Advice needed First Time Japan Snow Trip (Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba Valley)

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Hi All,

I'm brand new to Ski Forums and looking for a little advice on a trip I have planned to Japan. I've put a few details of my trip below and wondering if I could get some opinions/recommendations.

Trip Details:
- First time going to Japan.
- I arrive and leave from Tokyo.
- Dates: 29 January 2020 to 27 February 2020. Looking to spend the first 2.5-3 weeks snowboarding and then the remaining time site seeing/travelling.
- No proficiency with the Japanese language.
- I have my own gear (park and powder boards).

My plan is hit both Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba Valley for 8ish days each, doing Nozawa first and then Hakuba before starting the site seeing part of my trip. I'm planning on getting the bullet train to Nozawa from Tokyo, then shuttle bus from Nozawa to Hakuba (https://www.skihakuba.com/nozawa-hakuba-shuttle.htm), and bullet train from Hakuba back to Tokyo before starting site seeing.

The first trip on the bullet train I plan to pay for by itself and then will get a week pass for my site seeing (this may not be the best way as I have no idea on how the different areas for the JR pass work). To be honest I haven't given the site seeing part of my trip much thought yet, but so far I'm thinking of checking out Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

So hopefully the above provides enough info to answer the following questions and for some opinions/recommendations:
- Should I do Nozawa before Hakuba or the other way around? For any reason like; powder, ease of finding my way around, etc.
- Should I get day ski passes or should I opt for a season pass? (Haven't been able to determine if there is one that covers both resorts for instance?)
- Does the JR pass cover all of Japan? I believe it does but I wanted to make sure (https://www.japan-rail-pass.com.au/jr-pass)
- Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should go on my site seeing endeavours?

Thanks in advance guys!

P.s. If anyone is going to be at Hakuba or Nozawa around the same time as me I'd love to link up and grab a beer or hit the slopes!
 
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japower

Hard Yards
Mar 12, 2018
53
20
58
Welcome to the forum! Seeing that it's your first trip to Japan, I would do Nozawa first and then Hakuba. The former is one tourist-friendly resort, the latter is six ski areas that requires figuring out where to get off the bus to get to your accom and the shuttle bus schedule and routes. Also, you'll likely get bored spending 8 days in Noz despite all its charms. I'd allocate a couple more days for Hakuba. Alternativley, with all the available days you have, you can spend a few days at Madarao. There's a convenient Nozawa-Madarao bus that travels between the resorts.
 

blowfin

One of Us
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Nov 3, 2012
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- Does the JR pass cover all of Japan? I believe it does but I wanted to make sure (https://www.japan-rail-pass.com.au/jr-pass)
That general JR pass does. The little maps shown on the "Regional passes" on that page show you the areas of coverage for the JR East passes.

For the second leg, it might be worth looking at flying into Hiroshima and using the trains to make your way back north.
 
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Hagle

Hard Yards
Jan 2, 2018
45
53
68
Red Hill, Qld
Welcome to the forum. I don’t have anywhere near the experience or local knowledge that many others have, and being relative newbies to snow sports in Japan (leaving for our fourth ski trip this Sunday) we are still learning lots every trip. Some thoughts:
1. No accommodation booked? I would check accommodation availability first. That will dictate when and where you go
2. Don’t worry about Chinese New Year (see #1). I’ve been skiing in Japan during CNY twice and there is no more or less people, just less Aussies and more Chinese. Japanese national holidays are far busier on the slopes...or worse...the dreaded school camps...
3. You’ll get by without knowledge of Japanese, but definitely try to learn a few phrases (thank you, excuse me, sorry, two beers please)
4. Recommend having a few days touring first (e.g. Tokyo) and send your gear direct from the arrivals terminal to your accommodation by Black Cat.
5. To get to Nozawa you take the Shinkansen to Iiyama and bus from there. The bus timetable aligns with the train timetable
6. We like to stay flexible with our transport options, so we have never bothered with a JR pass, so can’t comment there
7. For a week or so at each ski hill I would get a multi-day pass or buy on the day. I can’t see a season pass being of any value
8. I’m sure there are plenty of people on this forum who can recommend places for touring. Maybe give some more information on the sort of things you are looking food (food, culture, scenery?)
9. See #1
cheers
Geoff
 
Last edited:

Crispy013

One of Us
Jun 6, 2010
2,048
2,873
363
Port Macquarie, NSW
Hi All,

I'm brand new to Ski Forums and looking for a little advice on a trip I have planned to Japan. I've put a few details of my trip below and wondering if I could get some opinions/recommendations.

