Important Information & Terms and Conditions 2016-17
Please read carefully
Japan Ski Experience Limited hereon referred to as Japan Ski Experience is a Private Limited Company registered in the United Kingdom. Company number: 08015157, VAT number: 119 3175 20. Registered address: Lyndhurst, Burrowfield, Bruton, Somerest, BA10 0HH, UK.
Japan Ski Experience has operated as a UK based travel arranger specialising in the provision of Japan ski services since 2008. We are an experienced team and are endorsed by Niseko Tourism. Booking contracts with Japan Ski Experience are legally binding contracts enforceable under the laws of the United Kingdom subject to the Terms and Conditions agreed.
It is essential that all travellers, including minors, hold their own passport valid for travel and visa where required. Passengers without the correct documentation may be refused carriage by the airline or entry into Japan. Any passenger who travels without the required passport/visa/other documentation is solely responsible for and must immediately pay all fines, surcharges, other financial penalties, costs and any other sums of any description which are incurred or imposed. Japan Ski Experience cannot accept any responsibility for your failure to ensure that you have all valid travel documents required and no compensation, expenses, refund or other sum will be paid in this respect.
Whilst we endeavour to ensure that images and descriptions of accommodation amenities and facilities and resort services are an accurate and up to date representation, we cannot guarantee this always to be the case. The images and information are provided to give a general 'feel' for the property or service and Japan Ski Experience cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies.
It is essential for the execution of your booking arrangements that your personal information, as well as any personal information you provide in relation to the persons who form your booking party, is passed to suppliers and carriers. If you make special requests, which include, but are not limited to, special dietary, religious or disability related requirements, which constitute sensitive information, the relevant data will also be passed to the relevant suppliers and carriers to enable provision of the services to you.
6.1 Natural Disasters
Japan is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. As of 1st March 2016 the UK Foreign Office have no travel restrictions in place except that they advise ‘against all travel to the exclusion zones around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility identified by the Japanese authorities'. For current advice please see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan
6.2 Winter Sport Dangers
Any winter sport involves risks including physical injury and in extreme cases, death. Additional features such as snowmobiling and backcountry tours may incur an increased level of risk. The qualifications required of backcountry instructors, guides, or other winter sport service providers in Japan may be lower than in other countries. It is your own choice to accept any associated risks when you book. Japan Ski Experience does not accept liability for winter sports accidents under any circumstances, regardless of whether Japan Ski Experience acted as agent in the booking of that service.
Any off-piste sport involves a heightened risk of physical injury, and in extreme cases death, due to avalanches, obstacles such as trees, uneven terrain etc. It is the guest’s own choice to accept these risks when they venture off-piste and Japan Ski Experience cannot accept liability for any accidents that occur.
6.4 Mountain Orientations
If Japan Ski Experience offers you a Mountain Orientation, please be aware that this will be carried out by a resort representative. He/she is not a qualified instructor or a Mountain Guide but will accompany you to help you become familiar with the resort. You have chosen to ski with our representative in full knowledge that he/she will not assess your skiing ability or take responsibility for your safety. You are responsible for your own safety, and you must be aware of the safety of other group members. You must ensure that your equipment is in good working order and that you are suitably clothed and equipped for a day’s skiing/snowboarding. You should assess independently what ski runs you wish to ski on and only ski on runs which you feel confident.
Japan currently has no compulsory immunisation requirements, however please check with your local doctor before you travel whether you need to receive vaccinations in order to visit Japan.
6.6 Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where blood clots develop in the deep veins of the legs. Prolonged immobility such as on a long haul flight is generally thought to be the greatest risk factor. A wide range of advice is available on DVT, for example most passengers can reduce risks through keeping circulation active by practicing in-seat exercises, especially leg exercises, walking around wherever possible, avoiding drinks containing alcohol or caffeine and drinking plenty of water. Flight socks which are designed to improve blood circulation can also be used. More comprehensive advice, including the symptoms of a DVT, can be found on the UK Department of Health's website (www.dh.gov.uk). If you have any concerns about the risks you should consult your doctor before you travel.
