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Why are backcountry skiers so obsessed with central Japan? Is it waking up to 30 inches of newly fallen powder every morning? Perhaps it’s the unmatched terrain diversity, having been shaped by the unique Japanese Alps’ erosion patterns? Or maybe the promise of immersing into one of the world’s most fascinating cultures in a unique way? Based in Hakuba and Myoko, these 9- and 10-day adventures offer some of the planet’s finest skiing—from tackling formidable rock-walled couloirs and steep faces to navigating serene birch forests. Your base? Deluxe chalets meticulously designed for skiers. Dining? Countless traditional restaurants lining picturesque Japanese streets. Skiing? To your heart’s content. Don’t miss this unforgettable backcountry pilgrimage and embrace the heart-pounding winter magic in Japan.

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  • Low effort, incredible payoff

    Maximize your downhill thrills with minimal skinning using lift access and making the best of the ample powder

  • Exceptional accommodation

    Stay in a private lodge and chalet, offering not only comfort but also convenient access to all your adventure needs

  • Japanese delights

    Savor traditional dishes, stroll through bustling postcard-worthy streets, and relax in soothing onsens


Embark on a 9-day backcountry skiing adventure in central Japan. Spend 7 days exploring the breathtaking slopes of Hakuba and Myoko utilizing lift access. Enjoy 8 nights of comfortable double-occupancy lodging in a private chalet and lodge. Travel in style in our 8-seater 4WD van, ensuring easy access to the best skiing locations, onsens, restaurants, and more. Immerse yourself in Japan's rich culture, sample exquisite cuisine and experience the winter wonderland of the Japanese Alps in the best way possible!

  • Please keep in mind that this is just an overview of what your trip may look like and that this sample itinerary can be adjusted and is customizable to some degree. Specific skiing locations will be decided the day before. It is also possible that you will first stay in Hakuba and later in Myoko.

  • Upon arrival at Narita Airport or Haneda, Tokyo, in the afternoon or evening (early afternoon is ideal), take the renowned Shinkansen (bullet train) and a bus ride to Hakuba, enjoying the world’s best public transport. Your guide will greet you at Hakuba station and transport you to your accommodation. Meet fellow skiers over dinner, go through a gear check and get some rest for tomorrow’s adventure.

    Japanese house in snow
  • Kickstart your adventure with hazard awareness & avalanche rescue practice/refresher. Afterward, go for some slackcountry skiing and get a proper feeling for the powder! After spending some time on the slope, get a chance to meet your group and your guide a bit better by going to one of the nearby restaurants or relaxing in an onsen.

    Skier in Japan going up
  • Each morning starts with a hearty breakfast, energizing you for the day’s exploration. Afterward, it’s time for a group transfer to a selected ski location, expertly chosen by your guide based on weather conditions, group preferences, and skill levels. After exhilarating days on the slopes, your options are diverse. You can unwind in local onsens, the perfect remedy for tired muscles, or immerse yourself in the rich Japanese culture by savoring delectable cuisine at nearby restaurants. For those who prefer a cozy night in, grocery shopping and cooking at your private lodge or chalet are also a great option!

    Skier shredding snow in Japan
  • Similarly to the days spent in Myoko, your mornings in Hakuba begin with a hearty breakfast, providing the energy you need for the day’s exploration, followed by a transfer to a carefully selected ski location, After your exhilarating days on the slopes, the options are just as diverse as the terrain. You can choose to unwind in local onsens, the perfect remedy for tired muscles, or dive deeper into the rich Japanese culture by savoring delectable cuisine at nearby restaurants, or opting for a cozy night in.

    Snow covered mountains in Japan
  • Wrap up your journey with a relaxing morning, then check out of your lodge. Your guide will drop you off at the bus/train station, where you can embark on the next leg of your adventure in Tokyo. Say goodbye to fellow backcountry skiers, to your guide and to Japan—or continue touring on your own!

