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Hakuba 20/21 Season

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

  1. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would assume Hakuba is similar, but we see very few of the resort jobs, such as lifties, filled with overseas workers. This was discussed at a meeting with one of my local resorts earlier this year. The issue is that they need to be able to communicate well with the staff and very few overseas visitors have enough Japanese to fill these positions. But as the local population ages it is getting harder to fill those positions.
     
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  2. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    Everyone seemed pretty spread out in early March this year, before all of the COVID plans kicked in. I could count on one hand the number of times I had a full chair/gondola for the whole week. Most times it me by myself with the occasional other person for company if the timing was right.
     
  3. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    Interesting. And it makes sense.

    However, Tsugaike had many European lifties when I was there. It took a little bit away from the charm of 'dozo'.
     
  4. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think there is a bit of a generational thing there that is not uniquely Japanese.

    But also worth noting that the lack of heating does not just apply to houses. In some offices you see people with blankets over their legs and personal heaters under their desks.
     
  5. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    They were already spacing people in the lines and limiting single groups on some of the gondolas. That was easy in March and April as there were not many here. It will be interesting over the new year holiday. There will be some big lines. I'm expecting Hakuba to be packed.
     
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  6. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Pic from Saturday. Snowing up on the back peaks atm and we might see some flakes in the valley tomorrow night. Everyone finishing up all their outside jobs and starting to put in snow markers on the roads.
     
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  7. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The resort could put on Japanese language courses, which might help
     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thats the scary thing...
    Not so much on the hill. Rather the resturants and common areas.
     
  9. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    Nice shot! Can't wait to get up the hill.
     
  10. Sandy

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

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    The blankets and heaters in offices is not so much an indicator of cold offices.... It's an indicator of how cold (mainly) Japanese women get.
    In summer, Japanese women will often turn the aircon temperature up to 28-29 degrees, or if they can't, they'll have blankets in summer.
     
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  11. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Love waking up at our apartments and seeing snow. Its not likely to stick but each day we are getting closer.

    Every year we say to ourselves we wont be renovating in November so you can guess what we are busy doing :)
     
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  12. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    I put this up on the FB page a number of weeks ago but as it was not officially announced I was asked to take it down. It is in the local paper now so safe to say it is out there. New Gondola for Happo for the 22/23 season. This was in a proposal meeting I went to about 4 years ago regarding making Nakiyama the main base area of Happo which makes a lot of sense. They miss out on a lot of day trippers due to the lack of facilities. They have just been laying new snowmaking in the area too on top of the ones they laid a couple of years ago. The goal is to give good coverage to the bottom as late into the season as possible. Great news.
     
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  13. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yay:thumbs:
     
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  14. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Sanosaka announced yesterday that they are in fact opening this year, from Dec 24. Its a much loved local resort so many happy people, including me :)
     
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  15. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    This is great news...not that we can get up there to enjoy it
     
  16. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    The calm before the storms. Not long now. A perfect spring day -1 to 10 and beautiful in the sunshine. That snow melted.
     
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  17. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looked good in Happo yesterday

     
  18. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Got my first turns in yesterday up at Tateyama. This place is closed from the Dec through to mid April so not on most peoples ski list but if you do find yourself in Japan when it is open then it is definitely worth a visit even just for sightseeing. KBYG too if you are sliding. It is a renowned danger zone.
     
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  19. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Woohoo snow in the valley yesterday down to our apartments then waking up to this! Whilst no where has opened yet hopefully not long now :)
     
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  20. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I always check out the Murodo webcam this time of year as it's a good indicator of early season snow. Didn't know you could make turns up there as well as sightsee.
    https://www.alpen-route.com/en/live_camera/murodo.html
     
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  21. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    They have some lodges up there and there were a bunch of campers as well. I just did a day trip which was easy enough. I have been up there maybe 10 times but always in mid April when it opens. That's when there are 1000s of people going up. This time there was about 20 so it was easy to take my kit up. A small board bag with wheels next time will be my choice so I can throw my boots in it and walk with some runners on. Planning for a couple of nights for next year already.
     
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  22. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    You're not helping...LOL

    It's look magnificent and it'll be all the more impressive this year with more room to move (although that's not ideal for the resorts, some positives must come of the situation).
     
  23. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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  24. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Indeed. Most of us have been forecasting zero to very little income this winter for quiet a long time (we started doing that in April including stopping work on our personal apartment) and put in place financial stratigies to see us through this winter and a reduced 21/22 winter. Some folks will really struggle and it may weed out a few operators which in some instances wont be a bad thing.

    With that in place many of us are looking forward to having a winter where there is no rush to get back to our businesses, being able to easily go out at night for meals and just enjoying the winter with friends and family. In peak periods I often go through angst waiting for delayed lifts to open and watching lines grow behind me. Not having that pressure will be a bonus too, especially at Cortina which I may ride more often rather than just the start and end of season. :)
     
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  25. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    A season for the locals :thumbs:
     
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  26. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Hahaha yes and for those of us that weren't born here too :)
     
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  27. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    And no Snow Machine...
     
  28. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Personally I reckon the issues around that event, which there were some, were ultimately over blown, particularly by blow in seasonal Gaijin who claim to speak on behalf of local Japanese, often without even knowing them.

    Having spoken with the organisers post the event they, like all of us, recognise there were some problems and there was a lot of learnings which they have taken on board. When it happens again expect format and schedule changes and a better event. Nothing goes perfect the 1st time round.