6.7 Dietary Precautions
Usually, Japan's standards of cleanliness and food hygiene are of high standard and risk of disease is low. Tap water is commonly drunk throughout the country and food which is vastly different from that consumed in the UK, such as raw fish and meat, are generally considered safe to eat. Nevertheless, any change in lifestyle and eating or drinking habits can lead to adverse health reactions, particularly Gastro-enteritis (diarrhea). To avoid these, it is advised that you acclimatise gradually to local foods and water. If you experience any form of illness whilst on holiday, health advice should be sought immediately.
6.8 Physical Condition
Risk of bodily injury or strain through strenuous activity is high if you are not in good physical condition. It is therefore advised that prior to skiing you should ensure you are in good physical shape and always warm up before exercising. If you experience physical discomfort or pain, this constitutes a warning signal that should prompt you to slow down, change or stop the action which causes discomfort or pain as soon as this condition arises. If in doubt, medical advice should be sought immediately.
6.9 Illness Abroad
If for any reason you feel unwell, suffer unusual symptoms or physical discomfort you should seek medical advice immediately. If you have concerns about any medical condition or feel unwell before you travel, you should consult your doctor.
6.10 Your Possessions
While the crime rate in Japan is low, there is always a risk your possessions, including money and passports, could be lost or stolen. Do not travel with unnecessary valuables or jewellery. Never leave valuables, important documents or jewellery unsupervised in your room. At all times it is your responsibility to take precautions to ensure your possessions are safe.
Japan Ski Experience offers many choices of accommodation and services which are suitable for children however, we cannot accept liability for the suitability of accommodation or other services booked for children or families. A number of Japan's ski resorts are family oriented and there are many activities such as sledging and horse riding that you can enjoy as a family.
It is a condition of booking with Japan Ski Experience that every customer has adequate travel insurance cover. Japan Ski Experience strongly advises you to take out a travel insurance policy which provides adequate cover in the event that you have to cancel your booking, and in the event that your booking has to be cancelled or changed as a result of force majeure. In the case of bookings for ski lessons, guiding, snowmobiling etc. it is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance policy provides adequate cover for the activity you will engage in.
Much has been said of Japan's superb powder snow conditions, and this is based on actual snow depths and observations made by skiers and snowboarders worldwide. We believe Japan to be one of the most reliable destinations for great snow conditions, but of course, this can never be guaranteed. Japan Ski Experience accepts no liability for snow or other weather conditions, or for the resort closing its lifts for any reason.
If you would like to review detailed information regarding historical snow conditions in Japan’s ski resorts, we recommend checking the daily reporting, by month, which has been conducted by ‘Snow Japan’ since 2002 in Niseko and Hakuba. You can find historical reports at the bottom of each of the pages linked above. Japan Ski Experience accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any information contained in these pages.
Should you wish to drive you will be required to show your passport and must hold an international driving permit which should be purchased prior to travel. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary documents. There may also be age restrictions which apply to the use of vehicles either with vehicle rental companies or for free vehicle usage with accommodation bookings and it is your responsibility to check whether these apply prior to travel. Driving is on the left side of the road, and many major road signs are written in English as well as Japanese. Please note that Japan's extremely heavy snowfall and frozen roads can give rise to hazardous conditions, and it is not advisable to drive in Japan during Winter unless you have experience in these conditions. Please drive cautiously at all times.
Speed limits in Japan are lower than in many countries and penalties for speeding are usually heavy. Japan also has a strict zero tolerance drinking and driving policy, meaning that driving after even a sip of alcohol is illegal. Breaking this law could involve jail and/or deportation for which you must bare full responsibility. Motorways are quite expensive and you will be expected to pay for their use in cash, and for fuel, in addition to any sums you pay for the hire of a car. If you choose to hire a car in Japan, please familiarise yourself with traffic laws and obey them at all times.