    Fast train in Japan
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Meet your guides

Will Mackannes
Will Mackannes
Will, a resident of Squamish, BC, finds himself immersed in the heart of the mountain bike mecca. Alongside his passion for backcountry ski guiding in both BC and Japan during the winter months, he has developed a profound admiration for the Japanese people, their culture, and the majestic mountains that surround them. In addition to his ACMG certification, Will holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Adventure Eco Tourism and an Adventure Guides diploma from Thompson Rivers University. His infectious enthusiasm and unwavering professionalism in adventure guiding and exploring wild terrains resonate deeply with those he accompanies. During the summers, he embraces his love for the natural world and its conservation, dedicating his time to navigating the boundless and exhilarating mountain bike trails while honing his own skills. With a meticulous focus on risk management, Will skillfully guides his clients, ensuring their profound and gratifying experiences amidst the mountains.
Alex Lawson
Alex Lawson
An IFMGA mountain guide and mountain rescue specialist based in the Canadian Rockies, Alex boasts over a decade of guiding experience in Canada and worldwide. His passion for mountain adventures has seamlessly melded into a fulfilling career, marked by technical rescues and a meticulous decision-making approach. Beyond the mountains, Alex shares his love for adventure with his two children, offering a friendly demeanor and boundless stoke for deep powder skiing.
Kenton Lambert
Kenton Lambert
Being an ACMG Ski Guide and CAA Professional Member, Kenton has spent his career immersed in the Western Canadian mountains, serving as a ski patroller, avalanche forecaster, and certified ski guide since 2009. Skiing isn't just a thrill for Kenton; it represents a deep connection with nature, uncharted exploration, and meaningful conversations on the skin track with global guests. Safety takes precedence, and Kenton fosters open communication with his guests, ensuring shared objectives and a secure experience. His well-rounded guiding experience makes him a reliable companion for adventure seekers.
OneLife Adventures
OneLife Adventures
OneLife Adventures, guided by a unique philosophy, delivers exceptional experiences. With a background spanning Australia, the Canadian Rockies, Squamish, and Japan the focus is on customized service and lasting relationships. Expertise in backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking in Japan ensures safety and exhilaration. A deep connection to nature drives the promotion of human-propelled adventure sports and the cultivation of a sense of value and preservation. Safety is paramount in all their endeavors—with extensive experience and full ACMG Certification in Backcountry Ski Guiding, Rock Climbing, and Mountain Biking in Japan, an exhilarating yet secure journey is guaranteed.
5.00 (2 reviews)
Annie C. (source: Google Reviews )

Will provided an amazing adventure for our women’s backcountry ski trip in Japan. He is an experienced guide who sought out the best snow based on conditions. It was wonderful not having to navigate to resorts or think about where we wanted to ski for the day. Will planned that all out and drove us everywhere. An excellent trip.

Mellissa N. (source: Google Reviews )

Went to Hakuba in Feb 2019 with Will as a ski guide. Will has a great knowledge of the area, was able to bring us to amazing snow every day (despite not having Japow snow forecast/conditions everyday), and navigated all the different hills and connections to different lifts in between creatively. He was able to balance our groups’ preferences with slack country vs backcountry very well and keep everyone happy and satisfied with their day. Very easy going, pleasant and SAFE to ski the backcountry and to travel with. Strongly recommend!!!

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, ACMG or IFMG ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 7 or 8 days of backcountry and slackcountry skiing in Hakuba and Myoko (depending on which itinerary you choose)
      • 8 or 9 night of lodging in a superb private lodge and chalet based on double occupancy (depending on which itinerary you choose)
      • Breakfasts while in Myoko lodge
      • Lift tickets for 7 or 8 days (depending on which itinerary you choose)
      • 8-seater 4WD van and drives to skiing locations, onsens, restaurants and in the grocery shops
      • Transfer to your accommodation upon arrival in Hakuba
      • Travel instructions and options for getting to Hakuba and Myoko from Narita or Haneda (Tokyo Airports)

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Hakuba (airfare to Tokyo and train ride to Hakuba)
      • Most meals (you’ll be able to cook food bought in grocery stores and enjoy dinners in local restaurants)
      • Backcountry skiing equipment and other personal gear (can be rented)
      • Travel and medical/rescue insurance — highly recommended
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To fully enjoy this guided backcountry skiing adventure in Japan, a reasonable level of fitness is essential. What’s even more crucial, though, is having a solid foundation of backcountry skiing experience. You should be proficient in both uphill skiing and downhill backcountry powder skiing in deep snow conditions. Participants should be able to spend 4 to 6 hours a day on their skis.

