Is Japan OK for Kids?

Dave6

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We are keen on doing a trip to Japan next January. Our daughter will be 7 and we are wondering if Japan is OK for kids. Have read through the Japan Knowledge bank threads and there are some suggestions that Japan does not cater for young kids very well.

We have looked at Club Med Sahoro which has kids club etc. but it seems a bit of a waste to go all the way to Japan and only see Club Med. At this stage Niseko would be our preferred option as it has kids ski school (NISS).

Questions:

1. Does anyone have experience with the ski school in Niseko (or Club Med)? Good or Bad?

2. Any recommendataions for "family friendly" accommodation? We like the idea of staying in a pensione.

3. What other other resorts should we consider?
 

skiflat

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1: Not personal experience but the ski school instructors were mainly Aussies that were taking the Aussie kids around, most classes were very small so no worries at all there

2: Not sure sorry, others will have ideas

3: Furano is the other recommended resort. But Niseko you can't go wrong really!
 

skimax

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yeah my 5 year old went to NISS i think at Niseko .
brilliant , cant say enough about them , great facilities inside in terms of games tvs' etc , good food , brilliant all english speaking staff and instructors primarily aussie
Best thing is , numbers of kids are low so you kid will be in a very small group .
Mine had private lessons most of the week , until joined later by another kid to make it 2 in the lesson ..
 

ausi ski bum

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My understanding is Furano can be a lot colder in Jan Feb so if your thinking of school holidays Niseko is most likely a better choice.

One thing we have found in Japan is there are very few family rooms in hotels, triples are easily found and one child with parents is well catered for but if you have two kids it gets more difficult.

Finding food the kids will eat will be difficult away from the main resort area's in Niseko they will be well catered for.
 

Tonester

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I would suggest apartment rather than hotel or pension. For starters there's more room. Second you get a kitchen or kitchenette which is great for making your own breakfasts and for the times when going out to find something to eat is too much of a pain. Supermarket in Kutchan.
 

Tonester

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Oh, and to answer your original question...YES, Japan is great for kids....on so many levels.

I took my girl, 10 a couple seasons back and we're gong back next January. We'll probably check out Furano next time too...although their no-go off piste policy really makes me think twice!
 

dawooduck

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My kids loved Japan (non skiing trip). Make sure you get them to try some basashi, Tarako and Ankimo.
 
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Toto Warmlet

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yeah an appartment for sure, a seven year old won't appreciate the tatami mats and the somewhat restricted timetabling, amenity sharing that goes with a pension isn't so easy with kids
drying facilities are probably going to be better too.
 

ods

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Relaxed & Comfortable said:
My kids loved Japan (non skiing trip). Make sure you get them to try some basashi, Tarako and Ankimo.
And don't forget the Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi :out:
 
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John Deere

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Furano looked to have very little in the way of english speaking instruction, I am not sure, but I think if an aussie kid was in Furano, they would be on thier own.

The Australianisation of Niseko may have some positives.

Oh and ASB, our sport is skiing, it is supposed to be cold!!! I looked at Furano's weather for three months before my trip, it never got that much colder than Niseko.
 

Whiteman

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TJ said:
Evergreen at Hakuba seem to have a good set up. Maybe you could email them directly for some more information. web page
I would suggest that if you are contemplating Hakuba, you contact Dave and find out whether they do anything with Aussie kids. (then let me know!! I forgot to ask him about that when we were there!)

The ski school didn't look to cater for english speaking kids but I didn't really check it out. There certainly wasn't many Aussies/Euros on the mountain when we were there in early Feb.

All announcements, signs etc were in Japanese and I didn't see any caucasian kids on the hill. Saw a few Japanese nippers in a class on one day.

Niseko certainly had classes for Aussie kids and is prolly better suited than Hakuba. :thumbs:
 
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Dave6

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Thanks everyone for the replies.

It sounds like Niseko could be the best option. Has anyone tried Club Med Sahoro?

We are thinking of two weeks in Japan with one week (or maybe 10 days) at the snow and the rest of the time doing the tourist thing. Disneyland is on our list of things we would like to do.
 

Whiteman

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I haven't been to Club Med but I spoken with few ppl that have, and yes you are stuck at the resort and it is apparently reasonably gentle terrain and doesn't have the atmosphere of Niseko.

For what it is worth, a shot of the ski school inflatible Hippo jumping castle, and a Hakuba sign!

HakubaSkiSchool_001.sized.jpg


Toilet_sign_001.jpg
 
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TJ

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Whiteman said:
TJ said:
Evergreen at Hakuba seem to have a good set up. Maybe you could email them directly for some more information. web page
I would suggest that if you are contemplating Hakuba, you contact Dave and find out whether they do anything with Aussie kids. (then let me know!! I forgot to ask him about that when we were there!)

The ski school didn't look to cater for english speaking kids but I didn't really check it out. There certainly wasn't many Aussies/Euros on the mountain when we were there in early Feb.

All announcements, signs etc were in Japanese and I didn't see any caucasian kids on the hill. Saw a few Japanese nippers in a class on one day.

Niseko certainly had classes for Aussie kids and is prolly better suited than Hakuba. :thumbs:
I did notice this year that Evergreen were looking after a lot of english speaking kids of all ages and standards as I was spending a bit of time in the Saka area of Happo where they seemed to congregate. They also have a magic carpet and fenced off kids area for the really young ones.
 
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Whiteman

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IIRC, there is a magic carpet in that shot, below the yellow sign but it was fully covered with snow when I took the pic.
 

TJ

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A tip for those going. Three nice gullies finishing right behind the hippo starting at the top of the quad. Just drop straight into the trees. Called Triple Trees.
laugh.gif
 
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Tonester

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I priced Club Med a couple of years back just outof interest....seemed way too expensive
 

Dave6

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Club Med is advertising packages from $3399 for 7 nights including 3 meals a day, lift pass and lessons.

This seems fairly expensive but supposedly includes everything. I haven't worked out the total cost for a Niseko trip but would hope it was a fair bit less than $3400.
 
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