Epic Honshu Buffet (Snowboarders Only)5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
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Epic Honshu Buffet (Snowboarders Only) Enquire
GUIDED SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,691
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, and you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
>> Show inclusions
  • Your own qualified guide for duration – max 1:6 ratio
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation
  • Daily breakfasts & dinners
  • 8 days of lift passes
  • All mountain transfers plus many more hidden gems...
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
We try to keep the availability as accurate as possible however things can change regularly. The following statuses roughly equate to:
  • Available = 5 or more spots
  • Filling = 3 – 5 spots
  • Almost Full = 2 or less spots

Please "enquire" to get a definitive answer
Availability
Dec 19 - Dec 28, 2016
10
USD 2,691
Sold Out
Jan 03 - Jan 12, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Sold Out
Jan 12 - Jan 21, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Sold Out
Jan 21 - Jan 30, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Sold Out
Jan 30 - Feb 08, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Sold Out
Feb 11 - Feb 20, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Almost Full
Feb 20 - Mar 01, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Filling
Mar 01 - Mar 10, 2017
10
USD 2,691
Available
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Jan 01 - Jan 01, 0001
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Epic Honshu Buffet For Snowboarders Only

Epic Ski Adventures (ESA) are all about designing lifetime memories, and this guided tour will stay in the recesses of your mind for years to come. Your guide will introduce you to the best skiing that Honshu has on offer.  

Your Japanese snowboard adventure is not complete without being immersed in a culture that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Visit the world famous snow monkeys up close, be entertained by a traditional Geisha performance, be entertained by the Taiko Drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance, participate in a Karate performance, spend an optional recovery day exploring one of Japan’s oldest castle and temple in Matsumoto and Nagano. Also soak in the rejuvenating onsens, taste the local sake and beer recipes and visit historic Shibu Onsen. Where other companies may place the cultural experience in Japan as an option, Epic Ski Adventures include them so you get to experience the real Japan, and the list doesn't include some of the hidden gems. 

Rider AbilityThese tours cater for advanced snowboarders only. You should be able to ride confidently and with reasonable speed in deep powder.

Advanced skiers should check out the Honshu Buffet for skiers.

Intermediate snowboarders: If you are an intermediate snowboarder who wants to have a taste of powder and improve your technique at the same time, the Honshu Ski Progression (which is exactly the same tour but with more emphasis on tuition) would be the tour for you.

The intermediate tours shown in the dates table are Honshu Progression dates so you can enquire next to those dates for that tour. For other dates you will need to visit the Honshu Progression Tour page and enquire from there.

Mixed GroupsIf you have a mixed group of boarders & skiers, you can book any of the available tour dates, however your group will need to be 4 - 6 in size for the tour to run (and if you have only 4 in the group you will be charged the equivalent of 6 people). Please enquire to get an exact price for your group size.

Resorts/Ski Areas Visited (Depending on Conditions) This tour has the ability to visit up to 10 different resorts in the Nagano and Niigata prefectures.

The resorts visited are dictated by the conditions on any given day and each area has its own individual micro climate so don’t be surprised if you visit the same resort a number of times. The resorts include: Yakebitaiyama, Ichinose and Giant (all part Asia’s largest ski resort Shiga Kogen), Ryuoo Ski Park, Kijimadaira, Nozawa Onsen, Madarao, Togakushi, and Myoko Kogen ski areas Akakura and Seki Onsen.

Drive times to these resorts vary from 25 minutes to 50 minutes in good road conditions.


19 Shiga Kogen Ski Areas

Based in Yudanaka town

Myoko Kogen - 5 ski areas

Accommodation & Meals

Ryokan Biyu no Yado in Yudanaka is a 3.5 star Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and is ranked #1 by Trip Advisor, scoring an average of 5 out of 5 from over 160 reviews!

Rooms all come with private ensuite/bathroom and are Japanese-style with woven tatami floors and futon beds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, small fridge & kettle. Your room also has a traditional Japanese wardrobe (Yakata) which is not mandatory to wear at this Ryokan, although it is definitely comfortable attire after a day on the slopes.

The Ryokan also has four western rooms which are double the size of the Japanese rooms and cost an extra 6000 yen per night per person for the upgrade.

The Ryokan has an indoor Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and outdoor hot spring (rotenburo) and there is also a private onsen available for rent for an additional fee.


Onsen

Dinner at Ryokan Biyu

Great food

Night-time meals (included in the package) are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served by your own private waiter in the hotel dining area. Breakfast (also included) is either a Japanese or Western-style.

There are massage services available, free wi-fi in the common lounge area, a luxurious lounge bar and common seating area, drinks vending machines, grand piano, large screen TV, karaoke and a souvenir shop.

