Renaissance Rider Tour (Hokkaido & Honshu)
Whilst the deep powder skiing in Japan is second to none, a trip to Japan without experiencing its rich culture just doesn't seem right. The Renaissance Rider trip from Japan Ski Tours
is designed to give you a taste of Japan's best ski resorts combined with some of its top tourist and cultural attractions.
You'll get acquainted with the spiritual centre of Japan by visiting Kyoto's temples
. You will head to the huge ski resort of Hakuba
which offers multiple ski areas in the one valley. You'll revel in the buzz of Tokyo
. You will then head north towards Niseko via a domestic flight
and soothe yourself in natural hot springs every night
after skiing world-famous powder. The tour then heads to Japan’s best kept snow secret
area- where you'll storm-chase the best snow
on a particular day depending on what the weather is doing.
Ski Resorts VisitedHakuba area, Niseko area, Rusutsu, Asahikawa resorts: Asahidake, Furano, Kamui Links
- Your bilingual experienced guide will provide a resort orientation at each ski area in Hokkaido.
- For advanced riders with avalanche gear, the guide will also go off-piste to show you the best powder stashes.
- Don't lug your things around on the trains. We mail all the large ski bags to our destination before we get there (included).
- Experience the spiritual center of Japan’s old capital in Kyoto including the 1,000+ year old Kiyomizu dera, Ginkakuji’s (silver pavilion) world renowned zen garden, and Japan’s top rated sightseeing spot, the Fushimi Inarai Taisha.
- Stay in 3-4 star accommodation ranging from Western style to Japanese traditional Ryokan.
- Soak in natural hot springs each night in Hakuba or Niseko (6 nights).
- Experience the best of Tokyo including the Tsukiji fish market, Senso-ji temple in Asakusa, and take a river boat to visit to a 1,000 year old traditional tea house before moving on to the night scene in Tokyo.
- Storm-chase around the Niseko and Asahikawa areas in northern Japan. The ski areas near Asahikawa (Central Hokkaido) offer the crème de la crème of Japanese snow with even lighter snow than what Niseko can offer.
- Tsukiji Fish Market
- Tokyo Bay cruise
- Asakusa temple tour
- Tea garden tour, with lake-side tea time
- Live Shamisen performance
- Tokyo nightlife intro
- Robot Bar option
- Bike tour of Kyoto's best sights
- Experience the cultural center of Japan
- See temples unchanged for 1,000+ years
- Ride through the Gion District and spot Geisha
- Diverse skiing and snowboarding terrain
- Stay in a Ryokan, Japanese traditional lodging
- Hot springs monkey tour + sake brewery
- In-hotel hot springs every night
- Ride the bullet train
- Chase the best powder on any given day
- Ride Japan's deepest powder in the Niseko area
- Ride Japan's lightest powder around Central Hokkaido
- In-hotel hot springs in Niseko
This tour caters to intermediate and advanced skiers & snowboarders. Intermediates should at a minimum be able to ride a moderate blue run with short controlled turns and remain in control. For advanced riders, this trip includes guided resort-accessed off-piste and side country in Hokkaido, where available.
A reasonable level of fitness is required for this tour.
Given that this tour incorporates quite a bit of off-piste riding, we would also highly recommend that participants carry avalanche safety gear including a minimum of transceiver, shovel, probe and backpack. If you do not have this gear you will not be able to participate in guided off-piste runs.
Golden plated temples in Kyoto
Steeps in Hakuba
Day 1: Tokyo's Narita Airport (NRT) > Tokyo Hotel
Meet and greet in Tokyo's Narita Airport (NRT) at 5:00 p.m. or the Keio Plaza Hotel (Shinjuku) at 7:00 p.m. The group will then hop in a van and head to the first destination: Tokyo.
After checking into the hotel and having dinner, the group will take local trains and check out Tokyo’s neon night life, visiting districts including Shibuya and Shinjuku with their “Lost in Translation” style Karaoke boxes and bars stacked on top of each other like Lego. If you're up for a night on the town, you can easily keep yourself entertained for as long as you want. See you in the morning!
Day 2: Tokyo Tour then onto Hakuba
Today is a full-day exploration of the city of Tokyo. The tour will head to Tsukiji fish market, on a bay cruise of Tokyo Bay, to a peaceful tea garden, Tokyo's most famous Buddhist temple Senso-ji, and to a Shamisen performance.
After a full day, the group will leave by van for the first ski destination—Hakuba.
Day 3-5: Ski Hakuba
It’s a hotly debated question—Hakuba vs Niseko, which is better? Both have their strong points and you'll get to check both out. Hakuba has an annual snow fall of 11 meters, big mountain terrain, some of Japan’s lightest snow, and excellent evening dining and night life options.
