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GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
18 Days | 17 Nights
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,400
Ability: Advanced, Expert
The Ultimate Backcountry Tour is aptly named! Earn your turns on this Central Hokkaido tour which takes in Asahidake, Tokachidake, Tomamu backcountry, Yubari Range, Kitami Pass and Kurodake.
>> Show inclusions
  • Experienced and qualified guide throughout (max 1:6 ratio)
  • 17 nights twin share accommodation (private room for couples)
  • 17 breakfasts & 13 dinners
  • All transfers in a private 4wd minivan
Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
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  • Filling = 3 – 5 spots
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Availability
Jan 19 - Feb 05, 2017
18
USD 4,400
Available
Jan 29 - Feb 15, 2017
18
USD 4,552
Available
Feb 05 - Feb 22, 2017
18
USD 4,400
Available
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Jan 01 - Jan 01, 0001
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Ultimate Backcountry Tour

The aptly named Ultimate Backcountry Tour with Journey Into Japan explores the best backcountry spots in Central Hokkaido. This ultimate tour is a combination of the Backcountry Delights Tour and the Backcountry Classic Tour

This is not a lift-accessed sidecountry tour; whilst lifts might be used in some cases to get you to the highest point in a ski area, this tour is predominantly backcountry touring and skiing. 

This tour visits Asahidake, Tokachidake, Kurodake, Tomamu Backcountry, Yubari Range & Kitami Pass.

Transport throughout is via private 4WD mini bus providing complete autonomy and the freedom to vary the daily skiing schedule should the snow conditions and weather dictate a change in the daily itinerary.

This tour ideally is suited to advanced skiers & snow boarders with a good level of fitness as there will be a bit of hiking/skinning involved. However it should be pointed out that there is quite a bit of traversing and unless you are an extremely fit and experienced snowboarder; these tours might not be for you.

With regard to gear, you will need climbing skins and climbing style telemark or alpine touring bindings plus avalanche safety gear. If you are a snowboarder you will need either a split-board and skins or snowshoes with risers. If you dont have your own gear you can rent it through the JIJ shop (however they don't currently offer split boards).


The natural beauty....

...the daily hot springs ritual...

...plenty of this!

Accommodation

JIJ use mixed Japanese western style accommodations so you can be assured of the chance to experience authentic local food and hospitality. The Ultimate Powder Backcountry Tour moves around to several locations. The following properties are where the tours usually stay, however they may vary due to availability but these will be typical of the alternatives.

Asahikawa
Hotel Paco is most commonly used in Asahikawa (or JR Inn if not available). The hotel is a 3-star property located right in town. Rooms are western with a private en-suite and the property has a Japanese bath house on-site. There is also a restaurant, bar and free wifi available.
Asahidake
Lodge Nutappu is a family runs property located just a short walk to the ropeway (cable car). It is a rustic log cabin with its own restaurant and bar and segregated men's/women's indoor and outdoor onsen. There are several other hotels nearby that also have some superb public onsens (but they do cost to get in) but worth a look!
Tokachidake 
Accommodation at Tokachidake is typically at Kamihoroso which is a lovely traditional Japanese mountain lodge. It has a superb outdoor hot spring with spectacular views and offers traditional Japanese multi-course cuisine for dinner and a western Japanese buffet breakfast in its dining area. Rooms are Japanese-style (futons on the tatami floor) with private ensuites. Free wifi is available in the common areas.
Tomamu/Ochiai
Pension Ing is a lovely little family run Japanese pension with western-style beds and shared bathroom facilities. It has a nice onsen, communal lounge area with TV and offers free wifi. A daily breakfast is served in the private dining area.
Furano
Pension Furanui is located in the heart of Furano village among restaurants and bars. Rooms are basic Japanese-style and all have a private toilet & basin. There is an indoor Japanese bath house on-site which is a nice way to start and end the day. The property also has a common lounge area. 
Sounkyo
Lodge Yamanoue is a traditional Japanese hotel located in the town of Sounkyo Onsen. Here you will find indoor & outdoor hot springs and traditional Japanese cuisine. Rooms are Japanese-style.



Typical Japanese-style room

...most accommodations have onsens..

...experience superb Japanese cuisine

Itinerary

The itinerary below provides an outline of how the tours run however the first and third tour commences in Asahikawa (as shown below) and the second tour starts in Tomamu and has a slightly different itinerary but it covers mostly the same areas.

Day 1
Afternoon transfers from Asahikawa station OR airport to your accommodation at Asahikawa. You are free to explore Asahikawa City and its many restaurants & bars.

Day 2
Morning transfer to Asahidake (Hokkaido's highest mountain/volcano) for a full day of riding. Here you will find some of the deepest, driest powder snow on earth! Tonight you will stay at Asahidake and will have the opportunity to have a well-earned outdoor hot spring bath.

