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The Japanese Ski Safari

Niseko - Tokyo - Nozawa Onsen - Kyoto

Duration: two weeks

With two weeks in Japan you have the time to visit two contrasting ski resorts in Japan – five days of skiing in internationally-renowned Niseko and then a couple of days on the slopes in quaint, authentic, atmospheric Nozawa Onsen. There’s also time for couple of days in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, and Tokyo – the world’s most exciting city. 

Throw in rides on bullet-trains and a trip to the snow monkeys bathing in onsen waters, and we'd claim this as the ultimate Japan skiing itinerary. We know it works, because it’s our most popular itinerary (often with minor variations to suit) and our clients invariably love this holiday.

Day 1

Depart from the U.K., flying to Hokkaido Island in Japan.

Day 2

Probably transferring through Tokyo, you arrive in Sapporo Chitose Airport. It's then coach or private transfer to Niseko, where you check in to your accommodation and relax after the international flights.

Days 3-7

Five days' skiing or snowboarding in and around Niseko. We can hire backcountry guides, make full-day excursions to nearby Rusutsu, Moiwa or Kiroro and / or head off snow cat skiing for the day.

Day 8

Transfer to Sapporo Chitose Airport and fly down to Tokyo Haneda. Make your way to your central hotel. Spend a first evening of neon-induced sensory overload in the Shinjuku district of the capital city.

Day 9

A full day at leisure in Tokyo, ticking off the sights and exploring the backstreets.

Day 10

Catch the morning shinkansen (bullet-train) to Nagano prefecture and head up to Nozawa Onsen village. Excursion to visit the nearby snow monkeys in the afternoon.

Days 11 & 12

Two days' skiing in Nozawa Onsen, enjoying the hot spring village in the evenings.

Day 13

Train from Iiyama Station (close to Nozawa Onsen) to Kyoto, perhaps breaking the journey in Kanazawa en route and visiting its Samurai district.

Day 14

Exploring the cultural heart of Japan in Kyoto. We have excursions on offer, or you could head out under your own steam and explore the temples, shrines and palaces.

Day 15

Make your way to Kansai 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 £2,884 per person, including on moderate accommodation (mid / low season), transfers, lift passes in both Niseko and Nozawa Onsen, Japan rail pass, excursion to see the snow monkeys 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.