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Travel Life Aizu Deals 2019/2020 Season

Discussion in 'Japan' started by ocker, May 26, 2019.

  1. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    The tourism board in the Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture is promoting the areas 22 ski resorts to attract more foreign skiers. Particularly they trying to get skiers on the lifts during the almost deserted mid-week days. This year they were offering free lift tickets to foreigners in the 19 to 24 age group and other foreign skiers tickets for 3,500 Yen per day. So far they are not promoting this deal for 2019/2020 season.
    However through WAmazing Snow they were offering very cheap resort and lift packages at the Melbourne and Sydney snow travel expo. It was 5 nights accommodation plus 6 days multi-resort lift pass for AUD 299 per person twin share. The packages were offered at 5 different resorts with the ski pass valid for 22 resorts. Supposedly only 50 packages were available, but I am not sure how accurate that limit is. Three of the resort packages were only available if booked at the expo but you could book the deals at Inawashiro and Bandaisan Onsen on line.
    The packages are for accommodation 5 nights Monday to Friday nights and skiing Monday to Saturday. When I said to them at the Melbourne expo that I wanted more days to make worthwhile the flight to Japan they suggested I book two Mon to Sat packages in subsequent weeks. So I booked Inawashiro Jan 6 to 11 and Bandaisan Onsen Jan 13 to 18 with the Saturday and Sunday nights in between at Koriyama just one hour away from both resorts by train. I will have a rest day on the Sunday sightseeing in the area.
    Because it is a twin share deal I had to pay for two people. Maybe I can get someone to come with me on those dates between now and January otherwise I figure at $600 for 6 days skiing it is still a really good deal. If I go by myself I will end up with 2 sets of breakfast vouchers and two 6 day lift tickets. Maybe I can off load the second lift pass to someone else if I am lucky.
    It looks like you can still get the deal on line even though the expo is over the link is http://bit.ly/2vk6y2A or https://www.wamazing.com/snow/page/...tm_campaign=snowtravelexpo&utm_content=190519
     
    #1 ocker, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    Rick Ross Da Boss likes this.
  2. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Link didn’t work
     
  3. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't work for me either.

    Anything that gets foreign tourists off the beaten track and into the less visited small resorts is a great thing IMO.

    FWIW I have great memories of accidentally ending up in some small arse Aizu town at the end of their annual summer festival. Some locals on a street corner sat me down and filled me with booze and food before I staggered off to sleep on a bench at the one platform local station.
     
  4. skipperlee

    skipperlee Hard Yards

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    there was some deal somewhere on a aussie ski website for $529 aus pp 6 nights accom b&b, 5 days lift pass at different hills and transfers between ski hills/hotels and bus from tokyo. great if there is 2 of you but as a solo traveller it was nearly double at $1028. love aizu and will be there in 2020 at some point but ill find my own way. check aizuski.jp for deals/info
     
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  5. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    If you copy and paste it does work . Do not understand why when clicking on it tries to go to Youtube. I have also added the full URL
     
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  6. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    I fixed the problem with the link.
     
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  7. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Working for me now. I'm super tempted by the prospect of going to Japan for some snow, but at the moment it's only temptation.
     
  8. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Thank you so much for sharing! Looks like an amazing deal! Never been to Aizu and definitely wouldnt mind checking it out!
     
  9. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'd love to hear some feedback on these resorts, if anyone here has been before.

    From what I can see, the accommodation options appear to have been pulled straight out of the 80's/90's in terms of their decor. In terms of the resorts, it's always difficult to guage how good a resort is off just a trail map, but most of the resorts on the Aizu ski site can barely even manage a map. It looks like the main option for transit between the different ski areas is to hire a car?

    From what I can see, the price is a great drawcard, but I would want a bit more info before I committed.
     
  10. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Welcome to Japan. Pretty much standard. There's been no money around for these places after the skiing boom imploded. You'll only find modern places in the western infiltrated resorts where there's money flowing in.
     
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  11. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Booked! Thanks for sharing!! Was horrified after reading the reviews of the hotel on booking.com, but I am there for the snow so just gonna tolerate the accommodation (as long as non-smoking). SGD 600 for 2 people, 5 nights, 6 breakfast and daily lift pass. Will definitely need to rent a car. Super looking forward to it!
     
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  12. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The beauty of japan is exactly this. Don't know what you will find until you get there. So much fun to be had.
     
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  13. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My wife and I must have got lucky when we travelled to Japan. We landed this place in Osaka as our first stop, followed by this place in Kyoto. Our accommodation in Tokyo was.... colourful? As far as we can tell, it used to be a "love hotel" - but we were only there for 2 nights, and it had a kid's play area that our nearly 2 year old loved. :D
     
  14. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Never had a bad place, Sure different to what expected but never a huge issue, but when you get a hill almost to yourself it outweighs the basic accom, plus the fun of mixing it with locals and trying to converse etc is way better than a motel with no atmosphere resort complex.
     
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  15. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you have to nominate dates for your visit. While talking to the guy at the show I thought he said you didn't have to nominate dates straight away
     
  16. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    At Inawashiro there is one resort ski-in / ski-out and a second by shuttle at Bandaisan Onsen there are 4 resorts by shuttle bus. I am not going to rent a car, just spread my 12 ski days over 5 resorts that I can get to by shuttle. Probably some 2 days others 3 days.
     
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  17. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Yes I had to nominate dates and the deal is not refundable. So I paid upfront already but I already booked our flights back in March and we happen to be spending 5 nights 6 days in Japan, so the Aizu deal is just perfect for us.
     