    Going forward there is huge potiental for a series of events using the same infrastructure, staff, vendors etc. You could do an EDM festival one week, Blues and Jazz the following week and a classic (Aussie) rock the final week. Now what a late Feb early March that would be!
     
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  29. BMWRX

    BMWRX One of Us

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    Good points. My experience with it wasn't from the viewpoint of locals but from someone who was embarrassed by some of the actions of my countrymen. Although I'm unsure if normal behaviour of young Australians in Hakuba was just accentuated by the greater number of them in town for the week, so smashed bottles and carrying on like clowns was just par for the course.

    A couple restaurant owners I chatted to thought it was great as it was full tables all week, but they just wished that there was a bit more respectful behaviour. One place I was at one night had a couple groups of about half a dozen each and they were swearing at the top of their voices, not caring who else was there. Of course, a couple isolated incidents doesn't show a broad trend but I can only call it as I see it.
     
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  30. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    I think/guess most of these people are decent and probably respectful until they drink. It's a sad situation. Certain places profit from these people and everyone else suffers.
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just my two cents.
    Unfortunately Hakuba has seemed to attract a bit of a ******** element of seasonal worker. I see the same crew down in Jindy.
     
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  32. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unfortunately it is becoming more common. We had a hotelier with properties at Hakuba and Madarao warn us about guests who had been in Hakuba but were coming to Madarao. They were under 20, had an incident where the police were called due to property damage and had lied to the police.

    There have also been a couple of incidents at Mt Myoko in recent years.

    Getting drunk is one thing, being a total ass and damaging property is another.

    Probably trivial compared to things like schoolies and Bali but not what we want.
     
  33. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some of them are never respectful. No RSA is a big problem. It is a bit ironical when the places that sell the alcohol complain about the bad behaviour. They are often the first and the loudest to complain.
     
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  34. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    These are half the issue.
    [​IMG]
     
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  35. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    There is essentially no way to stop it. Especially as most places take bookings through booking .com etc, there is no way to screen guests. If I owned a place and received a request for 5 x 21 year olds trying to book a room, I would instantly deny. But on expedia etc there is no way to stop it. Literally just need to accept that all other guests in the hotel are going to have to put up with smelly, disgusting drunk guys for a week, heavy generalisation, but you get the point!

    The only way to minimise this would be if all accommodations accepted only direct bookings and screened guests; Accepting only mature couples or families.

    Groups of bogans can go stay at the ski resorts which are about to go bankrupt and it's a win win for all.
     
  36. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah we have had some amusing incidents with these. So easy to consume far more alcohol than you intend. Generally we don't serve the 9% and it is something we are giving some thought to at the moment. But also we stop serving people before they get rude and obnoxious.

    Last season I had some guys that I made give me their car keys before they started at the bar.
     
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  37. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some of the Japanese places would kick them out. I have been relatively lucky and have only had a few guests that I have pulled into line. It is worse when guests are sober and behave badly. Unfortunately some people have no respect for anyone else.
     
  38. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    If you sell those drinks in your place, you cannot complain about drinking culture in your area. I mean, a good quality beer or wine alongside a meal would be a bit more appropriate in an accommodation wouldn't it?
     
  39. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't serve alcohol at Chalet Myoko. It is in the area where there has recently been a few serious incidents.

    At Chalet Madarao, mmm as I said, we stop serving people before they get rude or obnoxious. There is a huge difference between that and turfing an unconscious person out into the snow, selling people alcohol till they throw up etc. All things that have happened to our guests and staff at both lodges when they have been drinking at other places.

    And some people, 2 of those and they are dysfunctional and need help going to bed. Other people, enormous amounts of alcohol and they are still able to get themselves to bed, or in one case, out to somewhere else to drink because we stopped serving them.

    Also people buy them at the supermarket and drink them in their rooms. Oh it is great when you get to clean up after that.
     
  40. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Amen sister. Had one particular bar in Akakura doing that just last season. Told them I had zero sympathy and they need to put a RSA code in place.

    A lot of it has got to do with marketing. We marketed my old place as a 'family lodge' so that scared off most of the rowdy types. Never had any great incident to deal with. Others market themselves to naturally attract that type of crowd, so they can't complain. The ones I feel sorry for are the locally owned hotels that get marketed/booked by particular Aussie ski package companies.
     
  41. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

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    Just my personal experience with that phenomenon.

    I went to Madarao with an Aussie ski package company and everything was fine until the 4th day when a group came to our hotel from Hakuba.
    One night one of them was talking very loudly on the phone at about 4.00am. I waited for the conversation to stop for a while but after hearing a loud noise I decided I should have asked that guy to go back to his room. When I tried to open my room's door I could not, as I realised that guy had collapsed against it while still talking on the phone. Luckily, I managed to talk him into moving a little, so that I could open the door just enough to exit, pull him up on his feet and convince him to go to bed.

    However, after that I saw that the guy punched a hole in the wall while falling!

    The morning after when the receptionist came upstairs, I had to work hard to convince her I did not do that. Obviously the culprit had no recollection of the events.
     
  42. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not surprised. They are 1 of the 2 businesses in Madarao who will sell excess quantities of alcohol.

    Stay with us if you go back to Madarao.
     
  43. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Anyway, back to the intent of this thread :)

    Hopefully will be riding here around the 11th. Its snowed again up top overnight. Resorts are apparently ready. Better get the iron and wax out.
     
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