There’s something about Myoko in Japan, a picture perfect pocket of traditional Japan country villages at the base of Mt Myoko, an active volcano that beckons over 15 metres of powder snow each winter, just a few hours from Tokyo.
With five ski resorts that call the Myoko pocket of the Japan Alps home, and another three within easy reach for day trips, it’s no surprise to skiers and boarders that Myoko’s original Buddhist meaning is “Holy mountain in the centre of the universe.”
Powder lovers, Aussie Tayler Paulsen and Kiwi Neil Demize, were first drawn to Japan in 2013 and then to the Myoko Kogen region in 2018. Now they call Myoko home and have put their designer print on not one but two accommodation properties for those looking for either lodge or chalet style snow holidays.
Best of all, you can stay in uber cool digs (scroll down to check them out) AND become a ski or snowboard instructor in a week with an NZSIA accredited course or enrol in a host of other programs the team offer including a pro media tour, women’s shred program and a powder week.
Stay for a week – become a Ski and Snowboard Instructor Level 1
Imagine spending a week in Japan skiing and boarding the best powder in the world and coming home with a Level 1 ski or snowboard certification so you can take your skills global and get paid for it.
This unique six day, seven night experience includes comprehensive training and examination with the New Zealand Snowsports Instructor Alliance. Experienced instructors will guid you through a structured curriculum to create a solid foundation for your skiing/riding and teaching.
Bed down in the Mountain Hut Lodge for seven nights, experience a one day mountain orientation, daily breakfasts and resort transfers, six day ski pass, five day course training and examination. Plus an end of exam celebration, Mountain Hut hoodie and potential job offer for the following season.
When: Snowboard Instructor course March 11 to 18, ski instructor course March 18 to 25
Cost: From ￥289,000
OR progress with the Yama Women’s freestyle park camp
The Yama Women’s freestyle park camp is exclusively designed for beginner to intermediate snowboarders eager to progress their skills in the park. Whether you’re stepping into the park for the first time or looking to stomp your first 360, seasoned coaches will help you push your riding to the next level.
You’ll gain confidence in various park settings and discover areas of the mountains that only the locals know about.
At the end the camp, showcase your newfound style at the legendary annual Yama Jam competition at the Mountain Hut Lodge.
Bed down in the chic Sugi Chalet for four nights, have professional daily coaching including video analysis with a guest to coach ratio of six to one, a one hour massage, daily breakfast, welcome dinner and a three day onsen pass.
When: March 5 to March 9
Cost: From ￥159,000
Where you’ll stay
Choose from the warm and rustic Mountain Hut Lodge nestled in the cedar trees at the base of Ikenotaira ski resort with designer touches, complimentary breakfasts and a cosy communal lounge. Did we mention the free guest ski shuttle?
If you fancy a chalet to call your own then take over the lush ski-in ski-out Sugi Chalet at Suginohara. Sleeping up to 16 of your best buddies, the chalet boasts earthy tones and natural light with six bedrooms, a commercial kitchen, three lounges and reading nooks and considered beauty throughout.
Add-on services at both lodge and chalet include ski and snowboard lessons, guiding with Escape Myoko’s qualified team of instructors, snowboard rentals, car rental and in-house massage.
But wait, there’s more packages to choose from
Every Saturday to Saturday the team at Escape Myoko host the Sugio Package. Stay seven nights at the Mountain Hut Lodge with a five day lift pass covering all resorts visited, experience a two hour mountain orientation at each resort with insider tips for the best powder lines, enjoy a welcome drink on arrival, local transfers, a complimentary Mountain Hut hoodie and more. From ￥219,000 per person.
Or make your mates jealous with a “Media Pro” tour
Struggle to capture Japan’s famed powder on camera because you’re too busy skiing or snowboarding it? Make your friends green with envy when they see pro images of you worthy of a Powder Mag cover.
On the Ukiyo Freeride Media Tour You’ll enjoy 6 days of guided powder riding across the region’s world class resorts with each day tailored to weather and snow conditions. With a six to one guide to guest ratio you’ll be well looked after. Add in daily breakfast, two group dinners, an hour massage and onsen access plus seven nights with your new found friends at Mountain Hut Lodge.
Lauren Power is a world class ski and snowboard photographer, her work has featured in Canada’s best snow magazines and she counts Balface, Selkirk and Big Red Cats as clients. Lauren and her team of photographic pros know how to get the shot.
When: February 20 to 27
How much: From ￥259,000
10% Discount Code for SnowsBest + @misssnowitall community
Loving the sound of everything Myoko? Trust us, you’ll visit once and return every year. Chat to the team at Escape Myoko about accommodation and/or programs and tell them we sent you.
Use the code ESCAPEMYOKO10 for 10% off.