You must be 18 years old to enter into a contract with Japan Ski Experience. When you acknowledge on your Booking Invoice that you have read and agree to the Japan Ski Experience Terms and Conditions and proceed with booking you agree to all booking information contained on this page and, where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party service provider, to the terms and conditions of that service provider. As the lead passenger on your booking you enter into this agreement on behalf of yourself and all others travelling in your group as named under 'Manage my Booking'. Your contract with us will be governed by English law and any disputes will be dealt with in the courts of England and Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland, the courts of Northern Ireland or Scotland (as appropriate) deal with any disputes.
Depending on the service booked, Japan Ski Experience may act as principal or as a disclosed agent for a third party provider. When acting as a disclosed agent, the name of the provider of that service will be detailed on your booking documents, and the contract for the performance of the service will exist with the applicable provider. Please note that whilst individual services may be included on a single invoice, and under a single reference number, Japan Ski Experience may act as principle for some services and an agent for others. Japan Ski Experience undertakes to use reasonable precaution to ensure that the provider is a reputable supplier of the service they are contracted to provide. Responsibility for adequate performance and liability for mis-performance, lack of suitability, negligent conduct etc lies wholly with the provider of the service.
All bookings for services which are charged at individual prices, and can be booked independently of one another will not be defined as a ‘package’ for the purposes of the European Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. This is not affected by whether the services are purchased at a different time or at the same time, or whether the services are invoiced for separately or included on one invoice at an aggregate price, or are booked under separate reference numbers, or a single reference number.
These Terms and Conditions, including the incorporation of third party provider terms and conditions where applicable, form the basis of the booking contract. If you would like to review booking conditions of the service provider, please ask for them to be provided. As lead passenger, you enter this contract on behalf of every member of your group. The booking contract will exist once we have issued your Booking Confirmation in respect of every service for which a deposit or full payment has been received (please see s.2 for further information).
2. Resort Services
The term 'Resort Services' applies to but is not limited to Transfers, Lift Passes, Equipment Rental, Lessons, Mountain Guiding, Concierge, Excursions and Tours and Winter Activities. You may be invited to reserve Resort Services at the time of booking your accommodation. Where this occurs, and you are not requesetd to make payment for the Resort Services, they will not be considered as confirmed items within your Booking Contract until payment is later received, regardless of whether these Resort services are detailed on your Booking Confirmation. Once payment for Resort Services has been requested by Japan Ski Experience and received in full, they can be considered as confirmed items included within the Booking Contract subject to the Terms and Conditions herein.
3.1 Inital Payment and Booking Confirmation
At the time of booking we will require a deposit or full payment as requested on your Booking Invoice. Completing the steps in your Booking Invoice and receiving a Booking Confirmation will be subject to successful receipt of payment by Japan Ski Experience. This may be via the processing of the requested deposit or full payment by Credit Card, or the successful receipt of funds by bank transfer. If opting to pay by bank transfer you will be required to confirm that the bank transfer has been fully arranged according to the instructions provided, prior to the steps in your Booking Invoice being completed, and that you have understood that the validity of a subsequent Booking Confirmation is subject to successful completion of the bank transfer and receipt of funds by Japan Ski Experience. Until funds have been successfully received your Booking Confirmation remains subject to their receipt and the offer to provide the services detailed within your Booking Confirmation can be withdrawn at any time. If payment is arranged by Credit Card then successful processing at the time of booking constitutes an acknowledgement by Japan Ski Experience that funds have been received unless we contact you within one week to inform you that the payment was not successfully processed. If payment is arranged by Bank Transfer then we will contact you to confirm receipt of payment when it arrives in our account and until this time payment should not be considered received. In the unlikely event that we are unable to confirm the accommodation described we reserve the right to offer an alternative, and if this is not acceptable to you refund your deposit within one week of sending your Booking Confirmation.
