps. This ticks most boxes - stay in ryokan in a pretty Japanese village? tick. The best powder skiing in Japan, either in Shiga Kogen or a nearby resort? tick. Ride on a bullet-train and visit the snow monkeys? tick. A night in Tokyo? tick.

 

day-by-day itinerary

Day 1
Depart from your home country, flying directly to Japan.
Day 2
You are met at either Tokyo Haneda or Tokyo Narita airport and then take a shared taxi transfer, by road, to your ryokan in Yudanaka Onsen village. Relax in the onsens after the journey.
Days 3-8
Six days skiing or snowboarding. You are with a guide and decisions about where to head each day can be made locally. Most of the days will be spent in the expanses of Shiga Kogen - your local resort, which you have largely to yourselves - but then away days can also feature Madarao, Tangram, Togakushi, Ryuo, Kijimadaira and even Nozawa Onsen. What we can (almost) guarantee - the best, powder-drenched skiing or riding of your life.
Day 9
Visit the snow monkeys in the morning, and then take the Nankai Electric line to Nagano City. From here it is the bullet-train to Tokyo, in which you make your way to the Shinjuku District where you'll find your hotel in the heart of the entertainment district. A celebratory drink in the city?
Day 10
Make your way to Narita or Haneda Airport and fly out of Japan - most flights arrive home the 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.

Your first choice - stay in the ryokan down in Yudanaka Onsen or stay at a ski-in, ski-out hotel up in the Shiga Highlands? We'll need to talk you through the pro's and con's of both these options, because they do deliver two very different off-the-mountain experiences. We need to get this right.

Then there is the skiing. Quite easily you could spend each and every day in the Shiga Highlands and, without compromise, you've had a great ski holiday. However, with so many other ski resorts in the Japanese Alps within easy striking distance it is perfectly possible to spend time in nearby ski resorts with your guide, letting the snow conditions, the ski ability of your group and your adventurous spirit being the deciding factors. 

This itinerary allows for only one night in Tokyo. However, this is a city which demands more time - a full day at the very least? Alternatively, you could break in Tokyo on the way out (getting over your jet lag?) and then head on to Kyoto after the skiing, flying home of Kansai Airport instead.

 

 

How much would this holiday cost?

Obviously, cost depends on which accommodation you choose, how many excursions and activities you want to book, how long you stay in Japan, how many of you are in your group (sharing the cost of ski guides)...etc.

This 10-day itinerary includes hiring a ski guide (plus private local transport) for six full days. An indicative lead-in price would be circa £2,900 to £3,400 per person if there were six of your sharing, including staying in a ryokan, transfers (including bullet-trains), ski guides and transport, 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 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!

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

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)

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.

Meg  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

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