Hakuba Freeride Week - MountainWatch Travel
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Hakuba Freeride Week

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  • OVERVIEW
  • INTINERARY
  • ACCOMMODATION
  • INCLUSIONS
  • GALLERY
  • TERMS AND CONDITIONS
  • REVIEWS

Hakuba Freeride Week

So much terrain, so much powder, an experience incomparable to others! P/P

Discounts available when joining multiple weeks.

Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2023

Just over three hours from downtown Tokyo in the Northern Japanese Alps — Hakuba is an experience incomparable to others. The valley can claim more sunshine than its neighbours. Hakuba is blessed with plenty of snow; an average of 11-13 metres of powder per season so lots of powder days and plenty of opportunities to sample the famous Japow!

A cluster of mountains with wide ranging terrain, delicious restaurants, great bars, huge snowfalls and the steepest runs of the country’s 600 alpine resorts. The Hakuba Valley boasts incredible variety with eleven different resorts so no matter your ability, Hakuba will be able to put a smile on your face! Our guides will be with you along the way to take you to their favourite runs, show you some real adventure powder bowls and will be able to book you in for dinners, onsens and activities. We’ll have our Mountainwatch van on hand to shuttle you in between the resorts so you don’t have to wait for the local bus and can be first up the mountain!

The Hakuba Valley is blessed with an array of delicious restaurants spanning a seemingly endless number of cuisines and price ranges.  It’s the type of place where you can try a new restaurant for every meal during your stay, and still have so much to discover in the Valley. Luckily for you our guides are Hakuba veterans and can help you make reservations at the best spots, or you can join the group and head for a “family” dinner and drinks in town.

1

Day 01

Welcome to Hakuba! Those who are joining us from Shiga Kogen will be transferred to Hakuba first thing in the morning.  If you’re only doing the 1 freeride week, welcome to Japan! Make your way to hakuba either via Shinkansen or your consultant can lock you in an airport transfer. Meet your guide, check in and settle in for the afternoon exploring Hakuba at your own leisure.
If you need any rental gear now is the time to pick it up and get ready for the week ahead.

  • Let your consultant know if you’d like to add an airport transfer to Hakuba.
  • If you’re joining us from Shiga Kogen a transfer is included
  • Comfortable accommodation at our private lodge – Twin/triple share
2

Day 02

First day riding! At breakfast in the lodge go over the plan for the day. There’s a bunch of different resort accessible with your Hakuba Valley pass, and we’ll choose the best resort to ride according to snow and weather. Your guides are on hand to show you around. We can start the week at Hakuba 47 and connected Goryu. These resorts sit right next to Happo One (the two have reciprocal views of each other) and are adjacent to Goryu and Echoland villages. There’s a large variety of beginner and intermediate terrain with some challenging blacks as well. A few good days could be spent here, as the tree runs are mint when the go is POW and the terrain park perfect for firmer conditions.

We’ll aim to meet up for drinks after each day riding to go over the day, share photos and go over tomorrow’s plan. Those who want to join us for dinner are welcome to or feel free to explore the town at your own leisure. 

  • Half day guiding around Hakuba 47 & Goryu
  • Hakuba Valley Lift Pass
  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
3

Day 03

After a fun first day warming up the legs, we’ll head to another fan favourite in Hakuba – Hakuba Cortina. Powder hounds heading to Hakuba will of course have heard the great lore of Cortina and its off-piste tree runs and unmatched side country. It receives the highest and driest snowfall in the valley and usually gets nearly twice as much snow as neighbouring resorts! The snow patrol at Cortina are quite relaxed, and off-piste skiing is not an issue. Ridgeline runs that drop into near-perfectly spaced trees will delight those wanting to earn their turns and get waist-deep in the pow.

Cortina has fewer runs compared to other resorts in the valley but it’s interlinked with the neighbouring Norikura and the the lift pass gives you access to all 25 combined runs which opens options nicely if you’re looking to stay on piste. We’ll be able to split the group if need be and you’re free to ride with the group for as long or short as you like.

