Japan 2011- 2012 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

Sandy

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Tonight when I head to Zao Onsen, I'll be passing within about 60km of the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima Prefecture. Zao Onsen is about 100km NW of there.

Night skiing won't be difficult because of the glow........
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JoeKing

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Sandy said:
Tonight when I head to Zao Onsen, I'll be passing within about 60km of the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima Prefecture. Zao Onsen is about 100km NW of there.

Night skiing won't be difficult because of the glow........
wink.gif
biggrin.gif

I did Japan, Narita-Nagano-Narita. D-d-ddidn't affect me at all.
Didn't affect me at all.

Didn't affect me at all.
 
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Lehmo

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Just bought new board and bindings and booked in a trip for 10 days to Hakuba from the 5th March with a mate! Time to get excited!!
 

Bindo

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I've done a search for this specific question without luck, so hope I'm not repeating anything.

Can you for forward luggage to the Held Luggge at Narita Airport from Haneda Airport, to be stored there for one week? We finish skiing on the 19th and then travel a bit and don't want to cart all the ski gear down and back from Kyoto and beyond. We are coming through Haneda on the 19th, but fly out of Narita on the 25th. I know you can forward luggage to hotels etc, but not sure about to airport holding facilities? Any advice appreciated, many thanks.
 

Heinz

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You can certainly send gear there, but my guess would be that you may be charged a daily storage rate after that. So you may be better off booking a hotel the night before departure and sending it there where they would store it without charge.
 

Bindo

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Thanks for that Heinz, yes I saw that webpage too, but didn't know if you had to hand it in yourself or one of the transport companies could do it. We have already booked other accommodation for the last night and come into Tokyo in the morning of the day we leave, so don't want to stay in Tokyo on the last night. 500Y per day for a suitcase is OK.
 

Crispy013

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Arrived in Tokyo this morning for a couple of days of sight seeing before heading upto Sapporo for the Ice Festival and then onto Niseko for 2 weeks. After some difficulties trying to sort out where to purchase a Suica+N'ex pass, get cash off my 28 degrees card (which wasn't working at the beginning and was starting to freak me out!) and then somehow make my way to my accomodation in Shinkjuku, had an amazing first day in Tokyo. Managed to get my bearings in Shinjuku, then headed off to Akihabara and Kanda for a couple of hours this afternoon. Still can't get over the size of the buildings and amount of people crammed into this city. Looking forward to tomorrow when I'll be hitting Shibuya and Harajuku.

P.S. I forgot how awesome it is to be able to buy beer from a vending machine right outside my hotel door!
 

JoeKing

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Crispy013, I can beat that. We had a vending machine right in the lobby of our hotels. Walking outside to get a beer...ptttt. How uncivilized. Machines shake the can a little too much imo.

Ice festival? In Myoko we had the snow festival. About 200 square Kms I reckon.
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Heinz

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Not sure if crispy meant outside the entrance to the hotel or outside his room door. Quite likely the latter. It is pretty standard to have vending machines on every 2nd floor esp in business hotels.
 
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Crispy013

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JoeKing said:
Crispy013, I can beat that. We had a vending machine right in the lobby of our hotels. Walking outside to get a beer...ptttt. How uncivilized. Machines shake the can a little too much imo.

Should have clarified joe....it's outside my door, on my level, approximately 20m away. 190y for an ashahi is a dead set steal.
 
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M_G

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Pfft - amateurs - try buying a 2LT jug of Suntory whisky from a vending machine.
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Might see you up there Crispy - we'll be in Sapporo on Fri/Sat nights. Also seeing the festivals in Asahikawa and Otaru.
 
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seekingpow

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Back in aoyama itchome after two years of bypassing Tokyo due to going to Niseko.
I have to say, Roppongi is going down hill.

The touts are noticeably much more numerous and aggressive in pursuing weterners.
We have been stalked twice already for sometimes a kilometer before being pursued by another Nigerian businessman via an elaborate handover system the touts are using.

This trip is a quasi bucks trip for me and my group has zero confidence in visiting any establishments in the area after the stories I have.l been hearing as well as the noticeable increase in antisocial tactics on the street.
 

Sandy

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seekingpow said:
Back in aoyama itchome after two years of bypassing Tokyo due to going to Niseko.
I have to say, Roppongi is going down hill.