Hakuba is a general name for an area consisting of multiple resorts. Even within the short distance of these resorts, there can be significant variation in the amount of snow each day, so we aim to take you to the one with the best pow. Choices may include Cortina, Happo One, Tsugaike, Hakuba 47, Goryu, and Norikura Onsen. The days in Hakuba are not guided, although a bilingual host will arrange all of the ski logistics.
On the last Hakuba day, you'll be exploring the snow monkeys onsen, having lunch at a 260 year old sake brewery, and then catching the bullet train to Kyoto.
Day 6: Kyoto
Eyeball deep in Niseko
Some short walks to the good stuff
Hosting 17 Unesco World Heritage sites, more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, Kyoto (the ancient capital of Japan) is not to be missed. It's a full day of cycling southern and northern Higashiyama. This area contains the thickest concentration of worthwhile sights in Kyoto including Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzen-ji, and Ginkaku. You'll work up a hefty appetite from the day of cultural immersion and indulge in exquisite locally available cuisine from one of the many alley ways of Kyoto.
Day 7 - 9: Storm Chase Around Niseko
The group will leave Kyoto early in the morning and fly the two hour flight to Sapporo; the closest airport to Niseko, then arrive in Niseko via "the adventure van" around 1pm. The lodging is located in the Niseko-Moiwa resort area and is a western style hotel with ski-in access. The Niseko United resorts of Annupuri and Hirafu can be accessed easily by shuttle along with the downtown bar/restaurant area.
More than just skiing, the Niseko area serves as a great base from which to access Rusutsu and Kiroro ski areas.
After a full day, have a soak in the onsen and choose from one of the many food options.
Day 10 - 13: Storm Chase Around the Asahikawa Area
Asahikawa at night
Secret stashes at Asahidake
Amazing Japanese food
Arrive in Hokkaido’s best kept ski secret, Asahikawa.
Unlike Niseko and Hakuba, Asahikawa isn’t frequented by foreigners and maintains a traditional Japanese feel. Asahikawa is a vibrant city with easy access to three different resorts which get vastly varying amounts of snow depending on what the weather is doing. From this central location, you’ll storm chase the best possible snow depending on what the weather is doing that day.
Day 14: Depart
You have a few options here depending on your time frame:
- Leave in the morning with the van and get dropped off at Sapporo's Chitose Airport by 11:00 a.m.
- Get dropped off at Sapporo Teine Ski hill at noon for a half day of skiing (return transportation and lift ticket not included)
- Get dropped off at a Sapporo Hotel of your choosing
Your return flight from Sapporo's Chitose Airport (CTS) is NOT included in your trip, so you'll need to organise this yourself.
- Twin share per person (single supplement available)
- 50% deposit required to secure booking
- Rates do not include 8% Japanese consumption tax
- TRANSPORT: starting from the airport pick up at Tokyo's Narita airport (NRT) and around to the different cities and ski areas. This includes an internal domestic flight to Sapporo Chitose airport, trains, cars, taxis etc.
- LODGING: twin or triple share
- MEALS: Breakfast every day
- LIFT PASSES: All lift tickets
- HOSTING: Native English speaking bilingual guiding
- GUIDING: Guided off-piste and orientation tours (max 1:6 ratio) at the Hokkaido ski areas
- CULTURAL: Admission to tourist sites, bike rental and city tours
- OTHER: mailing ski gear ahead, dinner reservations
- FLIGHTS: International flights in/out of Narita (NRT) Airport Tokyo, and flight out of Sapporo. - book flights here
- TRIP INSURANCE: Highly recommended, as all subsisting costs will be charged in case of absence. Payment by credit card, Visa Premier or Gold MasterCard, may provide cancellation insurance. Check your contract.
- LUNCHES, DINNERS & DRINKS: only those meals stated above are included in the price.
- POWDER SKIS & POWDER BOARDS: It is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment that you have appropriate skis and snowboards for deep, deep powder.
- AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR: shovel, probe, beacon etc.
- BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING: recommendations for this can be provided
- RESORT GUIDING: at Hakuba (but it is included in Hokkaido)
Japan Ski Tours Terms & Conditions
Deposit and Full Payment
- Deposit is 50% of the trip cost
- The remaining balance is due 1 month before trip departure
- Credit card payments may be made via Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
- All payments are in Japanese yen
- 30% cancellation fee for cancellations made more then 3 months before the start of your trip
- 50% cancellation fee for cancellations made between 1-3 months before trip departure
- No refund for any cancellations made less than one month before trip departure
Cancellation by Japan Ski Tours
Japan Ski Tours reserves the right to cancel any program due to weather or route conditions. If a tour is cancelled before commencing, due to weather or route conditions, then a full refund will be given; however, JST is not responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).