  • Half day guiding around Hakuba
  • Hakuba Valley Lift Pass
  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
4

Day 04

After breakfast we can make our way over to some of the further resorts. The largest and most central resort in the valley is
Happo-One (pronounced On Ay), spreading across 220 hectares. Happo-One hosted several of the 1998 Winter Olympic events including the ski jump and the slalom.
The pitch is on the steeper side with a 1701 vertical meter drop and is best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. Looking to catch some air or hit the steel, the Happo Banks Terrain Park or ‘the Banks’ as its referred to by those in the know, may be the best park in the valley. On a powder day our suggestion would be to check out the tree runs on Skyline. Not as long as Cortina’s but just as fun.

  • Half day guiding around Hakuba
  • Hakuba Valley Lift Pass
  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
5

Day 05

It’s a rest day. Hakuba has so much to offer in addition to the skiing and snowboarding, the region offers various off-slope activities. Think of snow shoeing adventures, snow mobiling or you can visit the world famous Jigokudani Yaen Koen – otherwise known as the ‘Snow Monkey Park’. As the name suggests, the park is home to an iconic troop of over 200 Japanese Macaques – ‘snow monkeys’. You’ll see them bathe in the hot springs and generally not have a care in the world – and who could blame them! Other options are to head over to Nagano to explore the Zenkoji temple. You can also decide to keep skiing or boarding, keen to smash more pow, we can organise a full on backcountry day where you explore some of the world famous Hakuba backcountry. Don’t want to head out? No problem, simply stay in Hakuba, go shopping, bar hopping or relax and explore the area or enjoy the onsen. 

  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
6

Day 06

With fresh legs we’ll hunt for pow at one of the other great resorts. For really fun terrain we can head to Tsugaike Kogen.
The slopes are wide, gentle, and devoid of trees making it the best place to send it! There’s also some really fun treeskiing and some of our favourite powder runs can be found here.

The main street at the foothill of Tsugaike has various izakayas as well as western style restaurants for you to explore. All in all a very charming experience.

  • Half day guiding around Hakuba
  • Hakuba Valley Lift Pass
  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
7

Day 07

It’s the last day riding around Hakuba. Head back and re-visit some of the best runs of the week. No matter where we’ll end up riding, our guides will make sure you have a great time and get the best conditions possible! After the last riding riding, we’ll “debrief” at the local bar, enjoy a few Asahi’s before heading out for a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. We’ll see where the night takes us…

  • Half day guiding around Hakuba
  • Hakuba Valley Lift Pass
  • Private Mountainwatch transfer to/from resorts
  • Comfortable accommodation in private lodge, Meteor Hotel – Twin/Triple share
8

Day 08

After an epic week freeriding around the best resorts around Hakuba, it’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and guide. If Hakuba is your last stop, please let your consultant know if you’d like an airport transfer or Tokyo transfer. Otherwise it’s pretty easy jumping on a bullet train and making your own way down.

 

 

Please Note: the above itinerary is only an example of what each day can look like. Together with your guide you’ll decide each day where to ride depending on snow and weather forecast. You’re free to join for as long or short as you want and can explore the resorts on your own as you choose.
To find out exactly what’s included please check the inclusions tab above.
  • Hakuba Meteor Log House
    For the Hakuba Freeride Week we'll enjoy the comfort of having our own, private chalet. Hakuba Meteor Log Hotel located in a quiet location next to Echoland village. With homely comfort in mind, the house has self-contained cooking facilities, a communal kitchen including fridge and freezer, oven and stoves, microwave oven, dishwasher and all other facilities and utensils usually found in your own kitchen, which are great for large families and groups. Each room has private bathrooms and a lot of space with great facilities. There is also a lounge with a fire & a shared kitchenette on the second floor.
    Features
    • 7 Nights - Twin/Triple Share
    • Private Chalet
    • 1x Dinner included
    Hakuba Meteor Log House
    For the Hakuba Freeride Week we'll enjoy the comfort of having our own, private chalet. Hakuba Meteor Log Hotel located in a quiet location next to Echoland village. With homely comfort in mind, the house has self-contained cooking facilities, a communal kitchen including fridge and freezer, oven and stoves, microwave oven, dishwasher and all other facilities and utensils usually found in your own kitchen, which are great for large families and groups. Each room has private bathrooms and a lot of space with great facilities. There is also a lounge with a fire & a shared kitchenette on the second floor.
    Features
    • 7 Nights - Twin/Triple Share
    • Private Chalet
    • 1x Dinner included

