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Ski and ride with us
Niseko, Japan
Group Trips
Zermatt Switzerland
Get in on the action
Thursday, Feb 21 - Saturday, Mar 2. (From the USA, depart for Japan on Wed Feb 20.)
Lift tickets
Not Included
We've selected two fantastic, gay-friendly hotels with prime locations, modern style, incredible amenities and warm hospitality. We're really, really excited about our hotels for this trip.

Tokyo: Three night stay (double or single occupancy) at the The Strings Tokyo by Intercontinental hotels. Beautifully located for transportation ease throughout Tokyo, this modern high-rise caters to an international clientele with chic design and an English-speaking staff. Read a review here.

Niseko: Six night stay at the new Kimamaya hotel, a design boutique hotel in the heart of Niseko's Hirafu Village, which brims with the best restaurants, bars & shops of the four Niseko ski villages. This is a swanky, modern-Japanese property with beautiful design elements and two different room types: standard rooms (which sleep up to two adults) and spacious lofts, which sleep up to four. See photos here. Loft spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis; submit a request at signup.

Amenities include ski and snowboard storage, premium down bedding, personalized pillow choice, rain showerheads and complimentary wi-fi throughout the property. The hotel also features a private
spa with two thermal hot baths -- known as onsen -- with complimentary access for hotel guests. This is one of the nicest hotels at any ski resort in Japan; we're thrilled to have booked it for our trip.

Our trip includes a five-day all-access lift pass to Niseko United, the large ski area which comprises four distinct ski resort villages. Start dreaming of the chance to ski and ride into the sunset; night skiing is included. Our days on the slopes are Monday through Friday.
Our trip includes daily hot breakfasts at each hotel. In Tokyo, we've got two prepaid dinners at some of Tokyo's best restaurants. In Niseko, we've included three dinners at the Barn by Odin, an award-winning gourmet restaurant which adjoins our hotel. All other meals are up to you.
Air transportation. See "air transportation," above. | Ground transfers from the airport to our hotel in Tokyo (our transfers between Sapporo and Niseko are included) | Lunches | Equipment rental | Four dinners (five dinners are included) | Admission tickets to Tokyo tourist destinations
As with all SKI BUMS trips, space is limited. Only those who sign up via the SKI BUMS website may join the trip. The discounted pricing of our preview period may end at any time.

During our preview period, limited details are publicly published on the SKI BUMS site; if you have any questions about this trip, please contact us directly here >

Learn all about SKI BUMS > | Become a SKI BUMS member >
We are happy to arrange roommates for you. Typically, half of our participants ask us to match them up with a roommate. We'll ask a few easy questions and accommodate your preferences.

Single occupancy: a limited number of single occupancy slots are available. If our signup form permits you to select one, then a single occupancy slot is available for this trip.
Equipment rentals are not included in our trip price. Upon arrival in Niseko, you'll have time to arrange rental equipment, or you can reserve in advance. We recommend Rhythm Snow Sports.
To get the most out of Niseko, you should be comfortable on intermediate runs in Western North America, Europe or South America. Although there is ample beginner terrain in Niseko, we anticipate that there will be few beginners on this particular trip. That said, everyone is welcome to sign up. If you have never experienced powder snow, prepare to be wowed!
We anticipate that a number of participants will want to arrive early or remain in Japan beyond the dates of our trip. If you would like to book additional nights at The Strings Tokyo, contact the hotel directly or reserve online. SKI BUMS cannot assist with trip extensions, but we encourage you to coordinate with other trip participants, and our Facebook page is the most enjoyable way to do so.

Air transportation
Flights to / from Tokyo: Thursday, February 21st is our arrival day. Because we'll have members arriving from throughout the world -- who are tired and jet lagged -- we'll have a minimal itinerary that first day. The hotel guarantees rooms after 3 PM. See the airfare booking tips at left.

Flights to / from Sapporo: Sunday, Feb 24, we'll transfer to Sapporo. To best coordinate our group transfer and hotel arrival, SKI BUMS has selected a specific flight from Tokyo; we invite our participants to book it directly with the airline. It's roughly a 90 minute flight to Sapporo. On Saturday, March 2, some guests will fly directly from Sapporo back home, others will connect through Tokyo, and some will elect to remain in Japan beyond the final date of our trip.

Air travel is not included in our trip price.

Please take note:
when flying from the USA, you'll depart on Wednesday, February 20 and arrive in Japan the next day, Thursday the 21st. We anticipate SKI BUMS members to join this trip from Australia, Europe, North America and South America; see our Facebook page to connect.
cancellation policy
Through June 1, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After June 1, the following cancellation fees apply:

If you pre-pay in full: For cancellations received after June 2 and before August 1: $500 fee. For cancellations received from August 2 - September 30, $1000 fee. For cancellations received from October 1 - January 14, $1500 fee. After January 20: no refund.

