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Hachimantai Cat Skiing (aka Hachimantai Cat Tours) is a recent and still largely undiscovered Japanese powder stash gem on Mount Chausu in Iwate Prefecture. Owner/guides father and son team Ikuo 'Boss' Kuragane and Junya Kuragane are both back country ski legends. Iwate is the second most sparsely populated prefecture in Japan, after Hokkaido. They have one of the best records for...
For those lucky enough to be there, it's a pandemic powder frenzy at Niseko with skier numbers up to 90% down on normal. But it's a disaster for local businesses. For example, GoSnow, the official International Snowsports School for Niseko-Hirafu Resort, are down to one instructor most days - from 300 plus in previous years!  We talked to business owners and...
Bad news for Japanese skiing as the COVID surge closes Naeba, one of the the country's biggest ski resorts and jewel in the Prince Snow Resort crown. Prince announced the temporary closure from yesterday Sunday January 17 to earl-February after 31 positive COVID-19 cases among their Naeba staff. Naeba is one of the most easily accessed major resorts from Tokyo too,...
Great Japan ski side trips? Wow, where to start! We all need an occasional downday after all. Japan offers so many great experiences either close to or on the way to the main ski areas that you are totally spoilt for choice. The Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani would likely be the #1 non-ski site anyone going anywhere near Nagano visits. They...
Oh what a season! The amazing snow storm across Japan this week has delivered record 72 hour falls for several Niigata and Yamagata areas, including some of Snow Action's all time favourites like Minakami and Yuzawa. The storm wreaked havoc, shutting down the Kan-Etsu Freeway across central Japan from Tokyo to Niigata with over 1,000 vehicles trapped earlier in the...
For the first time ever Sapporo cancels Snow Festival! Yes, sad news out of Hokkaido for the participants who create the amazing ice sculptures every winter, the 2 million or so visitors who normally flock to see them and appreciate the associated events, and for the local economy which normally benefits from a ¥65 billion injection of funds from visitors. Sapporo...

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