Storm Chaser Overview
The Hokkaido Storm Chaser tour is a fantastic Hokkaido ski and snowboard safari that chases the storms to get the best powder conditions. For the first part of the tour you'll stay around the Niseko area. In addition to checking out the Niseko Ski Resort, your guide will pack the van and storm-chase to find the good stuff at resorts such as Rusutsu
, and Kiroro
After sufficiently skiing the Niseko area, you will travel up to Central Hokkaido to the hidden gem of Japan's snow, the Asahikawa
area. Haven't heard of it? Exactly. The snow quality is even better than Niseko and the runs will be yours as most Westerners don't stray this far from the safety of Niseko. From your centrally located lodging in a vibrant city, you will storm-chase each day
and choose a different ski area depending on what the weather is doing. Ski areas visited might include Kamui Ski Links
At the end of the day, you can soak in natural hot springs
, treat yourself to delicious Japanese food
, and think about how life couldn't get much better!
- Storm-chase the best powder & conditions each day.
- Stay in quality 3-star hotels.
- Soak your powder-tired bones in outdoor natural hot springs aka "onsens".
Maximize the quality of your skiing by getting the scoop on powder stashes and get resort orientation from your guide who will accompany you on every leg of the trip.
- For advanced riders with avalanche gear, the guide will also go off-piste and side country to show you the best kept powder secrets .
- Venture out to resorts that most visitors don't get to.
Skier/Boarder AbilityThis trip is geared toward intermediate to advanced skiers and riders. As an intermediate skier/snowboarders you should at least be able to ski/ride down blue slopes using short, controlled turns and be in control most of the time. For advanced skiers and snowboarders, this trip includes guided resort-accessed off-piste, where available.
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.
The steep & deep in Niseko
Superb Japanese food
More Hokkaido POW POW
All of the accommodation on this trip is 3 star and based on twin-share. A single supplement is available for the hotel in Asahikawa.
Each of the rooms in this 3-star hotel contain a Japanese-style tatami mat room with futon as well as western-style beds
. Each room has free Wi-Fi and 32-inch plasma TVs that are equipped with digital channels and DVD players
. All units have kitchens with stovetops, full-sized refrigerators/freezers, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers plus a private bathroom with shower.
The hotel is located in the Niseko Moiwa area. The Niseko United resorts of Annupuri and Hirafu can be accessed easily by taking one run up Moiwa and skiing over to the Annupuri base or by a 5-10 minute shuttle bus ride.
And at the end of the day that you're skiing at Niseko, take your last run and ski right to the base of the hotel before jumping into the hotel's own Onsen hot springs
complete with both indoor and outdoor bathing
The hotel in Asahikawa is great, full (Japanese) size, with a hot springs style bath free of use for an après-ski soak. Centrally located to the small downtown of Hokkaido's second largest city, you'll be within easy walking distance of everything a downtown has to offer including bars, restaurants, karaoke joints, street vendors, tako yaki stalls, and more.
About 1 hour away from some of the best snow in the world in any direction, this hotel is a great base to come back to before deciding where to storm chase the next day. The hotel's daily buffet breakfast, featuring many Hokkaido specialties, both Japanese and Western, is sure to give you the energy you'll need for the pow day.
Each room features free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and bidets.
Moiwa (Niseko) accommodation
Your room in Moiwa (Niseko)
Day 1: Travel to Niseko & Meet & Greet
We meet at 2pm in Sapporo's Chitose Airport (CTS)
which is the main airport in Hokkaido Island.
If you are unable to arrive by 2pm at the airport, you will either need to arrange a shuttle to Niseko
(at your own expense) or arrive a day before and meet the group at CTS on day 1 of the trip. Alternatively you can meet at the Hirafu Welcome Centre at 5:00 p.m.
Day 2-4: Ski Niseko and storm chase nearby resorts
Depending on weather and snow conditions, your guide will decide which ski area to head to each day. Resorts may include Niseko, Moiwa, Rusutsu and Kiroro.
Each night you can soak the weary muscles in the onsen then enjoy dinner at one of the Japanese restaurants your guide has picked out for you. These will be restaurants with high quality and authentic food, including sushi, shabushabu, and izakaya style food.
Day 5-7: Storm chase Asahikawa ski areas
Depart for 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 no less than six 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 you can get depending on what the weather is doing that day. Ski areas may include Asahidake, Kamui and Furano. Depending on where we ski, the drive to the resorts will be between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours.
And that’s not all. If you can believe it, the snow in the Asahikawa region is even lighter than anywhere else in Japan including Niseko
. The area around Asahikawa is truly the crème de la crème—the best of the best lift accessed snow on earth
You can have a soak in the onsen each night at the hotel.
Day 8: Transfer to airport
Day 8 marks the end of the trip. You have a few options here depending on your time frame:
Chest deep at Asahidake
Ahh, the feeling of turning in POW
- Leave in the morning in the van and get dropped off at Sapporo's Chitose Airport by 11am
- 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 Sapporo Station
290,000 yen + tax per person for a group tour
Private tour bookings price per person:
- 1 person on tour - 1,300,000 yen plus tax
- 2 people on tour - 700,000 yen plus tax
- 3 people on tour - 500,000 yen plus tax
- 4 people on tour - 390,000 yen plus tax
- 5 people on tour - 240,000 yen plus tax
- 6 people on tour - 290,000 yen plus tax
Single supplement applies for Asahikawa hotel.
- AIRPORT TRANSFER: transfer between Sapporo Chitose Airport and hotel
- TRANSPORT: guide will drive you to each of the ski areas
- LODGING: based on twin-share in separate beds
- MEALS: Breakfast every day
- LIFT PASSES: 6 days of lift tickets
- HOSTING: Native English speaking guide
- GUIDING: Guided off-piste and orientation tours (max 1:6 ratio)
- FLIGHTS: International flights in/out of Chitose airport (CTS) - 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: Beacon, shovel and probe etc.
- BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING: Guided backcountry isn't included in this trip. If you would like a day of guided backcountry, they can recommend a company that specializes in this service
- ADDITIONAL LIFT PASSES - any additional lift passes required beyond the 6 days.
Japan Ski Adventures Terms & Conditions
Deposit and Full Payment
- Payment is made in Japanese yen
- Deposit is 50% of the trip cost
- The remaining balance is due one month before trip departure
- Credit card payments may be made via Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
- 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 reserve the right to cancel any program due to weather or route conditions. If a tour is canceled 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).