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The Japan Ski Holiday

Niseko - Tokyo - Nozawa Onsen - Kyoto

Duration: 10 days

Kyoto is the perfect introduction to Japan. But then the focus is on skiing, but the resort choice is up to you – this itinerary allows you to pick a resort in the Japan Alps or from those up in Hokkaido, before heading back to Tokyo for a couple of days in the big city before you fly home.

Start in Kyoto – tick off the temples, shrines, geisha districts and perhaps stay in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn. The perfect introduction to Japan. It's then time to head off to the resort of your choosing, and we can talk you through the options. Some resorts are better for beginners, others better for snowboarders, some have plenty of nightlife and others are more authentically Japanese in character. All enjoy the best snow you'll every be fortunate enough to carve through. The trip ends 10 days later in Tokyo – sightseeing, souvenir shopping, partying, museum hopping … whatever you wish.

Every itinerary we create at Different Snow is bespoke. This itinerary is an example of an itinerary which has worked well for other skiers travelling to Japan for the first time, and we can tailor it to meet your particular preferences and requirements.

Day 1

Arrive in Kansai airport and transfer to Kyoto. Check in to your hotel or ryokan and spend the remainder of the day relaxing after your international flights.

Day 2

A full day in Kyoto. You could explore under your own steam – we'll provide sightseeing notes – or you could take on of our tours. Spend the evening in the Ponto-chō district, perhaps watching a maiko performance.

Day 3

Transfer from Kyoto to your ski resort of choice. This could involve a train ride to Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen, or a flight from Kansai up to Hokkaido to head to Niseko, Rusutsu or Furano. Check in to your accommodation and pick up your rental equipment.

Days 4 - 7

Four days' skiing or snowboarding in the amazing Japanese powder snow. In each resort we have activities and cultural excursions to keep you entertained off the slopes and backcountry tours to find fresh tracks fro experienced skiers and boarders.

Day 8

Head back to Tokyo – flying down from Hokkaido or catching the bullet-train from the resorts in the Japan Alps. Either way, you'll be checking in to your Tokyo hotel for mid-afternoon and we have plenty of suggestions for your first night in the capital.

Day 9

A full day to explore Tokyo. We have plenty of excursions and tours you can join or, alternatively, explore using the rail network, a good guidebook and using our sightseeing notes.

Day 10

Transfer to Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda for your flights 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 lift passes, etc. An indicative lead-in price for this 10-day itinerary would be circa £925 (¥162,000) per person, based on 3 or 4 star accommodation (low season), transfers and lift passes.

Different Snow can also include flights from your home country, be it the UK or elsewhere. By keeping it all within one package, your arrangements are protected.

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.