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Discussion in 'Japan' started by Heinz, Feb 7, 2020.
Old habit not good for "Old n' Crusty"
Just saw him in the onsen now, said he was feeling a bit spaced out. The other guys are with him keeping an eye on him.
Thu Feb 20 - Shiga Kogen
It had been a nice cruisy day until the afore mentioned incident. Plan was to ski to Sun Valley. A couple of runs on Diamond, then over to Family, then Takamagahara which was already packed with minions. Got on the forest trail and skied to the Higashitateyama gondola.
There we saw a couple dozen monkeys. Some sitting on a fence, others clinging to one, a couple abseiling down a cable - pretty impressive and a whole bunch more sitting on the roof a shed in the sun grooming each other. Seemed like they were enjoying the sun. No need for us to go to the Monkey park.
Went up the gondola and did the forest trail again, this time dropping down into Hoppo, which led on to Giant which for me was more familiar territory. It became a bit of a reminiscence tour, trying to picture it against what I remembered from 1986 & 1987. For the most part I felt it looked hardly changed at all. I vaguely recalled a building on top of Giant that was no longer there - maybe the top lift station for the lift that had been removed - had seen monkeys there.
The most noticeable thing on Maruike was the lack of snow. 3 of the runs I had skied back then were closed due to lack of snow - one appeared ok at first glance but was very thin cover so fenced up. The others were mostly just sasa.
Then to Sun Valley which also looked pretty much unchanged except that now sadly it appeared to be very much run down. A couple of the hotels appeared to have been closed to years. Also it was virtually dead. We did find one café that was open (Green) and stopped there for Cheesecake and hot chocolate.
Then slowly worked our way back with a few extra runs on the way. Back to the Higashitateyama gondola. This time the forest trail was packed with minions and it was no great surprise that one girl had injured herself and was being put in a sled. Once we made it up to the top we stopped at the café for lunch.
The skiing was all pretty good, a bit firm in parts but fine. We were taking things pretty easily and working our way back home. Had a couple of runs on Terakoya, tried a tree run in between 2 of the trails, but quite a bit of sasa. So onto Ichinose Family where Phil had his crash which put a dampner on the day. We had a few more runs but the feeling was a bit flat, so finished earlier.
A brand new Pret Cynic with MIPS. Good gear ;-)
Skiing done for this trip. Was a nice last day. Now on bus back to Nagano.
Good skiing with you Heinz, happy travels!
(I'm Phil, by the way!)
Fri Feb 21 - Shiga Kogen
Final day skiing for the trip. Was a fine sunny day. Today we tracked our way over to Oku-shiga mostly on the gondolas. Pistes were firm and skiing pretty well. A Oku-Shiga we then had a couple of runs down to the hotel there which were also quite good, just a bit flat for the bottom part. Worked out way back to Diamond for lunch. After lunch had several runs on the far side of Family that we hadn't skied before. Plenty of terrain here. Was also quiet today - no large ski school groups.
Finally around 3pm headed back to the hotel, grabbed my gear, packed my skis & boots and caught the bus to Nagano.
Do you mean the Tanne No Mori side (far side from the Diamond Shiga?).
How did you enjoy your return after 30 years?
No, the ones skiers right of the quad chair, mostly Perfecter course. From there we also got a very good overview of our 'home' patch of Diamond.
I certainly enjoyed the return after 33 years. I noticed that the bits that I was mostly familiar with ie. Sun Valley to Giant and also Terakoya had hardly changed at all. This though has good and bad aspects. Good in that I do like the traditional old school type of resorts. Bad in that a fair bit of it looks quite run down especially Sun Valley which is a bit sad. Some of the infrastructure needs to be refreshed. Needs investment of course and that can bring other issues. Was also a bit sad that Maruike suffered particularly badly as a result of the poor snow season.
But it is still the largest connected ski area in Japan with plenty of terrain, aspect and elevation variations so is one that easily justifies a week long stay.