If you pay a $1000 deposit: For cancellations received after June 2 and before August 1: $100 fee. For cancellations received from August 2 - September 30, $500 fee. For cancellations received from October 1, 2021 - January 14, 2013: $1000 fee. After January 20: no refund.

Visit our
cancellation policy page for more details, or to submit a cancellation.

Travel insurance
Buy travel insurance. We can't stress this enough.

A travel insurer can provide a refund even when SKI BUMS cannot. Just in case you need to cancel your trip because of work or health reasons, you should purchase travel insurance within 30 days of your initial trip deposit.

We especially recommend
$3599 | double occupancy (single occupancy is available)
Payment dates
$1000 deposit due at sign up | Sign up for the trip >

$1000 payment due 14 days after signup |
Make a balance payment >

$1599 balance due by Jan 15 |
Make a balance payment >

Late payments are subject to a 5% late-payment fee. It is up to you to submit your payments on time. You may always pay early.
methods of payment
You may pay with any major credit card, cash or check.

We use PayPal to process online credit card payments. PayPal is the internet's most trusted online payment portal, and you do not need to be a PayPal member to submit a payment.

If you would ever like to use PayPal to send a manual payment (from a smartphone, for example), our account address is: payments (at)

PayPal mobile apps: iPhone / iPad / iPod TouchAndroid

Room types
All our rooms in Tokyo are standard rooms. In Niseko, you may choose between an Alpine room (single or double occupancy) or a Loft. We'll assign them on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Airfare booking tips:

As you plan your air travel, keep the time change in mind, but aim to arrive in Tokyo by 5 PM local time. Our hotel offers luggage storage and public facilities for guests who arrive before the rooms are ready.

Sapporo Chitose: To best coordinate our transfer to Niseko, SKI BUMS has selected a flight between Tokyo and Sapporo. Participants receive updates via email; click here to view our recommendations.

Take note: some airlines which travel to the USA offer direct flights from Sapporo back to the United States (or connect from Sapporo through Tokyo). Booking this type of ticket can make our air travel more affordable; we'll accommodate this option within our group transfer schedule.

Budget: To get the best airfares, we recommend a multi-city booking to Tokyo on Wed Feb 20, to Sapporo Chitose on Sun Feb 24, then back home on Sat Mar 2.

We recommend setting up a weekly price alert at

Niseko is Japan's most famous international ski destination for a big reason: the snow. More than 600 inches of dry, fluffy powder blankets these slopes each year. The New York Times called Niseko "Japan's St. Moritz," with "snowflakes large enough to cast shadows" and an assortment of stylish new hotels and restaurants. We're staying in one of the best, and we'll begin with a three night stay in Tokyo, one of the world's most compelling destinations.

Sign up now for our trip to Japan >
+ Thursday, Feb 21: Arrive in Tokyo, check-in at our hotel

+ Thursday through Saturday: Explore Tokyo (see "While in Tokyo," below)

+ Sunday: Fly to Sapporo (90 minutes), then ground transfer to Niseko (2 hours)

+ Monday through Friday: Ski & snowboard, relax & enjoy Niseko

+ Saturday: Check-out, return to Sapporo for flights back to Tokyo (or directly home)
Door-to-door private ground transfers from Sapporo Chitose airport and our hotel in Niseko are included. To coordinate this transfer, we will recommend a domestic flight for all trip participants. If you would like to stay in Niseko beyond our travel dates, you can book a private transfer here, but there are no refunds for those who do not participate in our return transfer.

Transfers to / from our hotel in Tokyo are not included; our hotel is very conveniently located near
Shinagawa Station, which offers express trains to / from Tokyo Narita. SKI BUMS trip coordinators will send helpful instructions for transportation between the airport and our hotel.
optional add on
$1550 single occupancy supplement | there are a limited number of single occupancies available.
make history
The New York Times reported on Niseko in January 2012, saying:

"The landscape is breathtaking. While the beauty of the Alps and the Rockies is intense and dramatic, these slopes are subtle and somehow mystical. Even the way the snow falls, constant and gentle, creates a particular kind of quiet; as I made my way down the mountain, I couldn’t even hear the sound of my skis in the powder. Bare birch branches peeked out of the ghostly white mountains. This sparsely suggestive backdrop, and the meditative onsen (natural Japanese hot springs), can turn any skier into a haiku poet."

Read the article >
While in Tokyo
From Thursday through Sunday, you'll have a good amount of flexibility on how you'd like to spend your time. Some will want to lay low, relax and adjust to the time change, while others will be eager to see the sights and discover the exciting culture, flavors and experiences of Japan.

The SKI BUMS trip leaders will coordinate a trip to
Kamakura, about an hour outside Tokyo, to experience the fascinating history and ancient architecture of Japan. In the evenings, we'll dine at delicious eateries and explore Tokyo's gay nightlife. Of course, we won't want to leave town before experiencing the hilarious fun of an authentic karaoke bar. We're going to have a lot of fun in Tokyo.
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