Hmmmmm......... When was Roppongi ever UP hill??????
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Heinz

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From my very limited sampling it seemed fine in the 90's, but the african touts were certainly noticable in the early 2000's.
 

smackies

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Back home and back at work. Will try to get some pics up soon.

Had an amazing time in Japan after getting kinda skunked twice before - both times I was in the country the same time as smitty, so I know who to blame.

First 4.5 days were spent in Myoko-Kogen. We stayed at Kogakuro which put on one of the most amazing dinners I've had in Japan. The ryokan is nicely located in Akakura Onsen with the usual friendly and English speaking staff. Seemed to be a reasonably popular choice for foreigners - I saw three other small groups there at the same time - though the number of foreigners to the area generally had visibly increased since I was last there 2 years ago. The snow didn't stop and just got heavier as the days went by. Our last day at Akakan was waist deep (by shortish person standards). I learned very quickly to keep my mouth shut on the downhill.

I was pretty disappointed not to make it to Seki Onsen, but will certainly try next time I'm in the area.

We caught the train back to Nagano where we picked up our seriously pimp Nissan El Grande from the depot next the JR station. No roof racks made packing of the car (3 guys, 2 girls, 4 snowboard bags and extra luggage) an entertaining 20 minutes. Every single employee of the rental car depot was involved with no less than 4 seat configurations tried.

Once packed, we were on our way to Hakuba. Our accommodation was a small and friendly backpackers in Echoland, but an oversupply of kerosene meant for some pretty gnarly dreams. We did a couple of days at 47/Goryu before spending almost the entirety of our time at Cortina. It must have been about our 3rd day in Hakuba when the huge avalanche happened next to (but not within) the resort of Goryu. Suffice to say it scared the pants off us and many others who heard about it. The avalanche happened right before we had arranged for a day in the backcountry and the challenging conditions limited our touring options somewhat. Despite this, we had an excellent day in an area in Otari (as did many others) and rode the some of the deepest snow, not only of the entire trip but that I've ever seen. We even caught our first glimpse of a majestic kamoshika. A big thank you to damian and clint for a thoroughly enjoyable day. We will be back and I will whine less on the uphill.

It barely stopped snowing during our time in Hakuba. This meant that visibility was never great, particularly on the top and exposed parts of Goryu/47. One afternoon at Goryu the wind gusts were strong enough for some creative kite-type jacket boarding before the lifts closed. There was good viewing from inside of 4 stands of snowboards being blown over and sent skittling towards the carpark. Oddly, as soon as we got back to the highway, the wind was practically non-existent.

Even with the near-constant snow, we did enjoy a couple of bluebird days. One was spent visiting the monkeys. I'll never do that again. Our last, the 3rd of Feb, was spent at Cortina. A truly epic day of sunshine and powder, though it seems everyone had the same idea. As the resort had been closed the day before, the lines in the morning were some of the busiest we'd seen all trip. A very friendly, seriously ripping rider staying at our accommodation played tour leader for our last few days at Cortina. He knew the area inside and out and we managed to avoid a lot of the traffic.

Our final three nights in Tokyo ruined me. Completely.

All in all, an epic time was enjoyed by all and there now exist a few more fans of Japan.

A couple of lessons learned:

1. Don't continually try to turn the kero heater back on when it sings the "La la la, you've run out of oxygen" song.

2. It is seriously hard to hide from Australians on Australia Day, but a toboggan makes an excellent wicket for street cricket.

3. Pocky makes a nice touch to a white russian.

4. I can't walk uphill.

5. Having a car in the Hakuba valley is a smart idea. Very smart.


 

MarkGC

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smackies said:
3. Pocky makes a nice touch to a white russian.

My son (7 year old) absolutely loved Pockys (minus the white Russian of coarse). Woollies have a similiar product and he was over the moon when he found them back in Australia. The others all miss Meiji chocolate.
 
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skichic

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I bought back about 10 pack of pocky and a few of crunky for my kids
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MarkGC

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I think you guys and my son are nuts, who would travel all the way to Japan for a chocolate.

Now Calbees on the other hand, thats where its at
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M_G

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Nice one Smackies. Glad the car worked out and presuming your friends ponied up their part of the dough for it!

