Japan 2012- 2013 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

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SuskiQ

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Julio said:
Award flight booked, depart in 27hrs, Cathay MEL - HKG - CTS

You only live once right?

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I booked PER-HKG-YVR-YKA 6 days out... I'm impressed!
Live it!
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Julio

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Nov 13, 2008
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Just arrived into Asahikawa... very glad to get here in one piece after an interesting and very draining drive.

Flights were spot on, Cathay J class both legs is a pretty nice way to do it. Worth the 92,000 QF points one way IMO. I don't think I would have bothered with the trip but come Monday night a J class seat became available on the MEL - HKG (CX178) flight which links up well with the HKG - CTS leg (CX580). So after a few phone calls Tues and a promising forecast I decided to bite the bullet.

The drive was going well, left the car hire in Chitose about 4pm, cruising up the expressway, sun shining with barely another car to be seen, on track to do it in about 2hrs according to GPS. Then I come across a dreaded divert/expressway closure which completely f*d me. Having read a few posts on here about others been caught out by similar scenarios I guess there is some resolve in not being the only one caught out in these situations.

Anyway, I ended up back on the expressway heading south with no off ramp to pull a U-turn on for 10km. 25mins later I come across the same divert and ended up following the traffic onto what I would best described as the equivalent of the 'old geelong rd' with a set of lights every 1km and hard pack ice/snow mix.

So it starts to snow (not complaining) and by this time peak hour appeared to set in and just past Iwamizawa it was gridlock. Barely moved 1km in nearly an hour. So the GPS is egging me on to head back to the expressway onramp near Mikasa which I eventually did but it was still closed.

Waited for about 20mins (with 4-5 other cars) in the hope they might get things happening but as I was waiting I spotted on the GPS what appeared to be a "more scenic" route out towards Lake Katsurazawa and onto the 452 towards Ashibetsu.

So I figured why not... I am sure it would be a scenic drive in daylight but as it started to puke 5kms before the lake i just had my eyes glued to the road ahead steering the millennium falcon into the unknown. 5hrs after leaving Chitose I roll into Asahikawa.

So in hindsight I should have got the train up and picked up a car in the morning. But anyway I'm here now, sipping on an Asahi and watching a few flakes fall outside my window with the hope there will be a bit more overnight. Radar is showing some moisture but nothing huge. Time for bed.
 

SuskiQ

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Julio said:
Just arrived into Asahikawa... very glad to get here in one piece after an interesting and very draining drive.

The drive was going well, left the car hire in Chitose about 4pm, cruising up the expressway, sun shining with barely another car to be seen, on track to do it in about 2hrs according to GPS. Then I come across a dreaded divert/expressway closure which completely f*d me.

5hrs after leaving Chitose I roll into Asahikawa.

Glad you got there in 1 piece

Makes for adventurous memories
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smackies

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I'm driving up to Asahikawa this afternoon, from Niseko. Was supposed to leave yesterday but the weather was atrocious.

From reading your post, I'm glad I've waited.

Also glad you made it.
 

Julio

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Hit up Kamui today, good fun and an ideal way to get the legs back into it. Approx 40 cars in the carpark but I don't know where everyone was hiding as it was deserted.

Between 10-20cms of fresh from the recent storm but it was pretty crusty underneath. Sun was out this morning and there was no new snow on the car when I set off this morning. Temps warmed up as the day went on a it got pretty sticky/heavy with it being much more noticeable on lower down slopes.

At lunch I tried to get my board waxed at the ski hire but no go. I don't think it would have made much difference as I noticed a number of other ppl struggling with the slow going.

Only made it over to the double chair skiers right of the gondola around 1-1.30pm and had a bit of fun finding some fresh (but heavy) lines over that way. Some decent cracks/ledges on the right hand side when you are looking from the chair.
Started to snow lightly then got a bit heavier when I decided to call it a day.

Back at the carpark it was still coming down while I was packing up but 5mins into the drive back to Asahikawa it was rain and the roads were down to bitumen and slush.

Snowing reasonably well at the moment with about 2-3cms accumulated on the parked cars in the space of an hour or so. Fingers crossed it keeps up but wind is from the south so it is not going to be great quality.

Think I will head back to Kamui tomorrow and then head to Asahidake on Sunday as the wind is supposed to drop off after tomorrow.
 

DeskRider

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Nice one Julio. There is some fun trees to the far skiers left of Kamui and the top skiers right where you found in the arvo today.
 

Julio

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Quick update, came back up to Asahidake on Sunday morning after taking a few days off to explore Sapporo, Otaru and the Yoichi Whisky Distillery whilst the warmer weather rolled in. Today was pretty darn good, balls deep in spots and visibility was okay after lunch but still a fair bit of wind around up the top of the ropeway.

I can't believe it is April and this place continues to produce the goods. Today at village level it probably snowed 20-25cms between 4am - 6pm. Stars are out now but fingers x a bit more comes in overnight for my last day of riding (fly out Wed). Not that it really matters as there is still plenty of untouched fresh out there.

DeskRider - found some nice fresh in the spots you mentioned at Kamui. Cheers for the heads up

PS. I have started on a trip report so hope to update you all on my adventures once I am back in Oz later in the week.
 

Junior

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I have a question for the likes of M_G and Sandy.

I have accom sorted in Myoko for 3 months with a few others. However there is no internet connection and we'll need a reliable hookup.

There's been talk of renting a pocket WIFI unit, but I'm not sure if this is the most economical way to do it. I'll be in Osaka next week so could sort something out there if required.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

ps. I know there's been some discussion in another thread...but I'm still unsure as to the best option for a 3 month timeframe.
 
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