[MOD EDIT] I've merged all posts out of the "guy arrested in Japan" thread , over to this thread. The merge has banged all the below posts into 1 big one. Anyway, please feel free to continue your discussion @Ecstatic _________________________________________ I suppose this thread and the backcountry thread are a good spot for me to put down my thoughts (expanded out to a whinge) on the tourist zoo that’s flocking over to Japan now. Anyone getting turned off by the hordes of bogans, screaming Europeans and Heli Hanson Americans that populate pretty much every ski field of substance now? I’ve just come back from 2 weeks in Furano, in previous years central Hokkaido was my mountain sanctuary, we know Niseko has become a zoo and have kept away for that reason but it’s permeated everywhere. Having an proper outdoor onsen at the base of Tokachidake, when a group of Belgians came down and thought it’d be appropriate to scream from the path above and take photos, one Japanese guy took off shortly and at that point we might as well have been at Vale. The backcountry is seeing the effects of this, we had a bunch of Aussies on park boards follow us out a North gate, we were expecting a hike out and came prepared, these guys were lucky to be able to follow our boot pack out otherwise would’ve been in trouble. Climbing up to the top bowl, I had to take an evasive line as I saw a group of people without backpacks preparing to drop over a cornice right above me. Over at Kirroro, we had a crew ask us if there was any good snow in the backcountry gate, we asked if they were prepared with a avi backpack, beacon, shovel, probe and had registered with the mountain club. Later that day we found a Chinese girl in a creek with her boyfriend pulling her out, was in a spot where you wouldn’t expect anyone to fall in so I’d assumed she was so far out of her skill level she completely binned it. The city’s that people tack sightseeing onto either end of the trip are bad as well, can’t cross the street without some peanut wanting to do a handstand on the crosswalk for insta. Bars that might as well be a contiki venues filled with blokes like this guy in the news. I mean, I get that we couldn’t have the amazing snow in barely populated ski resorts at bargain basement prices forever. I’m glad that the Japanese in remote areas have come into a sustainable source of income for what were dying country towns. I just don’t want Japan ski tourism to become Kuta beach with snow, I can avoid Bali resorts as there isn’t much that interests me there. Finding Japanese quality snow without the scumbags is much harder. (you're right this probably does belong in another thread) The Search™ Largely it's about the snow and terrain, but it's also about avoiding the other things you're describing. I'd wager Hokkaido was a bit busier this year due to the low tide that Honshu had for most of the season. It's the first time I've actually been up that way (out of 6 trips), and luckily I picked the right year to do it. Though I got some good days in the North of Honshu too, when it wasn't raining. I did find the resorts surrounding Otaru a bit busier than I'd expected. Probably about the same level of crowds as Hakuba 3 years ago. Thing is we could still ride good snow there until after lunch time on the days it dumped. You now have an influx of people to places like Hakuba, Niseko and Rusutsu based on them having Epic and Ikon passes, this can only have the effect of pushing others out to different resorts and exploring more. Also, for every jerk tourist I've ever come across in Japan there have been countless great people I've met over the years. It's worth keeping in mind. Some people mean well but they just don't really know what they're doing. Interestingly, while there has been a steady increase of westerners at Shiga, it has been largely families and small groups. Being a groomer focused area with most of the linked resorts not allowing OOB skiing, it hasn't drawn the powder hounds or people who venture into the backcountry unprepared. Time will tell whether this trend continues. This is especially true due to Shiga's elevation which usually means more consistent snow than other, lower, resort areas. Definately should be in another thread. Maybe start a new one? It is a bit sad but not unexpected. Any place that gets tagged as a 'powder' resort will these days with various social media get targeted. Places like Asahidake, Tokachidake, Hakkoda etc remained under the radar for quite some time, but even years ago there was already a big increase in the number of Euros there. There are though still quite a few places without the 'powder' tag, where you still see no foreigners at all. This ^ I’ve got a few things to add but might wait until the specific thread is either created or split from this one. So, ummm. What's happened to the guy then? And, yes. Where's that other thread? I've got some stuff to say too! Potential titles for new thread: Japan powder haven now overrun Is Japow kapow? Japan fresh tracks frustrations. Or even from Simon comment on hokkaidowilds: van-loads of “pow hounds” and “vertical counters” disrespecting the dynamics definitely needs a venting thread go forth and vent I quite like this one Stack 'em and rack' em!