Advice needed Car Hire -Nagano early Jan.

Noflyzone_Allstars

First Runs
Jun 24, 2016
6
1
3
Hey all, hope you are having a good snow season down there.
I am wrapping up planning for a third Japan trip (from USA) this coming January, flying into Tokyo then visiting Hakuba and Myoko environs for 2 weeks. Plan is to train or shuttle to Nagano, sleep one night there, then pick up car near the Nagano station.

Our previous trips have been exploring resorts and backcountry on Hokkaido. 4WD was almost essential. How essential is 4WD on Honshu? Worth the Yen premium? We have a lifetime of experience driving on snow and ice.

Also, have been looking at Tocoo.com and Japan-experience.com for booking a "compact" car for 13 days. Curious if these price quotes are good or if there are other places I should look for better deals I can arrange in advance without speaking Japanese:
ToCoo: 80,000Yen/13 days (no 4WD option on website) from Times Car Rental
Japan-experience: 120,500Yen/13 days (4WD), 97,000Yen/13 days (2WD) from Nissan

Thanks for any tips!
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
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Nov 13, 2005
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What sized car?

I wouldnt bother booking yet, tocoo winter specials come out around the start of December, book then, can be 30% cheaper with the discount/special.

For a car that would fit 2 people + gear + skis, 4WD and snow tires (which are included free in Nagano) i'd expect to pay about $60/day. I paid about $55/day 2 years ago for a similar time as you have (13 days).
 

skichanger

A Local
Jan 1, 2012
9,371
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chaletmyoko.com
Definitely need a 4wd. We regularly people with 2wd struggle. We had Finns stay with us who had a 2wd last season. They had 6 of them pushing the car up the street on occasion. And last season we had way less snow than usual.
 

Leroybrown238

Hard Yards
Sep 20, 2012
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14
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Melbourne
Hay Japow Car Hire Experts! What's the best car to hire??

I'm going to Hokkaido again in Feb. The last few years I have rented a Nissan Note as there has only been two of us. We shoved the skis in the back and the tips rested on the driver's centre arm rest. This year there will be four of us. Is the Nissan Elgrand the answer? What about the Toyota Vellfire? We will need to be able to lie down 4 sets of skis between the seats in the second row. Will this be possible?
 
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Leroybrown238

Hard Yards
Sep 20, 2012
110
14
88
49
Melbourne
El Grand. Yes.
Hi Vermillion,
Sorry to rehash an old thread. I have booked and paid for a Nissan Elgrand for 8 days starting shortly. The hire place is now telling me that the second row has 3 seats and its impossible to put the middle one down to put the skis in the car. Is this right? All the Elgrands I have seen have 2 seats only in the second row. What do we do? The will be 4 of us with 4 sets of skis. Do we try to recline the side chair behind the front passenger and then squash two people next to each other? Seems like a big compromise for such an expensive car.
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
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Nov 13, 2005
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Wait until you see the car for yourself. It sounds like the car hire company is talking rubbish. You can normally either put down or remove the middle section (in my Kluger it comes apart and goes under the middle compartment so you can walk between). I cant see how you wouldnt be able to remove one side. Failing that you can just fold down a side and have 2 people sit next to each other, it's not that bad. Or go to Yellow Hat and buy some roof racks for $70.
 
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M_G

M_G_ = Make skiing great again
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Jun 2, 2009
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In ours I can put some skis underneath and other stacked on top of the seats against the r/h side. Anything that won't go gets to ride on the racks. If you have 8 people it will be squeezy. 6 or less, no probs.
 
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