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Japan 2013/2014 epic planning thread!

Discussion in 'Japan' started by tr+h, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Who is making for plans for next season?

    I am a Japan virgin, except for passing through to and from Canada and US.

    Early stages of a planing mission.

    Can I suggest his could be a good place to start asking questions for next year.

    We are looking for a weeks worth of amazing powder and some village atmosphere in early Jan. Thinking niseko. Tips and tricks welcome.
     
  2. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Cripes. Early planning much?

    I'll be there for January. Maybe the last couple of weeks of December too.

    (I'm still in Japan)
     
  3. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    I want to lock in cheap flights ASAP. Looking at flying from perh jan 1 or 2. Be a tourist for a week, then ski for a week.
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Often you have to WAIT for the cheap flights.....

    Where are you touristing?
     
    #4 Sandy, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  5. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Im there 10-27th Jan at this stage.
     
  6. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Tokyo, Kyoto/Nara and hiroshima
     
  7. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    don't know what dates, but i'll definitely be back next year. Most likely Hakuba.
     
  8. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    We'll be there either first half Jan or first half Feb, depending on flights.

    Hakuba and Nozawa.
     
  9. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    one of our group is looking at the Vale. Anyone had experience. Is it based well in a village atmosphere and will we have access to cafes or restaurant options?
     
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which mountain are you talking?
     
    #10 Sandy, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  11. Mercyrx3

    Mercyrx3 Hard Yards

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    I assume you mean Niseko. Its in Hirafu which is the biggest and busiest of the Niseko Villages. You have endless restaurant options in Hirafu.
     
    #11 Mercyrx3, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  12. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Yes. Niseko/Hirafu.
     
  13. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    You'll do fine at the vale. I've just booked, 5-19 jan, first few days at Rusutsu, then Hirafu with a couple of side trips
     
  14. Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet One of Us

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    #14 Toto Warmlet, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  15. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was invited to Rusutsu next Jan Feb, should I go or will I be bored with the ski terrain options?
     
  16. ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Hard Yards

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    4 days at Rustsu will do you and then use it as a base to explore other nearby resorts. You are there so you may as well go across and do a few trips to niseko. its only a 40 minute drive
     
  17. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Rusutsu off piste is a lot fun when it's been snowing. The pistes are some of the most boring I've ever encountered.
     
  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty much agree with this. Although if you havent skied Japan before or it's your first time skiing for the season you'll probably be able to handle a day or 2 on-piste before it becomes a bore. IMO you'd be better off basing yourself elsewhere and traveling to Rusutsu if/when it snows.
     
    #18 Vermillion, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  19. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    car hire is cheap in Hokkaido.. ie 4000 yen for an AWD Cube with snowtyres GPS etc..

    so road trip it
     
  20. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks, I thought as much. I have a chance to ski with a good buddy and a crew who have been going there for a while so ... maybe 5 days will do it.
     
  21. Willy

    Willy Hard Yards

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    Nozawa 11th Jan for 7 nights, Kamamotoya Ryokan.

    Can't wait!
     
  22. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    You should have great tree skiing, but 5 days is more than enough at Rusutsu.
     
    #22 Olgreg, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  23. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    To add to this, it looks like i'll spend around 5 days in Hakuba then drive up the coast and spend time up north, likely in Fukushima prefec. and around that area. I might have enough time to squeeze in a few days in Nozawa on the way up the coast too.
     
    #23 Vermillion, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  24. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Like we've said, if you have transport you will not be bored. Without transport Rusutsu is a bit of a nowheresland kind of place. It can get days where Rusutsu gets a foot and Niseko only 10cms, but from my experiences more often it's the other way around. This is not to say Rusutsu doesnt get good dumps, just through a season it would get less than Niseko area.
     
    #24 Vermillion, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  25. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Booking request submitted, awaiting confirmation. 26th Jan - 13th Feb.
     
    #25 mick chopps, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  26. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    And Rusutsu trees are very do-able for a side trip in atrocious weather when upper Niseko will be closed. The other way around doesn't work.
     
    #26 sourmash, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  27. Kash

    Kash Hard Yards

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    Why not go to Furano? Epic off piste terrain (which you can access without too much rope ducking) and so much more Japanese then Niseko.
     
  28. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Flights booked, probs no need to worry about anything else just yet.
    That said, anyone got recommendations for accom in Hakuba and Nozawa? We're looking like having a car so transport wont be an issue.
     
  29. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    What price?
    own bathroom?...
    if you have a car, the accomodation will need a carpark.
    The good thing about having a car in Hakuba is you can stay near the main road and be at the resorts faster than staying up one of the myriad of smaller roads.
     
    #29 Donza, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  30. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Absals own bathroom. That's probably the only prerequisite.

    Price? Well not exactly sure what we can expect to pay but a mid range lodge would be ideal if it's not too Adam Spencer.

    As an example, Lodge Nagano was something we looked at for Nozawa. Where would that fit in terms of price point v quality?
     
  31. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I'm not sure Lodge Nagano has own bathrooms?
    I may be wrong. It had a communal one downstairs
    Though to be honest you don't shower much in the lodge in Nozawa.
    Its onsen morning and night.
    At least it was for me.

    Re hakuba..I reckon with your own shower etc in room...perhaps ...
    8000 a night or so...each.

    I know FT has a pretty sweet cottage which was aroud 30K yen a night or so (don't quote me on that).. how many of you are going? it sleeps 4...
     
