Rhythm Rides FAQ

Rhythm RIDES FAQ

The following outlines Rhythm Japan’s (owned and operated by Beats Snow Sports Pty Ltd.) Terms & Conditions for Rhythm Rides.

General FAQs

  • Private Lessons from December 1 – April 30
  • Guiding from December 17 – April 2
  • Backcountry Guiding from December 17 – April 2
  • Night Lessons from December 17 – March 19
  • Up until 7 days prior, a full refund will be provided for any reason
  • From 7 days prior until 48 hours prior a 20% cancellation fee will be incurred
  • From 48 hours prior a 100% cancellation fee will occur
  • No compensation can be made for the loss of lesson time due to injury or illness if the lesson has commenced.
  • Upon receipt of a valid medical certificate. A reschedule or refund of future lessons can be made.
    • We must be advised before your new lesson has commenced.
    • We must receive the report within 24 hours of the canceled lesson
  • We reserve the right to cancel any reservations which do not meet our booking terms or have not been paid by the due date.

We want you to have the best on-mountain experience with us, so if you are feeling unwell or are injured we will be happy to reschedule your lesson upon receipt of a medical certificate or accident report, providing we have been advised prior to the lesson commencing.

If your child has unfortunately suffered an injury the following procedure will be followed.

  • Depending on the injury & location your instructor will call ski patrol for assistance
  • Ski Patrol will recommend a form of treatment based on the seriousness of the injury these can include
    • Immediate transfer to a local hospital or emergency service
    • Recommendation for further medical advice (at a private clinic, physio, or hospital) 
    • Recommendation for rest

 

If your child is injured we will call you immediately to advise you and ask you to come to their location. This is why we ask you to have a working contact number on you at all times.

If the injury is deemed not an emergency we will wait for you to arrive in order to decide the best form of treatment for your child. 

If the injury is deemed critical, your child will be taken to an emergency service deemed appropriate by the ambulance service. In this circumstance, we will endeavor to reach you & get you to your child as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately once a lesson has commenced we are unable to offer partial refunds or reschedule lessons

For Private Lessons, the lift pass you purchase will depend on your goals and ability level. For those who are new to the sport (Level 1-3), we would recommend a Grand Hirafu full day pass which will give you access to Grand Hirafu & Hanazono resort. If you are more experienced (Level 4-7)  & you would like to explore more Annupuri or Niseko Village you will need an all-mountain lift pass. 

For Resort Guiding, you will need an all-mountain lift pass

For Day Trip Products (Privates & Resort Guiding) visiting resorts outside of Niseko please contact our Guest Services team to confirm the correct lift pass for your day

Yes. Lift passes are required to use the resort facilities which include the groomed runs which you will use during your lesson.

As we are fortunate to be in a very snowy part of the world, it means that often the weather can be snowy & sometimes windy, or sometimes even rain. The good news is this does not mean that your lesson can not go ahead. We will generally run our lessons every day providing there are appropriate lifts for your skill level. Our team is also incredibly talented and experienced and can challenge you even when there are limited lifts operating.

If the resort has closed all of its lifts for the day due to weather, we will offer a full refund or reschedule. If your lesson has already commenced we will offer a partial refund or partial reschedule.

We recommend that you have a travel insurance policy that covers the type of skiing/snowboarding you plan to enjoy. Depending on your policy this is sometimes an optional extra.

Meeting locations

Your instructor can meet you at any location in Hirafu Village or Annupuri Village that is most convenient for you. However, please note that your lesson will start at the time you have scheduled – not the time you get to the resort on-snow. To get the most out of your lesson, we recommend an on-snow meeting location.

On-snow meeting locations

  • Dot Base – meet on the snow next to the ticket sales window
  • Family Base – on-snow next to the ticket window
  • Gondola Base – on-snow mountain centres

 

In-store meeting locations

To get the most out of your day, we recommend an on-snow meeting spot:

On Snow- meeting spots

  • Dot Base- Meet on snow next to the ticket sales window
  • Family Base- On snow next to the ticket window
  • Gondola Base- On snow Mountain Centres

 

In-Store Meeting Location

Our Day Trip products include free transportation to and from the resort. Our Guest Services Team will be in touch to arrange your schedule once you have booked.

Our Day Trip products include free transportation to and from the resort. Our Guest Services Team will be in touch to arrange your schedule once you have booked.

Full-day Lessons & Guiding are available to start at Annupuri Base area, by pre-arrangement only. We must be advised 24 hours prior to your lesson commencement.

