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Opinion Do I or don’t I go anyway?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by SuskiQ, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. SuskiQ

    SuskiQ Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    We’ve got flights booked and paid... into Sapporo 4th Feb out of Tokyo on 29th March. Original plan was to do week on, week off skiing and touring. We have a hotel booked in Sapporo for the Snow Festival but nothing else booked in yet.

    Some or most of you may know that I had a cracking stack at Hotham nearly 6 weeks ago and ruptured both achilles. Since it’s both, recovery will be slow. There’s zero chance of me skiing in Feb/March though I’ve been told I should be fine to travel. I’m really undecided about whether we should come anyway and enjoy the touring though I may still be limited in how far I’m even able to walk in a day.

    We could change the return flights and cut the touring back by a few weeks. I’d really love to see the Snow Festival but I’m a bit worried about slippery icy ground ( I do have boot chains).

    So what do the local experts think? Go touring in winter and maybe stick around long enough for some blossom, go for a few weeks or cancel and save Japan for another time? We will be back in 2019 for Rugby World Cup but that won’t give us either snow festival or a chance at blossom.
     
  2. cin

    cin Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't do it
    think of Kim Jong!
     
  3. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No. Doing by half or less will not be satisfying
     
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  4. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Computer says no!
    Also, I wouldn't.
    It sounds like you've near enough convinced yourself not to go anyway
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, so you're not skiing. What sort of touring will you do, and where?
    How much of the rest of Japan have you seen?
     
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  6. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    To see blossom you will have to go south for those dates.
     
  7. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go!!!

    Even with both legs amputated I would still go and sit and watch the snow world evolve around me (with a nice coffee and carrot cake to keep me company)
     
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  8. SuskiQ

    SuskiQ Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve spent 1 week in Furano with @Crystal in 2006. I’ve seen stuff all. Spatto has never been.
    Spatto & I are now full time travellers (aside from this hiccup in plans) so we like to get a bit off the beaten track and spend a few days exploring areas rather than just rushing around ‘tick-a-box’ touristing. Having said that we still want to do the the highlights that are the tourist faves because they really are worth doing.
    Not limited to Hokkaido & Honshu but they were the original plan...
    Not in any particular order...
    Sapporo winter festival
    Otaru
    Asahikawa winter festival
    Mt Fuji
    Tokyo
    Kyoto
    Miyajima
    Snow monkeys
    Castles & temples
    Food & more food
    Whisky
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's a hard decision.

    You'll be SPEWING about missing the skiing.

    This year will be my 12th year and will be the first time for the Sapporo Snow Festival.

    If it were me, I would switch dates to take in the Cherry Blossoms if you still wanted to do something in Japan.


    If it helps, the offer will be there in future years also. With or without us around.
    Get better :love:
     
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  10. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nah, go somewhere else. Go to an island in the Maldives or somewhere ridiculously nice with a chalet on the beach under a palm tree and live like a bikini model for a couple weeks.
     
  11. Born2skii

    Born2skii One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you can get most of your money back I'd say don't go. Have a more relaxing holiday somewhere, rest up and plan a big one the year after.
     
  12. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Be careful travel in Japan does involve quite som walking. (If not going by car.)

    Fuji in winter - does not sound safe! :evil:
     
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I assume you're flying into Tokyo? When you think about it, coming to Japan from Feb 2nd - March 29th (8 weeks), you'd be skiing maybe 4 weeks of that normally. That would mean that you wouldn't see so much of Japan, because a lot of it would be taken up by skiing, or just looking at stuff near skiing.... so think of it as an opportunity!! ;)
    The things that you would NOT see because you don't have the time(because of skiing), you can see instead. Because of the walking, hire a car.
    Cherry blossoms may start as early as last week in March in central and southern Honshu & Kyushu.

    So for example, after Sapporo winter festival, Otaru, Asahikawa winter festival, etc, fly to Tokyo, then:
    - Tokyo.
    - Nikko. Kamakura. Hakone/Fuji
    - Shinkansen to Nagoya, hire a car, drive to Inuyama Castle.
    - Then drive NE to Magome & Tsumago:
    [​IMG]

    - Then drive up the Kiso Valley to Matsumoto:
    [​IMG]
    - See Matsumoto Castle, then past Nagano City and on to the snow monkey onsen.
    - Drive up to Shiga Kogen, and check out the views.
    - Stay in Nozawa Onsen
    - Sea of Japan, and down to Takayama
    [​IMG]
    - Drive to Shirakawa-go:
    [​IMG]

    - Then on to Kanazawa:
    [​IMG]

    - Back to Nagoya. Shinkansen to Kyoto. (maybe 2 weeks JR Pass)
    - Kyoto. Nara. Hikone Castle.
    - Himeji Castle.
    - Hiroshima, Miyajima.
    - Kyushu
    - Back to Tokyo

    The sunniest weather in Honshu (south of the mountains) is in winter.

    So rather than "doing things by half", you will see much more than you ever would have if you'd been skiing for 4 weeks!!!! :D
     
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  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You don't just wander up Fuji in summer either.... and Fuji looks much more magnificent in winter!!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great itin from Sandy. Maybe I would maybe do Shibu Onsen rather than Nozawa Onsen.

    If you do get as far as Kyushu deop me a PM because I have a whole list of recommendations.
     
