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Hakuba 20/21 Season

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Lucky Pete, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Thought I would start a thread containing info on what is happening in Hakuba this season as I come across it.

    This is from Happo yesterday.

    "2020-2021 Winter Season preparations have begun![​IMG][​IMG]
    Hakuba Happo-one Season Pass goes on sale tomorrow Fri 25th Sept at 12:00pm.
    COVID-19 updates are announced on our official Home Page (HP) & social network. A special conditions policy will apply in the event of the impacts of COVID-19. Please read the terms and conditions policy carefully.
    https://www.happo-one.jp/en/news/17256/
    Further information about this season's operations & new topics will be announced on our HP early next month.
    2020-2021 season lift ticket prices will be announced tomorrow. We hope to open the upper slopes as soon snow accumulates!
    Happo-one Ski Resort officially open for peak season from mid-December 2020~5th May 2021.
    #happoseasonpass #happo #hakubahappo #hakubavalley"
     
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  2. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    1st snow on the peaks and lower here this morning! Woohoo.
     
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  3. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just need to be able to get there...:)
     
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  4. Sandy

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

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    The cooler temperatures have been early this season.....
    I'm looking forward to powder without competition!!! ;)
     
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  5. chrisj

    chrisj A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, go on, rub it in.
     
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  6. Sandy

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

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    Personally, I think there will be a travel bubble agreement between Japan & Australia by December. (at least, inbounds to Japan, with PCR tests at both ends on departure and arrival)
     
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  7. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like this optimistic view. Bring it on, I say.
     
  8. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    :mad:
     
  9. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was going to start a Myoko one but not going to be worth it. People can use the 19/20 one instead.
     
  10. Sandy

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

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    Snow above the top of the gondola station at Happo today:
     
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  11. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Travel bubble
     
  12. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are you seriously thinking you may ski in Japan this year? Without quarantine?
    Our internal borders aren’t even open.......
     
  13. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m hoping.
     
  14. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh. Don’t get me wrong. Me too.
    I would think our best chance would be late spring skiing and Japan isn’t exactly renowned for that to my knowledge.
    I would have thought Canada at Easter may be the best to hope for. BC has low Covid numbers.
     
  15. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah I’m hoping Hakuba in March.

    It’s not a wild dream, but it may not happen.
     
  16. crackson

    crackson Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have approval to cross the vic and sa border for unrestricted travel in sa as a tourist.

    No quarantine required.
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    Hokkaido usually has powder falling into April, and large powder figures in March.
    Even central Japan in early April (around Easter in 2021) can have good snow, sometimes with fall of powder.
    The larger mountains in both areas close in early May.

    You will find it difficult to get flights to Canada and back by early April, as Canada has 200k + cases, still has +2000-3000 cases a day, and rising..... Australia won't allow travel I wouldn't think.
    Compare Japan: 95k cases and flat, at around +500 cases a day, with 3.5 times the population of Canada.
    Japan ALREADY has travel bubbles with 8-10 countries(for business, and no 14 day isolation), with Australia & NZ on the bubble negotiation list.
     
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  18. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A compelling argument. Get Scotty on the blower.
     
  19. Sandy

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

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    Wait a bit longer and see....
    I have some friends back in Australia, waiting anxiously to pull the trigger. Japan is really the only hope IMO.
     
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  20. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not to derail this conversation..
    But the normal structure of airlines flying international routes from Australia will not happen. Anytime soon. Repatriating flights. Sure.

    It's cheaper for them to keep their aircraft in storage. Until they can fly profitable segments.
    That's straight from a fleet manager from QF.
     
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  21. Sandy

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

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    And take a look in the COVID Travel thread.
     
  22. skichanger

    skichanger A Local

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    March - ask @gareth_oau about when he cam to my place at Mt Myoko.

    Most of my local resorts close at the end of March. But not because of lack of snow but because of lack of patronage and the lifties, who are farmers needing to start preparing their farms. Usually when they close they still have a bigger base than we ever get. Whilst it might be spring skiing it is sometimes better than what we get in Aus. One year my son competed in moguls events in April at Hakuba 47, Gran Deco and Taira. All had perfect snow for this at that time.