Hanazono Resort does not allow lessons to be commenced at their base location. Your instructor can however meet you at your private accommodation in Hanazono and make your way to the lifts from there.

​​Niseko Village Resort does not allow lessons to be commenced at their base location. If you are staying in Niseko Village and would like to book a private lesson or guide please contact our Guest Services Team for your options.

Transport

Free transport is provided for the following products only

  • Day Trip Privates
  • Day Trip Resort Guiding
  • Backcountry Guiding

For the following products, we can meet you either on snow or at your preferred location, however, no transport can be provided:

  • Niseko Privates
  • Niseko Resort Guiding

We recommend leaving a minimum of 1.5 hours before your scheduled lesson start time to collect your rental equipment. If you think you might be running late please call our Guest Services team on 0136 23 0164

Unfortunately, we can not provide transport for any Niseko based product (Resort Guiding or Private Lesson). It is your responsibility to make your way to your preferred meeting location, and our instructor will meet you there.

Grand Hirafu operates a free village shuttle service that runs on a continuous loop every 15 minutes to the key resort base areas of Dot Base & Gondola Base. Please visit the website for more information.

There is a free resort shuttle that operates between Hanazono & Hirafu Village. 

Private Lessons

Up to 6 guests of similar ability are included in the lesson price

Children 7 and up are welcome to join the lesson with adults providing all participants are of a similar ability level. 

For children 6 and under, we recommend that you book a separate private lesson, or split your lesson into a half-day adult class & half-day kids class.  Younger children learn in a different way to adults, and progress at very different speeds & for this reason lessons with these challenges rarely meet expectations. Please feel free to contact our guest services team, should you want to discuss your family private goals

No. Privates Lessons are available for the discipline booked only.

A full-day private can be customized into a maximum of 2 sessions. All guests in each group must be of the same or similar ability level. Please contact our Guest Services Team to discuss your needs.

Absolutely, please check our skills guide which explains the current ability, potential group goals & terrain accessed for each level. If you still require assistance please contact our Guest Services Team.

We are passionate about introducing kids to skiing and snowboarding young. However due to the physical & developmental differences between young children & adults we are unable to cater to a combined lesson. You are however welcome to watch your child enjoy their first day. We recommend that you do so at a distance. This will allow your little one to bond with their instructor and enjoy their day.

Yes! We are happy to take requests for instructors. Please note our Guest Services Team will check availability for your requested instructor at the time of booking and will let you know if they are available. 

Please note that there are occasions outside of our control where an instructor who has been confirmed on your booking is no longer available. 

These include:

  • Sickness & Injury
  • COVID precautionary measures
  • Visa Issuance & work eligibility (for bookings received prior to the season commencing & our team’s arrival in Japan)

Yes, If you have a multi-day booking we will generally always schedule the same instructor for each day of your booking. If we are unable to do this, we will let you know at the time of your booking.

You will have a flexible (pre-booked) start time from 8:30 am-10:30 am and your lesson will then run for 6 consecutive hours.  Please note all lessons require a minimum of 30 minutes break during the day inclusive of your lesson time.

DAY TRIP Private Lessons

Our Day Trip Privates are a fully customised experience that opens up a range of opportunities for your trip, including a longer lesson duration of 7 hours & options to visit other resorts.  All Day Trip Privates also include free transport each day for up to 6 guests. Please contact our guest services team to make arrangements.

There are so many amazing options in the area that we would be stoked to arrange for you. Please contact our Guest Services Team to discuss the options available

Day Trip Resorts are required to be booked a minimum of 24 hours prior to your lesson day. If you would like to change your resort request, we recommend contacting our Guest Services Team to make arrangements or discussing with your instructor directly.

Unfortunately, transportation for private errands is not possible. Your instructor can, however, drop you off at a location that is convenient for you at the end of your day.

Absolutely! And we highly recommend it! If you would like to visit an onsen, we recommend packing your onsen gear (towel, change of clothes & shoes, etc) and bring it with you on the day.  Please then let your instructor know on the day, and they can recommend options to you & ensure it fits into the daily schedule which could involve finishing on the mountain a little earlier at the end of the day.

Resort Guiding & Backcountry General FAQ

While Niseko is known for its never-ending powder, each season can of course vary. Statistically speaking though, we find that the most consistently snowy months occur during Dec, Jan & Feb.

That being said, March can also bring the goods & is known for its clear skies and warmer days bringing magnificent scenery and opportunities to summit mountains otherwise often inaccessible.

Good question! Slackcountry – refers to the terrain which is accessed via a lift however it is out of the resort’s operational boundaries. Typically this means there are no or little avalanche control measures. So it is in actual fact easily accessed Backcountry. 