Although the night time meals are exquisite, we mix your evening dining between five meals on site at the Ryokan and four off-site at authentic Japanese restaurants around Yudanaka and Nakano. Each guest will be given cash or a voucher to the value of 2,000 yen to be used at the restaurant that the group will be visiting on the off-site dinners.

Please enquire about budget and high end accommodation options.


Ryokan Biyu..

...deluxe Japanese-style rooms...

.....the ryokan.

Itinerary

This itinerary is a guide as the tour will ultimately be dictated by the weather each day; your guide will fit around where the best conditions are. This is a powder tour so a powder snowboard is recommended to get the best out of your time with us. A full equipment checklist can be provided by ESA upon request. Your guide is there to teach skills on how to better ride the powder, and at the same time show you lines you may not have discovered on your own.

Day 1
Make your way to Yudanaka (home of the snow monkeys) on either the amazing rail system or a shuttle from Narita airport and be picked up at the station at Yudanaka and taken to your lodging at Ryokan Biyu no Yado (further information on how to get to Yudanaka is contained in the pre trip instructions). The area has a history of over 1,300 years as a hot spring resort and more recently was put on the map due to the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games. You are treated like a rock star at the Ryokan with exceptional service, immaculate surroundings and food to die for. Your first nights meal is at the Ryokan which is an experience in itself. Bring your camera.

Day 2
Made up of 19 resorts, Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Asia and has something for everyone. Because Shiga is so large and elevated, fresh lines can be found days after a snowfall. And because relatively few westerners have discovered this area the queues are almost non-existent and another bonus is that very few Japanese ride off-piste. After snowboarding, why not try an onsen to sooth any aches and pains followed by a local beer or wine from the lounge bar. While eating a dinner that is pure art, you will be entertained by a traditional Geisha performance. Bring your skills for the Geisha games.

Day 3
After breakfast we will travel to Nozawa Onsen for some more action on the snow. Considered by some as the birthplace of skiing in Japan, its 300 hectares of terrain and 50km of slopes will not disappoint. At the end of the day we will take a walk through Nozawa Onsen township and enjoy the many shops and eating treats. After your daily onsen ritual we will drop into Nakano for the sushi train experience for dinner.

Day 4
The drive to Myoko Kogen allows you the choice of either Akakura or Seki Onsen to be ridden at today. Seki Onsen, which has been in the same family for 93 years and is on the northern tip of the Myoko range receives over 13 metres of snow each year, and has some fantastic steeps and side country. Enjoy some socialising at the lounge bar at the Ryokan followed by another traditional Japanese meal.



Cultural experiences

Matsumoto Castle

Zenkoji Temple Nagano


Day 5
This is one of those days where you get to choose. For those that want to stay on the snow we will visit the resort of Togakushu. You will enjoy a totally western free resort with a wide range of runs with an awesome view of the Japanese Alps. Because some of you have not used those ski muscles for a while we find that day four is the day where some guests need a rest.

This is a rest from skiing not the rich culture that is available in this area. After breakfast we will visit Matsumoto Castle which is the oldest 5 story, 6 layer castle tower in Japan. Get a photo with the Samurai, Ninja and Geisha who frequent the castle garden area. Roam around Nakamachi-dori street and Nawate-dori street to soak up the old time Matsumoto atmosphere.

No visit to Nagano is complete without visiting the Zenkoji Temple with over 1400 years of history. Unique in the fact that the city of Nagano was built around the temple thus known as a temple city and that it houses the oldest Buddhist image in Japan. You can walk through the pitch-black corridors under the main hall and tradition has it that if you touch the key below the principle image, your entry into paradise is secured (apparently they have lots of powder snow there).

After a full day of Japanese culture we will dine in Suzaka at a Japanese buffet that has a staggering range of different food options to feast on.

Day 6
Now that you were able to rest those tired muscles you are now more conditioned to enjoy the next four days of skiing. Ryuo Ski Park offers some great tree skiing or open wide courses which are accessed with the areas only ropeway. Depending which activity is available over your 10 day tour, you will either experience the tradition of soba noodle making or view a ninja performance in house at the Ryokan.

Tonight you will enjoy a meal at one of the many traditional Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka.


Onsen...

...traditional Japanese dinner...

...visit the famous snow monkeys.

Day 7
After breakfast we will further explore Shiga Kogen. The great thing about the 19 connecting resorts at Shiga is that we may ride one area for the morning then after lunch relocate to another part of the mountain for more powder action. Your pass gives you access to the whole of Shiga and your guide knows where those private stashes are located. Enjoy a bit of après action at the Phoenix Hotel at Oku Shiga Kogen which is where the Emperor of Japan holidays each year. Enjoy another meal in the township of Yudanaka.

Day 8
Madarao is another of the Japanese ski fields that does not attract the hoards of gaijins (foreigners). This field seems to have its own micro climate and when it snows here it can be very light and deep. If you are looking for a change from the Japanese fare, there is a restaurant on the mountain that makes the best burgers and pizzas. Tonight we will enjoy a meal at one of the many traditional Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka.