Trip Details:
- First time going to Japan.
- I arrive and leave from Tokyo.
- Dates: 29 January 2020 to 27 February 2020. Looking to spend the first 2.5-3 weeks snowboarding and then the remaining time site seeing/travelling.
- No proficiency with the Japanese language.
- I have my own gear (park and powder boards).

My plan is hit both Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba Valley for 8ish days each, doing Nozawa first and then Hakuba before starting the site seeing part of my trip. I'm planning on getting the bullet train to Nozawa from Tokyo, then shuttle bus from Nozawa to Hakuba (https://www.skihakuba.com/nozawa-hakuba-shuttle.htm), and bullet train from Hakuba back to Tokyo before starting site seeing.

The first trip on the bullet train I plan to pay for by itself and then will get a week pass for my site seeing (this may not be the best way as I have no idea on how the different areas for the JR pass work). To be honest I haven't given the site seeing part of my trip much thought yet, but so far I'm thinking of checking out Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

So hopefully the above provides enough info to answer the following questions and for some opinions/recommendations:
- Should I do Nozawa before Hakuba or the other way around? For any reason like; powder, ease of finding my way around, etc.
- Should I get day ski passes or should I opt for a season pass? (Haven't been able to determine if there is one that covers both resorts for instance?)
- Does the JR pass cover all of Japan? I believe it does but I wanted to make sure (https://www.japan-rail-pass.com.au/jr-pass)
- Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should go on my site seeing endeavours?

Thanks in advance guys!

P.s. If anyone is going to be at Hakuba or Nozawa around the same time as me I'd love to link up and grab a beer or hit the slopes!
So you leave in 2 weeks and have booked nothing??
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Welcome to the forum! Seeing that it's your first trip to Japan, I would do Nozawa first and then Hakuba. The former is one tourist-friendly resort, the latter is six ski areas that requires figuring out where to get off the bus to get to your accom and the shuttle bus schedule and routes. Also, you'll likely get bored spending 8 days in Noz despite all its charms. I'd allocate a couple more days for Hakuba. Alternativley, with all the available days you have, you can spend a few days at Madarao. There's a convenient Nozawa-Madarao bus that travels between the resorts.
Thanks for the super quick reply Japower. Pretty blown away with the support shown by those on this forum, it's unreal!

Looks like the consensus is that Nozawa is good, but smaller and easier to navigate that Hakuba. So looks like I'll be doing Noz first! Also thinking that the 8 days there may be too much and that I should allocate a few more days to Hakuba instead.

Quick question about the Nozawa-Madarao bus trip you mentioned. Is it/Can it be done in a day trip?

Thanks again, really appreciate your response and help!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
That general JR pass does. The little maps shown on the "Regional passes" on that page show you the areas of coverage for the JR East passes.

For the second leg, it might be worth looking at flying into Hiroshima and using the trains to make your way back north.
Thanks Blowfin! Really good to see a response regarding the rail pass as I was thoroughly confused about how the different passes actually worked. That makes a lot of sense and honestly don't know why I was so confused before haha.

Im guessing it depends on where you are travelling from/to, but do you know how much an individual ticket costs? Is there a website you can look up?
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Swap your plan around, the week you arrive is Chinese New Year. Go sightseeing then come up to the mountains.

I'd go to Nozawa 1st as its just one resort so if you get bored after a few days you can bail over to Hakuba for the 9 resorts (Jigatake may not open at all this year unless something changes.)

I'll be in town and like beer :)
Hey Lucky Pete!

Good pick up, didn't realise it would still be so busy due to Chinese New Year when I arrived. Not sure if you've been around during this time before, but based on experience when does it die back down on the mountains?