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  16. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Whenever going to mountains - be prepared - but summer should be ok - if you do not look like those stupid turistes in their town shows.
    I was a bit old when I did it first time - but only in summer.
     

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  17. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sandy's itinerary sounds awesome. I would do that, a sight seeing/cultural experience without the need to drag around your ski gear. Then when you are back to full fitness, you can go to Japan for a skiing trip.
     
  18. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would find it excruciating not being able to ski if I was there when there was snow on the ground but with Sandy's intinerary I'm sure you would have great time anyway.

    Sandy, what's the "better" castle in your opinion, Hikone or Inuyama? In January we were going to spend the night at Hikone purely for the castle but Inuyama looks really impressive as well. Really didn't want to visit two in a row.
     
  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you are not skiing then if possible leave later and avoid snowy regions, so you are not walking on ice or reminded of skiing ie. skip Hokkaido and stay south. The Sapporo and Asahikawa snow festivals (which are on at the same time btw) are easily done within a ski trip so save them for a later time. Sandy's itinerary looks good.
     
  20. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go do Sandy"s itinerary..employ a pair of young fit lads to carry you around in a sedan chair.. spatto can walk
     
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  21. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Both are small keeps, Hikone has the better castle grounds, but Inuyama is the oldest surviving and has the river views..... I'd do both!! ;)
    Also, if you skip Himeji and Hikone castles on the way to Kyushu, but do them on the way back from Kyushu (on the Shinkansen), you are more likely to catch them with cherry blossoms, as both have magnificent sakura.

    Regarding it being excruciating, being at the snow, but not skiing, it can also be used as a recon trip!!!! :D
     
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  22. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    You'd certainly have the opportunity to really check the place out!! Which you often miss skiing hard day in day out.

    Interestingly I've been researching things to do in Hokkaido during winter that don't involve skiing and boarding for a few visitors who don't ski - don't want them getting bored.

    (Yes I know there's way more in the rest of Japan but Hokkaido is where we are, so main search has been there).

    You can do:
    Dog sledding
    Ice fishing (in a sheltered tent over an ice hole)
    Snowmobiling
    Snow shoeing (on flats, through forest and/or uphill)

    For the not broken - ice climbing in Sounkyo

    Visit numerous animal attractions (bear park, zoo in Sapporo, an interactive petting style zoo, various animal themed cafes, even a 'reindeer' sled ride)

    There are sitski experience outings of 3hr duration - would be a very different experience!

    Glass blowing classes in Otaru
    Soba noodle making classes in Kutchan
    Japanese Language classes in Kutchan

    Sake Distillery visit (and no tax if you buy your sake while you're there)
    Nikka Whisky Distillery (one of my faves)

    Asahikawa and Sapporo snow festival - and Otaru's Festival of Lights (all at the same time).

    And then there is the shink trip from Hakodate to Tokyo (and if you have time stopping off at places along the way - so much to see all through there.)

    I'm sure that is just the tip of the iceberg of Winter Japan! It has certainly opened my myopic snowboarders eyes to the possibilities outside of snowboarding every day.
     
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  23. SuskiQ

    SuskiQ Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks everyone, especially @Sandy. We fly straight into Sapporo, the plan was always to start with the Sapporo Snow Festival. I guess my main concern was ability to walk a small/moderate distance and still get around ok.

    I’m quite resigned to not skiing this time. I know it sounds like heresy to say it on a Ski forum but skiing is only a part of our life. Given our last 2.5yrs of constant travel, this in NOT a holiday, it’s part of our travel life and it’s mostly about experiences (skiing was only ever just a part of it)
    if I was healed enough to hike, I would be skiing! ;) I just would like to see Fuji in a white blanket.

    I had thought we might fly Sapporo>Kyoto and work our way around and back to Tokyo at the end (flying out of Tokyo home) but I guess then we miss the blossoms.

    All great food for thought. I’m reassured that it’s not in the “forget it/absolutely too hard/flat out impossible” bucket. We will be back in 2019 for RWC but again that’s outside of Ski time. Not likely to be back to Japan to Ski for a few years... we have a lot on the list...

    Back end 2018 - Southern Africa
    Early 2019 - skiing USA (as altitude training) before hiking Inca Trail
    Back 2019 - Mongolia pony riding for a couple of weeks> Silk Road > Japan RWC
    2020 - Sailing Mediterranean
     
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  24. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    RWC ends 2nd Nov '19

    Lifts don't open for 3 weeks after that, and likely grim for the first few weeks.

    Shame it's not closer.

    Not sure if this helps with planning..
    http://www.jnto.go.jp/sakura/eng/index.php
    It gives you the first bloom and full bloom forecast but comes out closer depending on the weather. This shows 2017 dates to give you an idea.
     
  25. SuskiQ

    SuskiQ Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    RWC trip has not ever been considered as a possible ski trip. By the time we go to Mongolia and Silk Road on the way, we're likely to want to get back to Oz after RWC.

    Japan skiing would have to be another time, or a short impromptu dash.
     
  26. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Short impromptu dashes are good.
     
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  27. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fuji is high enough to have snow on it all year. It's just the depth that varies ;)
     
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  28. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, you may find a very little bit in August, but it's almost like gold digging.:whistle: