August 23, 2022
Japan’s borders remain closed to independent tourists despite hopes that restrictions would now be eased. One of the main British operators in Japan, Mabey Ski, remains on the alert. NEW
“We are optimistic that this season will continue, as will our guides and partners in the field,” Mabey Ski’s Nickie Mabey told PlanetSKI.
“We have been very busy with bookings over the past few months and continue to receive many enquiries.
“Both of our tour packages are in early 2023, so we remain positive,” she added.
Japan’s ski industry is hoping for the best but fears Australians and other visitors will book up for Christmas until the situation changes.
Local government officials in ski areas such as Hakuba and Niseko have also expressed concern that their peak winter tourist season will be hit for the third consecutive year.
Covid-19 cases have recently increased.
Japan recorded the world’s highest number of new coronavirus cases last month.
Japan closed its borders in March 2020 but is now one of the last major countries to keep restrictions in place.
PCR tests are still required for anyone, including residents, entering the country.
Now, at PlanetSKI, we have a confession to make.
We have never skied in Japan.
We have skied in over 600 resorts around the world, but unfortunately never in Japan.
Even though we went there in the summer:
Here are the two trips Mabey Ski is offering when border restrictions are relaxed:
Off-Road Powder Hunter in Hokkaido (Package Tour)
Aimed at those looking to experience traditional Japanese culture, while skiing some of the best powder on the planet.
This road trip will take you off the beaten track, in search of the best snow with local expert guides, staying in traditional locally hosted accommodation and discovering rich culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.
Based in the traditional towns of Furano and Otaru, you’ll have the opportunity to ski off-piste and off-piste at several small Japanese ski resorts.
Accessible by lifts, this road trip is perfect for those looking to ski powder away from the crowds without any uphill skinning.
Price: US$4,995 pp / £3,995 (based on 2 people sharing 1 bedroom) – just £3,595 if you book by August 31.
Includes: 10 nights accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinner, 8 days of guided skiing, 8 days of ski passes, ground transportation and airport transfers, onsen (natural hot spring) excursion and cultural day [excl. international flights] Dates: 12 – 22 January 2023
Central Hokkaido Backcountry Skiing Tour (Packaged Tour)
Ideal for backcountry skiers and snowboarders looking to maximize their powder skiing.
Using the lifts to gain altitude quickly, you’ll spend the rest of your days roaming the backcountry in search of endless fresh runs.
Explore hidden ski resorts, learn about traditional Japanese culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.
Based in the traditional towns of Furano and Asahikawa, you will have the opportunity to ski up to 7 different ski areas.
Discover a deeper side of Japan as you peel dormant volcanoes in search of untouched gunpowder, relax in traditional onsens (natural hot springs), and chat with friendly locals along the way.
Price: US$3,995 / £3,295 pp (based on 2 people sharing 1 bedroom) – just £2,995 if you book by August 31.
Includes: 8 nights accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinner, 6 days ski guide, 6 days ski passes, ground transportation and airport transfers, onsen (natural hot spring) excursion and cultural day .
Dates: February 11 – 19, 2023