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Snow Canyoning

snow canyoning tours

A world first, ONLY in Japan.

snowcanyoning jump
We love canyoning so much we created a winter version! An incredible winter adventure that gets you amongst Japans world class powder snow without using snowboard or skis.
 
 

Giant sliders, zip lines, rappelling, jumps and more! Using the natural contours of the mountain we slide down giant snow chutes using just our body. Our custom designed slider suit keeps you warm and dry as you fly through the powder at speed. A very unique way to experience the mountains of Japan!

Can I try it?
  • No experience required. 
  • Ski, snowboard skills are not required. 
  • All gear is included, we give you everything. 
  • Moderate level of fitness is required.

The half day course is a great introductory to snow canyoning and only requires a low level of fitness. This is perfect if you are just wanting to have some easy fun in the snow. This course is mainly run in January and March.

The full day course is a full on mountain experience and requires a decent level of fitness (being able to walk in snow for 5 hours). This is the course for those that want higher thrill levels and a deep mountrain experience. This course is mainly run in February.

Snow canyoning video

Snowshoe Tour

japan snowshoe tours

Experience the freedom of the mountains

snowshoe to forest

The ultimate day of winter nature trekking. Enjoy spectacular mountain views and a delicious fully catered outdoor picnic lunch (full day tour only). Each course can be customized to include more nature interpretation for those that just want to relax or more adventure for the thrill seekers! 

Courses we operate:
Ichinokura - One of the most spectacular mountain panoramas in Japan.
Ooyu - Hidden cave deep in the mounatins with amazing ice mushroom formations
Machigasawa - Beautiful riverside course with views of frozen waterfalls and mountain panoramas
Amayobiyama - A great combination of shrines, slides, and mini ice cave

Please note: the course is decided by the tour guide. We take into account the date, snowfall and weather conditions.

The half day snowshoe course is typically 3 hours in total with about 2 hours on the snow and is suitable for all fitness levels. This tour is perfect for those who want an easy first time snow experience.

The full day snowshoe course is around 7 hours long with nealry 6 hours on the snow and requires a moderate level of fitness. (being able to walk for 5-6 hours). This tours is perfect for those who realy want a deep Japan snow experience.

Snow Sports School

English Speaking Snowsports School

Canyons Snowsports School can help you improve your style and skills. 
Ski and snowboard instructors are available for all levels and abilities in Yuzawa, Nozawa Onsen, Minakami and others on request.
 
 
 Our international team of professional instructors have extensive knowledge of the local ski areas and offer lessons for children to adults in Yuzawa, Nozawa Onsen and Minakami. Personalised private lessons are available in all resorts. Group lessons are available at GALA Yuzawa and Nozawa Onsen only.
  

All bookings for Winter 2017-2018 season will commence October 1st 2017

Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information

Minakami, Yuzawa and Nozawa are easy to access whether you plan to come for a day trip, overnight stay, educational trip or holiday.  Canyons can work with you to create the best experience to suit your needs and enjoy snowsports.

 

winter map

MINAKAMI

Hodaigi & nearby resorts

We offer personalised private lessons at Hodaigi and other resorts within the Minakami Area. Hodaigi has light snow and mellow slopes which are ideal for learning snowsports! Also a great area for our Winter Outdoor Educational Trips!

From Tokyo access Minakami (141 kms) in approximately 2 hours by car or bullet train and bus.

  ski snowboard lesson hodaigi3

 Enquire more about Hodaigi Ski Resort and our Winter Educational Trips

YUZAWA

In Yuzawa we operate group and private lesson in GALA Ski Resort and private lessons at NASPA Ski Garden. From Tokyo access Yuzawa (170 kms) in approximately 1.5 hours by bullet train or 2.5 hours by car

Gala Ski Resort

Gala Ski Resort is a ideal resort for beginners and is the only resort accesible directly with Shinkansen train. You can arrive from Central Tokyo in only 77 minutes which makes the snow experince easier than ever!

gala ski snowboard lesson  ski snowboard lesson houdaigi2

Enquire more about GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort 

Naspa Ski Garden

NASPA Ski Garden in a luxury ski resort exclusive to skiers! Suitable for familes and beginners as well as intermediate skiers. Adjacent is the New Otani Hotel so it is perfect for a vacation or overnight stay and zero minutes to the slopes.

ski snowboard lesson naspa ski garden  ski snowboard lesson Yuzawa ski

Enquire more about NASPA Ski Garden

NOZAWA ONSEN

Nozawa will promise you an ultimate ski experience with a combination of traditional Japanese hot springs village and one of the largest ski areas with super fine powder snow! Here we offer group and private lessons. From Tokyo access Nozawa (255 kms) in approximately 3.5 hours by car or 4 hours by train and bus

nozawa onsen ski snowboard slope1nozawa onsen ski snowboard slope2

 Enquire more about Nozawa Onsen

OTHER AREAS

Private lessons are also available in other resorts within the Minakami area. Please contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and we can make it happen.

