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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently become buddies with a group of Japanese ex pros who I am now riding with and organizing tours with.

For now we will only be doing tours aimed at Japanese riders (or foreigners in Japan), but we plan to open it up to foreigners and offer a wider range of tours.

I just wanted to gauge the level of interest from forum members for possible future tours.

We could tailor our tours to private groups and their needs, but as a possible plan for a tour it would break down like this.

2 days in the Nagano BC out of a quaint Japanese lodge in a quiet area of Hakuba lead by an ex pro rider (Aida Jiro). Followed by 2 days of shredding at your own pace in the resorts of Hakuba, hot springs and letting your legs recover. Then 2 days in Nozawa onsen shredding the side country with me while each member of the group links up with our pro coach (Tomohiro Nakano) for a 1 on 1 hour long (or 2 hour long depending on numbers) lesson.

This year in January (25th and 26th) we have a tour to Nozawa onsen set up. Lots of lift accessed powder and a real Japanese feel to the resort. I will guide the group and Tomohiro Nakano will be providing a few pointers to each member of the group while we ride together.

If you are in Japan and want to join feel welcome (PM me), but this event is mostly a mellow social event for the customers at his snowboard shop. We may split into a fast paced and a slow paced group for a good chunk of the tour.

I plan to do more tours this year so let me know if you would be interested and realistically what level you ride at. We may do a 2 day advanced riding clinic in Nagano in March.

Tomohiro's credentials.

He came 2nd two years running in the all Japan technical carving event and his best result in half pipe is 3rd in the all Japan finals (quite a few years back). Tomohiro rode on the Yonex team (pretty big brand in Japan) and coached the Yonex team riders full time for 20 years in total.
2 of his students now ride in the all Japan squad.
Now he runs a snowboard shop and does tours and coaching.

Jiro Aida.

He won the all Japan technical snowboarding event (a test of carving skills and all round riding style and smoothness) 5 years running. He is now retired from competition and runs his own guest house in Hakuba Nagano from which he operates BC tours. He provides all the gear and even boards. He is also the powder board designer for Ogasaka snowboards.

?????????? FREE STYLE FT

These are all his boards.

He can lead high level groups (or lower lever) in the Nagano BC and is a well trained experienced guide. He also coaches professionally so it can be a mix of lessons and guiding.

We can also arrange to do tours in Hokkaido.

They both have incredible skills and knowledge, but limited English. They can communicate the basics, but need translation for coaching and guiding in the BC.

Thats where I come in. I have near bilingual Japanese and have the level 1 proficiency certificate (highest level). I have translated all kinds of things, but to be able to shred and work is my dream job.

Due to the high level of the coaches our tours will be aimed at higher end clients in general.

Some of the 1 or 2 day clinics and tours however, will be very affordable especially if you are already in Japan.

Even if you don't have the means to get over here and join in please feel free to comment.

I will be sure to post up pics and some vids to share the stoke with the forum members.
 

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I would be interested. I live in Asia so Japan is my "local" mountain(s).

Best of luck to you... hope you find a way to live the dream.
 

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sounds like a good plan.

heading out to hokkaido this season. but might be interested in the near future. trekin from the US. maybe we can work together on linking up our tours in the future:

NYT SNOW 2013 | NEW YORK

Do your tours include airfare?

Edit... Found the small print. Tour price includes: air travel, hotel accommodations (hotel with breakfast & hot springs in Rusutsu. cottage with kitchen & bath in Niseko), lift tickets, and land transportation for Rusutsu and Niseko (excluding a cab for the transportation from Niseko to the Chitose airport for 6 DAY TOUR)
 

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I want to go to Japan more then anything!!!!!

I have this fantasy of snowboarding then eating ramen in Hokkaido! There's some place near me called Santouka. Best Fucking food EVAR!!! I need to get the real thing.

2014 is enough time to save up, too. If you can promise a ramen tour with the snowboarding Im so in.
 

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I want to go to Japan more then anything!!!!!

I have this fantasy of snowboarding then eating ramen in Hokkaido! There's some place near me called Santouka. Best Fucking food EVAR!!! I need to get the real thing.

2014 is enough time to save up, too. If you can promise a ramen tour with the snowboarding Im so in.
santoka is junk food compared to what's out there.
 

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santoka is junk food compared to what's out there.

I don't doubt that for a second!!! We also have shin sen gumi and a few other chains out here too.

Im sure they keep all the good stuff in Japan, which is why I NEED a ramen/snowboard tour of hokkaido!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll second that the food is excellent (specially if you have local knowledge).

@NYTSNOW its definitely possible we could do a collaboration. I will talk with the guys, its quite likely they have a buddy who is offering BC tours in Hokkaido.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes its legal. Its not going to be a rope ducking tour.

Really this time around we will be hitting mostly the ungroomed pistes and allowed grey areas. I will just be showing people the best spots and lines around the mountain.

The big bonus is that everyone will get some pointers on how to improve from Tomohiro the former pro coach and grade A instructor (Japanese system).

Judging from your posts you would probably get more out of a higher level clinic, but it could be a fun weekend for you all the same.

In general the ski patrol is very open at Nozawa and they try to let people take advantage of as much of the mountain as possible.

As I said this particular tour is going to be pretty mellow.

In the future we plan to do more challenging tours in the same area, there are lots of great runs. I need to get much more training, equipment and experience before we do those.

I do however hit a lot of the deeper sidecountry riding with friends. Only when the avalanche risks are very low.

By the way supra all this week (until the 22nd) Never Summer are doing demos at Nozawa. Sadly I will be heading up the day after on the 23rd.

They will be in Hakuba (Hakuba 47 & Goryu) from the 7th to the 14th of March.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice little run,

Plenty of stuff like that available "legally" at Nozawa have you ridden there?

Will be hitting stuff like that with the more advanced group on the 26th 27th.
 

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I have a trip booked to Niseko again this year (March) but next year would love to try somehwere else. The hubby and I are into the snowboarding but equally into the food and relax aspects. Your business idea sounds like it would appeal to the time-poor set, if you could offer the full package - ie arrange airport transfers, accomodation, show the best places on the mountain and some technique improvements. We are expats living close to Japan (on a formerly Japanese island) and did consider branching away from Niseko this year but decided in the end due to our lack of language skills and tight schedule that we'd stick with the known area.

By the way, do you have any good contacts or recommendations for some instructor/guides in Niseko? We're considering taking a private guide for some good off-piste without ending up having to walk out of gullies etc.
 

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Curious for deets. i doubt id be doing the tour if its just what i think it is. But would be interested in finding some of the lesser known nozawa lines.
 
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