Day 3-6
For the next four days you will explore the amazing terrain of Asahidake (with the assistance of a ropeway - 100 person cable car) and each night at the Japanese log-style mountain lodge. The lodge has a small onsen and there are several hotels nearby that have some of the best onsens you will find in Japan. They are well worth a visit and a great daily ritual! Dinner is served each night at the lodge, as is breakfast each morning.

Day 7-10
For the next four days you will explore the massive area of the Tokachidake range which is also renowned for its deep and consistently dry powder snow. There is no lift assistance here. You will earn your turns from start to finish each day and will be rewarded with some of the most incredible skiing you will have ever experienced. See more information about Tokachidake here.

Day 11
In the morning after breakfast you will transfer to Furano where you will have free time for lunch or a quick ski at the resort. At approximately 1pm you will then transfer from Furano to Tomamu (about 1 hour away) to your accommodation in Tomamu.

Day 12
Today you will ski the Tomamu backcountry, and depending on snow conditions you will use the lifts for some some sections with the aim of ultimately reaching Tomamu summit. Overnight in Tomamu.


Tomamu backcountry..

..Tokachi freshies..

..true wilderness skiing.

Day 13
This is the day for a spectacular high mountain traverse with full day-packs starting at the top of the Tomamu lifts. You will make your way across the summit ridge to the Ochiai peak before descending to the town of Ochiai. You will then do a transfer to Furano (approx 60 mins by road). Overnight in Furano.

Day 14
Today you will ski the backcountry of the Yubari range (on the southern end of the Furano ski field). You will use the lifts to gain the high-point and check in with ski patrol and then head for the spectacular summit of Nishi Dake. Overnight Furano.

Day 15
Another full day in the Yubari range (or an option to ski at Furano ski resort). Today, based on snow conditions, decide whether to take the route through either of the valleys near Nishi Dake or further down the valley where you can climb to the summit of Mt Ashibetsu. Overnight Furano.

Day 16
Early morning depart from Furano for Kitami Pass (approx 2 hours). You will spend the rest of the day climbing near the pass to some very accessible powder bowls. After skiing you will transfer to your accommodation at Sounkyo Gorge (approx 35 mins away). Evening view of the ice festival.

Day 17
Today you will have the option of climbing and skinning at the base of Kurodake in the Sounkyo Gorge or returning to nearby Kitami Pass (depending on the snow and weather conditions). After skiing you will then transfer to Asahikawa for your last evening where you have the option to rest or hit the town with your new found ski buddies.

Day 18
After breakfast, you will depart for Asahikawa station or airport by private bus.

Inclusions

  • Experienced & qualified guide throughout tour
  • All transfers during tour and to and from Tomamu or Asahikawa & back to either Asahikawa or Chitose airports or Asahikawa Station
  • 17 nights twin share accommodation (single room supplement available, private room for couples)
  • 17 breakfasts
  • 13 dinners

Not Included
  • Compulsory travel insurance
  • Lunches, dinners (apart from those mentioned in the inclusions) and snacks
  • Ski gear and avo safety gear rentals
  • Airfares

Optional Add-Ons
  • Ski touring gear hire (10% discount available)
  • Avalanche safety gear hire
  • Single room supplement AU$490 (subject to availability)

Journey Into Japan (JIJ) Terms & Conditions

DEPOSIT & FULL PAYMENT

  • Deposit is $AUD250 per person.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Final balance due: 60 days prior to departure.
  • All payments are in Australian Dollars (AUD)

CANCELLATION BY YOU

  • more than 60 days prior to departure, full deposit forfeited.
  • 60 to 30 days prior to departure, 50% of trip cost is forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days 100% forfeited.
  • JIJ insist you take out travel insurance at time of sending your deposit.

CANCELLATION BY JIJ
JIJ reserve 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.

GROUP SIZE 
Trips costs are based on optimum group sizes. If we don’t get the required number of people (4 for all trips), you will be notified as soon as possible and offered the choice of: 

a) A full refund of the money you have paid.
b) A transfer to another date at no cost to you.
c) Paying a surcharge.

ROUTE & ITINERARY CHANGES 
Due to various factors, such as weather, group ability, gov’t legislation affecting routes and other unforeseen circumstances we reserve the right to alter itineraries if necessary. In most cases itinerary alterations will be advised prior to depature.

ITEMS NOT INCLUDED
Please refer to specific trip descriptions for inclusions. Please note that emergency evacuation costs, visa/passport charges, extra meals, alcohol, all items of a personal nature or excess baggage charges are not included.

ITINERARY AND TRIP COSTS
Journey into Japan reserves the right to make any changes to trip dates, itineraries and costs without notice.