Conditions: Calm at base; temps are pretty mild, barometer is up, humidity moving down quickly. Light winds along the ocean, coming in from the north. The freezing level will be moving steadily up, especially from Tuesday. Could be very warm Thursday, possibly with (yuk) heavy rain.
Archive of previous weeks' reports →
The BOA closure system found on snowboard boots, our Tubbs snowshoes, boots, golf shoes, running shoes and a whole lot more is a tough, clever way to get tightly into your footwear.
The wires can break (apparently the twist unit can get bashed to death by some of you mad tree bouncers)—although it doesn't happen that often. If it does, just come by Dancing Snow. We've been trained, we have the parts (which are free), and we can get you back in pristine form and ready to head back out on the hill. The labor will be affordable, too&madash;just buy a beer and relax while we rethread the wires! (or a coffee, or a new BCA avalanche transceiver. We aren't fussy). Let us know if we can help!
Ready for some new skis just right for the Myoko snows? You can get those shiny new boards right here at Dancing Snow!
Dancing Snow is a BCA Snow Safety Center
Dancing Snow provides sales and rental of beacons, airbags and air cylinders from BCA, the premier manufacturer of snow safety goods. The air cylinders for Japan are different from those for Europe and North America, meaning they can't be filled in the country—so just rent a cylinder, or a complete Float airbag system, for your stay in Myoko. Let us know well ahead on the airbags, though, so we can be sure and have one ready for you.
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• Guide feeFor some tours we may need to depart early; we'll let you know ahead of time in this case.
• Lift tickets
|One-day tours||¥15,000 per person.
Includes everything: guide fee, insurance, lift tickets, lunch*, and transportation (not including sales tax). Rentals extra.
|Seki Onsen tour||¥15,000 per person. Minimum of two people (normally; please ask!).
Includes round-trip transportation, guide/instruction fee, insurance, lift tickets, lunch on the hill (not including sales tax). Introduction to friendly locals no extra charge.
|*One-day tour lunches are simple (but filling) Japanese-style bentos; vegetarian and other versions are available.|
Required Tour Equipment
Ski equipment (skis, board, boots, poles; some rentals available); skins/snowshoes (for skiers, please use skins for your own skis, and ones which you have tested prior to taking part in the tour); a waterproof/breathable jacket and pants; full layered wear: under and middle layers of wool or synthetic material (for all your wear, NO COTTON please!), gloves (with spare pair highly suggested), hat(s), goggles, sunglass; lunch (normally we will provide); plenty of water or other drinks; emergency food; shovel, avalanche beacon and probe (we'll make sure you have these).
Thermos with warm drink/water; compass; 1/25,000 scale map (we have the two main topographic maps, with English key, available at just ¥1,000 for one, ¥1,500 the pair—you'll learn a lot). Rental is available for some items. When in doubt, just ask!
Our home course, accessed from the top of the Akakura Kanko Ski Area. A 400-meter hike up (and it's pretty steep on the main slope!), lunch at the top, then more than 1,000 meters down through spectacular beech forest.
|Mt. Mitahara (2300m)
The longest course in the area; a descent of more than 10km, through fantastically varied terrain including open slopes, beech, birch and pine forests, and a winding mountain road.
A great tree run, above Ikenotaira Ski Area. We usually approach from the Suginohara Ski Area on a beautiful hike through the woods, or from Ikenotaira for newer climbers. This is also a safe alternative when snow conditions elsewhere are questionable. Depending on the snow, we may ski all the way back to Dancing Snow.
A totally natural tour—no lifts and no crowds. Challenging for the approach, the hard work is rewarded by a big view, open slopes at the top and great tree runs all the way down.
Another solid climb on this course; 900 meters from the top of Kurohime Ski Area. The slopes can be moderately steep, but often with some of the finest powder that falls in the area. Tours to Sadoyama continue to the secondary peak within Kurohime.
For complete beginners—even those with no ski experience—we use light telemark gear and head off into the woods nearby for snow hiking. Other courses include Sasagamine, a vast, open area behind Myoko-san surrounded by mountains; the famous shrine and spectacular peaks of Togakushi (see more on the hiking page)
Spring and Fall multi-day tours
|Mt. Hiuchi (2462m)
The highest peak within Niigata Prefecture, located just to the north of Mt Myoko. We tour up to the hut at the base several times in the spring. Skiing is from the peak back down to the southwest, or to the north all the way to Sasakura Onsen.
|Tateyama (2300m and up)
This huge Alpine area is a playground for hundreds of people in late November, and through the spring. A little hike, though, and suddenly it feels like the mountains are all yours. Plus a real onsen mountain lodge experience at the end of the day, and always a party around the fireplace. A favorite of the whole Dancing Snow team!
To ensure the safety of our guests, we do ask for personal information including telephone numbers, emergency contacts, etc., as part of registration for lessons and tours. We will not use this information for anything other than this purpose, nor will we release any personal information to any third parties.