    In the Japanese snow environment, technique plays a vital role in efficiency and safety. Struggling on the skin track or falling down in deep powder can be physically demanding and pose risks. Your guide will always be there to ensure your safety and enjoyment, setting the skin track through deep powder and maintaining a comfortable pace for the group, allowing for a “walk and talk” approach.

    This adventure is tailored for intermediate to expert skiers with substantial backcountry experience. While you won’t need avalanche decision-making skills (since your expert guide handles this aspect), having a strong foundation in skiing skills is essential.

    To prepare for this adventure, dedicate time to improve your skiing skills, focusing on uphill and downhill techniques. Additionally, practice your fitness by engaging in activities that enhance your endurance and strength in weeks leading to your adventure, as this will help you thrive in the Japanese snow.

    Having a guide by your side throughout the journey offers numerous advantages. Your guide will continually assess your skill level, monitor your technique, and provide guidance when needed. At the tour’s outset, they’ll organize an avalanche rescue refresher course to ensure everyone is prepared for different scenarios. Your guide will also select appropriate terrain based on weather conditions, avalanche risk, and your skill level, prioritizing the safety of your group while delivering an exciting and memorable experience.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Powder-specific touring skis (with a waist size od +105mm) or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles with powder baskets — avoid heavy slackcountry or crossover binding (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe (3m)

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Helmet
      • Ski goggles (two pairs recommended)
      • Gloves and hat
      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • A couple of buffs
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Leisurewear for when you’re not skiing
      • Swimsuit (for onsens)
      • Toiletries and medication
      • Water bottle
      • Thermos for a warm beverage — optional
      • First aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
      • Camera — optional (but recommended!)

    Hakuba and Myoko experience cold temperatures in January and February, often ranging from 16°F to 5°F (-9°C to -15°C). The region receives abundant snowfall during these months, with temperatures remaining consistently low. Proper clothing layers, including a down jacket, are essential to stay warm and protected from the cold, dry climate. Additionally, be prepared for occasional snowfall and ensure you have suitable face protection to shield against the cold air and snow in the face (from all the champagne powder!)

  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe from your guiding service (for an additional fee)
      • Powder-specific skis, touring boots and poles with powder baskets can be rented from your guiding service (for an additional fee)
      • Splitboards can be rented from your guiding service (for an additional fee)

    You can arrange ski rentals from your guide prior to or upon booking. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • During your guided backcountry skiing adventure in Hakuba and Myoko, you’ll enjoy comfortable and diverse accommodations to enhance your experience. You’ll spend half of your time at the Morino Lodge in Myoko and the other half in one of two chalets in Hakuba.

    Morino Lodge in Myoko:
    Your Myoko nights will be in a private lodge with double and twin rooms. Each room is designed for your comfort and includes suite bathrooms, heaters/air conditioning, TVs with Apple TV for unlimited movie entertainment, mini-fridges, and breathtaking views of the Myoko valley. The .odge also features a welcoming lounge room for relaxation and socializing, a dining area serving a delicious continental breakfast, and a rejuvenating onsen heated by volcanic rocks beneath Mt Myoko. Other amenities include free wireless internet, laundry services, a drying room, and a waxing & repair room.

    Hakuba Chalets:
    In Hakuba, you will stay in one of the two chalets outlined below, depending on availability. The first option is the Wabisabi chalet, offering the comforts of home with a modern kitchen, two full bathrooms, underfloor heating, and a cozy lounge area. It’s conveniently located in Wadano, providing easy access to various restaurants in Happo Village and Wadano. The chalet features Western-style twin/double rooms with additional sofa beds. You’ll enjoy amenities like full underfloor heating, a well-appointed kitchen, a lounge room with entertainment options, free wifi, and laundry facilities.

    The second option is the Hakuba Hillside Apartment, providing a spacious modern kitchen, two full bathrooms, underfloor heating, and stunning views of Happo One ski resort. It’s a short walk from the Nakiyama Lift area of Happo and the restaurants and services of Echoland. The apartment includes twin/double Western bedrooms with flexible bedding arrangements. Additional features encompass modern heating, a fully-equipped kitchen, an open-plan living room with entertainment facilities, free Netflix, wireless internet, laundry facilities, a drying area, and convenient access to local amenities.

    These accommodations ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay while experiencing the beauty and adventure of backcountry skiing in Hakuba and Myoko.

