Shiga Freeride Week - MountainWatch Travel
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Shiga Freeride Week

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

Shiga Freeride Week

Chase the snow while exploring this large resort P/P

Discounts available when joining multiple weeks.

Feb 06 - Feb 13, 2023

There’s more reasons than we’d care to count why Japan should be on your ski or board hit list; Over half the island is white each winter, over 80% of it is rugged mountainous terrain, and legend has it Japan has seen some 500 ski resorts grace its many hills at some point in time. Many have fallen by the wayside, but many more have combined into bigger and better resorts. Indeed, the Japanese have established a healthy precedent for combining good things into better things. Think, bento boxes, heated toilets and that episode of Power Rangers where each ranger’s robot takes the form of a body part and they combine to form a ‘mega ranger’… Maybe this metaphor has gone too far, however, this is exactly what happened up at Shiga Kogen, when the 18 individual resorts combined to form one of the largest ski resort in all of Japan.

Explore the 607 hectares of playful and powdery terrain and access nearly 1km of vertical and 83km worth of manicured piste via 52 lifts. Your guides will be on hand to show you around this playful terrain, find the best powder stashes and show you where the best places for lunch are. They’ll be there to guide you around all day, both on- and off mountain.

Spend the week riding the inbound pow, cruise the groomers and explore this big valley. See how many of the local snow monkeys you can spot who tend to be the only ones you’ll be sharing the mountain with…

1

Day 01

Welcome to Japan! Make your way to Shiga, one of the largest resorts in Japan! Meet your guide, check in and settle in for the afternoon exploring 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. Those who joined us from the previous week in Nozawa will get shuttled via Nagano Snow Shuttle to Shiga.  

  • Let your consultant know if you’d like to add an airport transfer to Shiga.
  • If you’re joining us from Nozawa a transfer is included
  • Comfortable accommodation at Prince East – twin share
2

Day 02

First day riding! Meet your guides for breakfast and go over todays plan of attack. After breakfast strap/click in right out the front of the hotel and enjoy your day on the mountain. This being the first day of the week, we’ll start of nice and easy and explore Mt Yakebitayama. We’ll get a good lay of the land, group dynamics, and get familiar with the snow your skis/board again. Your guides are on hand to show you around. 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. 

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Half day guiding around Mt. Yakebitayama
  • Mt. Yakebitayama lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
3

Day 03

After a fun first day warming up the legs, we’ll head further out into this large, interlinked resort. After breakfast head right out the door, strap in and head out for a full day of Japowder chasing. Your guides will be on hand all day to show you around their favourite stashes, best tree runs and get to you to that famous Japow. Feel more like cruising the slopes, there’s plenty to explore and you’ll be amazing at the scenery and stunning frozen trees. 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.

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Half day guiding around Shiga Kogen
  • Shiga Kogen lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
4

Day 04

After breakfast we can make our way over to some of the further resorts. With a valley that stretches almost 20km’s, we’ll head out early to give us plenty of time to explore these great higher altitude resorts. Find some of the best views of the valleys, hunt for the snow monsters of Shiga Kogen and cruise the long, wide open groomers. 

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Half day guiding around Shiga Kogen
  • Shiga Kogen lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
5

Day 05

It’s a rest day. One of the benefits of staying at Shiga Kogen is that in addition to the skiing and snowboarding, the region offers various off-slope activities. Shiga Kogen is the closest resort to 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 as you’ll still have a 1 day Mt Yakebitayama lift pass. Don’t want to head out? No problem, simply stay in Shiga, relax and explore the area on your own or enjoy the onsen. 

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Mt. Yakebitayama lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
6

Day 06

With fresh legs we’ll hunt for pow at the local resort, Mt Yakebitayama.  From the top there’s a bunch of great tree runs which we can ride and get some pretty good photos taken – those famous Japan images, snorkel deep, snow spraying everywhere with those Japanese birch trees as a backdrop. Pretty special! The main gondola will fly you back up to the top after each run, the perfect time to warm up your hands with a can of coffee.. Yep, a can of coffee! Mt Yakebitayama also offers some official runs that stay
“un-compacted” and because of the lack of crowds, you can find fresh tracks here even late in the afternoon.. 

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Half day guiding around Mt. Yakebitayama
  • Mt. Yakebitayama lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
7

Day 07

It’s the last day riding around Shiga and we have our last all mountain access pass. 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…

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Half day guiding around Shiga Kogen
  • Shiga Kogen lift pass
  • Comfortable accommodation at Shiga Kogen Prince East Hotel – twin share
8

Day 08

After an epic week freeriding around the best resorts around Shiga Kogen, it’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and guide. For those who are joining us in Hakuba for week 3 we’ll jump in the van and head on over to one of our favourite resorts in Japan and the home of Mountainwatch. 

If Shiga Kogen 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.

  • Breakfast at Prince East.
  • Private Transfer to Hakuba for those who are joining week 4 – Hakuba Freeride Week

 

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.
  • Prince East
    The Shiga Prince Hotel East Wing is one of the best properties in Shiga Kogen. This luxurious ski-in ski-out hotel is situated right at the base of Mt Yakebitaiyama and is well facilitated with everything you need. Daily breakfast is included with your stay so you can enjoy a Japanese and western buffet and then hit the slopes straight away.
    Features
    • 7 Nights - Twin Share
    • Breakfast Included
    • Onsen
    • 1x Dinner included
    Prince East
    The Shiga Prince Hotel East Wing is one of the best properties in Shiga Kogen. This luxurious ski-in ski-out hotel is situated right at the base of Mt Yakebitaiyama and is well facilitated with everything you need. Daily breakfast is included with your stay so you can enjoy a Japanese and western buffet and then hit the slopes straight away.
    Features
    • 7 Nights - Twin Share
    • Breakfast Included
    • Onsen
    • 1x Dinner included

INCLUDED

  • Comfortable accommodation walking distance to shops, cafe’s and lifts
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 3x Mt. Yakebitayama lift pass
  • 3x Shiga Kogen lift pass
  • 1x Dinner in town
  • Daily Guiding

EXLUDED

  • 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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