Ok, we went down Perfecter once earlier in the week. It has a nice pitch and it's great with good snow!
There's so much terrain, and we only scratched the surface of places to go for powder!!!
@Sandy I also noted possibly a better way to load fatter skis on the Okushiga gondola than how we did. We saw a guy today have them sticking out the top similar to the egg gondola. The key is that you have to be second to load and sit on the door side. Hold the skis vertically before the door closes.
I was looking at the tightness of the door closure, and it looked a bit loose, but wasn't game to try that!!!
I'll head back later in the season so that looks like the go!
We did like Perfecter. I lost track a bit of exactly where we went earlier in the week. The other guys hadn't been there and this one was Klaus's call. When we had to work things out for ourselves and had clear views to identify runs we got a better idea of where we were and how to move around.
We all skied that earlier in the week!! (Maybe not Klaus... could have been Sunday)
Ha yes. I can understand the hesitation in trying that the first time! I only saw the one guy do it. You would hope that all the door closures would be the same. Maybe try it first with an old pair of skis.
I'd like to return to Kumanoyu with the gang on a powder day.... it's brilliant there!!
Pics from Thursday
View from Takamagahara looking towards Myoko
These were from the bottom of the Higashitateyama gondola. If we had gone directly down to Hoppo on the way to Giant we would have missed them. It looks like they enjoyed having the sun out.
Giant looked much the same as before but with a chairlift including top station missing.
Maruike hadn't changed much either apart from the distinct lack of snow.
This run here looked ok, but was closed as the cover was only very thin.
I skied this run quite a few times in 1986, but certainly wasn't an option now.
So much cooler seeing them in the wild than at the snow monkey park
Sun Valley also very familiar but looked run down.
looking towards Yudanaka
in the one café we did find open
Lunch on the way back at the top of the Higashitateyama gondola
Lunch on Friday at Diamond
Returning to the 'scene of the crime' on Ichinose Family the day after
Came in from up here
Exited around here (below the snow gun)
Landed down here
You CAN ski this run in a normal season. And it's usually open.
Left to right on Mt Myoko:
Suginohara, Ikenotaira, Akakura Kanko & Akakura Onsen (behind that hill in front)
On the right side of the hill in front is Madarao.
The double steep slopes closer towards the right is Yomase Onsen. (which is part of the Mt Kosha joint ticket: Yamase & X-JAM)
Hill on the far left is Kurohime.
Sorry to hijack is Yamase/ XJam any good? It looked like fun from the taxi as we drove from Shiga to Myoko.
On the first of 3 trains today. Shinkansen to Kanazawa. Lots of long tunnels so wifi spasmodic.
Now made it to Kansai airport. Was a bit of rain on the way. The trains were all pretty busy.
Checked in, now one more important thing to do before I leave.
I like that at Japanese airports you can get good food at regular prices unlike the stupidly inflated prices at Australian airports.
Best okonomiyaki I've ever eaten was from Kansai
I remember that 'Oh crap!' moment as I popped out of the trees and got that weightless feeling....
Well they are from Kansai.......
*except the Hiroshima ones
Well chosen forum name.
Good you are OK.
And chu hi from family mart after security.
At normal prices
It was good. Squid version. Proper freshly made one.
Good call. Y211.
Youre going to laugh..
But I had 306 yen to spend ...
The 350ml strong were 151 yen..
But i forgot the tax.....
I was a few yen short...had to use VISA...
Good you got through it.
Hope there is no lingering after effects.
Sydney airport a shambles this morning. Several flights came in same time. Had to wait nearly an hour for my bags. Just able to make domestic transfer in time for boarding. Not sure if bags will make it.
Who needs skis and a Peruvian hat in Adelaide?
Bags made it.
Sydney airport is always crap in the morning..
That's always why you fly Qantas if you transfer in Sydney.... They bump you to a flight 30-60min later, and bags all good!!
Fixed that for you!
I was flying Qantas, so knew later flight would be an option, but it is still annoying.