July 7, 2020: In response to global uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 situation, JST has relaxed our cancellation policy to protect our guests in the event that the world doesn't stabilize in time for winter season! Have a look at our updated COVID-19 booking policy here.
The Hokkaido Storm Chaser is a 7-day guided off-piste ski road-trip that hits 6 different Hokkaido ski resorts for each of the 6 ski days. We base out of two main hubs--the ski town of Furano and the port-side town of Otaru. Where we go each day isn't set--it depends on where the weather report is indicating the best pow will be.
Our guides will take you to the best possible in-bounds and lift-accessed side-country powder. Aside from taking our guests to the best possible pow, we'll also take you to the best possible food. Our guides make dinner reservations nightly for our group--the restaurants are chosen for their authenticity, deliciousness, local specialties, and the ability to meet variable price-points.
Depending on conditions, you can expect to ski out-of-bounds about 70% of the time. If you're not into skiing off-piste/out of bounds/side-country, this trip probably isn't for you. Please see our Skier Experience Level page here for an idea of what skill level this trip is aimed at.
January: 2-8, 12-18, 16-22, 22-28
February: 1-7, 10-16, 20-26
Day 1: Meet and Greet
There are two options for where to meet the group:
1. Meet at the Asahikawa AKJ airport at 1:30pm or
2. Meet at the Natulux Hotel Furano at 5:15pm, accessed on your own or by the Resort Liner Bus with service from CTS airport
Day 2-3: Storm Chase Furano Area
Days 2-4 are spent skiing the best possible resorts on any given day including Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake (if conditions permit), and Kamui Ski Links. The exact date we ski any one of these resorts depends on conditions and will be determined based on the upcoming forecasts.
Day 4: Storm Chase Furano Area/Transfer to Otaru
After our third ski day in the Furano area, we transfer bases to southern Hokkaido, saying farewell to our Furano based guides. Transported by our friends from Social Bus, we land in the quaint port-side town of Otaru and are greeted by our guides specializing in this region. Mostly undiscovered by ski-travellers, Otaru provides lots of interesting ski options as well as nightlife and apres options.
Day 5-6: Storm Chase Out of Otaru
Following the format of the first 3 days, your guide will select the best possible options to ride out of the Japow buffet of Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine (site of the 1998 winter Olympics), and Kiroro with a possibility of exploring the utterly untracked and tiny hills of Tenguyama and Asari if conditions are favorable.
Day 7: Final Day of Skiing and Drop-offs
On day 7, the group snags one last day of skiing in before heading to CTS airport for the drop off. With all the logistics to be done, the ski day ends slightly early at 1:00pm. You have a few options here depending on your timeframe; either fly out of CTS airport on a late flight or get dropped off at your hotel of choice in Chitose City, located right next to CTS airport.
On the Hokkaido Storm Chaser you will stay in western-style modern, clean accommodation which is centrally located and walking distance to downtown amenities. This makes a quick nightcap or a local karaoke session a breeze. While rooms are considered standard size in Japan, they would be viewed as small by western standards. The daily breakfasts feature some Hokkaido specialities with both Japanese and western options.
At Japan Ski Tours, we think that skiing is about more than just skiing--especially when you're in a country famous for its culinary delights. As a guide company run and operated by guides who have years of experience living in Japan, we're excited to guide you to the best possible food in the evenings.
Our criteria for selecting restaurants are:
On this trip we typically indulge in Shabushabu, Yakiniku, Teppanyaki, Sushi, traditional Soba noodles, and Tonkatsu. For an exact description and pictures of each meal type, as well as a note on dietary restrictions, see our food page below.