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Trip Report Heinz in Japan 2020

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Heinz, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    More from around town
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh and my skis had made it here safely and were there behind the reception desk when I arrived.
    Ah yes, that's why I am here.
     
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  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A microwaved noodle dish, a squid/seaweed snack & an icecream for around Y700 did the job nicely. Several people in the hotel had the same idea so it was a little busy.
     
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  4. Sandy

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

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    OMG!!!!!

    The first time I went to Takayama (2000), it was very quiet, as it was in 2001...
    The next time it was during the spring festival(around 2007), and while busy, it was actually nothing like that!!
     
  5. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    On a wednesday. There were 6 people in that street .... tops.
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The shop that was doing the beef sushi for Y1000 would have done alright today. At any one time this afternoon there would have been at least a dozen people in the queue. You had to file past this single window to get served, then had to find a spot in the shop next door to sit down and eat it or just do standing in the street.

    The steamed buns were also popular with queues, but they were Y250.
     
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  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mon Feb 10 - Hirayu Onsen

    So now getting around to the skiing part. Was quite a good day today, although it did feel a bit awkward at times.

    First up lined up for the bus at Takayama station. Heaps of people there and many of them lining up for the same bus. But one thing stood out immediately. No one apart from me had skis (or snowboards). I have had this a few times before, so not unexpected but still feels a bit weird. I think most of the people were heading to Shin Hotaka which was the final destination.
    I was heading to the Hirayu Onsen ski area which I worked out looking at the map was going to be one stop before Hirayu Onsen itself, although the bus announcement gave no indication of this.

    It looks like there was probably around 10-15cm of new snow and it snowed most of the day, quite solidly at times. The ski area is only a small one with 2 slow double chairs and basically 3 runs, but the advanced run was closed due to insufficient snow. I saw a couple patrollers on it and could see it was quite thin & scratchy in parts but other bits did look pretty good.

    The skiing was fun though, very few people skiing and nearly all of those on the family run. There were probably more just playing on sleds. So I was able to do plenty of laps on the intermediate run - mostly a trail with almost no one else. And the snow was being refreshed most of the day, so some nice cruisy powder skiing on a firm base.

    On the brochure I noticed there was a special deal of a free onsen with the lift ticket, so I did pack a towel. Had lunch, skied a few more runs to about 2:30, packed up and managed to jag a bus to the next stop. Then had to find where the actual onsen Hirayunomori was and what to do with my skis. Found that the onsen was just a few mins walk, so went there, left my skis in the foyer of the hotel and boots with my shoes, before heading to the onsen.

    The onsen itself was most impressive, a couple of indoor pools, but a heap of outdoor pools in a forest and rock garden setting and snow falling. Was magic - one of the better ones I have been to - probably spent close to an hour there, but was conscious of the time. Got out, back in ski gear and headed back to the bus station in time the 4:30 bus. Bus was again full of people returning form Shin Hotaka. An hour trip back to Takayama.

    A very nice first ski day.
     
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  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This was my first day skiing in Gifu prefecture which makes it the 9th 10th* prefecture in Japan that I have skied in.
    Previously skied in Nagano, Niigata, Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, Iwate, Akita & Aomori (more of less in geographical order south to north rather than chronological).

    This was also the first day on piste on my new Salomon QST's - as the previous few days were all heli. Skis performed fine as expected.

    * edit. Actually 10 prefectures - how did I forget Hokkaido?
     
    #58 Heinz, Feb 10, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hirayu Onsen

    Base area
    [​IMG]

    Family run
    [​IMG]

    view of part of the closed advanced run under the 2nd chair
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    intermediate run

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lunch was a local variation of the standard ski-jo curry rice - with a Hida beef (of course) croquette. Not sure that there was very much beef in the croquette but it was quite tasty anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skied Honokidaira today. Fine sunny day. Nice skiing, powder about mostly tracked but still fun. Now on the train to Toyama.
     