Yeah I've come to the conclusion that Noz is definitely the place to start, and maybe spend a little less time than there Hakuba due to the number of resorts. Really appreciate your input on this one as it helped to form a bit of a consensus and made the decision super easy ahaha.

Quick question regarding lift passes/ski tickets. I am thinking getting multi day passes at the moment, do you think this is the way to go?

Awesome, I'll keep you posted! My Shout!
 
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numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Welcome to the forum. I don’t have anywhere near the experience or local knowledge that many others have, and being relative newbies to snow sports in Japan (leaving for our fourth ski trip this Sunday) we are still learning lots every trip. Some thoughts:
1. No accommodation booked? I would check accommodation availability first. That will dictate when and where you go
2. Don’t worry about Chinese New Year (see #1). I’ve been skiing in Japan during CNY twice and there is no more or less people, just less Aussies and more Chinese. Japanese national holidays are far busier on the slopes...or worse...the dreaded school camps...
3. You’ll get by without knowledge of Japanese, but definitely try to learn a few phrases (thank you, excuse me, sorry, two beers please)
4. Recommend having a few days touring first (e.g. Tokyo) and send your gear direct from the arrivals terminal to your accommodation by Black Cat.
5. To get to Nozawa you take the Shinkansen to Iiyama and bus from there. The bus timetable aligns with the train timetable
6. We like to stay flexible with our transport options, so we have never bothered with a JR pass, so can’t comment there
7. For a week or so at each ski hill I would get a multi-day pass or buy on the day. I can’t see a season pass being of any value
8. I’m sure there are plenty of people on this forum who can recommend places for touring. Maybe give some more information on the sort of things you are looking food (food, culture, scenery?)
9. See #1
cheers
Geoff

Geoff, let me just say you are a real MVP and appreciate your detailed response!

I should have added that in there, but I do actually have accommodation booked, don't stress! I have free cancellation on a couple of places ad just need to make up my mind as to where I actually want to go. Oh shit, I'm really hoping I won't be up on the mountain during a Japanese holiday or for one of these school camps.

Ok so someone else mentioned it's better to go up the slopes a little after Chinese New Year, and considering you think I should do some touring when I first arrive I might do my site seeing week at the start and then head up the slopes.

I am doing a little Japanese study at the moment, but it's very basic. I just wanted people to comment in case they thought one of my options would be much easier to get by than the other.

Ahh yes I remember someone mentioning Black Cat and completely forgot about that service, thanks!

So does that mean you end up buying individual rail tickets? Can I ask how much it costs to get from Shinkansen to Iiyama by train? and how much the bus from Iiyama costs?

I really need to do a little more research on my site seeing leg of the trip, I have a vague idea of what I want to do but not exactly. It's not very helpful on my part, but ultimately I'd love to experience all three: food, culture and scenery haha.

Thanks again!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
So you leave in 2 weeks and have booked nothing??

Hey Crispy.

Don't stress, I have a couple of places booked with free cancellation that overlap each other and just yet to decide where I actually want to go. Probably should have put that in the trip details.

Cheers!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Aye.
CNY is busy

Hey Donzah.

A couple of people have commented on this. One saying it's busy on the slopes around that time, another saying it isn't. How do you find it up on the slopes just after Chinese New Year? If you think it's busier, when does it generally die down up there?

Cheers!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
That's a pretty Shit way to do it. IMO.

I'm guessing you are referring to booking and cancelling somewhere, not the fact that it's unorganized, which it is too.

Usually not what I do, but this time I had to capitalise on the booking.com free cancellation period as I am a little unprepared for my trip this time around.
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8

That's epic!

Makes life a hell of a lot easier.

Just to make sure I'm understanding how it works. The local option (Tokyo Monorail Local) is not part of the JR group for the below example?

upload_2020-1-14_13-11-22.png
 

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blowfin

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That's epic!

Makes life a hell of a lot easier.

Just to make sure I'm understanding how it works. The local option (Tokyo Monorail Local) is not part of the JR group for the below example?

upload_2020-1-14_13-11-22.png
Yeah the Haneda monorail is run by another company. You can actually filter by JR/Private companies in the options of the search.
 
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hatto

One of Us
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Jun 2, 2006
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Hey Lucky Pete!

