JAPAN

16-27 jan 2019

500 kilometers from Tokyo is Hokkaido - the northernmost island of Japan. In the colder months Hokkaido becomes a winter wonderland where mystical stories from ancient Japan abound. There are volcano-shaped mountains, the unique smell of sulphur, the non-stop snowfall, the classic Japanese streetscapes, and the hot springs that boil under falling snow. These elements come together to create the kind of tranquility that is totally unlike what you can find in Europe.

Japanese culture meets winter sports

Snow falls practically every day here. As a result, roads twist and turn between 4-meter snow walls. As the temperatures almost never creep above 0 degrees, the snow doesn’t become wet and heavy, and you’ll always find fresh, powdery snow. In fact, nearby Sapporo is actually one of the cities with the most snowfall in the world - in boasts even more than Helsinki or Oslo! In its snowiest years, Niseko can receive up to 17 meters of the white stuff.
If this is your first time skiing in Japan, you might have quite a few pleasant surprises. There’ll be plenty of ‘aha’ moments when you compare the Japanese to western ski resorts. For example, the care and precision the Japanese have when looking after the snow conditions.

Artistic elegance and care

This kind of attention to detail is there in everything. Whether it’s in the service you get in restaurants, in the cleanliness, or in the quality of the food. For example, at the bottom of each ski lift is a vending machine. These aren’t those dirty ones that barely ever work, these are engineering feats! The soup you get in these vending machines is piping hot and surprisingly good! After a few hours on the slopes, this soup or a natural green tea is just what you need! Of course, in the ski lodges it’s not Austrian dumplings you’ll get but ramen noodles and seafood. No worries it’s polite to slurp your noodles.
Japanese culture is everywhere. It’s more closely-related to the nature-loving style of old-world Japan, instead of the more modern version of Japan that you’d find in Tokyo. Instead of sweating it out in saunas, we’ll take a hot soak in an onsen - Japanese-style hot springs and baths. There’s no better feeling after a hard day skiing than relaxing your muscles in 45-degree thermal water. Of course, it’s important to follow traditional Japanese rules while bathing. No shoes, no tattoes, no swimsuits but maximal cleanliness.
Ramen soupGERMKNÖDLBirchPINE TREESVolcanoes of hokkaidoPEAKS OF THE ALPSonsensauna
If you’re obsessed with skiing or snowboarding on powder snow, then this is your place! You can spend every day crisscrossing fresh snow. Unlike in Europe, skiing off-piste in Japan is safer; there aren’t glacier breaks and avalanches are rarer, too.
The atmosphere off-piste is different as well. Because the mountains aren’t as high - we’re on slopes that are at about the 1300 meter level - instead of pine trees there are birch trees. It’s a totally different vibe.
In Japan there are loads of different words for ‘snow.’ But when in Hokaido, it’s enough to simply remember the word for ‘powder,’ which is ‘kona yuki.
Japow– Powder Camp

16-27 jan 2019

€1450

ABILITY LEVEL

intermediate/advanced/expert

BEST SUITED FOR

couples, solo traveler, groups

MEETING POINT

at the hotel in Niseko, Annupuri village / upon agreement in case of group travel

WEATHER

mountain winter weather, snowfall, -25 - +5 °C

SKI/SNOWBOARD CONDITIONS

volcanoes and birch forest trails, lots of fresh powder

SKI/SNOWBOARD PACKAGE

lift passes, local knowledge, day trips, theoretical and practical avalanche / safety briefings

ACCOMMODATION

hostel style with 4 bed rooms

FREE TIME/NIGHTLIFE

onsens (hot thermal bathes), culinary treats and aprés ski parties

HOW BIG IS THE GROUP?

we can operate up to 12 people in one group

WHAT’S INCLUDED

accommodation, lift passes, mountain ski guiding, theoretical and practical avalanche / safety briefings, all the transfers and day trip transports

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

food, ski equipment, avalanche safety kit, visa if needed, insurance, optional cat-skiing / heli-skiing

APPLICATION DEADLINE

4 months prior the trip

INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN

40% upon application, 60% 2 month prior arrival
Send us your application! Once we receive your details, we will send you the booking information. To confirm your booking, a deposit of 40% of the price of the given trip (or the full balance if within two months of the departure date) is required. This can be done by bank transfer.

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Japow Q & A

HOW CAN I DECIDE IF MY SKIING SKILLS ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CAMP?

If you ride with confidence on stronger red slopes and you feel like going off-piste than it's your camp! There will be more guides and groups will be divided according to different skill levels, so you don't need to be worried about waiting for others or others waiting for you. By the way, the mountains generally aren't steep and the freeriding is a lot safer in Japan comparing to Europe.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE, WHAT KIND OF CLOTHES SHOULD I TAKE?

We will stay in the Northern part of Japan in winter time. Be prepared for everything between -25 - +5 degrees, especially for a heavy snow falling with strong wind. Lots of layers are always better than a super warm down jacket.

WHO WILL LEAD THE TOUR AND THE VARIOUS PROGRAMS?

Since local guides are extremely expensive and we are trying to organize the Japanese trip with the best price/value ratio, the tour will be led by our guides (Jano, Gaspar, David or Dani), all of them backed up with local experience.

WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT WILL I NEED?

Powder skis, transceiver, probe, shovel, a good pair of googles with clear or yellow lenses, spare gloves and your usual stuff you would take for any ski trip.

HOW MUCH POCKET MONEY WILL I NEED?

You'll have good times with 500 EUR, with some Kobe steak, daily onsens and Japanese whiskey specialties included. +/ 250 EUR based on your attitude. In case you fancy a snowcat day, count on another 400 EUR.

WHAT KIND OF INSURANCE SHOULD I TAKE OUT?

You should choose an insurance which expands for going off-piste. and valid for Japan. You should be aware that the blue EU health insurance card and the insurance of your bank card are not valid in most cases.

IS IT A PROBLEM IF I WANT TO COME ALONE?

Not at all. Half of the group usually comes alone, so you can be sure you'll make new friends!

WHICH COUNTRIES WILL WE VISIT?

We’ll be staying in the northern part of Japan, close to Sapporo, the island itself is called Hokkaido.

WHAT ABOUT FOOD?

You should expect great, fresh and healthy food. Only a few things are better than a huge steamy ramen bowl between 2 chest deep powder laps. Fruits and seafood are expensive though and the European kind of healthy bread doesn't exist.
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