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The Honshu Powder Hunter

Appi Kogen - Tokyo - Hakuba

Duration: two weeks

Where has the best powder snow in Japan? Some say Hokkaido Island...but many of us who are in-the-know stick with Hoshu. Appi Kogen is a hidden gem, admittedly just across the narrow straits from Hokkaido Island, and it has the best snow record of all. Hhe Hakuba Valley offers the variety nowhere else in Japan can, truly Alpine topography. Combine them in one itinerary and we have the skiers', skiers' dream trip. If any one of my friends wants to travel to Japan, with the sole purpose of skiing the best - this is our default suggestion.

And when you are not on the slopes, a god time is to be had by all. Long bullet-train journeys are always and pleasure and we defy you not to have fun in Tokyo.

Day 1

Fly from your home country to Japan.

Day 2

Transfer through Tokyo and then fly north on Honshu Island to Aomori or Sendai. Coach transfer to Appi Kogen.

Days 3-6

Four days skiing or snowboarding in Appi Kogen. An essential excursion to Hakkoda is included, where the single ropeway up the mountain affords access to limitless backcountry terrain.

Day 7

Coach transfer to Morioka City and then you catch the bullet-train to take you all the way down through Honshu Island. arrive in Tokyo in the mid-afternoon and settle in to your central hotel.

Day 8

Full day at leisure in Tokyo.

Day 9

Final morning in Tokyo. Bullet-train to Nagano City and ski shuttle coach on to Hakuba ski resort in the Japanese Alps.

Days 10-14

Five full days skiing or snowboarding in the Hakuba Valley.

Day 15

Shared taxi transfer from Hakuba back to Tokyo Haneda (or Tokyo Narita) airport and fly home.

Obviously, cost depends on which accommodation you choose, how many excursions and activities you want to book, whether you wish to include ski hire and local backcountry guides, etc. An indicative lead-in price for this 15-day itinerary would be circa £2,990 per person, including on moderate accommodation (mid / low season), all bullet-train journeys (thelengtth ofthe island!), lift passes 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!


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.