Good pick up, didn't realise it would still be so busy due to Chinese New Year when I arrived. Not sure if you've been around during this time before, but based on experience when does it die back down on the mountains?

Yeah I've come to the conclusion that Noz is definitely the place to start, and maybe spend a little less time than there Hakuba due to the number of resorts. Really appreciate your input on this one as it helped to form a bit of a consensus and made the decision super easy ahaha.

Quick question regarding lift passes/ski tickets. I am thinking getting multi day passes at the moment, do you think this is the way to go?

Awesome, I'll keep you posted! My Shout!
Nozawa have up to 3 day multi passes, saves a little bit, season pass takes 14 days to break even point.
Pick you accom and give the other owners a chance to get more bookings (poor form to hold out)
8 days is not too long in Nozawa and yet lots of peeps been going to perisher for 30 years
Y10800 for shink, 600Y for bus from Iiyama to village
 
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TJ

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That's a pretty Shit way to do it. IMO.
Agree 100%. People like that don't belong in Japan if that's the way they treat others. Not a good start for your first trip. In respect to the lodging owners make your decision straight away and cancel the other ones so they have a chance to fill the rooms. A lot of the Japanese owners don't really know how the system works with the booking engines.
 

Lucky Pete

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I'm guessing you are referring to booking and cancelling somewhere, not the fact that it's unorganized, which it is too.

Usually not what I do, but this time I had to capitalise on the booking.com free cancellation period as I am a little unprepared for my trip this time around.

Its still a crap way to do it.
 

Froff Life

A Local
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Apr 2, 2014
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Melbourne
Welcome to the Forums :)

My quick thoughts on your trip:
  • Site see Tokyo when you arrive. This gives you a chance to Black Cat your luggage to Nozawa, and avoid the CNY crowds.
  • Nozawa is a decent sized mountain by Japanese standards, and with fresh powder (which Feb is fantastic for) 8 days isn't too long there. The bus Nozawa - Madaro leaves at 7am every morning, so you can easily do a day trip or two if you get bored. The Nozawa village is incredible!
  • Hakuba shuttle buses can be a pain in the a$$, are you travelling solo? Having a hire car can really open up your experience in the Hakuba valley and give you better access to powder and onsens.
  • When you finish skiing at Hakuba, get the train through Matsumoto down to Nagoya, change onto the Shinkansen and then hit up Kyoto and Osaka. There are a myriad of amazing site seeing things to see and do in the Osaka/Kyoto region. Also consider sending your ski gear ahead so you're not lugging it around with you.
  • Fantastic you're learning some basic Japanese, be sure to read up on the unique Japanese etiquette and customs. Things like no littering, taking off your shoes in certain buildings, onsen protocol and social interactions are important to know.
Have fun!
 
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Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
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Hey Crispy.

Don't stress, I have a couple of places booked with free cancellation that overlap each other and just yet to decide where I actually want to go. Probably should have put that in the trip details.

That's a pretty Shit way to do it. IMO.

Agree 100%. People like that don't belong in Japan if that's the way they treat others. Not a good start for your first trip. In respect to the lodging owners make your decision straight away and cancel the other ones so they have a chance to fill the rooms. A lot of the Japanese owners don't really know how the system works with the booking engines.

I was going to provide some advice, but now I'm disinclined to do so..... I'm sure @Donzah is equally disinclined....
Japanese owners of smaller hotels are very trusting, and don't require a deposit. You're effectly taking advantage of that trust, for a room that they probably will be unable to fill, once you cancel one of the bookings.
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Nozawa have up to 3 day multi passes, saves a little bit, season pass takes 14 days to break even point.
Pick you accom and give the other owners a chance to get more bookings (poor form to hold out)
8 days is not too long in Nozawa and yet lots of peeps been going to perisher for 30 years
Y10800 for shink, 600Y for bus from Iiyama to village

You're right, it is poor form on my part and really not what I should have done to begin with. Took the concept of free cancellation a little far and should have sat down and organised myself earlier. I haven't been sitting on these hotels for very long, they were last minute reservation. So I'm hoping they won't have a hard time filling the spot for the dates I've cancelled. I have now locked in my hotels for the specific dates.