INCLUDED

  • Comfortable accommodation walking distance to shops, cafe’s and lifts
  • 5x Hakuba Valley lift pass
  • Private Mountainwatch Van Transfer to/from resorts
  • 1x Dinner in town
  • Daily Guiding

EXLUDED

  • Breakfast (we’ll have our own kitchen so we’ll provide the necessities but you’re free to get whatever you need yourself)
  • Lunch + Dinner
  • Flights – Let your consultant know if they can help you lock them in
  • Travel Insurance
  • Rentals or Add-ons
  • Airport transfers – Let your consultant know if they can help you lock them in

EXPERIENCE + GEAR

This tour is for the intermediate to experienced skier/boarder. The resorts we visit cater to a wide variety of levels and having multiple guides on hand means we can split the group up if need be and you can join them for as long or short as you want.

Groups Terms and Conditions

Covid-19 Cancellation

  • Cancellations due to covid related border closures are subject to suppliers terms and conditions. In most instances refunds or credit will be available up to 30 days prior to travel as a result of a government order currently in place and preventing you from travelling to the region specified in your confirmation. Some exceptions may apply.
  • Cancellation and refund requests will only be accepted up to 40 days prior to travel to allow adequate time for international travel to resume.
  • Mountainwatch Travel will not be liable for any additional costs incurred as a result of Covid related restrictions or requirements, including but not limited to mandatory quarantine or Covid-19 testing.
  • Your refund will be processed after funds are received from suppliers, this can take between 4-8 weeks.
  • All refunds will incur a processing fee of $49 per person, deducted from your refund. If you choose to keep your booking as credit for future travel, the processing fee will be waived.
  • Refunds will not be available for change of mind or any other reason indirectly related to Covid-19, including but not limited to leave unapproved, loss of income or unwillingness to travel due to Covid-19. Refunds will not be available if you choose not to adhere to the government or airline’s policy regarding vaccinations.
  • It is the client’s responsibility to check the policies relating to international travel for the relevant countries. Note these can change at any stage.

DEPOSIT: A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit for all bookings is required within 5 days of your confirmation to secure your booking, otherwise your reservation may be automatically cancelled. Some properties may a require deposit payment inside the standard 5 days and an increased deposit to secure the booking. Payment of a deposit indicates acceptance of these conditions. Tour leaders are responsible for checking all travel dates and arrangements are correct at time of confirmation. If there is a discrepancy Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch must be notified immediately. Subsequent changes may incur amendment and/or cancellation fees.

PAYMENTS: Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch will accept payments by the following methods. Credit card, or direct deposit into our bank account. Agent payments can be made via direct deposit. Please note: there is a 1.5% charge when paying with Visa or Mastercard.

PRICES
All quotes are in Australian dollars unless stipulated otherwise and are subject to change prior to us accepting your booking request. Prices are based on the quoted itinerary including where applicable, coach transportation, economy class airfares, rail travel, multi-share accommodation, resort lift passes, rental equipment, instructors, etc. Prices are also subject to change in accordance with the following provisions.
Note: coach, airline, and rail fares are subject to change without notice at any time prior to full payment. All government taxes and charges imposed by suppliers beyond the control of Liquid Snow Tours/Mountainwatch (including ticketing fees and airline fuel surcharges) are payable by you and are subject to change. If there are any increases in such taxes or charges, or if you request any itinerary changes or the number or mix of passengers changes prior to you making payment in full, which increases the price of your booking, we reserve the right to change the price at any time by giving you notice. You must pay the additional charges prior to the date of your departure.
Unless otherwise stated, the cost of travelling to or from departure points, flights, visas, airport taxes, port taxes, city taxes, items of a personal nature, laundry, additional beverages and consumables are not included in the tour price.
Exchange rates are subject to change without notice (based on currency fluctuations) until final payment has been processed. Once a booking has been made on your behalf, your booking is subject to deposit and final payment being made by due dates as outlined on your statement or your booking may be cancelled.

Cancellation within 30 days prior to departure will incur a 100% cancellation fee. No allowance or refund can be made for unused meals, accommodation, transport, vehicle rental, equipment hire, lift tickets, or any other unused package components once travel has commenced. If a person or persons cancel from Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch booking, they and the remaining people in the booking will be liable for the additional accommodation costs that result from the cancelling persons.