Day 9
Finish your last day on the snow as a powder day. Using the many resorts you have already ridden, your guide will choose the one with the best snow and go there. If time allows we will visit the local sake museum and taste up to 10 different sakes that are made on site. After dinner enjoy your last night at the Ryokan socialising at the lounge bar which overlooks the township of Yudanaka.

Day 10
It is time to bid farewell to our fabulous hosts at the Ryokan Biyu no Yado. No visit is complete to Yudanaka without some interaction with the famous “snow monkeys”. This is the only place in the world you can see the snow monkeys soaking in natural hot pools up close and personal.

NB 
The evening performances of the Geisha, Taiko Drum and Karate demonstrations may vary on which night they fall on the 10 day tour due to overlap in bookings.



Japanese accommodation

Shibu Onsen village

Yudanaka town

2016/17 Rates & Inclusions

Rates
Full Price: ¥299,000
  • twin share per person
  • single room upgrade ¥54,000
Dates
In addition to the dates listed, tours between 10th March and 31st March can be arranged and are based around a minimum of 4 people.

Inclusions
  • 9 nights twin share accommodation in Japanese style rooms at Ryokan Biyu (please enquire about budget and upgraded accommodation options)
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Nightly dinners (includes 5 dinners at Ryokan Biyu and 4 dinners at a range of authentic Japanese restaurants in Yudanaka and Nakano)
  • 8 days of lift passes with guiding
  • All mountain transfers
  • Visit to the snow monkeys
  • Geisha performance
  • Taiko Drum, Shamisen guitar and lion dance performance
  • Karate performance from a Grand Master champion of Japan
  • Option to visit Matsumoto Castle and unique shopping experience
  • Option to visit Nagano to visit the Zenkoji Temple
  • Rejuvenating onsens
  • Walk around 1300 year old historic Shibu town
  • Local sake factory sampling tour
  • Complimentary tour t-shirt
  • Plus many more hidden gems....

Not Included
  • Travel to/from Yudanaka
  • Flights - book flights here
  • Travel Insurance - purchase online here
  • Lunches, snacks, alcohol, dinners (apart from those advertised above)
  • Equipment rental (although Epic can assist you with this)
  • Backcountry gear (available for rent for 1,000 yen/day)


Japanese style hotel

Nearby Shibu Onsen

Sake tasting

Booking Conditions

DEPOSIT & FULL PAYMENT ·

  • Deposit is 20% of full tour price per person.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Final balance due: 30 days prior to departure.
  • All payments are in Japanese Yen (JPY) 

CANCELLATION BY YOU

  • more than 30 days prior to departure, full deposit forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days 100% forfeited.
  • Tour operator highly recommends you take out travel insurance at time of sending your deposit. 

CANCELLATION BY EPIC SKI ADVENTURES

Epic Ski Adventures reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure. In this case you will receive a full refund. You will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation, damages, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience.

Other Important Information


Terrain & SafetyThe rules when riding at resorts in Japan can be a lot different to what is experienced in Western resorts around the world. At a high percentage of the resorts in Japan, trail riding is the norm and anything off the main marked trails is deemed "out-of-bounds". The out of bounds is not patrolled so as far as the resort is concerned; riding there is at your own risk. The out of bounds riding provided by ESA is deemed (what has been termed in Japan by westerners) “slack country” or “side country”. Many times these out of bounds areas are in between two marked courses so at the bottom of the run you meet up on a marked course to take you back to the lifts, hence the term “slack country”.

Some resorts are more lenient with "out-of-bounds" skiing and others very strict. Some will have signs that state "ski at your own risk" where others may not. ESA consider everything that is not on a marked trail to be out of bounds. 

If you wish to experience the "out-of-bounds" (riding off any of the marked trails) areas:
  1. You must carry the essential avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe & backpack to carry such gear)
  2. You must be able to ride at a sufficient ability / level to manage the conditions on the day for any out-of-bounds runs
  3. You will need to undertake an safety instruction session on the use of your avalanche equipment (even if you already know how to use it)
  4. You will be required to sign a release of liability agreement prior to undertaking any out-of-bounds riding with ESA
The ESA team have the following credentials:
  • knowledge and experience at riding the various resorts they visit in the Nagano and Niigata areas
  • accreditation and different combinations of instructors, ski patrol, avalanche awareness and first aid
  • instructors have a minimum of level 2 NZIAS certification
Exclusion of Liability & RiskAdventure sports activities involve many risks, dangers and hazards. These risks and hazards are outlined in the ESA release of liability, waiver of claims, assumptions of risks and indemnity agreement which all participants are required to read and sign before participating in adventure sports activities. This agreement will affect your legal rights should you be involved in an accident.