Thank you for still providing some advice hatto despite the above. I think the multi day passes are going to be worth my while, and the season pass will be a little too much considering I won't be there for the 14 days.

I settled on 7 days on Nozawa and 15 in Hakuba.

Also thanks for the info on the price of transport!
 
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numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Agree 100%. People like that don't belong in Japan if that's the way they treat others. Not a good start for your first trip. In respect to the lodging owners make your decision straight away and cancel the other ones so they have a chance to fill the rooms. A lot of the Japanese owners don't really know how the system works with the booking engines.

Very fair point and I'm now seeing that I have used the free cancellation period provided by booking.com in a fairly unkind way. I booked these hotels super last minute as the whole trip has been a little like that so far with plane tickets etc. I'm really hoping that they won't have an issue with filling the spot for the dates now that I have cancelled. I agree wholeheartedly, I failed to think of the people who are on the other end of the booking in my rush to organise this trip. Which was not a fair thing for me to have done.
 
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numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Its still a crap way to do it.

You're right, it was not a very nice or fair thing to do to the accommodation owners and I'm sorry to them for holding the spot without the intention of keeping it for the whole time. I really hope they manage to fill the spot for the dates that I will no longer be staying there.
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Welcome to the Forums :)

My quick thoughts on your trip:
  • Site see Tokyo when you arrive. This gives you a chance to Black Cat your luggage to Nozawa, and avoid the CNY crowds.
  • Nozawa is a decent sized mountain by Japanese standards, and with fresh powder (which Feb is fantastic for) 8 days isn't too long there. The bus Nozawa - Madaro leaves at 7am every morning, so you can easily do a day trip or two if you get bored. The Nozawa village is incredible!
  • Hakuba shuttle buses can be a pain in the a$$, are you travelling solo? Having a hire car can really open up your experience in the Hakuba valley and give you better access to powder and onsens.
  • When you finish skiing at Hakuba, get the train through Matsumoto down to Nagoya, change onto the Shinkansen and then hit up Kyoto and Osaka. There are a myriad of amazing site seeing things to see and do in the Osaka/Kyoto region. Also consider sending your ski gear ahead so you're not lugging it around with you.
  • Fantastic you're learning some basic Japanese, be sure to read up on the unique Japanese etiquette and customs. Things like no littering, taking off your shoes in certain buildings, onsen protocol and social interactions are important to know.
Have fun!

Hi Froff Life!

Thank you for your help amidst the displeasure of my double bookings. Feeling a little shitty about it now as I didn't stop to consider the accomo owners on the other end. Hopefully they can fill the spot.

That's a great idea. I was leaning towards splitting the site seeing to the start and end of my trip and spending the middle portion snowboarding so that I can settle in and have my luggage transported.

Perfect, I will probably end up doing at least one day trip to Madaro then to check it out! Easy to do too as I don't really have to lock anything in for it.

Oh really? Is that because it's overly crowded? Delayed? expensive? I'm travelling alone and wasn't planning on getting a car. Maybe it's something I should look into before heading over if you think it will make a big difference.

Yes I'm super pumped to check out the temples and shrines around Kyoto and do a couple of day trips to Osaka, Hiroshima and Himeji Castle.

Slowly but surely getting an understanding of the language. Something I may continue on with after the trip as it's quite interesting, but for now hopefully it will cover the basics. Good thinking, I definitely will do some research before I go on etiquette and common courtesy in Japan.

Thanks again for your response!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
I was going to provide some advice, but now I'm disinclined to do so..... I'm sure @Donzah is equally disinclined....
Japanese owners of smaller hotels are very trusting, and don't require a deposit. You're effectly taking advantage of that trust, for a room that they probably will be unable to fill, once you cancel one of the bookings.

Hi Sandy.

I've noticed that you are an avid responder on a lot of the other threads over this forum, and would like to start by saying sorry. I got caught up in not knowing what I was going to do for this trip and forgot to think about the owners of the accommodation in all of this. My thoughts were on bookin.com providing the free cancellation period and not where the owners fit into it. I see this free cancellation option on the majority of listings on booking.com all aroudn the world so it completely overlooked how it would be for the owners of the places in Japan. I really didn't mean this in a baleful way, I just wasn't exactly sure how my trip was going to play out in terms of time at each location. Not that it is excusable by any means.