ACCOMMODATION: Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch reserves the right to substitute and confirm alternative accommodation of a comparable or superior standard if necessary should that described in the proposal not be available. Your consultant will communicate any possible changes prior to deposit payments being received.

NOT INCLUDED: All other costs, apart from those detailed in a quote/invoice, are at the clients’ own expense eg: passport and visa fees, inter-airport transfers, meals or any other items including those of a personal nature unless otherwise stated. If flight or other travel delays lead to missed connections, Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch cannot be responsible for train fares, taxis or other extra expenses.

RESPONSIBILITY: Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch acts only as an agent for the companies or persons (principals) providing or offering the means of travel, accommodation and other services (the principals’ services) and bookings are made subject to the terms and conditions under which the principal’s services are provided. Accommodation, flights, transportation and any other services are subject to availability at the time of booking. The principals reserve the right to change the prices of their services without notice. Confirmations and invoices are subject to re-issue if incorrect through error or omission and the passenger accepts liability to pay the correct costs for services. Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch reserves the right to cancel or withdraw any tour or passenger booking or to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of a Tour or passenger booking. This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of NSW, Australia.

LIABILITY: To the extent permitted by law, neither Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch nor anyone on its behalf can be held liable for any alterations, act or omission on the part of the service providers/principals for any consequential, loss, death, injury, accident, delay or damage occasioned to any person or their belongings (including baggage) in connection with the tour or holiday offers supplied by Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch whether or not such loss, injury or damage is due directly or indirectly to any default, negligent act, misrepresentation, breach of duty, or omission of the travel operator, their respective representatives, servants, contractors or agents. Matters outside the control of Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch may affect the services offered and Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch will not be responsible for any such matters. Programs, offers, tour prices, services and conditions are current at the time of publication of promotional material are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances, including increases in operating costs. Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch will not accept responsibility or liability for any traveller who contravenes the law or regulation of any country visited. Liquid Tours/Mountainwatch strongly advise against the use or possession of prohibited drugs in foreign countries and warns travelers that if found to be involved in the use or possession of illegal drugs on a Liquid Tours tour or travel package, we reserve the right to discharge the traveler from a tour. This is a zero tolerance policy.

FORCE MAJEURE: Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, neither we nor any Third Party Supplier can accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our or the Third Party Supplier’s contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage or loss as a result of force majeure. In these booking conditions, ‘force majeure’ means any event which we / the supplier of the service(s) in question / the Third Party Supplier could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include, whether actual or threatened, war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, epidemics, fire and all similar events outside the control of the party concerned.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: We require all travellers to have travel insurance. Please ask your travel consultant about our comprehensive policies or click HERE for an online quote

CLICK HERE TO
ENQUIRE NOW

FAQ

You will be in very capable hands throughout this tour with our professional guides. Our local guide(s) have spent a lot of time riding around Japan so know the mountains very well and will be able to show you around all the best spots. Our guides will also be around to greet you on your arrival and be around to help you with anything you need when back at the hotel. We’ll make bookings at the best restaurants for those that want to join us for a great night out!

All the rooming is two queen bedrooms, twin share, shared with other members on the tour.
We aim to allocate rooms to guests of similar ages and genders.
Breakfast is included. Wifi is also freely available.

Approximately 2-4 weeks prior to your departure you will receive detailed information on your trip which includes your travel vouchers, airline and airport transfer information (if applicable), information on the respective resort, etc. Since this year we also have our head office in Queenstown so there will always be someone around to help in case of an emergency.

We can also add in airport transfers. If you don’t have your own skis/snowboards or just prefer to travel without, we can arrange rentals in Myoko.
Why not extend your stay at the resort or better yet, join us in Nozawa for week 2 of the freeride weeks.

We require all group members to have travel insurance when joining our tour. We strongly recommend arranging travel insurance at the time of booking, so you are covered against cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or accidents. We can arrange a quote for travel insurance so please contact your agent for further information or click here for an online quote. If you are using your own insurance please ensure it covers you for ski/snowboarding. Keep in mind Mountainwatch is in no way or form responsible or liable for anything that happens during your trip.

