Japan 2012- 2013 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

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Sandy

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Donza said:
I would do all my "big" drives in Japan during daylight hours.

Your scenario sounds like Hell with a family.

When you drive to the snow after work on a friday, daylight is not an option.


BTW, if you have to drive back to Tokyo on a Sunday from Hakuba (and other places I guess), leave at exactly 3pm and you will miss most of the traffic jams.
 
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skichanger

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So pedestrians, skiers and traffic all proceed in a completely random manner wrt speed and direction. Just as well trains are on tracks.
laugh.gif
.

Did a road trip to Hakuba on the weekend and was pleased to be get there and back without Navi - the one in my car does not work properly despite lots of people trying to use it.

And if Sandy struggled with navigating there would have been no hope for the rest of us.
 
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Sandy

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Sandy said:
I've seen a kid sitting in the driver's lap in Japan......


Japanese drivers tend to be unpredictable, and because of that, can be dangerous.

For example, last night on the expressway back from Nagano, I was in the middle of 3 lanes (doing about 110kph) coming up towards a slower car. A car in the fast lane was passing me at about 125kph, so I pulled out after him(with a good gap) and he then proceeded to slow down to 100kph, and eventually hit 85kph
doh.gif

I pulled back into the middle lane to attempt to eventually go to the slow lane around the "blockage", and the guy gunned it again and took of doing about 130kph...... I think he was texting
mad.gif




Other tips:
- you may not have noticed, but many trucks don't change lanes smoothly, but swerve suddenly to change lanes. I always get past trucks as fast as I can.

- On 3 lane expressways, the cars that "intend to go fast" almost always STAY in the fast lane, even if the slow lane + the middle lane have less cars. So often on a 200m stretch of expressway, you might have 2 cars in the slow lane, 5 in the middle lane and 10 in the fast lane(even if the fast lane is going slower than the middle lane!!!!!). The end result is that ALL of the traffic goes slower because the road is all blocked up.

- In the situation above, you are often tempted to overtake in the slow lane to get past the blockage. However, be very ALERT if you do, because the Japanese drivers have the expectation only SLOW cars use the slow lane, and they may change from middle lane to slow lane without checking to see if there is a car going fast in that lane.

- Watch out for motorcycles!! They do not know that a car has a blind spot, and many of them will invariably find the blind spot!! They often don't stay right in the middle of the lane, but at the side. This is worst on a 3 lane road, as they will often sit at the right hand side of the middle lane, so if you're in the fast lane you cannot see them in any mirror and often right where the pillar of the car is. I once saw a motor bike approach behind, then after a couple of minutes, I couldn't see him. I looked in the mirrors, did a head check.... still couldn't see him. I asked the passengers if they could see him and he was right in my blind spot, even though I knew he MUST be there somewhere.

- A general rule of thumb. Drive very carefully. If there is an accident, they will believe the Japanese driver's account. Also, if there is some contention about what happened, the police will invariably assign blame to the larger vehicle.
e.g Truck > Car, Car > motorbike, motorbike > pedestrian.

- Traffic lights. Japanese drivers run red lights. Sometimes 3 -4 cars. If the lights change to amber just before you get to the lights, check your rear vision mirror. If there is a car behind you, then run the light. Otherwise the car behind is expecting you to run the light and may run up the back of you!!!!

- Turning right in back streets. I always check my rear vision mirror first. One time, I had stopped at stop sign to turn right, when a scooter overtook me across the intersection without stopping at the stop sign, and I almost cleaned him up (along with his Shibuya girl on the back) I n this case the bigger vehicle rule would have applied and it would have been my fault!!!!

- Watch out for confusing traffic lights!! Sometimes there is a cluster that has a solid red, plus green arrows left, straight and right. I still don't know what that means!!! However, because there are many traffic lights that have both red and green on almost all the time, you are conditioned to see both red and green.... if you are not paying attention, you can easily mistake solid red/green straight for solid red/green right.



One other thing, if you are driving during the day from Tokyo and have plenty of time (and heading towards the Nagano resorts) and it's a clear sunny day, head along the Tomei Expressway (instead of the Chuo or Kanestu) to Gotemba for a scenic drive. Then head off at at Gotemba along the Higashi Fuji Goko toll road, which runs along the eastern slopes of Mt Fuji on the eventual way back to the Chuo Expressway at Otsuki.

If you are a little more adventurous, get off at the end of the Higashi Fuji Goko toll road at FujiYoshida, and go across the bridge at Lake Kawaguchi, before heading to the mountain pass road (route 137) which joins the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture (only about 20km long)

Before getting onto route 137, take a left just after the bridge, and take a drive along the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchi. You get great views of Mt Fuji across the lake (reflected if there's no wind!!)
 
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Crispy013

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A quick video montage from my recent trip to Myoko and Nozawa Onsen. Trip report to hopefully follow
smile.gif


<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/61408053" width="630" height="380" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
 
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M_G

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Good effort Crispy but I'm not into constant faceshots. I like a bit of culture &amp; scenery, some long lens view and so on.

On another note, it's been a slow season. Less than 100 pages on the thread this year and probably worst season for quality for awhile.

BTW Sandy (and others), do you know a quick route Nagano to/from Narita without having to go through Tokyo? Last time we tried to cut cross country but it was pretty slow and stop/start.
 