  32. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Defs 3, possibly 4.

    I guess we can do without our own bathroom, not sure the othe guest will like it though.
     
  33. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Japanese bathrooms (in ski lodges especially) aren't like bathrooms out here. Unless they have been retrofitted.
    I guess its cost vs bathroom.
     
    #33 Donza, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  34. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good to know. Maybe need to re-assess although Y8,000/night seems reasonable. ~$85 AUD.

    That likely to include any meals?
     
  35. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Breakfast probs.
     
  36. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hit up TJ with a PM mick.

    Donza is right, showers are for chumps in Japan. I showered 4 times in 3 weeks, the rest was onsen, every single day.
     
  37. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Showers are unlikely to be used for showering pal. 3 weeks away from Mrs, build up is likely.
     
    #37 mick chopps, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  38. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
     
  39. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Consider it as "having a child practice".
     
    #39 Donza, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  40. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

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    Anyone stayed in Minakami and done the resorts around there?

    Keen on going back to Nozawa next season but want to try somewhere new as well.

    Trying to decide between, Minakami/Tenjin, Naeba/Kagura or Zao Onsen.

    Tenjin and Kagura seem to have better terrain and snow but Zao seems to have an awesome village, its so hard!
     
  41. Hobstarr

    Hobstarr First Runs

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    Hey guys,

    first post here, thinking of going to Niseko from early Jan through early March. A friend of mine suggested staying at the Owashi Lodge, not sure if you guys have any suggestions?

    Matt
     
  42. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aussie dollar kicking goals at the right time. Just reached parity with the Yen over night and gone past it.
     
  43. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Zao has a good village but it is expensive compared to Yamagata, which is only about 30mins drive from the ski resort. My brother stays in Yamagata when he goes, if you want to save a bit of cash that would be my suggestion.

    I am keen to head to Zao so that would be my recommendation.
     
    #43 Vermillion, Apr 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  44. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

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    I am sort of leaning towards Zao because i really like the atmosphere of the old onsen towns. And seeing the snow monsters would be cool to.

    Only thing that worries me is that some of the youtube videos of the riding there seem to show that the trees are really quite densely packed, so not sure how the actual riding would be.
     
  45. antisense

    antisense Hard Yards

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    Anyone have any suggestions for child care companies in Hirafu? Will be traveling with a 12 month old [​IMG] Looking for in-apartment options or communal daycare if in-house is too expensive.

    Would love to get some advice from people who have done this before.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
    #45 antisense, Apr 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  46. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Trip planning to Japow at the moment. Will take Master Tonester for the first time (11 y.o.) and Ms Tonester (18, who hasn't been back since she was 12).

    At the moment our trip is like a blank canvas...very exciting. I'm thinking of giving Hokkaido a miss this time as ther is SOOOO much to ski on Honshu. Definitely want to go back to Shiga Kogen. I think it'll be a great intro to Japow skiing for Master Tonester. Some pow, but not too much and it's a BIG area with lots of vairiety.

    I'm thinking of going back to Myoko as well. But other than that I feel that I have so much choice that I am overwhelmed. I love that feeling!!

    Probably about 3 to 4 weeks with a break somewhre in the middle to rest up a bit.

    Also looking at airfares at the moment.

    Ahhh.....planning is half the fun.
     
  47. Witchery

    Witchery First Runs

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    Hi,

    Just new here. I'm planning a trip to Japan for next year. Not sure when to go, was looking around the 10th of January, but was told later January early Feb is better?? My husband and I usually ski Whistler, so used to that sort of village atmosphere. I love getting out at night time for a walk, some food and a bit of shopping but also like skiing black runs (Canada) double blacks (USA).
    Was wondering if you could recommend some ski area's that might suit? I was looking at Niseko but have read some reviews and was wondering if the skiing would be better elsewhere? I'm happy to spend some time in one place and some time somewhere else. Also happy to hire a car and do some driving.

    As for accommodation, probably somewhere with it's own hot tub. Somewhere nice, 2 bedroom + happy to use the shuttle to get to the slopes as long as I can still wander for food etc. Not worried about a bit of walking. Good for the legs after a days skiing
     
  48. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    So sounds like you want a Nth American ski resort in Japan. You could struggle..

    Welcome BTW.
     
  49. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    This ^^^


    Firstly, 10th Jan is good, but from about mid Jan for 2 weeks of skiing (how long will you be in Japan?) is better IMO. This allows for enough base to have accumulated in the off piste areas.

    If you want to ski in Japan, you need to make some adjustments to your requirements.

    1. You will not get a Whistler/Vail kind of atmosphere in Japan (lots of restaurants and up market shops) Nozawa Onsen has one of the best towns for wandering and atmosphere, but it's very Japanese.
    2. In Japanese resorts there are some blacks, but not double blacks in bounds. When it comes to more difficult terrain, we are talking we are talking deep, ungroomed snow in frequent large quantities in very short periods of time.
    e.g. two days worth of snow in January this year:
    Shiga Kogen
    [​IMG]

    Nozawa Onsen
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    3. Hot Tub. Forget it. You need to adjust your way of thinking towards Onsen (Japanese communal hot water springs)
     
    #49 Sandy, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  50. Leroybrown238

    Leroybrown238 Hard Yards

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    What do you do for parking in Hirafu if I rent a van? I went this year and stayed at the Landmark View, which I'm pretty sure didn't have any parking. Do some hotels have parking? Is there public parking areas that you can park overnight?