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DSNS Does Hokkaido 2019

Discussion in 'Japan' started by DidSurfNowSki, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sapporo Snow Festival Picture Feastage



























     
    Jacko4650, Tanuki, skifree and 12 others like this.
  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oooooohhhh the ice sculptures are really lovely.
     
  3. Old School Mike

    Old School Mike One of Us

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    Yeah I skied Moiwa in 2012. It's not that steep but has some ok side country. Tickets were very cheap and there was only a handful of people on the mountain which meant there was plenty of freshies to be had.
     
  4. Old School Mike

    Old School Mike One of Us

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    I better get to Rusutsu before the mass influx of Aussies descend on there with the cheap ticket next year when Vail takes over.
     
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  5. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Homeward bound, trip wrap up coming soon.

     
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  6. skifree

    skifree Old n' Crusty Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Too sad to like.
     
  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Should take about a week via unplanned destinations and airlines with your luck.
     
  8. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey TK. A bit off a Japan route map, would allow those not so familiar with Japan (like me), to visualize all the places you visited.
     
  9. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Finale - DSNS Does Hokkaido 2019

    After a rocky start, this trip got back on track and we accomplished what we set out to do; ie ski as much of Hokkaido as we could in a month.

    Where did we go ?

    We started off landing at New Chitose Airport (CTS), stayed at Furano for a week and then set out on a road trip. Essentially it was a big anti-clockwise loop of the major ski areas of Hokkaido.





    Where Did We Ski ?

    I managed 26 days on the snow, skiing:
    • Hoshino Tomaru Ski Resort
    • Furano Ski Resort
    • Kamui Ski Links
    • Tokachidake back country
    • Pippu Ski Resort
    • Sapporo International Ski (Kokusai)
    • Teine
    • Asarigawaonsen Ski
    • Kiroro Snow World
    • Rusutsu
    • Orofure
    • Niseko Grand Hirafu / Hanazono / Annupuri / Village
    • Yubari Resort Mount Racey Ski
    • Sahoro
    • Otoe (NAC Powder Cat)
    • Sapporo Mt Moiwa Ski


    I must update the 'My list is bigger than yours' thread ;)

    Tomamu Season Pass

    Before setting off, I purchased a Tomamu early bird season pass for 27,000 yen. After adding up the 'savings', I saved about 10,000 yen using the card.

    Accommodation

    We stayed at a wide range of accommodation, but drew the line at hostels. The best value accommodation was at Furano organized beforehand through a friendly forum member who passed us onto the local Japanese agent :), thanks @telenomore. I tended towards more upmarket accommodation whereas MikeFromWork wanted to stretch the yen as far as possible. It ended up being quite a good mixture. LastMinute.com, Booking.com and AirBnB were all used.

    Onsens

    Are wonderful. Best was at Tokachidake after a hard days BC.

    Temperatures

    Ranged from +9C in the road tunnels near Tomamu to -21C in Asahikawa.

    Getting Around

    We had a car, so getting around was mostly by car. I did do a day using the public transport system which operated flawlessly as usual in Japan.

    Total driving distance was ~3000 km. Just one blemish. On a straight road doing the speed limit following a line of traffic, not breaking or accelerating, not turning the steering wheel the car decided skid out of control. Both the front and back went. After a couple of attempts trying to straighten up the car I dabbed the brakes. I think this woke up the anti skid / traction control and the vehicle smarts took over. I was a passenger in the driver's seat up until then. Pretty scary losing control like that. After this experience I fully endorse the 0.00 alcohol limit while driving.

    Another unusual feature was that we rarely saw any bitumen road, it was generally covered in snow and you had to guess where the road markings were.

    Wildlife

    Not a great deal of wildlife moving around Hokkaido, but we did encounter the odd arctic fox and deer.

    Car Parking

    The Japanese are very particular about their car parking. Only park out the front of the place you are staying / getting stuff from !

    Rubbish

    Same goes for rubbish.

    Wifi

    When I visited Japan back in 2014 there wasn't that much free wifi around. This trip it was pretty much everywhere. I did carry a wifi brick around with me, a couple of times it was absolutely needed, but I think you could get away with just relying on the free wifi at a pinch.

    Electronic Banking / Using Credit Cards

    Same goes for electronic banking and going cashless. Some resorts, however, still only take cash so I would always carry a small amount of cash. The transaction fee free Citibank CC worked at the 7-Elevens and the airport. Paypal of all things, also saved my bacon a couple of times so have an account just in case.

    Translator

    Google translator had all sorts of issues this trip. Use at own risk ;)

    GPS

    The car GPS had quite a few issues this trip as well. Map Codes worked well, name lookups generally worked well but not always, phone number searches for some reason were very unreliable. We used the car GPS to get close to a destination then used Google Maps to get us the rest of the way in if required.

    The People

    The Japanese people were very kind, helpful and polite this trip. The koala stick pins we gave out as gifts were very, very well received.

    The Snow

    Japan delivered fantastic champagne powder snow this trip. Our snow gauge was the car and how much snow we had to brush off each morning before setting off. To finish with, I'll leave you with this :)



    Thanks for taking the time reading this TR ;)

    DSNS
     
    #759 DidSurfNowSki, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Coffeebeanie, Gimp, elSpike and 24 others like this.
  10. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting point about PayPal.
    I have it. What situations would you use it?

    Scary re:the car.
    I’m a bit nervous about picking up my hire car at CTS in the dark and heading straight to Hirafu - possibly on the back of no sleep on the plane. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, it’s just I’ve always been with PB in the past...this time it’s just me and the kid.

    And good tip about the pins. I’ll have a look at the airport for something similar :thumbs: Last year was Caramello Koalas and koala friendship bracelets.

    Thanks for your TR DSNS - it’s was awesome!
     
  11. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't think it's Vail that's building the apartments, just the name chosen for them. Westin bought the tower a few years ago.
     
  12. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks heaps for the TR, it's inspired us to look at doing the counter clockwise loop.
     
  13. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    great tr thanks hOKkaido is OK
     
  14. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    *vale
     
  15. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    1/ To book a Thai Airlines flight out of Singapore to get to CTS after the original flight plans didn't work out; none of my credit cards were working in Singapore.
    2/ To book the NAC cat skiing day.
     
    LMB likes this.
  16. andrew7

    andrew7 Hard Yards

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    Great trip report DSNS: looking to follow in your footsteps next winter (having skied all the big Honshu resorts over the past 7-8 years its time to hit Hokkaido!).
     
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  17. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Subaru with snowtyres .

    Want
     
  18. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have.
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Would. If I lived in Jindy
     
  20. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    hipo and DidSurfNowSki like this.
  21. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    @DidSurfNowSki or @telenomore - Curious if you would be interested in sharing more about this accommodation or the local Japanese agent? I tend more towards the upmarket, and will be travelling with a few friends that want to stretch the yen...so sounds pretty perfect.
     
  22. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    tugboat likes this.