Inter Island Explorer
Explore the ultimate powder paradise and experience vibrant local culture
The Inter Island Explorer Tour is the ultimate Japan ski tour, combining powder, culture, and adventure into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This 14-day road trip takes you from Morioka to Aomori before concluding in Central Hokkaido. With visits to various resorts and backcountry areas, such as Hakkoda, Aomori Springs, Otaru, and Furano, you’ll have the chance to ski or ride in some of the deepest snow in Japan. Immerse yourself in the local culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, and explore enchanting towns along the way. This tour is a paradise for powder hunters seeking an unforgettable skiing adventure in Japan.
Inter Island Explorer, Start Morioka / End Furano: 5 – 18 February, 2024
Get ready for an incredible adventure on the Inter Island Explorer Tour, a fully guided and hosted resort and backcountry powder tour in Japan. Over the course of 14 days, buckle up as you embark on an unforgettable road trip from Morioka to Aomori, crossing the Tsugaru Strait and concluding in Central Hokkaido. This tour is a dream come true for powder hunters, offering an array of experiences that will satisfy any skiing enthusiast visiting Japan.
Starting in Morioka, you'll explore five remarkable resorts in the region, including Appi, Shizukuishi, Hachimantai, Tazawako, and Geto Kogen. The adventure continues as you spend the next three nights near the awe-inspiring Hakkoda mountain, renowned for its expansive backcountry skiing. You'll also have the opportunity to visit Aomori Springs, a hidden gem.
Participants must have an advanced ability level in skiing powder, including confident skiing throughout the mountain, tree navigation, and adaptability to variable conditions. Fitness level is important, and snowboarders should be able to maintain speed and traverse effectively. Groupings are based on ability levels, with some hiking options available for more remote locations. Honest self-assessment of abilities and fitness is crucial to avoid slowing down the group.
This guided ski trip takes place from December to March. Email us and we can find dates that align with your availability.
A once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mabey Ski made very aspect of organising easy and enjoyable. A unique and magical experience!
The attention to detail was second to none and the excursions to onsens and authentic restaurants were excellent. The extra tips on what to take, what to wear and key Japanese phrases were all very helpful. The whole experience was enchanting & fulfilled our desire for adventure – thank you Mabey Ski!
A good mix of luxury, adventure and culture! The highlight of our trip was ski touring on Mount Yōtei. A more personable and flexible approach. Mabey Ski really focus on the small details as much as the big ones.
We really want to thank you for making our first visit to Japan such a memorable experience. Your knowledge of this country really made a huge difference.
Had the time of my life in both Japan and New Zealand with Mabey Ski. Ski touring in Japan in the deepest powder with the most wonderful guide. Their team goes above and beyond, they think of every detail. I cannot recommend their experiences enough.
The whole trip was very well organised. We had no previous knowledge of Niseko and with a large group it was invaluable to have a specialist on the ground. It was completely different to anything I’ve experienced in Europe, and we were all blown away by our Japanese chef’s table experience – it was so unique, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Furano: Located in a country town of about 20,000 people, Furano offers an awesome ski hill with excellent tree skiing and a vibrant atmosphere with over 100 bars and restaurants.
Tomamu: Discover the beauty of Tomamu, known for having arguably the best in-bounds powder skiing in Hokkaido, along with a fantastic park and off-piste section, all within a stunning mountain setting.
Kamui: Experience the allure of Kamui, a small ski resort situated in a secluded area, offering wide-open cruises, powder-filled trees, and a tranquil atmosphere with virtually no crowds.
Asahidake: Explore the popular touring location of Asahidake, boasting easy access to above-tree-line terrain, breathtaking views of the highest peak in Hokkaido, and the opportunity for hiking and adventure around the active volcano.
Kokusai: Step back in time at Kokusai, where you can enjoy perfectly groomed wide trails and mellow tree islands, away from the typical tourist routes.
Teine: Conveniently located near Sapporo, Teine offers a mix of steep groomed trails and low-angle tree runs, including a chance to ski past the old Olympic torch.
Kiroro: Indulge in abundant powder and diverse terrain at Kiroro, renowned for its high snowfall totals, expert grooming, and countless tree islands.
Hakkoda Ropeway: Embark on lift-accessed backcountry skiing and riding in Hakkoda, a mecca for local powder hunters, featuring ample snowfall and a range of challenging terrain.
Aomori Springs: Enjoy uncrowded and wide-open terrain at Aomori Springs, with well-maintained groomed slopes and the opportunity to venture into tree islands for a taste of Japan’s famous powder.
Geto Kogen: Experience easy backcountry access at Geto Kogen, featuring a defined gate system and steep tree runs that lead back to the lift, perfect for those seeking adventure.
