One of our very best days out on snow last season was for the ski tour from Matsunoyama Ski Resort over to Tsunan which follows the route of a trip made by the Japanese royal family in the 50s. Details are now out for that tour in 2017 so block off the dates in the diary and let's head over to Matsunoyama Onsen for a fun backcountry experience with awesome views.
The Royal Snow Touring will be available from March 1st to April 2nd 2017. You need to reserve a date at least three days before. Bookings are from a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 12. The cost per person is 15,000 yen, which includes the guide fee, insurance, lunch and tax. You'll need to bring your own skis or board. You also require a beacon, shovel, probe, backpack, snowshoes and trekking poles though all this can be rented for a fee. You'll also need a lift ticket to cover the first two lifts (unless you are really keen on walking up to the higher start point!)
The day kicks off at 0930 and meets at Matsunoyama Onsen Ski Resort, and you'll be done by 1530. Lunch is something to look forward to, as it is sandwiches made with local pork slow cooked in the famous onsen waters of the town.
If you want to treat yourself there are some amazing accommodation options in Matsunoyama Onsen, and it is one of the top three curative hot springs in the whole of Japan.
[It also has a very bizarre Bridegroom Throwing Festival on January 15th each year (which is in the afternoon, and the Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri / Fire Festival is that night down the road over in Nagano Prefecture.)]
If you want to polish up your technique before heading out on this trip we can send one of our backcountry-loving Snow Country Instructors to help.