  • In the Japanese Alps, all backcountry skiing dreams come true with exceptional snow, terrain diversity, and remarkable stability. Unlike coastal regions, here, the snow is incredibly dry, falling at frigid temperatures. This consistent cold snowfall creates a stable base, making steep skiing the norm.

    The Japanese Alps are a geological wonder, featuring a classic mountain range with volcanoes. Peaks reach 8,900 to 10,500 feet (2,700 to 3,190 meters), in contrast to Hokkaido’s lower volcanic mountains. Erosion has created intriguing terrain, making for captivating skiing.

    Central Japan’s hero powder is born from unique weather patterns. Cold air from distant regions crosses the Sea of Japan, creating moisture-laden air. The result? A staggering 36 feet (11 meters) of snow in the period between December and February.

    Hakuba Valley houses ten ski resorts within the Japanese Alps, offering extraordinary lift-accessed backcountry terrain. The result is that you can expect quick access to thrilling verticals with minimal effort. Abundant snowfall and varied topography make for endless adventures.

    North of Hakuba Valley lies Mt. Myoko, an active stratovolcano with equally impressive terrain. Its northern side features rock-walled couloirs and birch forests, offering serene tree skiing. Minimal backcountry traffic ensures solitude and pristine conditions.

  • The culture of central Japan is a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, creating a unique backdrop to your backcountry skiing adventure. It’s a place where ancient customs seamlessly coexist with contemporary life, offering an enriching experience beyond the slopes.

    Immerse yourself in a society built on values of peace, honor, and respect. The Japanese commitment to mastery is awe-inspiring, from their precision in traditional tea ceremonies to the efficiency of the Shinkansen (bullet train) contrasting with serene temple visits.

    Venturing beyond the bustling cities means discovering an old-world landscape shaped in equal parts by nature and human hands. Ancient rice paddies and apple orchards nestle amidst forest-clad mountains and old farmhouses stand beside centuries-old temples and roadside shrines.

    No trip to Japan is complete without savoring its delectable cuisine. Your adventure promises authentic culinary experiences, from delightful Izakaya, offering Japanese tapas, to savoring tempura, soba, yakitori, nabe, and sushi (the cost of a meal is usually between $10 and $20 without drinks). Delight your taste buds with a diverse array of flavors, each dish a reflection of Japan’s rich cuisine.

    Your journey is made even more memorable by connecting with expats fluent in Japanese. Accommodation in Morino lodge and chalet also ensures you access the best restaurants and local insights. It’s your gateway to the heart of Japanese culture, offering an authentic experience.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For these group adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 6 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    Backcountry skiing in Myoko and Hakuba can be arranged for larger and private groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors are not permitted to join these adventures.
  • To get to Hakuba, the starting point of your adventure, most people fly into Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport (in Tokyo), which are 4-5 hours away (Haneda is closer). From there, we suggest you take train rides (mostly first to Nagano and then to Hakuba). Japan is known for its high-speed trains called Shinkansen and taking one of them is by far the best way to arrive in Hakuba. Alternatively, you can take buses or arrange a private airport transfer with your guide.

    You will meet your guide at the bus or the train station on Day 1 and you will go to your accommodation together. You will get a chance to discuss arrival options and logistics with your guide prior to the trip.

  • On this trip you will be skiing in avalanche terrain that is uncontrolled backcountry mountains. Please understand that while your guides are excellent risk managers, not all risks can be controlled.

    All participants will have to read, agree, and electronically sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, and Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement prior to their trip. By signing this waiver, you agree to accept and assume these potential risks as well as waive certain legal rights, including the right to sue for negligence, breach of contract or breach of the occupiers liability act or claim compensation following an accident.

    For these backcountry skiing tours in Hakuba and Myoko, we strongly encourage participants
    to cover all their bases with emergency rescue/medical insurance. With rescue insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation,

    We also suggest arranging travel insurance to cover canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Secure your spot for 2025 with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you’ll be the first one to know. Pick the month that suits you best and we’ll let you know once the dates are live—don’t risk missing out on your bucket list adventure!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure in case the dates don’t suit you by the end of the year.
      • Once the set dates for the following season are live, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

    For set dates, a 50% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to forty-five (45) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total price of the adventure.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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