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  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Remembered that it is Foundation day today. Probably explains why this weekend was busy.
     
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  15. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We liked Hirayu onsen . Alas was a bit low tide skiing wise.
    Great scenery
     
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tue Feb 11 - Honokidaira

    A fine clear day. Similar routine to yesterday. Catch the same Shin-Hotaka bus which was again full and again had exactly one pair of skis aboard. The stop for Honokodaira is a few stops before the one for Hiraya Onsen. A few people did get off here, presumably they were renting ski gear. Honokidaira is certainly bigger with more terrain than Hiraya Onsen. Was also much busier. They had lots of ski school kids and plenty of them were racing. There were even some lift queues on the quad chair in the morning for an hour or so, but other than that it was pretty much ski straight on.

    They had this odd setup where they were running a couple of skidoos towing a 6 person sled to higher slopes. The first point was actually at the top of an old disused lift. Don't know why they were no longer running that. An interesting novelty but I think it would have been better to just run that lift. I did have a few goes on it. It would have been great yesterday, but today it was fairly tracked out. Got a few lines that were less tracked and had some fun on those.

    There was a hotel promoting their onsen with a small discount for those with lift passes, so stopped skiing at around 2:30 again to check it out. This time it was much more convenient as it was right at the base of the ski hill on the 3rd floor overlooking the ski area. It wasn't however a natural one so no comparison to yesterday. There were 2 indoor pools 40C & 42C and one outdoor one but sadly that didn't have any water. Still was pleasant sitting in the bath looking out on the ski slopes.

    Then bus back to Takayama, grabbed my bag from the hotel and caught the train to Toyama getting in just before 7pm.
     
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  17. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Honokidaira

    [​IMG]

    This was where people were being picked up by the skidoos.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    These were from the skidoo runs
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Sandy

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

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    That would have been tasty first thing in the morning!!! ;)
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is the old disused lift - the top station is where the skidoo makes its first stop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Had some fun on this little run in the afternoon.
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    These were a couple of the hills I was contemplating for a sneaky solo run in late Dec / Early Jan. Weather put an end to those plans.You heading to Tateyama Sanroku? That was the one I was mist interested in.
     
  22. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Trail map. It is a fun little hill
     
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  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is todays plan. Then on to Nagano tonight and likely day trips to Akakura.
     
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That map shows the disused lift (top right). It also shows the hotel with the onsen, but with water in the outdoor pool which wasn't the case yesterday.
     
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  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was a very old school type of day today. Felt like it was the 80's all over again. I rather liked it.
    I am now on the Shinkansen heading to Nagano.
     
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  26. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cocaine and Mullets 80s?
     
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  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Be still my beating heart
     
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  28. Sandy

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

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    So am I !!!
    Read my weather forecast!
     
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  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL not that. But slow train, old lifts, cash only, no English at all, no helmets, no Geigin, very few people at all. Was fun.
     
  30. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Katsu curry price index?
     
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  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the Katsucurry was Y1200. I had an Oyakodonburi for Y900. In many places prices haven't actually changed much since the 80's. Just the AUD exchange rate.
     
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    7-11 next door is where I think I'm heading now.
     
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  33. Sandy

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

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    Make sure you get the mochi covered ice cream!!!
     
  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Too late, but I had something like that last night - was very nice - ooishi! - a bit tricky to eat, but will definitely have again.
    This one:

    [​IMG]

    I had the Brulee style Baumkuchen tonight was also nice but not as good as that.

    Got my Strong Zero also now. :)
     
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    saw that now - not so good for tomorrow - was thinking Myoko but may give it miss and just do Friday there.
     
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    and have a TR to update... no rest!

    edit. and that Strong Zero is kicking in ...

    but I will get there.
     
