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COURSES

Niseko, Japan 2018

lonquimay

This is NASTC’s 4th visit to this land of the rising sun and endless pow….a perfect training venue for you. Advanced intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers welcome!

Niseko is truly THE powder skier’s paradise.  Niseko may as well be a synonym for snow, as it never stops snowing here.  Niseko is located in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan and it lies just southwest of the city of Sapporo.  Niseko’s fortunate location allows it to receive the winter storms blowing off the Siberian plateau yielding some of the most abundant yearly snowfall in the world (600 inches and more per year!).  Niseko consistently has some of the deepest powder snow you will ever ski.  The ski area of Niseko is comprised of 4 resorts:  Annupuri, Niseko Village (Higashiyama), Hanazono and Hirafu.  All are accessible with the same lift ticket.  Niseko has something for every skier (except the fair weather ones), it has wide open powder fields, immaculately groomed runs, exciting tree skiing and an abundance of off-piste terrain and backcountry skiing.  Niseko is famous for its pillows of snow that you can explode through, trails of white smoke following your every turn and face shots that go over your head.

Japan doesn’t do anything half way, the lift system is modern with lots of gondolas and covered chairlifts to keep you warm on those ever-present snowy days.  Imagine a day of ripping through fresh snow, followed by a soak in a traditional onsen (hot spring bath) watching the steam rise as snowflakes fall gently around you and dinner in a cozy traditional Japanese restaurant with sushi, steamy bowls of ramen, Japanese mixed grill and sake to fill your belly.  If Japanese food is not your thing, don’t fret as there are many different restaurants to choose from and offer a variety of international food. English is spoken widely throughout the Niseko area and the villagers are very welcoming and friendly.  Views of Mt. Yotei (the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido), a perfect conical shaped volcano will greet you just about everywhere you go.

NASTC will be your guide as you take in this extraordinary skiing adventure.  You will learn how to adapt your skiing to the variety of terrain and snow conditions, maximize ski design for more efficient and fluid skiing and master powder and soft snow skiing skills.  This trip will combine a unique cultural experience with an exhilarating ski adventure.  Round out your adventure ski training vacation with a side trip to Kyoto or Tokyo.  You will fly into Hong Kong or Kyoto and then connect via a short flight to Sapporo.  From Sapporo it is a short ride from the airport through the Hokkaido countryside to Niseko.  The week will be full of great skiing, coaching and fun cultural experiences.  This will be another great NASTC adventure and one that is for sure to stick out in the memory books.

Itinerary:

Feb 23 – Depart United States for Japan

Feb 24 – Arrive into Tokyo and connect to Sapporo – Chitose, shuttle to Niseko (approx. 2.5hrs)

Feb 25-March 2 – ski at all 4 mountains:  Niseko Village, Annupuri, Hirafu and Hanazono

March 3 – departure day

SAMPLE ITINERARY (changes will be made as needed)

Day 1 – Ski at Hirafu resort.  Warm up into your week of skiing, your trainers will assess your skiing skills as you take your warm up runs and determine which group will best suit your skill base and goals.  Skiing focus for this day will be centered on achieving a better centered stance, the foundation for good skiing and skill blending.  You will go through some drills and exercises to help you find a better balanced position over your skis.  You will ski a variety of turns throughout the day to help recognize and maintain this ideal centered position.

Evening activity:  Review the video footage shot from earlier in the day followed by dinner in town.

Day 2 – Ski at Hanazono resort.  Skiing focus will be geared towards maintaining lateral balance throughout the turn with specific attention focused on the transition.  You will run through a series of exercises that will target this area of your skill set specifically.  You will continue to develop lateral balance skills through application in various types of terrain and turns.

Evening activity:  Traditional Japanese Dinner at Abucha

Day 3 – Ski at Annupuri resort.  Briefly revisit skiing concepts from the previous day and move towards working on rotary skills.  You will go through drills and exercises that will target areas of weakness in your rotary control movements.  Reinforce rotary skill development and balancing concepts through terrain exploration.

Evening activity:  Review video footage from earlier in the day

Day 4– Ski at Niseko.  Skiing focus is targeted towards developing tactics for more successful off-piste skiing by improving skill blending abilities.  Drills and exercises will be set up to build and develop skill blending capabilities and identifying tactical choices. Explore the exhilarating powder and “Juhyo” – “ice trees” in Miharashi.

Evening activity:  Traditional Japanese Bath House

Day 5 – Ski at Hanazono.  Skiing focus will be on recognizing appropriate tactics and skill blending adjustments needed for the terrain and conditions.

Evening activity:  Review video footage taken from the last few days, followed by dinner in town.

Day 6 – Ski at Niseko.  Skiing focus will be on integrating lessons learned and personal feedback.  Explore “Little Jackson” a portion of the hundreds of acres of gated side-country terrain.

Evening activity: Dinner at RIN, Yakatori style restaurant

Day 7– departure day

Lodging for the week:  one of several great choices, we are currently booking.

Our hotel choices are equipped with indoor and outdoor hot spring baths (“Onsen”).  Breakfast is included daily and includes a buffet of Western and Japanese selections.

Trip Extensions:

Japan has so much to offer with regards to cultural variety, architecture and natural beauty.  Other destinations that might be of interest to you to visit while in Japan are: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Lake Toya and more.