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hotsaki

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FAT BOY said:
You wouldn't be allowed to call that thing a choco roll in Australia the PC mafia would be all over you (unless the company was owned by an aboriginal).
I guess you couldnt call it ``Chico Roll`` either.Could upset the Mexicans.
 
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Sandy

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Sandy

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M_G said:
BTW Sandy (and others), do you know a quick route Nagano to/from Narita without having to go through Tokyo? Last time we tried to cut cross country but it was pretty slow and stop/start.

Joshin-etsu Expy, Kan-etsu Expy, Tokyo-Gaikan Expy, Metro Expy(Kawaguchi route), Metro Expy(Central Circular), Metro Expy(Bayshore route), Higashi-Kanto Expy -&gt; Narita

Not at peak hour or Sunday arvo/evening.
 
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TACKIE

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Hi Sandy, when you come down the Kawaguchi and follow the river, i was saddened to see the increase in the number of tent towns on the banks of the river, or had i just not noticed before? Always noticed tents under the bridges, but not so many out in the open. Sign of the times i guess?
 

Charles

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Three years ago when walking to my Hotel from the station near the Shibuya Ward, there were so many homeless under the bridge that really saddened me. S

What saddens me to this day is that after two years to this day, the disaster that hit the East Coast of Honshu has left so many more still homeless. So so many more.
 

M_G

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Sandy said:
M_G said:
BTW Sandy (and others), do you know a quick route Nagano to/from Narita without having to go through Tokyo? Last time we tried to cut cross country but it was pretty slow and stop/start.

Joshin-etsu Expy, Kan-etsu Expy, Tokyo-Gaikan Expy, Metro Expy(Kawaguchi route), Metro Expy(Central Circular), Metro Expy(Bayshore route), Higashi-Kanto Expy -&gt; Narita

Not at peak hour or Sunday arvo/evening.

Cheers Sandy. Last time we just randomly decided to try because we had plenty of time up our sleeves. Next time it will be with purpose.
smile.gif
 
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M_G

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fattwins said:
Cant stand the pole vids anymore

Have to agree FT. I turn off after about the first 20 seconds.

Maybe there's some life left in the season. The Baron von Dumphausen might surprise us yet. Hope so anyway - I'll be back up in a little while for some spring skiing and cherry blossoms.
 
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Donza

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smitty484 said:
I'm with FT. Go pro footage only is getting boring. I'd rather some decent pics.
Bro I so started this thread a year ago.
 
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Donza

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The one that is going to be on TV...the ten days in Japan..
from one hit wonder
that was pretty cool
i'm dubious it was ten days though, as they were there when a friend of mine was there..and it was legit yuck.
 

Ralph_implement

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smitty484 said:
I'm with FT. Go pro footage only is getting boring. I'd rather some decent pics.

The way I see it, people who take POV footage would otherwise most likely take nothing. The fact that you rather decent pics is asking someone to stop skiing and take pictures....unreasonable unless they wish to IMO.

For this reason I don't mind watching POV, but I far prefer proper footage or good pics when they are available, and I thank the people that take the time to do either! Keeps the stoke high!
 
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JoeKing

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Pov's do take really crappy photos. And as you say since it's the only camera taken out on the hill...

*the newer ones are getting better sensors but really can't beat a dslr.
 

dawooduck

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Donza said:
What about the tr. Chamonix...? It's all pics but amaze...man beats any POV....

IMHO .... POV is a sign of the times. Its such a simple and connected process. Also as POV rarely shows the skier there are no polite featured skier preview process before upload to go through. POV hides more than it shows.

I have HD video from our Courmayeur day but it needs to be &quot;processed&quot; when I get home before I can upload. There is some excellent footage and some, in the steepest that shows the pitch and the variable snow conditions affecting the skiers turn profiles. I.e. ski to the situation and conditions.

Many angles footage takes organisation and collective cooperation. GoPro doesn't, which is why 98% of it looks the same.
 
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DeskRider

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Donza said:
What about the tr. Chamonix...? It's all pics but amaze...man beats any POV....

Agreed, but not everyone can get to Chamonix and ski/ride that terrain. Epic backdrop/snow/lines.

I like the stoke that all the reporting content brings. Some POV stuff is boring, but so are some pics.
All of it is better than what I am ment to be doing while looking at the forum...
 
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smitty484

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Ralph_implement said:
smitty484 said:
I'm with FT. Go pro footage only is getting boring. I'd rather some decent pics.

The way I see it, people who take POV footage would otherwise most likely take nothing. The fact that you rather decent pics is asking someone to stop skiing and take pictures....unreasonable unless they wish to IMO.

For this reason I don't mind watching POV, but I far prefer proper footage or good pics when they are available, and I thank the people that take the time to do either! Keeps the stoke high!

I can clarify

Decent pics &gt; nothing &gt; go pro movies
 
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Heinz

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I don't find the pole cam ones very interesting - all you get is a view of the rider. If I see that it is a pole cam video I usually don't bother looking at it.

At least with head cam you get a feel of the terrain and better if you have other skiers in it.

Best though is a variety of angles with skier &amp; scenery.
 

mick chopps

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Heinz said:
I don't find the pole cam ones very interesting - all you get is a view of the rider. If I see that it is a pole cam video I usually don't bother looking at it.

At least with head cam you get a feel of the terrain and better if you have other skiers in it.

Best though is a variety of angles with skier &amp; scenery.

Agree Heinz! Multiple cameras contributing to the one video giving multiple angles and a varied footage. POV has a place in that as does pole cam.
 
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