Our guides make calls on which resorts will be visited based on the best conditions. Calls can be made even the night before if there’s some unexpected weather conditions to be taken advantage of. Our lay day is also decided by the guides based on the weather conditions.

Most days we offer full-day guiding to give you the best experience possible. Of course, you don’t have to stay with the group and you are free to explore some further terrain, hit the powder stashes our guides have shown, or head back to town to enjoy the onsen or beer at your own leisure. Please make sure to tell the guide before heading off.

The Japan Freeride Weeks are open to everyone, whether you’re traveling solo, with mates or with your family. The Freeride Tours are most suitable for intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders. Because of our guide to guest ratio we can always split the group up when needed and meet back at the pub for Après drinks or lunch.

In advance of the tour we collect information relating to guests’ skiing/boarding levels, and the type of terrain they prefer to tackle. This information assists us in allocating guests into subgroups of usually 6-10 people. We aim to have guests of similar abilities teamed together to maximize the experience on the slopes. We’ll always aim to start and finish the day as a group and have the space during the day to split up if need be. It’s all about your experience and we want to make it as enjoyable as possible!

Our guides are on hand to assist with any queries/advice, they will be with you throughout the tour staying at the same accommodation. We also aim to set up a Whatapp or Facebook group chat to each other during our time in NZ. At the end of each day, we have a catch-up with the group to go through the day’s adventures, share photos and outline the next day’s plan of attack.

You will be in very capable hands throughout this tour with our professional guides. Our local guide(s) have spent a lot of time riding around Japan so know the mountains very well and will be able to show you around all the best spots. Our guides will also be around to greet you on your arrival and be around to help you with anything you need when back at the hotel. We’ll make bookings at the best restaurants for those that want to join us for a great night out!

Our guides make calls on which resorts will be visited based on the best conditions. Calls can be made even the night before if there’s some unexpected weather conditions to be taken advantage of. Our lay day is also decided by the guides based on the weather conditions.

All the rooming is two queen bedrooms, twin share, shared with other members on the tour.
We aim to allocate rooms to guests of similar ages and genders.
Breakfast is included. Wifi is also freely available.

Most days we offer full-day guiding to give you the best experience possible. Of course, you don’t have to stay with the group and you are free to explore some further terrain, hit the powder stashes our guides have shown, or head back to town to enjoy the onsen or beer at your own leisure. Please make sure to tell the guide before heading off.

Approximately 2-4 weeks prior to your departure you will receive detailed information on your trip which includes your travel vouchers, airline and airport transfer information (if applicable), information on the respective resort, etc. Since this year we also have our head office in Queenstown so there will always be someone around to help in case of an emergency.

The Japan Freeride Weeks are open to everyone, whether you’re traveling solo, with mates or with your family. The Freeride Tours are most suitable for intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders. Because of our guide to guest ratio we can always split the group up when needed and meet back at the pub for Après drinks or lunch.

We can also add in airport transfers. If you don’t have your own skis/snowboards or just prefer to travel without, we can arrange rentals in Myoko.
Why not extend your stay at the resort or better yet, join us in Nozawa for week 2 of the freeride weeks.

In advance of the tour we collect information relating to guests’ skiing/boarding levels, and the type of terrain they prefer to tackle. This information assists us in allocating guests into subgroups of usually 6-10 people. We aim to have guests of similar abilities teamed together to maximize the experience on the slopes. We’ll always aim to start and finish the day as a group and have the space during the day to split up if need be. It’s all about your experience and we want to make it as enjoyable as possible!

We require all group members to have travel insurance when joining our tour. We strongly recommend arranging travel insurance at the time of booking, so you are covered against cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or accidents. We can arrange a quote for travel insurance so please contact your agent for further information or click here for an online quote. If you are using your own insurance please ensure it covers you for ski/snowboarding. Keep in mind Mountainwatch is in no way or form responsible or liable for anything that happens during your trip.

Our guides are on hand to assist with any queries/advice, they will be with you throughout the tour staying at the same accommodation. We also aim to set up a Whatapp or Facebook group chat to each other during our time in NZ. At the end of each day, we have a catch-up with the group to go through the day’s adventures, share photos and outline the next day’s plan of attack.

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