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Itinerary

The Tohoku Ski Safari

Tokyo - Appi-Kogen - Hakkoda - Hachinohe
15 days

This tour focuses on the Tohoku region of Japan - the vast tract of land north of Tokyo on Honshu Island, the main island. This is Japan's least-visited region and also, bizarrely, it's snowiest! There are so many undiscovered ski resorts up here, off the radar of the international skiers and largely dependant on local trade, meaning fresh track opportunities are plentiful. This is Japan's new frontier and this suggested itinerary gets you to our two favourite powder-blessed mountains - Appi-Kogen and Hakkoda.

After flying to Tokyo and spending a day or two sightseeing, you then jump on a bullet-train north to Morioka City. From here it is only a short hop on to Appi-Kogen, a wonderful ski resort in a very remote location with 21 recognised slopes and endless possibilities in amongst the trees. The base hotel may be a bit of an ugly monstrosity externally, but quite lovely once inside, whilst staying as a guest - great restaurants, lovely (large) rooms, amazing facilities and even a swimming pool! You then have a couple of nights even further north - as north as you can get on Honshu Island - where you either ski (or ride) at the incredible Hakkoda ropeway and its limitless backcountry. Finally, once you have had your fill of skiing, you spend a couple of days in Hachinohe, a wonderful provincial port city on the Pacific coast. Surrounded by the sea, mountains and forests, Hachinohe also has loads of restaurants, bars and cafes making it an exciting final stop in 'real' Japan. 

Content & Map
 

Timeline

DAY 1
Depart from the U.K., flying directly to Tokyo.
DAY 2
Arrive in Tokyo Haneda Airport and make your way to your hotel in the Shinjuku district.
DAY 3
A full day at leisure in Tokyo, free to explore at y our own pace.
DAY 4
A hugely enjoyable shinkansen (bullet-train) journey in to remote, northern Japan. Catch the train in Tokyo and disembark in Morioka Station, in the Tohoku region - this journey takes just over two-hours to cover the 340-miles, a super-fast stretch of track. From here you then jump on a local branch line and continue on by train deep in to the mountains. You are met at Appi-Kogen station by a transfer service, which will then take you to Appi Kogen ski retort. Settle in to your accommodation in the main tower.
DAYS 5-8
Four full days skiing (or snowboarding) in Appi Kogen.
Day 9
Morning private taxi transfer to Hakkoda mountain. Drop your bags at the accommodation and then head straight to the ski mountain for a full day in the powder snow. Spend the next two nights staying in traditional Japanese accommodation - tatami mat floors, futon beds, Japanese dinners and onsen baths.
DAY 10
A second full day on unpisted Hakkodo mountain.
DAY 11
Coach to Aomori City in the morning, from which you then catch the bullet-train again for a short journey down to Hachinohe City. Settle in to your central accommodation.
DAYS 12 & 13
Two days to explore this remote region of north-eastern Japan - try the abundant local seafood, explore the beautiful natural scenery of the Tanesashi Coast and spend time exploring this fascinating provincial city.
DAY 14
Catch the bullet-train back down to Tokyo. This time base yourself in eastern Tokyo, close to the station and the Ginza / Imperial Palace district.
Day 15
Make your way out to Tokyo Haneda Airport and fly 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 two-week (15-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 Appi Kogen and Hakkoda, a Japan rail pass, 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. 

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.

We are featuring two of the best ski resorts in the Tohoku region - though there are many others, many of them wonderful. If you'd like spend time in Aomori Springs, Geto Onsen or Alts Bandai then we've skied them all ourselves and can certainly incorporate these places in to the itinerary. Tohoku really is Japan's last ski frontier, largely unexplored and with so much potential.

You can, of course, add more time for a general exploration. We have included Hachinohe City in this itinerary because we love it - remote, provincial, beautiful surrounding countryside and a friendly vibe. But Japan is your oyster and the options are endless.

What our customers say

4.5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

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

Different Snow put together a well thought out and carefully researched tailored three week trip. Their recommendations for hotels, sightseeing, entertainment and dining were spot on.

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Terrific

Very knowledgeable, patient and organised. Enjoyed all of my chats with Nick who offered a fantastic personalised service. Itinerary, accommodations and transfers all exactly as planned, loads of useful info to accompany the trip. Would definitely use again and recommend.

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