The bookings were all made very late as has been the rest of my trip so far, so I'm hoping that it won't have much of an impact on them filling the spot with another person. I'll be better prepared next time and won't be making the same mistake again.

I understand if there's still a sense of displease towards me, I wouldn't feel much different. Hoping that in future this can be forgiven and forgotten.

Cheers.
 

Lucky Pete

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Dont discount a day/night in Nagoya mate. Both Toyota Museums and well worth a check out and its a good place to walk around at night with great food.

Now I will have a little parental moment. As a single young 1st time traveler you are the prime target for shady buggers in the cities, particularly Tokyo. Here's my advice.

  • Never walk into a bar/club with a Nigerian spruiker.
  • Never buy a Japanese girl a drink that has just saddled up next to you in a bar/club. You will soon have a $3K bill.
  • Stay out of Roppongi.
  • Dont buy drugs. Possession can easily be 10 years here and it doesnt matter what colour or shape.
  • Dont take your ATM or Credit Cards out with you. Just take the cash you have to spend. That way you cant be dragged to an ATM and have everything maxed or emptied.
  • Pull the inner sole out of your shoe, place a 10K note and the business car of your hotel in, refit inner sole. That way if you start feeling out of it in a bar, get outside and get in a taxi, give them the money and the card and you'll be OK.
Im not trying to paint a bad picture here but I have met plenty guys where one or more of the above has happened.
 

blowfin

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Agree 100%. People like that don't belong in Japan if that's the way they treat others.
That's a bit rough to be honest, it's a learning experience. Various booking sites offer a free cancellation before a certain date, maybe take that complaint to them, or the businesses that decide to list on those sites? I'd suggest they don't really give a shit.

I used a free cancellation recently when it became apparent I couldn't change my booking from "2 meals" to "Breakfast only" by simply contacting the hotel. The initial booking options only offered two meals. I ended up booking the same hotel via a different site, with my preferred meal option, for a better rate. In that case the hotel isn't being inconvenienced at all, I was the one who was potentially out of pocket.

So yeah, double edged sword. Plus I think a lot of accommodation charges higher rates than they would normally on the sites that offer it.

However, I do agree that not having the bulk of accommodation locked in this close to the trip isn't a great idea. But - late booking and all that...
 

blowfin

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Perth
The bookings were all made very late as has been the rest of my trip so far, so I'm hoping that it won't have much of an impact on them filling the spot with another person. I'll be better prepared next time and won't be making the same mistake again.
Around this time of the year, particularly with CNY coming up, occupancy rates will be very high.
 
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japower

Hard Yards
Mar 12, 2018
53
20
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Quick question about the Nozawa-Madarao bus trip you mentioned. Is it/Can it be done in a day trip?
Yes, especially if you have your own gear and you're traveling from Noz to Mad. The bus trip is one hour. It drops you off at Madarao Kogen Hotel, which is on top of a hill, so all you'll need to do is buy a lift ticket and ski DOWN to the bottom of the bowl. I would not recommend a day trip from Ma-to-No, as you'll have to work your way up the mountain in Nozawa, and that'll take up precious time.
 
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Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
71,073
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Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Hi Sandy.

I've noticed that you are an avid responder on a lot of the other threads over this forum, and would like to start by saying sorry. I got caught up in not knowing what I was going to do for this trip and forgot to think about the owners of the accommodation in all of this. My thoughts were on bookin.com providing the free cancellation period and not where the owners fit into it. I see this free cancellation option on the majority of listings on booking.com all aroudn the world so it completely overlooked how it would be for the owners of the places in Japan. I really didn't mean this in a baleful way, I just wasn't exactly sure how my trip was going to play out in terms of time at each location. Not that it is excusable by any means.

The bookings were all made very late as has been the rest of my trip so far, so I'm hoping that it won't have much of an impact on them filling the spot with another person. I'll be better prepared next time and won't be making the same mistake again.

I understand if there's still a sense of displease towards me, I wouldn't feel much different. Hoping that in future this can be forgiven and forgotten.

