Japanuary 2018  nagano Jan 13 - 24       

Canadian Powder Adventures will be running our second guided trip to Japan this coming January.

In January, 2017, we toured the same areas in this powdery paradise, and we've given the itinerary some fine tuning, adding 1 ski day to total a 12 day tour (plus flight days), of skiing and snowboarding in the Nagano Prefecture on Honshu.

Guests on this trip arrive at the Narita Airport (Tokyo) on Jan 13, transferring by bus in the evening to the picturesque village of Nozawa Onsen.  We'll stay in the same hotel for 3 nights, skiing the first 2 days at the Nozawa Onsen resort.  After our second day of skiing is the night of the Fire Festival, where hundreds of spectators gather to watch this 150 year-old tradition of villagers "attacking" a 30 ft tall occupied shrine with burning stacks of reeds and bamboo, eventually lighting the shrine on fire (the occupants do escape).  Not to be missed!  The next morning we'll check out of the hotel, drive 40 mins to ski at Madarao Kogen, then another 40 mins to our lodging in Myoko Kogen, where we'll spend 3 nights.

During our 2 days at Myoko we'll ski at Akakura Kanko and Seki Onsen, both a short drive away.  Our 3rd morning at Myoko is planned to be the start of a rest day.  We'll drive an hour to Jigokudani Monkey Park, and hike a km through a beautiful forest to spend a couple hours among the residing snow monkeys, who famously rest in the steamy outdoor thermal baths.  From here a 2 hour drive brings us into Hakuba, where we'll stay for the remainder of the trip.  

Hakuba is located at the base of the largest range in the country, the Japanese Alps, with impressive peaks of 3000m in elevation dominating the skyline.  There are actually 10 resorts all within a 40 minute drive of our hotel, the largest one within walking distance.  This bustling Japanese version of a ski town also offers restaurants, pubs, and shops also within a short walk.  

There has already been a lot of interest in this trip for the coming season, so if you're tempted, act fast!  Please drop me a line if you have any questions at mike@canadianpowder.ca

 

Why Ski In Japan?  Here are a few reasons:

1. JaPOWPOW - It snows a lot in Japan.  The areas we'll visit boast 10m of accumulated snowfall per year.  It snows a lot in Japan.  I guess I said that already.  It snows a lot in Japan.

2. The Onsen Culture - this tradition of replenishing the mind, body, and spirit in naturally found hot springs at least once a day goes extremely well with skiing and snowboarding.  The onsen pools are kept pristine, as each visitor must stop at a washing station just before submerging, where you sit down and take advantage of the complimentary soap, shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, etc.  This is very agreeable to a cold and tired powder samurai.  There are often several onsen facilities within a small town, and they all have their own characteristics.  A great way to clean up before dinner.

3. Dinner (& all other meals) - culinary delight in this country is in large part due to the extremely high level of service that truly defines the Japanese...  The portions are relatively small, extending the evening meal to easily a couple hrs, while sampling more and more menu options.  Local beer and scotch are truly top shelf, while most of the wine is sake, of the rice variety.  Every morning while there I think I was anticipating dinner before I even had breakfast...

4. Options - There are well over 500 ski resorts in Japan.  We'll visit between 5 - 8 different ones on this trip.  The resorts are commonly separated with a river drainage, making more than one accessible in the same day.

5. Flora and Fauna - From the snow monkeys and goat-like kamoshikas, to the massive snow-laden birch trees and bamboo forests, these islands offer an abundance of natural wonder.

6. High Tech - High speed trains (Shinkansen), phenomenal bridged/tunneled roadway infrastructure, digitally controlled toilet functions (!), hot coffee and cream corn soup vending machines...  It's never ending, at least for us small-town kids.  Best part of this is the contrast, for example the smiling and bowing gentleman sweeping the snow off your seat on the lift with a reed broom, greeting you each time you pass by. 

7.  The Japanese, Themselves - The locals have an exceedingly gracious quality that is incredibly pleasant to be immersed in, and will make you wonder why everyone isn't a little nicer to others in this world.

8.  Other Highlights - Buddhist and Shinto temples, geishas, mochi, sumo wrestling on every channel, and ice bars.

 

Trip Itinerary for 2018

  • Sat, Jan 13  arrive at Narita Airport, travel to Nozawa Onsen (5 hrs by bus)
  • Jan 14  ski and stay in Nozawa Onsen 
  • Jan 15  ski and stay in Nozawa Onsen   * Fire Festival *
  • Jan 16  check out, ski at Madarao Kogen (40 mins away), then on to Myoko Kogen (40 mins)
  • Jan 17  ski and stay in Myoko Kogen
  • Jan 18  ski and stay in Myoko Kogen
  • Jan 19  check out, drive 1 hr to Jigokudani Monkey Park to spend a few hrs, then 2 hrs to Hakuba
  • Jan 20  ski and stay in the Hakuba area
  • Jan 21  ski and stay in the Hakuba area
  • Jan 22  ski and stay in the Hakuba area
  • Jan 23  ski and stay the final night in Hakuba
  • Wed, Jan 24  check out, drive 3.5 hrs to Narita Airport

Trip Prices

  • $4250 USD per person                        
Impressive backdrop of the Japanese Alps, looming over the village of Hakuba

Impressive backdrop of the Japanese Alps, looming over the village of Hakuba

The quiet resort of Myoko Kogen

The quiet resort of Myoko Kogen

Rare sighting of a wild (goat like) kamoshika

Rare sighting of a wild (goat like) kamoshika

The burning of the structure at the Nosawa Fire Festival

The burning of the structure at the Nosawa Fire Festival

Cortina is one of the ski areas within Hakuba, with the Austrian style hotel below

Cortina is one of the ski areas within Hakuba, with the Austrian style hotel below

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