10-Day Tohoku Indy Trip Itinerary
This is the flow of the trip. Generally we start north and work our way south.
Day 1: Arriving Logistics, Meet & Greet
Arrive at either Shin Aomori Train Station or Aomori Airport (AOJ). After pickup, transfer to the Rock Wood hotel, your slope-side accommodation at Aomori Springs ski resort.
This trip is hosted by a JST Host who will facilitate and ensure that your trip gets off to a good start. Upon arrival at the Rock Wood Hotel your JST Host will lead in a trip orientation, providing details and framework for the trip flow, as well as orienting you on how to be a great guest during your stay in Japan. The JST Host will join you for the entire duration of the trip, ensuring smooth transitions at each accommodation and ski resort.
You can see more on the Logistics page about the processes of arriving and departing on this trip.
Day 2-3: Ski Aomori Spring Resort
The Aomori Spring Ski Resort in Tohoku Japan (formerly Naqua Shirakami Ski Resort) is well and truly off the radar of most international skiers and snowboarders who head to Japan in search of powder. Unlike the high profile Japanese ski resorts that are over-run with westerners where fresh tracks disappear within an hour and any cultural experiences are heavily diluted, Aomori Spring Ski Resort is the real deal.
Aomori Spring provides a modern Japanese skiing experience and is ideal for hungry powder hounds looking for a powder fix. It's also fabulous for those who love to launch in the terrain parks and features and Olympic size 22 foot halfpipe. .
On day 3, after a full day of skiing, we pack up and head to the Hachimantai Mountain Hotel which is the slope-side hotel for both Panorama and Shimokura ski resorts.
Day 4-5: Ski Shimokura and Panorama
Shimokura is a local gem of the Hachimantai powder belt. This protected east-facing bowl gets positively dumped with high quality super light snow. This small resort consists of just three lifts, but the tree skiing and backcountry options will have you playing on the mountain all day. A lift ticket here can also be used at the beginner friendly Panorama resort which is ski in/out from our accommodation at Hachimantai Mountain Hotel.
From where we stay at the Hachimantai Mountain Hotel, guests can also take a bus to ride at Appi Kogen (not on the Indy Pass), only 30 minutes away or do a day of backcountry touring at the Hachimantai Backcountry zone. Cat skiing and backcountry guiding are both great options for this segment of the trip (subject to availability).
Side country/Tree skiing: Marked and unmarked routes available
Backcountry: Unmarked advanced backcountry available
Day 6: A quick ski day at Okunakayama Kogen on the way to Tazawako
On the morning of day 6, we check out of the Hachimantai Mountain Hotel and head to Okunakayama for a quick ski to break up our journey to Tazawako.
Okunakayama Kogen is a town-owned ski resort that feels like a private ski resort on weekdays, where rivalry for fresh powder is approximately zero. This mountain is a protected east-facing bowl with four ski lifts and two traditional Onsen hot springs at the base. The facilities feature basic Japanese cuisine and authentic accommodation options.
Side country/Tree skiing: Unmarked routes and road laps possible. Backcountry: Unmarked easy access backcountry available.
After the ski day, we transfer to Tazawako ski resort, which is 2 hours away.
Day 7-8: Ski Tazawako
Site of the Annual FIS Freestyle Ski Worldcup Competition, Tazawako has a bit of everything—high speed lifts, good piste options, side-country, backcountry and a variety of terrain for all skier types. Located on the West side of the mountain range, this side is more exposed to the storms off the Sea of Japan and gets plenty of snow.
Side country/Tree skiing: Unmarked side country is possible
Backcountry: Unmarked expert backcountry possible and quite rewarding for those willing to put in the effort.
After our second day of skiing in Tazawako, pack up and drive 2 hours to the "King of Snow", Geto Kogen ski resort.
Day 9-10: Ski at Geto Kogen
Day 10: Drop off day
On the final day, after skiing until 2:30 pm, we pack up and head to the drop off point of Kitakami bullet train station.
For more information on logistics, see the Logistics page here.