sounds like everyone is having a good season so far! we had a few epic dumps in gunma, and surfing on my tail on knee high powder down the entire mountain was a revelation. pure bliss.
so, my interest in freeride and powder went up a lot this year. next season, i want to search for some serious pow. Hokkaido is definitely on my hit list, along with Zao in Yamagata. But where else would you guys recommend?
Also, as someone relatively new to the sport, back country looks bit intimidating, I don't know where to start. Should I pay for a back-country tour through a resort? Are those quality tours? I want to get the best back country experience for my dollar(yen) but I don't know where to go for comparisons ... I don't know if my skill level is up to snuff yet, but it's an experience I really want to have in Japan before I move back home to LA after next season.
finally, for my dreams of backcountry next season, i'm trying to add another board to my arsenal. i'm looking at the jones hovercraft now, but am also thinking of the gnu billy goat and lib tech's la nina.
onji, I'm pretty much the same height and weight as you - 145 lbs, 5'9", size 10 boots. have you had any experience with any of these boards?