    Worst case would be being limited to the upper part of resorts.
    There are other places that may have better snow at that time.
     
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  23. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Late November opening (my prediction) through to May 9th. Got a bit of riding ahead of me. Won't have much else to do other than clearing snow off the front steps :)
     

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  24. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    we scored 50cm overnight and nobody to share it with
     
  25. Sandy

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

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    I'll be there!!!!! :D
     
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  26. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I haven’t been to Hakuba for 4 or 5 years and am keen to not just ski, but also to touch base with old contacts there.
     
  27. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Spring skiing here is under rated. Most years it is still top to bottom at 47 into May. I get on the mountain a lot as it is our quietest time. The snow actually reminds me of what you get in oz most of the time. Sitting in the sun with Tshirts and beers on a deck at the top of a resort after a big morning session is pretty dam good. It's not what people travel for but with it as a possible option for later this northern season it is better than no turns. Just pack sunscreen.
     
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  28. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    The last 2 years we have scored at Tsguike mid April. Top 1/2 trees. GOOD TIMES!!!!
     
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  29. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    stop it
     
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  30. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unfair.
     
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  31. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    I have a one week window in the second week of February 2021 to get back to Hakuba. Sadly, methinks that is not going to be a reality.

    But, if by some miracle I do get back there, I seriously hope Snow Machine is not on that week.
     
  32. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Dissapointingly Sanosaka announced this morning they aren't going to operate this season. Quite sad as its a great small resort close to my heart and is always good times.
     
  33. skichanger

    skichanger A Local

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    What resort was Jup at last season?
    And does that mean closed for good or just for this season?
     
  34. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Yep its where Jup was at and he made a huge impact although he has already moved on to greener pastures. Not sure what it means long term for Sano but cant be a good thing.
     
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  35. Sandy

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

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    It surely must reopen at some time, otherwise, the purchase of Aokiko doesn't make any sense.
     
  36. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    Is Jup the guy who ran the cafe? If so, great guy. We have a long chat with him about his planned cycling trip through Nepal, etc. He had the bike at the resort and kept ducking out to get some practice riding on slippery ground.

    Sanosaka was great when we went there in March. Aside from a dozen military members training on skis, we had the mountain to ourselves. Only two of the runs were open but that was more than enough to get some mogul, slalom and downhill turns in.
     
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  37. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Yes that was him, great guy with some awesome experiences including running across America and then cycling back to the west coast across Canada.
     
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  38. skichanger

    skichanger A Local

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    WRT Jup, not necessarily moved on to greener pastures, just moved on. He worked for me when I bought Chalet Madarao and towards the end of the time there it was obvious he needed to move on. Not because there was a problem either way or because he had somewhere more important or pressing to go to. Just because he is effectively a nomad and he had been with us for long enough. He is a great guy, works hard, really able to engage the Japanese etc. I doubt that anyone he has worked with or for would have anything bad to say about him. We met him through the moguls community in Japan. They all think really highly of him. He has some amazing contacts in Japan.
     
  39. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's a real shame. I wonder why though. Sanosaka does not rely on foreign guests. Very few westerners go there. The domestic market should be down a bit, but not extreme. Hope it's just this year.
    I first skied there in 06. Each season since then I have always done a couple of days there. Great place to go when windy further up the valley.
     
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  40. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    I think just a lack of understanding of the market. They did well with school groups previously and then put a lot of focus on the foreign market which all of a sudden disappeared. Interesting to see the domestic tourism here atm bigger than I have ever seen at this time of year. Previously it has been a ghost town in October. Some hotels are full this weekend. The "go To Travel" promotions have certainly worked in Hakuba. Sanosaka is a fun little resort to go to especially when you know other places are going to be busy however this year it is not a big loss. My concern is more the fact that bad management not knowing how to react to the current circumstances.
     