Cheers.

Ok, no worries :)

What are your dates in Hakuba and Nozawa?
 
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Medicine_Shoes

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I wouldn't worry about CNY at Nozawa. I was there for all of it last year and the longest lift queue I was in would have been 10 minutes. And that only happened once. Plus, outside of the beginner runs you won't find crowds. The only issue you will have will be finding somewhere to eat at night. Get your lodgings to book somewhere for you a day in advance.
 
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Goski

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Plus for newbies do not steal anything or break laws. Japan is a GREAT place to visit and most people are very honest and trustworthy which is why you don't want to arrested for any crime or misdemeanour. Law breaking is not tolerated. From what I've read and watched, pinching or forgetting to pay for a dollar rice ball could see you held for 72hrs and up to 23 days which is more likely for a visitor without a permanent address. No bail, police interrogate suspects without lawyers present etc. Here is a good summary of how it can work there. If anyone wishes to verify or add any more details please do. I've watched a few of these from different sources and the message has been the same. So while I'm not inclined to do anything I shouldn't in Oz or anywhere, I certainly wouldn't in Japan!
So have a great time, respect the culture, treat everybody well like most will treat you well there and be a good ambassador for Aussie touristos. :)
 
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Goski

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Plus for newbies do not steal anything or break laws. Japan is a GREAT place to visit and most people are very honest and trustworthy which is why you don't want to arrested for any crime or misdemeanour. Law breaking is not tolerated. From what I've read and watched, pinching or forgetting to pay for a dollar rice ball could see you held for 72hrs and up to 23 days which is more likely for a visitor without a permanent address. No bail, police interrogate suspects without lawyers present etc. Here is a good summary of how it can work there. If anyone wishes to verify or add any more details please do. I've watched a few of these from different sources and the message has been the same. So while I'm not inclined to do anything I shouldn't in Oz or anywhere, I certainly wouldn't in Japan!
So have a great time, respect the culture, treat everybody well like most will treat you well there and be a good ambassador for Aussie touristos. :)
@snowgum cos you are a newbie to Japan very soon and a good honest man - just don't be forgetful at the till when overwhelmed by all the delights in the convenience store etc.
 
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numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
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Dont discount a day/night in Nagoya mate. Both Toyota Museums and well worth a check out and its a good place to walk around at night with great food.

Now I will have a little parental moment. As a single young 1st time traveler you are the prime target for shady buggers in the cities, particularly Tokyo. Here's my advice.

  • Never walk into a bar/club with a Nigerian spruiker.
  • Never buy a Japanese girl a drink that has just saddled up next to you in a bar/club. You will soon have a $3K bill.
  • Stay out of Roppongi.
  • Dont buy drugs. Possession can easily be 10 years here and it doesnt matter what colour or shape.
  • Dont take your ATM or Credit Cards out with you. Just take the cash you have to spend. That way you cant be dragged to an ATM and have everything maxed or emptied.
  • Pull the inner sole out of your shoe, place a 10K note and the business car of your hotel in, refit inner sole. That way if you start feeling out of it in a bar, get outside and get in a taxi, give them the money and the card and you'll be OK.
Im not trying to paint a bad picture here but I have met plenty guys where one or more of the above has happened.


Sorry it took me a little while to get back to your message!

I'll have to look into it, but sounds cool! I'm sure I'll have at least one free night or maybe day to go and check Nagoya out.

That's some really sound advice and stuff I was completely oblivious too so thanks for mentioning it! Luckily I'm not overly interested in having any huge nights on my trip to Japan so most of that shouldn't be an issue. But I'll definitely keep these points in the back of my mind if I do go out for a couple of drinks though.

Thanks again man!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
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*** Hotel Booking Update ***

Before I forget.

I have actually been keeping a tab on the spots at the hotels I cancelled and am very happy to say that each of the places has been completely booked out! They were actually completely booked out within three days after I cancelled, just didn;t have the time to get back on here and reply to everyone and give the update.

