Nagano Ski Buffet
Enjoy some of the most amazing snow on planet earth, stay in a truly authentic Japanese ski village where you are the minority, visit mom and pop restaurants and mix with the locals, be entertained by Geisha, Taiko Drum, Shimansen Guitar, Lion Dance and Karate performances, visit the world famous Snow Monkeys, walk through ancient castles, temples and shrines and relax in natural hot pools. Where other companies may talk up the cultural aspects of Japan we include them in our tours so you get a truly authentic Japanese ski experience. And best of all you get to share this all with a group of like minded ski and snowboard enthusiasts, all hosted by instructor/guides who are just plain passionate about what they do for you as our testimonials attest to. And don’t forget our hidden gems that we leave as a surprise for you on your journey with us at JPC Tours.
- Private transportation
- Lift Passes
- Guiding and Instruction
- Cultural Performances
- Karaoke night
What to expect
• Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, 6845 Heion, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401 Nagano Prefecture
• 7148 Oaza Hirao Shiga Kogen Sogo Kaikan 98, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401 Nagano Prefecture
• Shibu Onsen, 2211-1 Oaza Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401 Nagano Prefecture
• Traditional Ryokan multi-course Japanese Cuisin - Night-time meals are traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine served by your own private waiter in the hotel dining area.
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Near public transportation
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
I (female solo traveller, 27 years old) attended a 10 day tour with JPCT in February 2022. I had a mixed experience, with some great skiing and meeting some nice people, but with several bad experiences meaning I would never return or recommend JPCT to my friends. Good: -I stayed at Abiya, the...I (female solo traveller, 27 years old) attended a 10 day tour with JPCT in February 2022. I had a mixed experience, with some great skiing and meeting some nice people, but with several bad experiences meaning I would never return or recommend JPCT to my friends. Good: -I stayed at Abiya, the cheaper of the two accommodation options, with a private room and shared bathrooms. Abiya was really lovely, run by Yoshi and Seong-mi who went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and help me whenever needed. -The snow was great. I skied all but one of the tour days and we skied everyday at Shiga Kogen, which felt like a very authentic Japanese ski resort. -When Jase (Jase/Jason, the guy who runs JPCT) was leading/’guiding’ my group, he ensured that ability levels were well-grouped, even if that meant there were fewer people in our top group. However this was not the case when other employees were leading our group, so I did spend several days in a more mixed ability group, having to wait for slower members. Bad: -I rented ski equipment from Jase, and the whole experience was not good. Firstly, I was not trusted to advise my own din setting, despite being a very experienced skier, and was put on a much lower din than I normally ski. I was also on significantly longer skis than I’d ever previously skied. When I questioned this, I was gaslit by Jase, saying ‘you put down that you’re an advanced skier, these are skis for an advanced skier, are you not advanced?’ in a tone that I found upsetting. What he should have said was ‘typically in deep powder in Japan, you want a longer ski that you’re used to in North American and Europe. Why don’t you try this for a day and see how you get on, and if you want something shorter we can change them’. It turned out the skis were a good size for me, so he wasn’t wrong with the length but I felt that the way that this was questioned was unpleasant. Thankfully my group leader when we were out skiing did also adjust my din for me, back to my usual setting. However this was not the end of the drama. About 4 days in, the binding on one of my skis had come very very loose of the ski. This was only noticed by another client in my group, and not Jase, and Jase then advised me to ski gently down the piste to the bottom of the resort where we’d fix it. I (perhaps naively) followed these instructions and towards the bottom of the piste the entire binding came off from the ski. Fortunately I was travelling slowly and was unhurt, but this could have been much, much worse. After this happened I was again gaslit by Jase, claiming I’d ‘broken’ his skis. I felt extremely unsafe and immediately went to Yoshi at Abiya, who kindly helped me purchase my own skis in Nagano through his contacts there. -There was quite a misogynistic vibe. ‘Story time’ on the bus and ski lifts with group leaders / ‘guides’ often telling stories that did not make me feel comfortable. -I was given the impression from the website that there were distinct ‘tours’ at distinct dates that groups booked on to. This turned out not to be the case, as I didn’t meet anyone else booked onto my ‘tour’ with the same dates. There were several different tours with different descriptions that were all lumped together over the same dates, so I ended up skiing with people who had signed up for the ‘grey snowmad’ (55+) tour. Basically everyone books onto different tours with different dates and everyone is just lumped together, all going on a big bus to the same location for the day, almost always Shiga Kogen. The upside of this is the ability to have many groups, meaning similar abilities can be most accurately grouped together. But I was expecting everyone to start and finish on the same day, whereas in reality people were coming and going throughout the trip. Not a massive problem, just not the impression I got from the website. This also means the evening entertainment is also very ad hoc and fairly last minute - often you don’t find out what is going on that evening until that afternoon and the majority of evenings were just sorting yourself out for food. - Use of avalanche safety equipment was required, but for those that hadn’t used it before, very minimal training was provided. - At points the tour didn’t feel completely respectful of Japan and their customs. For example in Shiga Kogen you were not supposed to go into the sidecountry (judging by the shouting we often received from local instructors), but this was always ignored. And often the phrase ‘don’t take out a native’ was used which I found rather offensive. Additionally, while wearing face masks was very strongly encouraged indoors in Japan at the time, there was no effort by group leaders / ‘guides’ to follow suit and be respectful. -Finally, I have mentioned ‘guides’ throughout this review. These are the employees of Jase who were advertised as ‘guides’ on the website. However the majority possessed no guiding qualifications or professional guiding experience and I was not aware that any of them had been trained in avalanche safety. In Europe a ‘guide’ is a qualified mountain guide, but the term ‘guide’ in Japan seems to have no such protected status, and as such anyone can proclaim themselves a ‘guide’. Something to be aware of for all skiing outfits in Japan. All in all, I did have a good time. But there were several things that tainted the trip for me and I would definitely not return again or recommend JPCT to a friend.
