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Ski The Best Of Both Islands

Niseko - Hakuba - Tokyo

Duration: two weeks

Niseko is the must-go-to ski resort of Japan, unparalleled in what it offers both on and off piste and so it's hard not to include it in an itinerary, especially as many make the case for the Hakuba Valley on Honshu Island offering more variety, steeper terrain and offering more challenge. Indeed, many experienced skiers and snowboarders choose to stay on the main island, where the topography is alpine as opposed to volcanic.

But why choose?! Instead, this itinerary showcases both of Japan's most famous, internationally-regarded ski resorts. For the "I'm only going to Japan once, so I may as well do the best of the best" brigade. The ultimate skiers' connoisseur itinerary.

Day 1

Fly to Japan, transferring through Tokyo to head up to Hokkaido Island.

Day 2

Arrive at Sapporo Chitose Airport and transfer to Niseko. Settle in to your accommodation in Hirafu Village and relax after your journey.

Days 3-7

Five days skiing or snowboarding in and around Niseko. You may choose to spend a day at nearby Rusutsu or Kiriro or head off on one of the local cat skiing excursions.

Day 8

Transfer back to Sapporo Chitose Airport and fly down to Tokyo Haneda. You are met at the airport and take a direct transfer to the resort of Hakuba in the Japanese Alps.

Days 8-11

Four days skiing in the Hakuba valley, having based yourself in Happo Village.

Day 12

Either spend the day skiing and then catch the evening bullet-train in to Tokyo. Alternatively, sacrifice the day on the slopes and come in to the capital earlier; it's your call. Either way, you have your first night in the neon madness that is Tokyo.

Day 13

Full day at leisure in Tokyo.

Day 14

Head out to 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 two week itinerary would be circa £2,544 per person, including on moderate accommodation (mid / low season), transfers, lift passes, shinkansen 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!


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.