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Trip Report Heinz in Japan 2020

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

  1. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    There is a cute little place at Ogawa, between Hakuba and Nagano, in an old historical building, where a couple of old ladies will teach you how to make Oyaki, and then cook them on an open fire. Recommended.
     
  2. Sandy

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

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    Yokoteyama sunshine right now at Shiga Kogen
     
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  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow a little firm though...
     
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  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mon Feb 17 - Yokoteyama

    Caught the bus out to Yokoteyama being the highest part of the region. It was quite foggy around Ichinose. We were hoping that if there was any snow it would have fallen there. Started off at Kumanoyu. First run on a sunny aspect was quite nice. The other run though was very crunchy. Went back and lapped the first run for a while then back to the quad. Snow hadn't really softened up, so then went for the traverse over to Yokoteyama and over the back to Shibutoge. I recalled a great day skiing ere in 1987 lapping powder runs. Today though was no repeat of that. Again very firm and lumpy snow, so a bit chattery to ski.

    Cloud came and went most of the day. Stopped off at the Crumpet café at the top for lunch and check the views. Initially it was just cloud but then it cleared long enough for some pics.

    Had a few runs on the Yokoteyama side, narrow trail up top, but then quite a nice run. Did a few of these before catching the bus back to around Hasuike. Went to Sun Valley (which was under fog), then worked our way back home via Maruike & Giant which I certainly recognised from 33 years ago. It appeared little had changed around there. Aldo noted one of the runs at Maruike - a narrow slot in trees right of the lift that I had skied a fair bit back then had virtually no snow at all. Plus there were several dirt patches.

    Had a couple more runs on Tanamagahara which was good and finally on Ichinose Family which we found crunchy on one side and slick in the shade on the other.

    Still a fun day, but with somewhat more difficult conditions.
     
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  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yokoteyama

    [​IMG]

    Crumpet Cafe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Views from Yokoteyama (when if cleared long enough)

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    There looked to be some hotel at the top. We saw this skidoo with sled carry some people from thr top down to base.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Catching the bus back we got off at this stop near Hasuike. Had to step over the fence, then down this slope to get back to a trail to Hasuike.

    [​IMG]

    At the cafe at the top of Higashidateyama they had a couple of the old gondolas inside. There were meant for 4 people but of course impossible to achieve with current skis.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sandy

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

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    I got a few funny looks from our group when I told them we had to get off at this stop, and climbed the fence, with no buildings or sight of infrastructure..... I pretended that I thought somebody else knew where to go!!!! ;)
     
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  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    20cm of fresh - nice morning.
     
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  12. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pics or it didn't happen :p
     
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  13. Sandy

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

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  14. Sandy

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

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    And quite a lot fell during the day
     
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  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't have much time for that. Was too busy trying to follow @Sandy to get the most interesting lines.
     
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  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was a pretty good day :)
     
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  17. Sandy

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

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    It was very nice indeed!!!
     
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  18. Sandy

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

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    And there were quite a few "interesting" lines!! ;)
     
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  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tue Feb 18 - Shiga Kogen

    We got about 20cm of new snow overnight and it continued to snow quite steadily through the day. We started off with several laps on the runs just across the road at Ichinose Diamond. It wasn't super deep but covered up all the hard chunky snow from yesterday. Moved over to Yakebiteyama and found some nice lines in there. There was some gusty wind about so there was always the potential for them to stop some of the gondolas but fortunately this didn't eventuate.

    Continued over to Oku-Shiga for more of the same. Sandy & I had to play some careful gondola logistics in the tiny gondolas to get his skis in and out. Unfortunately Shiga has some of the very old egg shaped gondolas which simply don't cater for modern skis, so this is always a tricky process. We did manage though to come up with something that worked ok.

    With the wind still occasionally gusting we opted to play it safe and returned to Yakebiteyama so as not to get stuck. Lunch at the Prince then several more laps and interesting lines. The pistes were now also in very good shape covering up the hard base so very cruisy.

    There were a few tired legs by this stage so we all opted to return to Diamond where we started for a final few runs.

    This is the sort of day we come to Japan for. Wasn't particularly deep but it was powder and was very enjoyable.

    Felt ok at the time, but feeling quite tired and sore now.
     
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  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    As mentioned before there wasn't really much time for pics, but I did take a few.

    This was the walk from the hotel in the morning.
    [​IMG]

    These were taken at the end of the day on the Diamond where we started. It was still very good at the end of the day. Sandy took some video from which I took a still.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    My hotel booking included dinners which I was happy with. Been a bit lazy to want to go out. The dinners here at Diamond Shiga have been fine - a buffet and some type of hotpot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, you fit inside very nicely! I remember the ladies toilets at that cafe very clearly, as they were the smallest cubicles I have ever been inside (comparable with those on aircraft). That little egg gondola is cute, but you have to wonder ‘why’ a 4 person one ....
     
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  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    And I have to say it was a real pleasure to finally get to ski with @Sandy after all these years. Great guiding and weather forecasting and simply fun to ski with.

    We had a crew of 8 (5 of which were on seniors passes) and it has been most enjoyable - even with Michael going on about his new carbon poles he got in Tokyo for $20. :)
     
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fitting a person or 2 is fine (these were designed for 4), but simply impossible when you have to take skis inside when they don't fit in the tiny racks designed for old skinny skis.

