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Trip Report elSpike’s 2020 sneaky skiski- Shiga Kogen

Discussion in 'Japan' started by elSpike, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    February 28th - Take off!

    Well sports fans, it’s your pal elSpike, back again to give you the trip report details you are craving. Pictures of food; you bet. Ordinary framing of spectacular landscapes; undoubtedly. The most amazing out of ski pants on mountain; why not!

    Tonight, Mrs elSpike and I are off to the wonderful Changi Airport to catch a flight (and hopefully not a virus) to Tokyo. You might be thinking that we only just got back from out previous 19 day trip. You would be right. But living in Singapore has to have some perks. One of the best is a cheap, and quick, 6 hour flight to Japan. The other is a decent amount of public holidays.

    This year I had to work over Lunar New Year, which means I get to take a long weekend now. Where better to spend a long weekend than Japan, and who better to spend it with, than my favouritest ski buddy? So here we are, Shiga Kogen back in our sights. I’m feeling pretty lucky right now.

    Here is the obligatory luggage pic. One ski bag, two boot bags and a small overnight bag. Pretty light for us.



    A notable addition to our family is that tall lanky bag on the left. Some of you may remember that we had a whole lot of reasons for not owning skis in Singapore. They all disappeared when we demoed the new 2020 K2 Mindbender 99Tis in Myoko (shout out to Myoko Snowspoets and the ever patient Addy). Simply put, we fell in love and a week or so after our return to Singapore two pairs turned up in the post.

    Adding a 1.8m bag to our luggage created a new challenge. How do we get to the airport when most taxis here barely fit two suitcases? Luckily for us, Grab (ridesharing app) has the option to hire a hiace commuter van, so here we are on the PIE, ski bag in the aisle beside us.



    As this is a quick return trip, I’m going to trial posting a few times through the day rather than the full blown post each night. Who knows if it will work or what it will look like, but I’d be happy to have you all along for the ride.

    Some things to look forward to:
    Dinner with @Sandy, @Melskius and family and @nanami_JS and family tomorrow night at the Teppa Room.
    A return trip to Yokote on Sunday.
    A full rundown on where you can get your skis safety tested in Ichinose (I hope!)

    elSpike out.
     
    Froff Life, Kimski, nanami_JS and 7 others like this.
  2. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Saved for updates.
     
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  3. Sandy

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

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    I wouldn't go to Yokote on a Sunday.... the extra people on a weekend add a layer of complications with the bus (overcrowding, missing a bus because you can't get on, wasting skiing time on the bus when slopes are least crowded early in the day)

    I can give your skis a simple test.
     
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  4. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yokote is about the clearest day. Will take that advice in mind though!
    Re skis, might hit you up if Head station and SnowCan turn us down.
     
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  5. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Silver Kris lounge in Changi Terminal 2



    It’s not amazing, but it’s not bad either.



    Decent gyoza and Siu Mai though.

     
  6. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Changi isn’t messing about with COVID-19. These stations are all over the airport, both airside and ground side.

     
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  7. Sandy

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

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    Besides, if you go to yokoteyama, I probably can't have a ski with you!
     
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  8. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Empty 787 FTW!

     
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  9. Sandy

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

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    Kumanoyu is about the powder!!!! ;)
     
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  10. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahh... - whiteout in Singapore - signet up following this sneaky TR! LOL
     
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  11. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Landed!



    Just waiting for skis to be delivered to the baggage carousel.
     
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  12. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    And, after monorail to Hamamatsucho, and the Yamanote line to Tokyo we snagged unreserved tickets on the Hakutaka 551 departing at 6.28am and arriving in Nagano at 8.05am. I even had time to grab a coffee from the vending machine.





    The unreserved car we boarded is pretty empty, so stashing boot bags on the luggage rack and ski bag behind the last seat wasn’t a problem.

    Unfortunately the first Nagaden bus doesn’t get us to Ichinose until 10.50 so we may end up either taking a taxi directly or taking the local express to Yudanaka and taxiing from there. I sense a lightening of my wallet in the future.
     
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  13. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok. I take it back. We just stopped at Omiya and the train filled up.
     
  14. Sandy

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

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    Ok, message when you get to your hotel....
    Maybe 20-30min to get ready and out on the slopes?
     
  15. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    We need to get our skis safety checked. Not sure how long that takes. If head station can do it then it should be pretty quick. If they don’t want to we’ll be walking over to SnowCan or up to Nord. No point rushing and getting injured because of my amateur bonding technician skills.

    Will let you know when we are up and running. Not sure if we are gunna do Family side or Yakebitaiyama side yet.
    Goal is to be skiing well before lunch!
     
  16. Sandy

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

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    OK!!
    If you have problems with testing, I have a simple test that check basic function. I also carry a screwdriver to change the DIN, and /or boot length adjustment
    To be clear, you changed the boot length and DIN yourself?
     