  18. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Ah lucky! I don't have that much annual leave, so every minute counts. My hubby and I always take red eye flights in and out of Japan to maximise our time on the slopes. Some companies are pretty stingy with annual leave in Singapore.
     
  19. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought as much.
    Im not sure on dates yet so cant book but will be up that way regardless
     
  20. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    anyone planning to go to Aizu? Got 6 vouchers of one day lift pass. Happy to give them away.

    happy skiing!
     
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  21. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Serious question that is probably an elephant in the chat room

    this is in Fukushima prefecture yeh? What is the radiation risk like?
     
  22. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    The mountain areas seem quite far away from the sea. Hubby and I have been here for 6 days. Everything just seems like an ordinary Japanese area
     
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  23. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Probably less than the Snowy Mountains. Its higher here so there is less protection from cosmic rays from the atmosphere. Also granite releases Thorium gas. When you visit Thredbo you're getting exposed to about four times the amount of radiation from the environment you get in Sydney (~0.5uSv/h).

    According to this map from Fukushima Prefecture the highest dose you can expect outside the exclusion zone is 1.5uSv/h with most of the prefecture being about the same as Sydney.



    You'd have to stay in most of Fukishima for 42 days before you'd be exposed to more radiation the the dose you'll receive on the return flight (52uSv).
     
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  24. Dave.Ski

    Dave.Ski Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for the generous offer! I could use the passes but would be happy to make payment in kind.
     
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  25. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Great! Please let me know how I can pass them to you
     
  26. Mrdini

    Mrdini Hard Yards

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    Happy to pick up one or two passes if @Dave.Ski doesn't want them all...? My plans aren't set in stone - was looking at going up north to Appi and around Morioka but I'd likely have a JR East Tohoku Pass so Aizu is always an option (would definitely like to go again!). However, all very hazy - are some of the resorts still closed mid-week?

    Not sure about payment but could pay via Amazon gift cards? Would be staying in Tokyo at the start so could be posted to hotel...?
     
  27. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    i think i have 3-4 passes left over also
    i’ll check tonight if more needed
     
  28. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Sorry I just posted the lift passes to Dave.Ski yesterday...
     
  29. Dave.Ski

    Dave.Ski Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

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  30. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Hubby and I were in Aizu area from Jan 22 - 26, thanks to the amazing Wamazing deal. We stayed at Hotel Listel Inawashiro. We were given a western twin room with extra tatami area. Our room was so spacious that it can easily accommodate 4 adults. The hotel is a little dated and they charge 1500 yen for using the gym per visit (hubby wasn't happy about it). We had a rental car so we drove to different ski resorts / onsen / places for dinner every day. We spent 1 day in Nekoma, 2 days in Grandeco and 2 days in Minowa. Alts Bandai was close before we got there, Inawashiro had too little snow on the ground, the little ski resort in front of our hotel had their snow machine working on Saturday night. We have been skiing in Japan since 2014, and it is the first time we didn't have any powder days. Nevertheless, it was still a fun trip. Local people are super friendly. We got the additional free lift passes from a ski rental shop, and one of the staff members volunteered to teach one of our friends snowboarding for half day for free (the staff member is a qualified instructor). Food was delicious as usual, and mid week was pretty empty. Most places wouldnt need reservations during the week, which is a nice change from our last year's experiences in Myoko.

    On the flip side, there wasn't much terrain variation in all 3 ski resorts we visited. Powder wasn't deep enough to go into trees / offpiste (it is officially not allowed anyway). Not all courses were open yet, some lifts only operate during the weekend. Not many places have English signs. I only just realised that we can get 1000 yen food voucher at Grandeco if we return within a month (see below). I suppose Aizu tourism board will need to work harder to make it more foreigner-friendly.
     
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  31. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The do promote the Wamazing offer as being an "Ambassador" with social media promotion expected, but also a bit of a request for feedback, so I think they'd welcome hearing that information.

    The snow depth issue makes it difficult to gauge - it's been a bit of a lean season anyway, but it's hard to know what the area would have been like in a good year.

    I'd love to have a good excuse to go next year, but that depends on how receptive my wife is to being left with our 4yo and (by then) 8 month old. :p
     
  32. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry to say, but looks like you are f......!:whistle:
     
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  33. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    The promotion materials say that there are 22 ski resorts in Aizu. In reality it is difficult to cover multiple resorts in one day, and some resorts such as Adatara are too small. If you are based in Aizu area (Inawashiro or Mt Bandai), all the Aizu Area ski resorts are within 30-40 mins driving. Ski resorts in south Aizu area are less accessible if you are based in Aizu area, and will require extensive driving.

    In terms of snow depth, the ski rental shop staff showed us pictures and videos of her snowboarding in tree zones in Minowa last season. It looked epic! If the snowfall returns to its normal level, I wouldnt mind revisiting to check out the tree area of Minowa and Alts Bandai.

     
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  34. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That picture is really helpful! I've tried to use the Ski Aizu website and the design is a bit clunky, and doesn't give a good sense of how the resorts are spread out.
     
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  35. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    Hi sorry I thought i had them at home but looks like their gone in the post holiday clean out.
    ☹️
     
  36. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Looks like Alts Bandai is gonna reopen from Feb 1.
     
  37. kw2020

    kw2020 First Runs

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    Does anyone still have any Aizu lift passes left? Thanks
     
  38. Dave.Ski

    Dave.Ski Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

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    As luck would have it the passes @nanami_JS posted from Singapore arrived today and I'm back in Australia.
     
  39. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    I am so sorry that it took so long to arrive. Hope you still had a good time in Aizu.
     
  40. Dave.Ski

    Dave.Ski Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unfortunately I had to cut my trip short but it seems some of the passes will get used. They have a few frequent flyer miles now!