First and Foremast there a plenty of avalanche deaths in the Hakuba Valley every year mostly from inexperienced people riding in poor conditions with little regard for their own safety. Riding Hakuba’s amazing back country people must have firsthand knowledge of a variety of snow and weather conditions and know how to check snow pack themselves to ensure they are riding in safe conditions and not a danger to themselves or anyone below them.
There are plenty of educational videos online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwvFn67e5Q
Evergreen also offer an avalanche training course that is worth its weight in gold! Keeping you and your friends safe while you’re here. http://www.evergreen-hakuba.com/en/avalanche-skills-training/
Too hard do I hear? Why not have an Olympic skier show you the ropes! For around $130 per person you can be guided by a 3 time Alpine Olympian and all round nice guy Steve Lee. You’ll need to be quick as he books out fast: http://hakubapowdertours.com/guide/steve-lee/ Evergreen offer a similar service if you miss out.
Below is an interesting article on Canadian born man working with Tugaike Kogen to allow for back country terrain to be safe and accessible. http://snowaction.com.au/hakuba-opens-tsugaike-backcountry/
Thinking a Heli? Think again, the Japanese have just decided the landing zone on Norikura is in a National Park so sounds like its about to become extinct, the terrain is pretty mellow anyways dropping from 2200m to the resort boundary cost person per run is $130 aus. Oh and to further complicate it , runs from March 1 to end of March weather permitting.
Now for gear, http://www.rhythmjapan.com/general-hire-gear/back-country-hire-gear/, They stock the lot from back packs to shovels to peeps and probes, in fact they also stock this handsome devil above, the Burton Skip Jak surf snowboard, why the name? It can be used with or without bindings, Get out! Shut the front gate! Come on People get into it, see you in Japan.