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  41. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    I wonder if they could also be concerned about Covid-19 spreading. Considering staff in ski resorts are usually older locals who are more at risk. Being a smaller, local mountain maybe they prefer to sit this one out. They managed to keep the resort running through dark times over previous years.
     
  42. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    My (unsubstantiated) view is that they are using C19 as the excuse and that there are other issues at hand. Green season numbers have been way up this year and very few of their customers were inbound tourism so things were looking ok for places like that. Either way its sad to see it not open as was looking forward to having a slide and ski there this season. We had hoped to ride all 10 Hakuba Valley Resorts in one day this year too, I guess that just got 10% easier :)
     
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  43. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    No. It is not a major issue here as it is in Oz. The fact that the government are running a travel campaign shows they believe they have it basically controlled at the moment. We are all fine to wear masks here. You feel strange if you walk into a store without one. Sanosaka would have had even less risk of all the other resorts which will be running as they do not get the crowds. I would have gone there on the weekends for that reason.
     
    #43 TJ, Nov 1, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
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  44. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    There are currently more daily cases in Tokyo than before/during the state of emergency in April.

    There are many unknowns for this upcoming winter. Hopefully the other resorts are not trusting the J gov who have a very sketchy history sweeping important info under the rug.

    It will be interesting to find out why Sanosaka decided to close, do you know if they have released a statement?

    Let's hope they are financially strong enough to open up as usual next year. Have always wanted to ski there.
     
  45. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    They are not aiming for zero cases to the detriment of the country. From my understanding they are trying to control the cases so it doesn't overload the medical system. They seem to be on the right track imo. Doesn't mean it won't get worse though. It is probable that Oz will look upon it differently and not allow travel between the 2 countries without quarantine.
    Not sure what you mean by the resorts trusting the gov. Everyone seems to be making their own commercial decisions. The gov assisted businesses to close over golden week holidays in May however it wasn't mandatory in Hakuba. Most did though because it was free money.
    Why would any business decide to close. If it's going to cost you more to open than what you will take at the gate then why would you.
    They are backed by some big bucks however they still have to make money. They recently made a large purchase of a hotel next to resort so they will have a plan. If they got their act together and joined up with Kashimayari again then they will be a popular resort option.
    On a positive there have been more Hakuba Valley season pass purchases than last year. Interesting as many are bought by OS seasonaires usually. Got mine and hope to be using it in about 3 weeks time :)
     
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  46. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    It is currently younger people in Japan who are getting the virus which is why deaths are lower. These young people are the ones who are likely to travel to Hakuba to ski resorts which are run by old people.

    Perhaps because of a pandemic. I would say bad management could be more attributed to a risk of staff members and their families. As you mentioned, it is one of the less visited ski resorts in the area, probably not worth opening financially.

    I would imagine they know a fair bit more about managing a ski resort than we do, especially when focusing on a domestic market.
     
    #46 Jacksong, Nov 2, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  47. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    The risk to Hakuba is real with so many old people living here and younger ones with pre-existing conditions but young people acting as vectors may not be so high. Over 60% of Happo's nihonjin customers are over 60 years of age. A further huge chunk would be in the 40-60 age group too, Im thinking those stats would be reasonably consistent across the valley resorts although some places attract a slightly younger demographic. In fact the aging demogrpghic of domestic skiers is a key risk to resorts.

    The sad part of Sano not opening this year is that all the very local Sanosaka locals employed there wont have work this winter. :( :( :(
     
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  48. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    Would those Sanosaka locals then fan out into the other nine resorts to take the spots that would ordinarily be held by overseas workers? Or do they hold jobs that aren't generally locally sourced, like instructors, etc?
     
  49. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Im not sure but it seems unlikely the other resorts will need additional employees and there arent too many gaijin directly employed on mountain. Could be some tough times especially if we get a long cold winter. Its amazing how cold many of the older houses are and what many older people endure over winter.
     
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  50. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wonder what provisions Hakuba's resorts have made towards Covid.

    As someone that rode at Perisher this year. It will be interesting to compare.