Appi Kogen: Test your skills at Appi Kogen, where long and wide groomed trails, challenging tree runs, and a variety of skiing and riding terrain await.
Tazawako: Discover the hidden gem of Tazawako, offering untracked powder, fewer crowds, and picturesque tree runs, complemented by a visit to the famous Tsuru no Yu onsen.
Shizukuishi: Experience the tranquility of Shizukuishi, featuring long groomed runs, tree islands for powder enthusiasts, and the option to explore abandoned lift lines or try cat skiing.
Hachimantai: Enjoy great snow conditions at Hachimantai’s Panorama and Shimokura ski areas, known for their protected slopes, warm Japanese hospitality, and opportunities for tree runs and groomer practice.
Venturing beyond the bustling metropolises, travelers can discover the essence of Japanese life in charming towns and villages. These hidden gems boast a slower pace, preserving age-old customs and providing a glimpse into the country’s authentic heritage. One of the highlights of such journeys is indulging in the revitalizing experience of onsens, natural hot springs that have been revered for centuries. These serene retreats offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate in mineral-rich waters while savoring the tranquility of the surrounding landscapes.
Japan’s regional cuisine is a true culinary delight. Each town prides itself on its local specialties, ranging from delectable seafood in coastal regions to hearty mountain cuisine in alpine areas. From street food stalls to traditional ryokan inns, the gastronomic adventure is a feast for the senses, offering a diverse array of flavors and textures. Traveling to smaller towns in Japan is an invitation to delve into the heart of Japanese culture, where the warmth of hospitality, the serenity of onsens, and the tantalizing flavors of regional cuisine come together to create an unforgettable and authentic experience.
Embark on an unforgettable 14-day adventure in Japan, beginning with a true Japanese travel experience as you take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to the snowy city of Morioka. Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by your guides and driven to Morioka Grand Hotel, where you’ll meet your fellow road trippers over a delicious dinner. In the following days, you’ll explore the wonders of multiple resorts, including Appi Kogen, Hachimantai Shimokura, Tazawako, Getto Kogen, and Shizukushi. Your knowledgeable guides will select the resort with the best powder conditions each day, ensuring thrilling skiing or snowboarding experiences. In the evenings, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Morioka, sampling local cuisine and enjoying the city’s lively atmosphere.
As the journey continues, venture north to Hakkoda, a region renowned for its epic snowfall and breathtaking mountain terrain. Delve into the powder paradise of Hakkoda and experience the excitement of backcountry skiing, accompanied by mesmerizing views and the occasional encounter with snow monsters. The adventure extends to Aomori Springs, a hidden gem offering pristine powder-filled slopes and exceptional tree skiing opportunities. After an enchanting time in Tohoku, cross the Tsugaru Strait by ferry to Hakodate, where you can explore the seafood markets, immerse yourself in the Euro-Japanese architecture, and visit the renowned Mt Hakodate. Journey further north to Otaru, a snow-covered city boasting Kiroro, Kokusai, and Teine, where you’ll revel in the deepest snow of your life. Indulge in the local cuisine, stroll along the historic canals, and savor the freshest sashimi Hokkaido has to offer.
The final leg of the tour takes you to central Hokkaido, where you’ll spend four incredible nights in Furano. With access to renowned resorts like Furano, Asahidake, Kamui, Tomamu, and Sahoro, each day promises unforgettable skiing adventures. Unleash your passion for powder as you explore the magnificent slopes, surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty. Take time to relax and rejuvenate in the area’s rejuvenating onsens, allowing the soothing waters to ease any fatigue from your thrilling ski sessions. As the tour draws to a close, cherish the memories of this extraordinary journey, where the perfect blend of culture, adventure, and powder skiing have left an indelible mark. Say goodbye to your new friends, and depart with a sense of fulfillment, knowing that you’ve experienced the ultimate Japan ski tour.
Price: From JPY ¥595,000 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room)
Included in this price:
- Fully guided & hosted
- Resort Liner coach transfer from Furano to Chitose Airport
- Transfer to/from Morioka Station or Hanamaki Airport
- 4 nights accommodation at Grand Hotel Annex, Morioka
- 3 nights twin share accommodation including dinner at Azumashiya, Kuroishi
- 2 nights twin share accommodation at OMO5, Otaru
- 4 nights twin share accommodation at Hotel Munin, Furano
- All required lift passes
- Ferry transportation from Honshu to Hokkaido Islands
- Welcome and farewell dinner parties
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) tour
Looking for a powder road-trip with a twist?
This road trip embodies everything a true Mabey Ski trip is about – amazing snow, rich culture, great beer and of course a relaxing soak in a mountainside hot spring. If you’re looking for a similar trip, but skinning up mountains and volcanoes just isn’t your bag, head over to our Hokkaido Off-Piste Powder Chaser trip, which is being hosted in January 2023.