Canyoning FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ's

Questions
  1. What is canyoning ?
  2. Is canyoning dangerous ?
  3. I can't swim. Can I still take part ?
  4. Do I need to book before I arrive ?
  5. What is your cancellation policy ?
  6. What should I bring ?
  7. Can I take part if I wear glasses or contact lenses ?
  8. Do you offer pick up from local stations ?
  9. What if it is raining ?
  10. When is the best time to go canyoning ?
  11. Can I choose which course to go on ?
  12. What are the most popular courses ?
  13. Can you recommend a course for me ?
  14. Do you have lunch or BBQ facilities for after my tour?
  15. Do you offer any accommodation packages ?
  16. Are canyoning and shower climbing the same thing?
  17. Can I join the tour if I am travelling alone?
  18. Is there a minimum age requirement for Canyoning?
Answers

Q1. What is canyoning?

A1. Canyoning is the sport of negotiating your way down canyons by employing various techniques including abseiling, jumping waterfalls and cliffs, cascading down natural chutes and water slides, swimming through crystal clear pools and using special rope systems, such as flying foxes. There is usually a small amount of hiking required to access most courses, but once in the canyon, nearly 80% of the time is spent in the water. For the best explanation of canyoning watch the Tour Videos. 

Q2. Is canyoning dangerous?

A2. As with any adventure sport, canyoning involves an element of risk (riskier than sitting watching TV...) However, Canyons prides itself on using only highly professional experienced guides, and the highest quality safety equipment to control the risk element and provide you with a safe and positive canyoning experience.

Q3. I can't swim. Can I still take part?

A3. Definately. Every participant wears a lifejacket which provides amply buoyancy. Our wetsuits also provides additional buoyancy so you not going to sink if you end up in the water and can't swim. 

However, those who are afraid of water, or are likely to panic if they find themselves in the water, probably want to think twice.

Q4. How far in advance should I make a booking?

A4. Prebooking is necessary. The further in advance, the better. To be sure of securing a place on a weekend, it is best to book at least 2 weeks in advance, 3 weeks in advance for the summer period. It is possible that there will be places still left "on the day", but this is very rare so please prebook so you do not miss out.

Q5.What about cancellation fees?

A5. In the unfortunate event of cancellation by customer the following changes apply. Failure to show up for your tour on time due to traffic or other circumstances will be deemed as a cancellation, so please take care, especially on weekends and make allowances for traffic.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Cancellations made after 17:00 will be treated as cancellations made on the following day. It is rare, but if we have to cancel the tour due to unsuitable conditions we would offer you another tour or no charges would apply.

Q6. What should I bring?

A6. Some swimwear and a towel is all you need. Canyons provide everything else that you need to take part in the tour (included in the tour price). However, you may want to bring other items that might be useful on the day such as sunscreen in the summer. 

Q7. Can I take part if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

A7. Yes you can still take part. Goggles and glasses straps are good options. Please be aware Canyons cannot take responsibility for glasses or contact lenses that maybe lost or broken.

Q8. Do you offer a pickup service?

A8. Yes, we do. In the Minakami area we pick up from Minakami Station (for local line trains) and Jomokogen Station (for bullet trains). In the Okutama area we pick up from Mitake Station (local line trains). In Minakami and Okutama we also offer pick up from selected local onsens and accommodations. Please let us know when you book that you will be travelling by train and we will make the necessary arrangements.

Q9. Do tours run in bad weather?

Yes, we can run tours in the rain, however it does depends on the situation. If the water level rises too much then we may have to reassess the situation as your safety is our number one priority. We can run tours in a certain amount or rain, but it is likely that we will cancel tours in the event of heavy rain. If this occurs, we can give you the option of changing to a whitewater rafting tour, which will run in most weather.

