It has been an amazing winter for snow far, and conditions in resorts have been fantastic, with plenty of days enjoying the deep powder for which Japan is well-known. We get many questions about backcountry in Yuzawa and Minami Uonuma. If you are looking for powder lessons, clinics on freeriding, or a personal guide to help you find the best (but not tracked) runs in resort, we have plenty of instructors who can show you around on either skis or snowboards. With the large number of resorts in the area there is plenty to explore and discover, and lots of fun to be had while you do so! Some of the smaller resorts have been getting quite a bit of press about how good they are on powder days. Resorts that have previously been known as mainly family ski areas are attracting powder addicts who are looking for new terrain and areas that don’t get tracked out quickly. Yuzawa Nakazato and Muica are two local resorts with some dedicated followings for days when the snow is falling (…but don’t tell anybody!) Many resorts have been taking a more lenient view of off-piste riding in the last few years and the reputation of Yuzawa and Minami Uonuma as a place for sidecountry is steadily growing.
If you are looking to take things to the next level and head off into the backcountry you definitely want to employ the service of a professional local guide. For backcountry guiding in Yuzawa and Minami Uonuma we recommend Triforce. They offer a bunch of different tours on mountains in the region, and you hear nothing but good things from people who go out riding with them. Their website is in Japanese but they are happy communicating in English if you drop them a line. Having a local, highly qualified guide who knows the conditions and terrain well allows you to access areas that you would not normally discover.
Once you head out on one of the Triforce backcountry tours you are likely to want to try all the other ones too, so make sure you have plenty of free time!