Backcountry TerrainThis is usually referred to as terrain which is accessed without the use of lifts. This means you will need touring equipment or snowshoes to walk up the mountain and then ski down. There are also no avalanche control measures undertaken, which is why most people choose to hire a qualified Guide when venturing into the wilderness.

Generally, this will not be a problem. The major concern with mixing a group of skiers/boarders is the ability level of the group. In particular, for snowboarders in slack country terrain, the ability to hold a strong traverse and maintain speed on the flats can be concerning for skiers & if this is not an area of strength then appropriate terrain may need to be chosen which will not put a snowboarder in a tough spot. Please reach out to our Guest Services Team to discuss your group’s suitability for a mixed tour.

Absolutely! Your guides are also instructors too and can coach you on powder techniques so you can get the most out of your day. As our guides are limited, however, we do require that you have a minimum of high intermediate to advanced skills to reserve this product.

Our goal is to provide the best experience in the backcountry. Our experienced guides will be able to show you an amazing experience pretty much every day in the winter of Hokkaido. Occasionally the weather will be too harsh to get out there. On those days we will be work with you to find a new date for your tour.

Travel insurance that will cover wintersports activities with a guide. If you plan to go into the backcountry terrain you should check your insurance policy for this type of activity.

In Midwinter, Hokkaido will be in the negative degrees 24 hours of the day. The temperature in town can go down to – 8 degrees and further up the mountain it will be even colder on those days. Carrying layers with you to wear under your jacket is highly recommended.

This is completely up to you (with the exception of our Backcountry Tours) Our Guides can fully customise your tour to include the amount of hiking you would like to do. They can also adjust the plan over the day depending on your energy levels.

Yes, at the start of every tour, regardless of your experience your guide will run you through an avalanche safety briefing. This will include

  • Beacon functions & basic use
  • Probe assembly & basic use
  • Rescue basics including (search and receive modes) 
  • Beacon function & range test.

It is important to understand when venturing into any backcountry or slack-country terrain that conditions can never be 100% safe. Backcountry touring can be a hazardous activity and while all measures are taken to be informed  & make good decisions accidents & avalanches can still occur. 

With this in mind, we take a safety-first approach & have a number of daily procedures in place to be as informed on conditions & hazards as we can be. This information is then used along with your skill level & goals to form a trip plan.

Our safety procedures include (but are not limited to)

  • Daily review of local official forecasts – Niseko Avalanche Bulletin. We operate within the Niseko Rules, and will not Guide you outside the gates when they are closed.
  • Daily review of other global weather forecasting models
  • Ongoing assessment and recording of weather, temperature & snow conditions
  • Ongoing assessment of local hazards & changes in conditions
  • Daily Guide briefings to review all conditions and trip plans.
  • Actively involved in the local guiding community in which we encourage & receive open communication on conditions.

Resort Guiding

The big difference between the two is the terrain we will be riding. In-resort guiding will focus on the terrain inside the resort boundaries. This doesn’t mean just the groomers. There are plenty of tree runs to be found inside the resort boundaries.

As soon we step outside the resort boundaries, we will end up in the world of the backcountry. The main difference with backcountry terrain is that the resort does not maintain or control the conditions to mitigate risk to the users (like avalanches.) This is the reason is is highly recommended to always go with a guide who can assess these risks, and choose the safest and most enjoyable terrain for you. This is also the reason why we carry avalanche safety gear when we step outside the resort boundaries.

Guiding inside the resort boundries of Grand Hirafu, Hanaozno, Niskeo Village & Annupuri resort is available. Tours are available as either 6 hours or 4 hours in duration and can includes

  • Up to 6 guests
  • A qualified guide

Guiding is available in the same four Niskeo United Resort areas & backcountry terrain. Tours are available as either 6 hours or 4 hours in duration and include:

  • Up to 5 Guests
  • Backcountry safety gear including beacon, shovel, probe 
  • A qualified guide

This is our most flexible tour, which opens up a range of possibilities with travel to surrounding resorts & accessible slack-country terrain. 

Along with a flexible location, your tour includes:

  • 5 guests included for trips that intended to access the backcountry
  • 6 guests included for trips that will stay in the resort
  • 7 hours duration including a 1 hour lunch break
  • Additional time for travel.
  • Free transport  Avalanche safety gear, including beacon, shovel, probe & backpack if you have booked a BC Access tour

Unless you have booked a backcountry experience, lift passes will be required for your Custom Guided Tours. Most tours will access terrain which is accessible by the resort lifts.