3.2 Additional Payments
Where only a deposit is required we will email you a Booking Confirmation showing how much you owe us. You must pay the amount detailed on your Booking Confirmation on or before the date quoted. If you don’t, we will assume you have chosen to cancel your booking with the service provider and we will charge you cancellation fees. In the case of a booking where Japan Ski Experience acts as principal, our cancellation fees will apply as detailed below. In the case of a booking where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party provider, cancellation fees will be applied in accordance with the service provider’s terms and conditions.
If, after a Booking Confirmation has been issued, you wish to change your booking in any way, we will do our best to make these changes, but it may not always be possible and you could incur cancellation fees, together with any extra cost. Any request for changes to be made must be received in writing from the lead passenger named on the booking. You may be asked to pay an administration fee of £15 per person and any further cost we incur in making this alteration. You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible. Please note that most Accommodation bookings will not usually be changeable after a reservation has been made according to the service provider’s rules and any alteration could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100%.
You may cancel your holiday at any time. Written notification from the person named as lead passenger on the booking must be received by us. Telephone cancellations will not be accepted. The date of receipt of the cancellation notice in writing will be deemed the date on which you exercise your right to cancel your holiday. Please note that the cancellation of any member of your party may affect the price of accommodation for your booking.
In the case of a booking where Japan Ski Experience acts as principal exercising your right to cancel your holiday will incur the following fees.*
Period before departure Charge
within which cancellation
is received by us.
More than 60 days deposit
60-29 days - 60%
28-22 days - 80%
21-13 days - 90%
14-0 days - 100%
*We reserve the right to impose a cancellation charge of 100% of the cost to us of all Accommodation and Resort Services where applied by our suppliers. This is a frequent occurrence within 60 days of travel.
In the case of a booking where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party provider, cancellation fees will be applied in accordance with the supplier’s terms and conditions which can be up to 100% of the price of your booking. In these cases Japan Ski Experience also reserves the right to charge an Agency fee of £35 per person.
Please note that if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your personal travel insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. We therefore urge you to ensure you have travel insurance which includes comprehensive cancellation cover from the time of booking.
It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your booking, but occasionally we may have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. It is specified that all information given in respect of activities organised by third party providers are subject to change; the organisation of these activities, together with the consequences of any modification and/or cancellation of these activities will remain under the sole responsibility of the service provider.
6.1 Minor changes
If changes are made to your booking, they will most likely be minor, and compensation will not be payable. However, we will advise you of them at the earliest possible date.
6.2 Major changes
If we make a major change to your booking, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. When a major change occurs, providing it does not arise from circumstances amounting to force majeure (see section 7), you will have the choice of accepting the change of arrangements, accepting an offer of an alternative service of comparable standard from us if available, or cancelling your booked service and receiving a full refund of all monies paid.
In all cases, except where the major change arises due to reasons of force majeure, we will pay compensation as follows:
If you are informed less than 8 weeks before departure, we will give you compensation of £20 per person. If less than 4 weeks before departure, compensation of £30 per person.
6.3. Price Changes
Prices quoted on our websites are guide prices based on known costs as at 1st March 2016. These prices do not amount to an offer of sale. Prices are not fixed until a booking is confirmed and you receive a Booking Confirmation from us.
We reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your booking. In the extremely unlikely event that we have to cancel your booking, we will inform you as soon as practicable. Unless the reasons for cancellation amount to force majeure (please see section 8), you will have the choice of having a refund of all monies paid or, if available, accepting an offer of an alternative service of comparable standard from us. If your booking is cancelled less than 8 weeks before departure, we will give you compensation of £20 per person; if less than 4 weeks before departure, compensation of £30 per person.
Japan Ski Experience cannot accept liability, pay compensation, reimburse expenses or accept responsibility where we are forced to make minor or major changes to your booking, or cancel your booking due to ‘force majeure’, that is, unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised. These include but are not limited to, war, threat of war, riot, civil or political unrest, industrial dispute, terrorist activity threatened or actual and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, closure of ports or airports, air traffic control delays, technical problems of transport or other circumstances beyond our control.
