Will Japan’s Borders Reopen for 2022/23 Ski Season?
23rd August 2022
Japan’s borders remain closed to independent tourists despite hopes that restrictions would be eased by now. One of the UK’s leading operators to Japan, Mabey Ski, remains poised. NEW
“We are optimistic that this season will go ahead, as are our guides and partners on the ground,” said Nickie Mabey from Mabey Ski to PlanetSKI.
“We have been very busy with bookings over the past few months and are continuing to receive lots of enquiries.
“Our two hosted trips are in early 2023 so we are remaining positive,” she added.
The current guidelines mean that international visitors to Japan must use the services of a tour leader or guide during their time in Japan.
There is an added requirement for international travellers to apply for visas before travel.
The Japanese ski industry is hoping for the best but worried that Australians and other visitors will not be booking for Christmas until the situation changes.
Local government officials in ski areas such as Hakuba and Niseko have also expressed concern their peak winter tourism season will be hit for the third year in a row.
Covid-19 cases have risen recently.
Japan recorded the highest global number of new coronavirus cases last month.
Japan closed its borders in March 2020 but is now one of the last major countries to keep restrictions in place.
PCR tests are still required for anyone, including residents, entering the country.
See here for a full report in Financial Review.
Now here at PlanetSKI we have a confession to make.
We have never skied in Japan.
We have skied over 600 resorts across the globe, but sadly never in Japan.
Though we have been there in the summer:
These are the two trips Mabey Ski is offering for next season:
Hokkaido Off-Piste Powder Chaser (Hosted Road Trip)
Aimed at those looking to experience the traditional culture of Japan, whilst skiing some of the best powder on the planet.
This road trip will take you off the beaten track, chasing the best snow with local expert guides, staying in traditional locally-hosted accommodation, and experiencing rich culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.
Based out of the traditional towns of Furano and Otaru, you will have the opportunity to ski off-piste and sidecountry terrain across multiple smaller Japanese ski resorts.
Accessed via lifts, this road trip is perfect for those looking to ski powder away from the crowds without any uphill skinning.
Price: US$4,995 per person / £3,995 (based on 2 people sharing 1 room) – only £3,595 when you book before 31 August.
Includes: 10 nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinner, 8 days of ski guiding, 8 days of lift passes, ground transportation and airport transfers, onsen (natural hot spring) excursion and cultural day [excl. international flights] Date: 12 – 22 January 2023
Central Hokkaido Backcountry Ski Tour (Hosted Road Trip)
Ideal for backcountry skiers and boarders who are looking to maximise their powder skiing.
Using lifts to gain some fast elevation, you will spend the remaining part of your days touring into the backcountry in search of endless fresh tracks.
Explore hidden gem ski resorts, experience traditional Japanese culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.
Based out of the traditional towns of Furano and Asahikawa, you will have the opportunity to ski up to 7 different ski areas.
Discover a deeper side of Japan as you skin up dormant volcanoes in search of untouched powder, unwind in traditional onsens (natural hot springs) and chat to friendly locals along the way.
Price: US$3,995 / £3,295 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room) – only £2,995 when you book before 31 August.
Includes: 8 nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinner, 6 days of ski guiding, 6 days of lift passes, ground transportation and airport transfers, onsen (natural hot spring) excursion and cultural day.
Dates: 11 – 19 February 2023