Yes, we highly recommend that you bring or hire Premium Powder Equipment to get the most out of your day.  Powder in Japan is often deeper and drier than anywhere in the world. This is amazing but it can also be challenging. powder-specific equipment has really made leaps and bounds in recent years, & having the right equipment can take you from zero to hero in no time! If you are unsure what you should book, please contact our Guest Services Team.

Niseko Resort Guiding – In-Resort
Can access the terrain which is accessible within the four Niseko United Resorts but does not access the backcountry terrain.

Niseko Resort Guiding – BC Access
Can access the terrain which is accessible within the four Niseko Resorts & its backcountry terrain via the Niseko Gate System are limited to the terrain which is accessible by the Niseko lift system. But don’t worry, there are a lot of options available.

Day Trip Guiding – In-Resort
have the opportunity to visit a variety of resorts in the area. Please speak with our Guest Services Team to find out where your tour could take. The tours will not access any backcountry terrain. Please contact our guest services team to discuss what resorts we could take you too

Day Trip Guiding – BC Access
also have the opportunity to visit other resorts in our area and their accessible backcountry terrain via gate systems. Please contact our guest services team to discuss what resorts we could take you to.

 

For our resort guided tours which stay within the resort boundaries a skill level of 4 – Refining Turns is recommended as this will allow you to ride a variety of terrain on your tour. For any product which accesses the backcountry terrain (Resort Guiding -BC Access or Backcountry Touring) a minimum skill level of level 5 –  Intermediate is required.

BACKCOUNTRY TOURS

Yes, our backcountry tours all operate out of the resort. If you are a skier, you will need to hire Touring Equipment, if you are a snowboarder you have an option to rent Snowshoes or a Splitboard.

For our backcountry products we would recommend that you start with an Introduction to Backcountry product providing you are comfortable with the following;

  • Experienced & comfortable with powder riding
  • Minimum Intermediate Rider 
  • A reasonable level of fitness to allow walking uphill & riding downhill a minimum of one time.

 

If you would really like to try touring equipment but are not ready to rely solely on uphill travel, we may be able to customise your experience to involve some lift-accessed backcountry with touring equipment. 

If this sounds more like your experience please contact our guest services team to discuss your goals.

Our Backcountry Tours operate in a variety of terrain in the Niseko area. The terrain we will go to will depend on the snow safety conditions, your ability & fitness level & of course where the best snow is for the day. If you would like to discuss your tour goals or learn more about the backcountry terrain we could access please reach out to arrange a trip planning session with our guide team

We will provide an avalanche backpack which will include a beacon, shovel, and probe in it.  Along with this, we recommend putting in your backpack.

  • Spare goggles- (nothing worse than foggy goggles at the top of a run)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • 1 Litre of Water
  • Energy bars & small packed lunch
  • Change of neck warmer & gloves
  • Thin gloves for hiking uphill
  • Light hat to hike in.
  • Helmet
  • A good night of sleep!

The aim here is to keep yourself warm and dry from snow and sweat.
We recommend wearing;

  • Merino wool base layers keep you warm while also remaining breathable  
  • Over the base layer it’s recommended to wear a warm mid layer, that you can take off when you get too warm. For example a puffy jacket. 
  • To protect you from the snow and the wind, we recommend you wear a shell jacket and pants. 
  • To keep your feet warm and avoid blisters, it’s recommended to wear dedicated ski socks.
  • To protect your face from the snow, sun, and wind we recommend you wear a facemask,
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses for the uphill travel and snow goggles for the downhill. 

It is worth noting that backcountry touring can often be hot work! Walking uphill often requires you to take a layer off. This will stop you from overheating & sweating & then later getting cold when your gear is wet. It is also a great idea to bring some extra layers so you can adjust  your layering during the day

For our Backcountry Tours we require a minimum skill level 5 –  Intermediate. This will be necessary to ensure you will be able to safely navigate the variable conditions and terrain which is in the backcountry.

Yes, Backcountry safety equipment is required. However, we provided safety equipment for free in our backcountry tours.

Planning a safe backcountry experience takes a bit of preperation, the latest we can book a backcountry experience is by the evening before your tour. Please note through that our guides are limited and leaving it to the last minute to book could be risky to have a guide available for you.

Yes, we would like to know how many people are joining the tour. We would also like to know what everybody’s ability level is to create the best experience for the group.
The group will not be able to get bigger than 5 people plus the guide for safety reasons. If the group goes over 5 people, an extra guide will be necessary.

Contact us: If you have any questions regarding the above terms and conditions, please contact us at info@rhythmjapan.com