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  37. Sandy

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

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    It's dynamic right now!!
    I was looking at the radar, and it LOOKS like it could clear by 9am!!
    I'll keep posting weather updates, so stay tuned
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Haven't been to Nagano for quite a few years and never actually stayed here before, always in transit or day tripped back during the Olympics.
    Tonight with 5 mins of arriving between the station and my hotel across the road I've heard about a half dozen Aussie accents - quite a contrast to the last few days.
     
  39. Sandy

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

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    Heinz, WHERE are you staying?
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Sunroute across from the east exit - although there is no labelling as such - outside it just says Fresa - which did confuse me initially.
     
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  41. Sandy

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

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    LOL. Meet in the lobby at 9pm?
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL sure.
     
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  43. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had exactly the same feeling last Sunday. Fortunately I did the google street walk from the ststion to the Sunroute. But still was not sure walking through the front door with the reception tucked away in the corner.
    Very helpful staff and very convenient to the ststion and express bus
     
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  44. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just had a good chat with Sandy in the lobby and we saw that there was a notice that they officially changed the name of the hotel today. He took a pic of it, so has the details.
     
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  45. Sandy

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

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    LOL
    LOL, that worked out well !!!! Same hotel, got there at almost EXACTLY the same time!! :D
    Not sure if Heinz is stalking me, or I'm stalking him!!! ;)
     
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  46. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking forward to the report.

    Sounds like my kinda place. As I remember Myoko a gazillion years ago.
     
  47. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wed Feb 12 - Tateyama Sanroku

    A very interesting day. As mentioned earlier was very old school.

    Started off checking out of hotel in Toyama and leaving bag then going next door to the Dentensu station to catch the train to Tateyama. It is an old rattly all stops commuter train so takes about an hour. Goes through the suburbs, then countryside and finally for the last 15 mins of so some really nice mountain gorge scenery.

    Then the bit I wasn't sure about. Research said that there was a bus from the station to the ski areas but no details, but what it basically does is line up with the train leaving about 15 mins later. ie.today bus went at 9:30. When arrived at the ski area I made a point of noting the return bus times, which was important as it wasn't listed anyway else. And for the record from Raicho it is 43mins past the hour.

    Sanroku (literally 3-6 but no idea of significance) actually consists of 2 linked ski areas but with completely different base areas. I ended up going to Raiko Valley, the other area is Gokurakuzaka which I later worked out were linked by a trail halfway up and also up higher.

    Got to Raiko, looked for somewhere with a locker to leave my ski bag, pack & shoes - no locker. So just found one of tge base lodges and left my stuff there. As I said very old school. Train ticket - cash only, Lift ticket - cash only and lunch of course cash only. Raiko also didn't really have a real central base area, several little huts, lodges, rental places and a separate ticket office.

    But then got going - sort of... Raiko basically consists of 3 old slow double chairs, so does take a little while to get up top. But the skiing was quite good. Some wide open terrain, reasonable vert, no powder, but snow was in good shape. Today was warm though (saw 10C somewhere), so dropped a layer. The snow lower down did get a bit sticky in the afternoon.

    Very impressive views of the coast. Later found the link trail over to Gokurakuzaka and spent a bit of time there. They actually has one faster quad chair and a bit of a better base lodge, even with lockers and there did seem to be a few more people there (still not many). Had lunch there also.

    There was almost no English signage at all anywhere in the resort. Managed to eventually find one map with a bit of English to show the 2 areas and the lifts. Another odd thing was that very few people were wearing helmets - no more than 10% (so I felt right at home there). Even in the previous couple of days in Gifu the majority would have been wearing them.

    Then headed back to Raiko for a few more runs, went back to the lodge to get my stuff, got the bus back to Tateyama station, got on the old commuter train to Toyama, back to the hotel to collect my bag, then to the JR station (and 2020) to catch the Shinkansen to Nagano.
     
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  48. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Please don't use colour formatting.
     
  49. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Views from the Dentetsu train to Tateyama.

    Once past the suburbs it started to get interesting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    that's not me doing it. That would be in your settings.