We reserve the right to refuse to accept you as a customer or continue dealing with you if your behaviour is disruptive or affects other travellers or is threatening or abusive towards our staff or agents on the telephone, in writing or in person. If Japan Ski Experience or the service provider believe that your behavior has been disruptive, they can also refuse to let you proceed with your travel arrangements. If this occurs then you will become responsible for your own return home and any other members of your group who cannot or will not travel without you. In any of these circumstances no refunds or compensation will be paid to you and we may make a claim against you for any costs and expenses incurred as a result of your behaviour. Criminal proceedings may also be instigated.
If you have a problem during your stay, you must inform the provider of your holiday service with whom responsibility for adequate performance of your contract lies. If your complaint is not resolved locally, you can contact us and we will endeavour to assist, however where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party provider, liability for performance of the contract lies with the provider as named on your booking documents. Our assistance with any difficulties in the performance of the contract cannot be construed as acceptance of liability under any circumstances.
11.1 Your acceptance of risk
Any winter sports activity involves risks including physical injury and in extreme cases, death. Additional activities such as snowmobiling and backcountry tours may incur an increased level of risk, and it is your own choice to accept these risks. Neither Japan Ski Experience or its suppliers can be held liable for injury or death on any holiday unless negligence is proven.
11.2 Our Obligation
Where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party provider, the obligation of Japan Ski Experience is limited to the booking of the relevant service. Japan Ski Experience acts as a facilitator in establishing a contract between the customer and the service provider and contracts to ensure that all relevant booking documents will be supplied. Japan Ski Experience undertakes to use reasonable precaution to ensure that the service provider is a reputable supplier of the service they are contracted to provide.
11.3 Service Providers
Where a service provider other than Japan Ski Experience is named on your booking documents, they and not Japan Ski Experience will be responsible for the performance of the booking contract. Liability for the mis-performance of the contract, or for negligence, lies with the named service provider and should be addressed with them directly in all cases.
If injury or some material loss occurs we will offer you such prompt assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances. Please note that where Japan Ski Experience acts as an agent for a third party provider performance of the service remains the sole responsibility of the service provider with whom you are contracted and Japan Ski Experience cannot accept any liability for any injury or loss in these circumstances.
13.1 In the resort
Winter sports inevitably carry an element of risk and it is your responsibility to ensure that risk remains minimal. Do not venture into prohibited areas and off-piste skiers should always be aware of the risks and exercise due caution. Remember that failure to stay out of restricted areas risks the lives of others as well as your own. It is recommended that when skiing or snowboarding you wear a helmet, stay with others and make yourself aware of basic avalanche safety information. Try to familiarise yourself with your resort as soon as possible and stick to those runs you feel comfortable on.
13.2 Damage to Property
Where any damage to property occurs during your stay Japan Ski Experience or the applicable service provider will be entitled to charge you the amount required to restore the damaged property to its original condition or replace it.
13.3 Respect for others
Japan Ski Experience promotes a positive cultural exchange. We ask that you are at all times sensitive to these differences and show respect for all people. If Japan Ski Experience or your service provider believe that your actions could upset others, put them in danger, or damage property, it is possible that they will cancel your booking with immediate effect.
13.4 Alcohol and Drugs
While you may well drink alcohol as part of your enjoyment, you must do so responsibly and we or your service provider will have no liability to you for any injury, loss or damage you suffer as a result of your judgment being impaired by alcohol. You will be liable to reimburse us and / or your service provider for the full cost of any damage which you cause to the accommodation and its contents and it is your duty to report any breakages, defects or damage to an appropriate person immediately. The use of drugs is strictly prohibited in Japan and using prohibited substances whilst on holiday could incur extremely high penalties such as jail and /or deportation for which you would bear full responsibility.
Thank you for booking with Japan Ski Experience. We look forward to ensuring your holiday exceeds your expectations.