I already booked my next trip with Jase and his crew. It will be my 4th and surely not my last. For me what makes Japan Power and Culture is obviously the ski experience. Skiers and boarders are placed in groups according to skills, and each group led by expert guides with deep experience on wher...I already booked my next trip with Jase and his crew. It will be my 4th and surely not my last. For me what makes Japan Power and Culture is obviously the ski experience. Skiers and boarders are placed in groups according to skills, and each group led by expert guides with deep experience on where to find the best snow on that day. This brings me to ski areas with snow quality and with challenges tailored to my ability. Each day brings a new experience and with the reassurance of skiing with a guide. But the social bonding is also unique – with different cultural programs every evening under the guidance of Jase. Overall JPCT is such a good experience not to be missed whether expert or beginner! Hans
A really fantastic 10 days of skiing, cultural immersion, food and making new friends. Jase and the team were fantastic. From planning our runs to suit the snow conditions and finding the best resorts and providing really valuable skiing tips, to getting us to some amazing food on the mountain. ...A really fantastic 10 days of skiing, cultural immersion, food and making new friends. Jase and the team were fantastic. From planning our runs to suit the snow conditions and finding the best resorts and providing really valuable skiing tips, to getting us to some amazing food on the mountain. The groups were well matched in ability which made for fun days on the snow, and when the snow god was less benevolent, on piste lessons to help improve technique. Full days followed by fun cultural activities and hanging out with other snow/ winter sports lovers from around the world. Finally, Nagano has some amazing tourism on offer, the snow monkeys, the Genko-Ji temple, Obuse town, Matsumoto castle. I only wish I had planned for more days off the snow too. Thanks Jase (also for your wonderful stories) and team, planning my next snow adventure in Nagano already.
JPCT Review Absolutely recommended!! -Powder hounds find it everyday! -Breakfast included every day -Lunch at hidden gems every day -Dinner recommendations and or reservations every day -Temples walk throughs -Shrines visits -Village walk through Shibu Onsen town -Ride to Snow monkey onsen -B...JPCT Review Absolutely recommended!! -Powder hounds find it everyday! -Breakfast included every day -Lunch at hidden gems every day -Dinner recommendations and or reservations every day -Temples walk throughs -Shrines visits -Village walk through Shibu Onsen town -Ride to Snow monkey onsen -Bus ride to and from mountain everyday full of stories, history and music -All inclusive Gear and set up -Gear transport on and off mountain everyday -Entertainment most evenings -Karaoke -Follow on tour and bookings -On and off pist Guided runs -On and Off pist powder seekers -Communication and chat groups -Photos and videos -Biyu staff addressed by name on second day -Clean neat tidy and presentable location
The information (FAQs) provided before the trip was very comprehensive and made organizing my travel easy. The "Japanese experience" at the hotel as well as the food and entertainment were fun. I visited in the first week of March: we had fresh snow and powder the first and second days but this c...The information (FAQs) provided before the trip was very comprehensive and made organizing my travel easy. The "Japanese experience" at the hotel as well as the food and entertainment were fun. I visited in the first week of March: we had fresh snow and powder the first and second days but this changed to spring skiing for the remaining week which was a little unexpected and disappointing. The groups were small and intermediates were separated from beginners and advanced skiers. I met some amazing people whom I hope to meet again some time. I had a lot of fun and am seriously considering going back next year, perhaps in January or February.
An amazing experience with an amazing group! (Did the "Legendary Roadie" experience) Super grateful to everyone on the trip! Jase and the team were all amazing! especially the Guides Naru and Rafal who were very knowledgable and helpful, and always took us to the best runs with amazing snow even...An amazing experience with an amazing group! (Did the "Legendary Roadie" experience) Super grateful to everyone on the trip! Jase and the team were all amazing! especially the Guides Naru and Rafal who were very knowledgable and helpful, and always took us to the best runs with amazing snow even when much of the mountain got baked by the sun. Extra grateful to Jase as well for helping me plan my itinerary outside the tour for the other time I spent in Japan - The suggestions of where to stay in Hokkaido and alternative places to visit outside of Tokyo (in my case Shimoda on the Isu Peninsula) were unforgettable! On top of this, the cultural experiences were a great time =] I could not have asked for a better trip with a better group of people to ski with and guides! * Also thankful to the owners at Lodge Aibiya !! They were the sweetest and most caring couple and were very thoughtful and caring. + the staff at Tenjin Lodge where the riding was awesome and the food was delicious 😊 *Also extra grateful to Naru! I had lost my ski in the deep powder, and even though we could not find it, he got me rentals very quickly for the rest of the tour and at a great price ! - now just recently I got an email saying that they were able to find the ski after more searching as the snow came down later in March =D They were super thoughtful and caring & even after the ski was lost for over 2 weeks, they took the time to keep an eye out and help me get it back! <3 ** Didn't add pictures of people in case they don't want to be seen on le web