So no real harm done in the end, but a valuable lesson learnt on my behalf!!!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
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Yes, especially if you have your own gear and you're traveling from Noz to Mad. The bus trip is one hour. It drops you off at Madarao Kogen Hotel, which is on top of a hill, so all you'll need to do is buy a lift ticket and ski DOWN to the bottom of the bowl. I would not recommend a day trip from Ma-to-No, as you'll have to work your way up the mountain in Nozawa, and that'll take up precious time.

That sounds super easy and think it's a must considering I've got a fair bit of time in Noz!

Yeah I've got my accommodation in Noz so makes a lot more sense for me to do Noz to Mad and not the other way around. And thankfully it's the best way too.
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
I wouldn't worry about CNY at Nozawa. I was there for all of it last year and the longest lift queue I was in would have been 10 minutes. And that only happened once. Plus, outside of the beginner runs you won't find crowds. The only issue you will have will be finding somewhere to eat at night. Get your lodgings to book somewhere for you a day in advance.

I've got my fingers crossed that CNY doesn't make it too crowded as I've heard mixed reviews from various people. I've got plenty of time in Noz and it is a little bit after the Chinese New Year so I should get at least a couple of less crowded days!

Great piece of advice, I didn't think of that at all. Will do! Just need to do a little bit of research as to where I might want to eat while I'm up there.

Cheers!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
I think it was good of him to man up, take action to fix and address and apologise to those with their valid concerns.
Plus for newbies do not steal anything or break laws. Japan is a GREAT place to visit and most people are very honest and trustworthy which is why you don't want to arrested for any crime or misdemeanour. Law breaking is not tolerated. From what I've read and watched, pinching or forgetting to pay for a dollar rice ball could see you held for 72hrs and up to 23 days which is more likely for a visitor without a permanent address. No bail, police interrogate suspects without lawyers present etc. Here is a good summary of how it can work there. If anyone wishes to verify or add any more details please do. I've watched a few of these from different sources and the message has been the same. So while I'm not inclined to do anything I shouldn't in Oz or anywhere, I certainly wouldn't in Japan!
So have a great time, respect the culture, treat everybody well like most will treat you well there and be a good ambassador for Aussie touristos. :)

Hi Chunky.

Thanks for the comment and for the video!

I'll be keeping on the straight and narrow during my trip in Japan and definitely making sure to be the same honest and trustworthy person I am while I'm there. Definitely not looking to do anything that I wouldn't do here in OZ!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
@snowgum cos you are a newbie to Japan very soon and a good honest man - just don't be forgetful at the till when overwhelmed by all the delights in the convenience store etc.

That's going to be the hardest part! From what I've heard you're spoilt for choice over there with almost anything you want.

I'll be sure to get my money out before I put my mitts on anything ahahha!
 

numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Another question I have.

I'm thinking of booking in the luggage free travel with Yamato (black cat) so that I can transfer my snowboards, etc. directly from Haneda Airport to my hotel in Noz, whilst I go and check out Kyoto and Osaka at the start of my trip for 4-5 days.

Is this commonly done/has anyone done this before? Obviously I will need to check if my hotel is happy to hold my bag until I arrive, but if anyone could provide feedback on this that would be great!

Also has anyone ever had any issues with the delivery of their luggage? I know that if my gear was to be damaged or even worse, lost, it would be the breaking point of my trip.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
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Another question I have.

I'm thinking of booking in the luggage free travel with Yamato (black cat) so that I can transfer my snowboards, etc. directly from Haneda Airport to my hotel in Noz, whilst I go and check out Kyoto and Osaka at the start of my trip for 4-5 days.

Is this commonly done/has anyone done this before? Obviously I will need to check if my hotel is happy to hold my bag until I arrive, but if anyone could provide feedback on this that would be great!

Also has anyone ever had any issues with the delivery of their luggage? I know that if my gear was to be damaged or even worse, lost, it would be the breaking point of my trip.

It's chep and efficient, and the hotel will be able to do that.
 
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numberonetreaty

Early Days
Jan 13, 2020
26
11
8
Something else I've just remembered that I never got around to booking is travel insurance...

I know I have some coverage from AMEX as I've purchase almost everything using that, but I think it may be worthwhile getting some additional coverage considering how long I'll be on the mountain for.

Does anyone have a recommendation for decent travel insurance that covers snowboarding?

Cheers!
 
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