    My skis just managed to fit, but only when I split them, but Sandy & Phil had to take theirs inside.
     
  25. Sandy

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

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    Feelings mutual!!!
    It's great fun to ski with Heinz, and we have to that again....
    Half day for me tomorrow with Heinz, and back to work on Thursday.
     
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wed Feb 19 - Shiga Kogen

    The day started off fine in Ichinose but with still a few light snow flurries over at Yakebiteyama and beyond. Though as the day progressed it cleared up everywhere so there were some great views. We could actually get a better read of the relation of other runs. The new snow had freshened up the pistes. So it was a somewhat easier day cruising the pistes and the various good viewpoints.

    Headed over to Yakebiteyama to start with and get a couple of good runs in before the minion invasion (actually wasn't too bad today - the bulk were on Family). With the clear weather we could now better identify the various runs. Then over to Terakoya for some more scenic viewpoints. The frosting on the trees made for a stunning scene. Then we needed to get back to Diamond to see @Sandy off as he was heading home. We stopped for lunch there.

    For the period though after that we were somewhat like a rudderless ship without the guy in the yellow pants to follow. We bumbled about a bit initially going with the people of the first chair to decide next run, but that didn't really work well. Eventually though we did start to get our act together and work things out for ourselves and got around ok. Though there were a few grumbles about burning thighs/knees when I opted to do the Okishiga gondola run without stopping.

    Stopped for a coffee at St Christoph, then successfully found our way back to Diamond without any trouble. Had a final couple of runs there and found the snow on the far side of that run still as good as ever. Only a short run, but probably has been the most consistently good snow all week.

    The near side of Diamond was ok, but was generally pretty busy with dozens of particularly bad snowboarders. Was hilarious last night going up the chair watching the carnage on the slope with over a dozen boarders crashing all over the slope for no apparent reason.

    So a much cruisier day today, although general fatigue is still there.
     
    #176 Heinz, Feb 19, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  27. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Contrasting views from in front of our hotel this morning.

    Looking at our local run - Diamond
    [​IMG]

    Looking towards Yakebiteyama
    [​IMG]
     
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    views around Yakebiteyama

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking towards Terakoya
    [​IMG]

    Views from Terakoya
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  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lunch - Miso Ramen with pork cutlet
    [​IMG]

    Okushiga
    [​IMG]
     
  31. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    OMG, pork cutlet in Ramen:eek:!?. How was it!? I've been to 100 most popular Ramen restaurants in Kanto region (It is Tokyo + some prefectures around Tokyo), but I think I have never eaten ramen with pork cutlet. I wonder if the broth doesn't ruin the texture of pork cutlet or not:confused:
     
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tasted fine to me :)
     
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  33. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then, I must try:D.
     
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  34. Sandy

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

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    LOL
    I was thinking about the navigation about 20 min before I left, when Michael said "we go this way to go back to Diamond, right?" No. LOL
    You should have a great time, the rest of the week :)
     
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  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, we won't be relying on Michael to do the navigating. ;)
    Sounds like the plan today is to have a look the other way down to Maruike & Sun Valley and back.
    Clear skies again looking out the window.
     
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  36. Sandy

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

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    Three ways there:
    - Terakoya, then up, then down past the egg gondola like yesterday, the all the way down to Giant, off the left trail and through the tunnel to the point we got off from the Yokoteyama bus.
    - Takamagahara, then drop over the back, and use the same route above.
    - Takamagahara, across the bridge, and all the way down to Giant.
     
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  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We are at Sun Valley now. Place is deserted. Found one place open for a cheesecake and hot chocolate.
    Got here via Takamagahara and the egg gondola. Saw heaps of monkeys.
     
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  38. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ha ha
    I was going to post just this but didn't because I thought it might make me sound like a noob punter.
     
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  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aaaaah.Brunch!Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch but always served with a slice of cantaloupe and is quite delicious!
     
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  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We are having a cruisy day.
     
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  42. Sandy

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

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    No hard task master to push you? ;)
     
  43. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's a cheese cake?. Looks yummy, I love cheese cakes. I wonder if Heinz-san gains or loses weight during this trip:)(Ski is a very good exercise for our health, but I tend to overeat at ski resorts:oops:)
     
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  44. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    After 3 weeks in January skiing 4-6hrs a day and eating like a horse I probably wasn't any lighter but definitely more toned and my poor old ski pants a lot looser
     
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  45. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The best part of all those great Japanese traverses is the increased upper body strength you get
     
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  46. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Hotel Aspen Shiga at the bottom of Giant does very nice pastries etc.
     
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  47. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was a nice day until we came back to Ichinose Family. Phil had a nasty crash coming through the trees on to the piste over a 2m drop, tumbled, snapped a pole in 2 places, hit his head which knocked him out for maybe 30 secs. We got him to stay down for a while. Eventually he was able to side slip down and Klaus went back to the hotel with him.
     
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  48. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow
    Had a KO on an icy run off the top of one of the Rusutsu gondolas this year
    Really shook me up
    Was wobbly for the run home and felt really unwell all night
    Make sure someone checks in on him through the night
     
  49. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Using helmets? :whistle:
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, the other guys were all wearing helmets. It's only me that doesn't.
     
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