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Trip Ideas

Snowsurfing the Peaks of Japan

You've skied and snowboarded, but have you tried snowsurfing? The new sport is taking over the slopes of Japan ⎯ and we can't say we're not intrigued. Get ready to hang ten, mountainside.

There’s hard-core ‘boarding and then there’s snowsurfing, a new zen-style of snowboarding that’s all about gliding on fresh powder while riding a pointed bamboo surfboard (check out the video below for a glimpse). Conceived by Japanese snowboard designer Taro Tamai, the sport is a lot more chill than barreling down a slope doing air tricks; the art is in mastering the curves and being one with the snow (hmmm…) So where can you try it? Not the Alps, or even the Rockies, but Niseko, a steep mountain range on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, which has the largest amount of snowfall in the world.

Head to the resort town of Hirafu to pick up a board at Tamai’s shop, Gentemstick. Then, hit the slopes on Mount Yōtei, a 6,000-foot peak. For the best untouched glades, the pros will take you two or more hours up the side of a volcano (don’t worry, it’s inactive) on snowshoes. You’ll then ride down flakes so fluffy and fine (see #jappow on instagram), you’ll feel like you’re floating on a cloud.

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