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  17. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep. I did a full setup on forward pressure, DIN and Anti Friction Device by following a combination of videos and the tech manual. While I’m 90% sure I’ve done it correctly, my peace of mind, and probably my
    insurance, would prefer to get it checked by someone who does it professionally and who has a torque tester thingy that rental places use.

    If I can’t get one of the three places in Ichinose to do that, I will absolutely take you up on your offer!
     
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  18. Sandy

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

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    OK!
     
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  19. Sandy

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

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    If you message when you catch your taxi, and when you get to your hotel, I can judge when you'll be around Ichinose, ready to ski.
     
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  20. Sandy

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

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    Red jacket, yellow pants, so I'm easy to spot. I'll probably do some loops od Diamond when you're coming out, so we can meet at the bottom of the lift.
     
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  21. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    We'll probably ve around these area today, shout out if you ski past us.
     
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  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
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  23. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Half way up the hill.



    Our taxi driver is lovely. He is doing his best to speak slowly in Japanese and broken English. Has insisted on giving us local candy. And joined in on our discussion around if the mountain we were looking at was Iizuna or Myoko (was Iizuna but apparently it is closed due to lack of snow.)
     
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  24. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    First tracks!



     
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  25. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Enjoy. We have just stopped for lunch.
     
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  26. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok.

    Let’s back this up a bit. Things to know.

    Taxi up was ~¥200k. Steep but not agonising.

    We saw a monkey. I think it’s the same one as @Melskius



    We checked into the hotel. They have weird thins to do.



    You know where I’m gunna be at 6.45am tomorrow!

    We got our skis safety checked at Head Station in Chalet Shiga. It was ¥550 each pair. They helpfully put wax on our DPS Phantomed skis. Our skis now have a friction coefficient nearing zero. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Time will tell.





    You can see for miles today.



    Our ski labels look great in their natural habitat!



    Restaurant At the bottom of Takamagahara.



    I think I saw @Sandy on the Family Lift up to the top. I waved but not sure if you saw or if it was you. If it was you, you have a purple backpack that sits funny on the chair!
     
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  27. Sandy

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

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    That was me.... ;)
    I like to put the back pack on the back of the chair. Currently at Terakoya having lunch
     
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  28. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    hilarious report already!

    def have a ski with sandy!
    Very jealous of you all.

    although this is me today.


    Haha
     
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  29. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Venn diagram of people who refuse to wear a helmet and people who insist on putting the chair bar down is a perfect circle. Fight me.
     
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  30. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Spectacular afternoon.

     
  31. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big difference in the snow conditions from your last trip?

    mans did they make adjustments to your bindings?
     
  32. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow is maybe 30cm deeper. That means a little less effort when there is a line for the little romance from Ichinose Diamond to Family. In January it was a steep incline.
    I was checking in to hotel when they did the safety check so I didn’t see, but the DINs were the same and they felt the same clicking in.
     
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  33. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    See you all at Teppa Room in an hour or so. Ours is the big table in the middle of the room.
     
  34. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Looking forward to meeting you all! We just came back from Yokote so will be a bit late. ETA 6pm. Sorry guys!
     
  35. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    We are here, thanks the the Prince shuttle timetable.
     
  36. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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  37. Sandy

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

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    Hyst, Ozgirl, nanami_JS and 2 others like this.
  38. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    I never trust "the professionals" on doing din settings on mine or wifes bindings - lover my knees to much.
    :cool:
     
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  39. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    I really don’t subscribe to that logic at all. Yes I verify the work but I absolutely let people with more knowledge than me do their jobs.
     
  41. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morning view!



    Also. We were naughty and forgot to close the window before we went down to dinner last night. Oops!



    We are meeting @Sandy at first lifts of diamond for a ski this morning.
     
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  42. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s also so good to see Chalet Shiga breakfast so full.



    We want hotels here to make money so we can keep coming back. We also prefer the buffet to the single serve settings when there are fewer people.
     
  43. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Needed to get rental boots for hubby this morning. Just got onto the chairlift outside of prince west. Where are you guys skiing today!
     
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  44. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I noticed those when I was at Changi a few weeks ago. It still didn’t stop a small child with a fever getting on my flight back to Adelaide. We had to wait for a doctor from quarantine to check the whole family out before anyone was allowed off the plane :eek:
     
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  45. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Group pic with @Melskius and @Sandy and families.


    No sign of @nanami_JS but she did say that one of her group was difficult to get up in the morning! LOL

    A few laps of the Prince West Quad and then the No3 quad.
    Heading up Gondola 1 to check out Olympic and this side before we head back to lift up coffee at the top of Higashiteyama.
     
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  46. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    We are currently on gondola 1. About to start making our way back toward Higashiteyama via Family.
     
  47. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    We are at happo bundara. Will find our way to the coffee shop at higashiteyama
     
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  48. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Are you guys at the cafe? Will meet you there if you are
     
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  49. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just on gondola now.
     
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  50. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some pics from the morning.

    looking down at Ichinose from yakebitayama.


    The bestest ski buddy.







    Chairfie with @Sandy



    Takamagahara

     
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