Upon deboarding the All Nippon Airways flight in Sapporo, the baggage claim of the New Chitose Airport is chock full of skiers (*tell-tale FlyLow hats, Carhart Pants, and the dead giveaway– boots hung on backpacks). As a collective they’re looking around the baggage claim at Japanese signage in disbelief and mostly– confusion.
For many English-speaking skiers/riders, the first few days in Japan can be a bit complicated. There’s getting from Sapporo to whatever mountain you’ve chosen (ridiculously windy/snowy roads and expensive private transfers), then you have to find out where to ski (what part of Hokkaido are we in again?), and finally-once in Japan how do I get those turns I’ve been dreaming about since watching the JP Auclair, Chris Benchetler Reasons segment?
Expectations are high and they’re not about to be put into check until that first over the head face-shot. So what’s a skier to do?
Official guide books can only give so much useful information before communication breaks down and you’re left in the flats of some massive pow field, post holing towards the groomer that’s impossibly close/far. The DIY approach, while honorable and doable, isn’t for everyone.
We’re not all pro skiers who can take a month-long sojourn in “The Land of the Rising Sun” taking our time to figure stuff out.
For most, we have a week, maybe a little more to get over to Japan for the dream trip that’s been nagging our Instagram feeds over the past few years. It’s a precious slice of time and nobody wants to blow it.
Last year, we had the opportunity to host a group of skiers along with Ski.com and we witnessed first hand the most dialed in program in Niseko. Simply put, The Southern Hokkaido Guided Ski Trip is an experience that’s equal parts powder & culture without the typical hassles.
“‘I know you wanted to ski Annupuri today….and we can. It will be good. Or you can go have the best day of your life at Moiwa.’ For the record it was.” – Guest, Greg Johnston recalls guide Tomas Grega’s morning briefing prior to the best day of his life.
Based out of Niseko, we skied everything from backcountry lines outside Niseko to neck deep, under the chair laps at Rusutsu. The Ski.com program offers skiers and riders the best opportunity to make the most of their stay in #japow nation.
2019 SOUTHERN HOKKAIDO GUIDED SKI TRIP
2 Trips — Jan 19-26 | Jan 26 – Feb 2
Price — $2,599 (*$1,000 deposit per person required to reserve spot)
- Airport and resort transportation
- 7 nights’ lodging in Niseko at The Green Leaf Niseko Village
- 6 days of guided skiing in or around Niseko (possibly Rusutsu or Kiroro based on snowfall), with access to backcountry
- Breakfast daily, 1 welcome reception + 1 traditional Japanese dinner
Located on the southern peninsula of Hokkaido island, Niseko is the largest and easily Japan’s most famous ski destination. Receiving 595 inches of snow on average per season, Niseko is truly the powder paradise that it’s rumored to be. But it’s not only Niseko’s powder that’s the best in Japan; for expert skiers and riders, nothing competes with Niseko’s off-piste sidecountry skiing.
Located 62 miles from bustling Sapporo, Niseko is quite convenient for both international travelers and for city site-seers. The resort is very near Mt. Yōtei or “the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido,” and the views contribute to Niseko’s status as Japan’s ski-resort star.
The resort is comprised of four interconnected base areas: An’nunpuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono, all of which offer a unique dining and lodging experience.