My choice of champions is tsupa-mucho chips. It's like a party in your mouth. With chu-hai even better!

koikeya2.jpg
 
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damian

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Smackies - that was an honest and informative and amusing report.

It was great meeting with you guys in the snow and I enjoyed our conversations along the way. I've been lucky this season.
 

smackies

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Honestly can't say thank you enough for a great day. I'm thinking about a quick trip to Russia for some of that leg lengthening surgery before coming back next year.
 
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Donza

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Hey hakuba people.
I'm wondering if anyone knows where you can buy a Noren(door curtain) from in reasonable close proximity..? I can drive
cheers
 

seekingpow

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Thanks to Fat Boy for his hospitality and coffee yesterday.
A very nice place you have there Fat Boy. Will be on my list for a revisit.

Anyone interested in visiting Nozawa should check out Sasa Nozawa.
 

Sandy

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seekingpow said:
Thanks to Fat Boy for his hospitality and coffee yesterday.
A very nice place you have there Fat Boy. Will be on my list for a revisit.

Anyone interested in visiting Nozawa should check out Sasa Nozawa.

I'm staying with FB on the weekend!! At night, it's like being alone on the moon!!!!
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sara777

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I should be in Nozawa in 12 days and can't wait for the Sasa coffee
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That said, guess what, I've injured my back ( sacroiliac joint, and related my post ACL recon development ) and having intensive chiro treatment. Have been told no moguls and take the skiing very easy. Wonder what else can go wrong and if perhaps Japanese snow gods don't like me at all??

Hoping for lots of snow still coming, need the snow very soft
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Sandy

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Sandy said:
ceskazbrojovka said:

AN Australian man died in the Japanese ski resort town of Niseko yesterday.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just in case you didn't click the link. I guess more details will follow.

More info:


The 45-year-old man's body was found near a convenience store named Lawson in Hirafu - where most accommodation is located - around 2pm after a search was initiated earlier in the day.

A spokeswoman for the department said consular assistance was being provided to the family and friends of the NSW man, but other reports suggest he was from the Gold Coast.

The man was last seen at Splash bar in Hirafu village around 1am Sunday morning. but missed his flight home the next morning.

He had been staying at a backpackers lodge in Izumikyo, about 10 minutes walk from the bar, for the past week.
 
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M_G

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Sad to hear. Even only a ten minute walk, in the weather that they've been having in Hokkaido, plus a bit tipsy. Very unfortunate result.
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Sara777 - you just can't take a trick this year. A bit of easy skiing, coffee at FB's, a few onsen, some nice food, a bit of shopping. Could be worse
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JoeKing

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After seeing a real big snow come through where I was in the resorts near Nagano, I can see how a bit of drunken mischief can bring you unstuck. I just hope this incident doesn't cause knee jerk over-reaction in regard to rules and regs. I hope Niesko people deflect this by starting to pro-actively discouraging drunken bogan-ness. I want to go there some day but it just seems to be the Kuta of Japan.
 

sara777

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Myoko_Guy said:
Sad to hear. Even only a ten minute walk, in the weather that they've been having in Hokkaido, plus a bit tipsy. Very unfortunate result.
frown.gif


Sara777 - you just can't take a trick this year. A bit of easy skiing, coffee at FB's, a few onsen, some nice food, a bit of shopping. Could be worse
smile.gif

No matter the circumstances, loss of young life is always so tragic
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And Myoko guy, I just love you! My holidays starts looking very enticing after I doubted my skiing existence this weekend!
 
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MarkGC

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Sara it just wouldn't be wise to risk further injury, PM me and we will arrange for all your tickets etc to be transferred to me, that way I can prevent you from further injury and provide you interesting trip reports.

BTW you may have to cover for me at the bakery, but its all for the best.
grin.gif
 
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Born2ski

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Sad about the Aussie death.
frown.gif
RIP

A question for those living in Japan, do these sort of accidental deaths happen to Japanese residents or is it just foreigners ?
 
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sara777

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MarkGC said:
Sara it just wouldn't be wise to risk further injury, PM me and we will arrange for all your tickets etc to be transferred to me, that way I can prevent you from further injury and provide you interesting trip reports.

BTW you may have to cover for me at the bakery, but its all for the best.
grin.gif

laugh.gif
reading the first sentence I thought you were just concerned
grin.gif
 
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