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Honshu Powder Safari

Hakuba - Myoko Kogen / Arai - Appi Kogen

Duration: two weeks

If you were to provide us with a straight-forward request – 

"I want to go to Japan for one reason only. I want to experience the best snow and make fresh tracks in the really deep stuff"

-  then this is the itinerary we would end-up creating. 

Honshu Island gets every bit as much snow as Hokkaido, yet the terrain is more varied and - crucially - the crowds are less, so fresh tracks are a real possibility. This itinerary combines three regions, all famous for the amount of snowfall they receive and their relaxed attitude to side and backcountry skiing.

The Hakuba Valley has the largest amount of terrain and the most variety - a wonderful introduction to skiing or snowboarding in Japan. You then head over towards Myoko Kogen (or, better still, Arai if you have the budget), which places you on the snowiest mountains in all Japan. 

The final ski resort is further away…but well worth the effort. A long bullet-train ride (three and half hours) takes you to Appi-Kogen, and the rewards are immense. This is our Ja’Pow secret gem, out on a limb and rarely visited by international guests. Fresh tracks abound. And, close by, is the Hakkoda ropeway; one lift / one mountain / no grooming / absolute ski nirvana.

Then it's back down to Tokyo for a final night in the capital before flying home.

Day 1

Depart from the U.K., flying to either Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda.

Day 2

Shared taxi transfer direct from the airport to your hotel in the Hakuba Valley. Relax after the long international flights.

Days 3 - 6

Four days skiing in the Hakuba Valley - use the gates to explore the backcountry. Guides can be arranged.

Day 7

Coach transfer from Hakuba to either Arai (for luxury) or Myoko Kogen (budget accommodation) - you have time to get on the slopes in the afternoon.

Days 8 - 10

Three days in the Myoko / Arai region. If you are staying in Myoko Kogen, then it would be worth making a day trip to the Arai mountain at least once, using the regular shuttle bus. And, if staying in Arai...then vice versa.

Day 11

A travel day - catch the shinkansen (bullet-train) from Joetsumyoko Station to Morioka Station, right up at the north of Honshu Island. Then, continue by local train to Appi Kogen Station, where the hotel will come pick you up. 

Days 12 - 14

Two days skiing in Appi Kogen, but then one day you should definitely make you way to the Hakkoda Ropeway for an epic day in the ungroomed deep powder.

Day 15

Shinkansen (bullet-train) all the way back down to Tokyo, for one final afternoon & evening in the capital.

Day 16

Fly home to your home country.

Obviously, cost depends on which accommodation you choose, whether you choose to stay in Arai or Myoko Kogen, if you want to include some backcountry guides or not, whether you wish to include ski hire, etc. An indicative lead-in price for this 16-day itinerary would be circa £2,498 per person, including on moderate accommodation (mid / low season), transfers, lift passes, rail tickets, and economy class flights from the U.K.

We don't have to include international flights. However, by keeping it all within one package, your arrangements are protected by ATOL.

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.

1. Get in touch with Different Snow

Whether you wish to plan your trip around one of these sample itineraries or you have other ideas, simply get in touch by phone or online. If using our online form, ideally we would like to still try get in contact with you by phone to discuss your requirements, but this is not essential.

2. Let us create a bespoke itinerary

We have the first-hand knowledge, travel industry experience and local contacts required to put your plans into action. We can answer your questions, offer suggestions and advice to suit your tastes and budget. We will carefully design your trip, creating a detailed itinerary which you will receive via email. We can then refine it until you are completely happy.

3. Confirm the arrangements with us

Once you are satisfied with all the arrangements, we ask you to complete a booking form and pay a deposit to secure your trip. Everything is secured once you receive our confirmation invoice. Even after booking, you’ll undoubtedly think of more questions. Feel free to call us at any time!

4. We'll send you your travel documents

Approximately three weeks before travel you will receive your travel documents. We will also provide additional information, such as restaurant recommendations, cultural notes, packing lists and one or two home-spun guides - created through our personal experience.

5. Tell your friends about Different Snow

It is important to us that your holiday exceeds your expectations! Different Snow will continue to grow through personal recommendations and word of mouth and, therefore, it is essential to us that you have a great holiday. We want you to travel with us again. Once you've returned we want to hear all about it and we'll certainly encourage you to tell all your friends!

Japan INFORMATION

Capital:  Tokyo

Time zone:  GMT + 9 hrs

Currency:  Yen

Language:  Japanese

Ski Season:  Early December until mid-April

Largest Ski Resorts: Shiga-Kogen is the largest..but we don't feature this ski resort (it's not very good!). Of the resorts Different Snow feature Hakuba, Niseko & Appi Kogen are the largest.

Access:  There are direct flights from the U.K. to Tokyo, either Narita or Haneda airports. Alternatively, it sometimes works out a little cheaper to route via Europe or another Asian city. From Tokyo the wonderful rail network, road transfers or a domestic flight up to Hokkaido Island will get you to the ski resorts.

Beyond the skiing:  Spending time in Tokyo is a must; it is the world's most exciting city. Kyoto is the cultural heart of the country. Get off the beaten track and stay in a ryokan or capsule hotel, visit markets, discover traditional Japanese arts and explore modern otaku culture.