People per Guide
Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Dec
Type of Trip
Whether you are looking to get into backcountry snowboarding or take your off-piste snowboarding skills to the next level, these tours are exactly what you need!
I offer regular day trips for beginner, intermediate and advanced snowboarders to the best off-piste spots in the Gunma and Niigata prefectures, in Honshu, Japan’s largest island and the seventh largest in the world.
Often chosen venues in Gunma include: Kawaba ski area in Mount Hotaka’s southern slopes (2,158m); Hodaigi ski area; and the famous Mount Tanigawadake (1,977m), the highest peak in the Tanigawa mountain range. In Niigata, we usually visit the Kagura (1,845m) and Yuzawa (1,181m) ski areas. These sites are easily accessible from Tokyo and feature great backcountry terrain for all levels. They are especially known for their long seasons and amazing powder snow!
During these tours, I make my best to ensure participants learn or refresh their backcountry skills. Below you will find a brief description of the topics we usually cover in each program:
- The use of off-piste snowboarding gears
- The use of avalanche safety gears
- How to do avalanche rescues
- How to behave in a backcountry environment
- Off-piste snowboarding techniques
- Avalanche rescue techniques
- How to operate avalanche beacons
- How to behave in a backcountry environment
- The use of backcountry gears
- Efficient skinning and hiking techniques
- How to gain fitness
- Rescue scenarios
- Techniques for advanced-only routes
I will plan each tour’s exact itinerary based on the participants’ skill level, as well as on the weather and snow conditions. However, for your reference, below are a few aspects to consider when choosing a program:
- Beginner program: 30-60 minutes hiking uphill + snowboarding a 20°-30° slope
- Intermediate program: less than 3 hours hiking uphill + snowboarding a 25°-35° slope
- Advanced program: 3-4 hours hiking uphill + snowboarding a 25°-35° slope
If interested, you can stay overnight at the guesthouse I run or in any Onsen town (resorts with hot natural springs) nearby, and join multiple day trips.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn or improve your off-piste snowboarding skills in some of Japan’s best ski areas. Book your tour now!
Check out a ski touring version of these programs. If you are interested in other winter activities in the area, I recommend the winter climbing day in Mount Tanigawa and the 1-day snowshoe hike in Minakami.
Price per person per day
- Guiding fee
What happens if I need to cancel the trip?
If you decide to cancel, you’ll get a 100% refund (minus fees) if the cancellation is notified up to 60 days before the start of the tour, a 75% refund (minus fees) if you cancel between 59 and 30 days before the start of the tour, and a 50% refund if you cancel between 29 and 21 days before the start of the tour. If you cancel less than 21 days before the first day of the tour, you won’t receive a refund. Take into account, however, that if accommodation, flights or transfers were included in the trip you booked, then a different policy may apply as the guide will be bound by the provider’s cancellation policy.
What happens if the guide cancels the trip because of bad weather/unsuitable conditions?
If bad weather or unsuitable conditions force the guide to cancel the trip, he or she will: a) propose a similar activity at a different place where conditions are better, or b) propose to postpone the activity until a later date, or c) cancel. If you refuse option a), our cancellation policy will apply. Please note, however, that the call to cancel a trip due to bad weather can only be made by the guide (not the client).
What happens if the guide doesn’t show up or cancels for personal reasons?
If the guide cancels for reason of injury or other, you will get a 100% refund on your trip.
If interested, participants can stay at the guesthouse I run, at a discounted price.
• Beginner programs: end of December to mid May
• Intermediate programs: end of December to mid May
• Advanced programs: February and March
Participants must have accidents insurance, covering mountain rescue operations.
Guests need to bring the following equipment:
• Splitboard bindings
• Skins (for splitboard)
• Avalanche safety gears (beacon, probe, and shovel)
• Gloves (and thinner gloves for hiking uphill)
• Appropriate clothing
*Rentals are available for some of the items
About the Guide
I am a JMGA mountain guide based in Minakami in Gumma prefecture in Japan, home to Mount Tanigawa in the Tanigawa Mountain Range. It is one of the top 100 famous mountains in Japan and is my favourite mountain full of potentials in rock climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and trekking. I also run a lodging service there for the convenience of clients, which I started in response to the requests by my clients in 2011.
My specialty ranges from climbing / mountaineering, trekking (hiking and snow shoeing), Sawanobori (climbing up through waterfalls), backcountry skiing / ski touring, pack rafting and canyoning.
Having been a member of Exploration Club whilst at University in Kyoto, my first guiding certification was in river rafting, where my passion lay at the time, and my main guiding activities now are mostly in the mountains.
With “explore deeper and have fun” as mottos, I put together outdoor adventure itineraries for each season of the year, so that more people can feel and enjoy the power and kindness of the nature.
I would love to share the unique, beautiful and exploratory experience you can get in Minakami with you, let it be in the mountains or in the waters!
I have the following certificates: JMGA Climbing Guide Stage Level 2, Oze Nature Guide, Oze Climbing Guide and WMA Wilderness First Responder.
When I'm unavailable to guide, my trusted colleagues with JMGA certifications will be able to guide you!
What People Say about Hiroko Takatsuki