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Recently, we were able to catch up with Kaz Sekiya, local Nagano ski guide and brand ambassador, about the epic riding around Japan. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime pow trip, Kaz and Ski Nagano has you covered. All we can do is look in awe and brutalize ourselves with jealousy about the fresh pow in Japan.

Riding the deep in Nagano. Photo by Jun Yamagishi.

What makes Japan such an awesome place for pow riding?
The sheer amount of snow we get along the Sea of Japan aka “powder reservoir” is ridiculous. As I’m writing this, it’s snowing heavy at Nozawa Onsen; about 50cm for the past 24 hours!!

Kaz exploding a spot in Seki Onsen. Photo by Go Inoue.

How much snow typically comes?
When it dumps, it’s usually about 30cm+ over night. Sometimes it gets too deep to shred; occasionally we’ll get like 100cm with one snow storm!!
Are the mountains crowded?
During the week, riding in Nagano is a really unique experience, there is really only you on the mountain, but it does get crowded on the weekends. I try to avoid new years holiday season, it’s super busy.

Photo by Jun Yamagishi.

Why do so few people take ski trips to Japan?
In the past few years, there has definitely been an increase in many overseas riders. It’s getting more and more popular. I guess that still many people don’t know that it snows in Japan.
What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve seen on the mountain?
It’s not exactly on the mountain, but the annual fire festival in Nozawa Onsen village is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t really even believe it’s legal.
Check out the full scene at Kaz’s website: