Ski Japan 2020: Tenjin

Join us for some Deep Pow on this amazing Japanese ski touring vacation! 

The Destination:

One of the crew from our 2019 trip enjoying that famous Japanese pow.

For Ski Japan 2020 we’re headed into the Japanese Alps around the lesser known area of Tenjin on the main island of Honshu. The small town Minakami, found a few hours north of Tokyo by train, will serve as our base for this epic Japanese ski touring adventure. From there we’ll make forays into the local mountains using the various ski lifts to gain access to some amazing backcountry ski runs through picturesque Japanese forests. We’ll also use the lifts to jump start some higher elevation ski touring and ski mountaineering.

But be warned, the area gets a massive amount of snowfall.  In the event that the lifts at a local hill are closed due to weather or avalanche hazard (yes, that does happen!) don’t worry we’ll throw on the old skins and head on up for some tree skiing in the deep pow.

The Snow:

Japan Ski TouringIt snows pretty much every day here, day after day! And this daily accumulation of snow is deeper than what many popular ski areas see in a week. But what’s really amazing is the quality, we’re talking cold blower pow! So if you love undulating terrain, widely spaced deciduous trees, beautiful landscapes and consistent snowfall day-in and day-out then this is the trip for you.

The Scene:

Now half the fun of a Japanese ski touring holiday is checking out the local culture and of course the local food. Japanese apres ski culture always involves a long soak in an Onsen, a traditional natural hot spring, to ease tired muscles. That is followed by an amazing meal. Sushi, ramen, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, omo-rice and more might not mean much to you now, but they’ll soon become favorites!

Of course no foreign vacation is complete without sampling some of the local beer and spirits! Not to worry, Japan’s famous for its amazing Scotch and Sake, but of course it also has a booming craft brewery scene that begs to be sampled as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Foodie, fine beverage connoisseur or an avid skier just looking for some filling food at the end of a big day you will be more than happy with the local offerings.


Cost:​​  $3,599 CAD plus GST
Full but taking bookings for 2021
January 11-19, 2020
Skill Level: 
Intermediate to Advanced downhill skiers or split boarders

The Itinerary:

  • January 11: Travel Day
  • January 12: Arrive in Tokyo
  • January 13: Travel to Minakami in am, ski in the pm
  • January 14 – 17: Ski the resorts & mountains around Minakami
  • January 18: Ski a half day in the am before traveling back to Tokyo
  • January 19: Departure Day, Party’s over

You will want to plan to arrive at Tokyo, Narita International airport on January 12th.  Most international flights from North America arrive in the late afternoon. We’ll meet at 5pm and then travel to our hotel in Tokyo for the evening. First thing in the morning we will take the trains to Minakami. Of course you can always just meet up with the crew in Minakami if you prefer. From there we check into our hotel and get ready to ski!

The train travel from Narita International to Minakami is as follows:

  • Tokyo to TAKASAKI: SHINKANSEN MaxTANIGAWA (Bullet Train).
  • TAKASAKI to Minakami: JR Joetsu Line (Regular Train)

Full train schedule can be found at:

Your Guide:

Monte Johnston: IFMGA / ACMG Mountain Guide

A full-time Skiing, Mountaineering & Climbing Guide Monte calls Squamish, BC home. After graduating university with an engineering degree he found he wasn’t satisfied only chasing his passion for the mountains on weekends and evenings. This led him away from working behind a desk into a life of guiding, avalanche forecasting and movie/film safety work. Monte has since climbed and skied all over the world. In the summer he can be found guiding anything from remote mountain peaks to warm sun kissed rock across BC and Alberta. In the winter Monte splits his time between heli-skiing in Bella Coola and ski touring in Japan, the Coast Range and any other cool places he can find some powder. Photo: @Mountaindarlin


  • 6 Days Skiing
  • ACMG Certified Guides
  • Ground Transportation
  • 6 Nights Accommodation
  • Dinners at the lodge in Minakami
  • Onsen entrance (hot pools)
  • Lift tickets
  • Breakfast
  • Black Sheep Adventure Sports Swag


  • Flights to/from Narita
  • Train travel to/from Minakami (about $75 each way)
  • Personal ski & safety equipment (transceiver, probe & shovel, etc.)
  • Lunches (we will make sure you have the opportunity to buy something)
  • Dinners outside the lodge
  • Food & Lodging in Tokyo
  • Travel & Medical insurance

Fine Print:

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