Okay a good bit of advice I can offer for Japan that I have picked up:
When you arrive and you aren’t heading directly to the snow fields, Why drag your luggage around from the Airport, or around the crowded cities? Get your snow gear transported via luggage couriers. The guys that I are using are called ‘black cat’ Apparently it is quick, reliable and easy to do. Just look for the “black cat” counter at the airport leave your luggage there and it will delivered to the door of where you are staying. You can also get black cat to drop the items off at the airport for you, so again. You don’t need to lug everything around. The turnaround time to and from all Airports is 48 hours and from most major cities in Honshu is only 24 hours.
As for learning to board/ski:
Yup, lessons are a must! And if you aren’t active off the bike, then start… lunges, squats, push ups. That sort of stuff helps you to be able to smash yourself day after day. Also, take it slow… don’t do full days if you are spending a huge time over there. Even if you do get good, it does take a toll. I have 7 days on snow, but I only plan on boarding for 6. Taking a day off in the middle and soaking at the onsens.