Q10. When is the best season?

It is always a great time to go canyoning! There is no real best season for canyoning because unlike rafting it does not depend on a high volume of water. However, if you are after a more thrilling descent, May - July typically sees higher water flows. Canyoning tours operate daily from late April until mid October.

Q11. Can I choose which course to go on?

You can make a preference on which course you would like to participate and we will make every effort to make that course available on the day. However, a different course may be chosen on the day due to weather conditions, safety regulations or the condition of your group.

Q12. What are the most popular courses?

#1 ☆Fox Canyon☆  Minakami

#2 ☆Holy☆ Okutama

#3 ☆Willow☆ Minakami 

※The popularity ranking has nothing to do with enjoyment level. Different people enjoy each canyon for a variety of reasons. Why not try them all!

Q13. Can you recommend a course for me ?

Of course, please get in touch! Just drop us a line and we can work out your requirements.
If it is your first time, you can find details such as the thrill level and hike-in time for each course on the homepage. If that doesn't help your decision, leave it to us to decide. If we know what kind of experience you are after, we can make the perfect choice for you.

Also, with the outdoors, the mornings are always the best. How about having a blast with your mates on the AM Canyoning Tour, back to base for a BBQ lunch and then a relaxing soak in an onsen or outdoor bath. Not bad for a day out...? 

Q14. Do you have Lunch or BBQ facilities for after my tour?

In Minakami you can choose one of our food plans such as a plate lunch, barbecue or snacks at our cafe and bar. We can arrange a BBQ at lunch time and dinner time after your tour, please see Canyons Minakami BBQ 

※Please note we require prebooking for BBQ plan

BARBECUE

LUNCH

Q15. Do you offer any accommodation packages?

Yes we do. Canyons runs its own lodge in Minakami: Alpine Lodge

If you book a canyoning tour and stay at the Alpine Lodge you can get half day tour and one night stay with breakfast included from just 12 000 JPY per person!

PACKAGES

If you are looking for onsen, delicious food and Japanese hospitality, there are plenty of accommodation options near to Canyons. If you book at any of Canyons' associated accommodations you can receive a good package discount.

OTHER ACCOMMODATION

Q16. Are Canyoning and Shower Climbing the same thing?

They are not. Shower Climbing involves making your way up a canyon, mainly employing climbing techniques that often resemble rock climbing or mountaineering. Canyoning involves making your way down a canyon. Canyoning may occasionally involve a small bit of climbing, but the main techniques are rappeling, jumping and sliding. Shower climbing is a great way to access some beautiful areas but is usually not as exciting as canyoning.

Some companies in Japan are using the word 'Canyoning' for shower climbing which can make it confusing. Overseas canyoning is better understood but the term shower climbing is not used.

Q17. Can I join the tour if I am travelling alone?

A14. Yes! This year we are accepting one person reservations. Unfortunately this is not yet available on our website so please contact our reservations staff via email or give us a call and we can make it happen.

Q18. Is there a minimum age requirement for Canyoning?

A18. It depends on the course. Fox Canyon, Willow, Maple, Holy and Big Holy are 13 years or above. For other courses please check the tour information or contact our reservations staff.

If you have any other questions that aren't covered above please drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to help 

Backcountry tour

japan backcountry ski & snowboarding tours

Experience the freedom of the mountains

nozawa backcountry3

Make the most of your powder time in Japan by hiring a professional mountain guide to safely guide you around the backcountry. BC tours are the best way to learn about secret stashes and our crew of highly experienced international guides will ensure you have an amazing day!

We keep the group sizes small to maximize the riding time and maximize the freshies! It is best if you have a group with ability levels that are relatively close so we can customize the terrain for you.

If you are planning on multiple days in the backcountry, we offer a variety of resorts:

Nozawa Backcountry - Our main BC area with fantastic tree skiing options, short hikes and great terrain.

Myoko Backcountry  - Just 45 mins drive from Nozawa, Myoko offers some great terrain options from well spaced beech trees to alpine bliss.

Madarao Backcountry - 30 mins from Nozawa is this great little resort with some hidden gems.

Yuzawa Backcountry - Try out one of the biggest local BC areas. Easy access to 2000m mountains with great snow conditions and plenty of terrain options.

 

Japan snow adventures

For more detailed backcountry tour information please visit our specialist backcountry site:

JAPAN SNOW ADVENTURES

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