1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Japan 2013/2014 epic planning thread!

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

  1. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,614
    Location:
    wollongong
    Yeah El Grand for shizzle

    Captains chair - FTW

    Its a pain about roof racks. Though elgrands can fit a shed load of gear.
     
  2. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    587
    What about this one

    http://www2.tocoo.jp/?file=rentcar_inbound%2Fnippon_all%2Fsimulator&company=nippon_all&shop=Nagano+Eki+East&car_class=W-C&prefecture=20&air=0&24hour=0&plan=&area=4

    Looks like you get the racks option on this bad boy
     
  3. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,614
    Location:
    wollongong
    Nah you don't
    For cars except WS/WA/WB/WC class car

    exey too.
     
  4. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,614
    Location:
    wollongong
    sometimes I wonder if its cheaper to hire (for a group of 4) two small cars..
    elgrands seem to be like 180 bucks a day...
     
  5. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    587
    Ahh well sure we will be able to chuck everything inside.
     
  6. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,499
    Likes Received:
    5,181
    Location:
    Brisbane
    OK so who took all FF seats from the Gold Coast to Narita for early January ? Was that you MarkGC ?

    Now they want to send me via Cairns !
     
    #106 Born2ski, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  7. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Possibly, but if you're driving long distances and on toll roads you need to x2 the tolls and petrol, which can make it a much of a muchness.
     
    #107 Vermillion, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  8. smackies

    smackies A Local

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,762
    Likes Received:
    1,670
    Holy tolls. Paying for those things by oneself was pricey.
     
  9. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Yeah it's a definite consideration. Especially if you're paying ~$70/day for a cube vs. $180/day for an Elgrand. Yeah you might save $40 up front between you but once you double tolls and petrol you will still end up behind. Depends on your situation though.
     
  10. smackies

    smackies A Local

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,762
    Likes Received:
    1,670
    You don't worry about value with the ElGrand.

    You get it because it's pimp, has captain's seats and plenty of beer holders.
     
  11. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    THIS. I would only consider another vehicle if it was a Super Custom.
     
    #111 Vermillion, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  12. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    Budget Nagano was doing Hi-Ace specials for 11,000 a day when I was dropping off there last week. Ain't going to give you any street cred though. [​IMG]
     
    #112 M_G, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  13. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    The hiace is not a bad bit of kit though. It's like buying a boxster instead of a 911 though.
     
  14. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    Hong Kong friend was up there about 6 weeks ago and said it was little Australia. Maybe she was just in the wrong places.

    Yep, practical and gets the job done Verm. Would be good value in winter for a small crew.
     
    #114 M_G, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  15. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    If it wasnt so difficult for gaijin to buy cars in Japan (need an address) I would considering buying an Elgrand at the start of the trip then importing it back to AUS once you're done.

    As for Niseko, I know a lot of people get touchy when you call it the Winter Bali, but it still is. It's just now the number of Japanese continues to drop and the number of Chinese and Koreans continue to increase.
     
  16. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,152
    Likes Received:
    13,154
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    And a car parking space....
     
    #116 Sandy, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  17. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Yeah well that's what I meant, an address and a place to park it. Do they still come out and check to make sure you're not lying?
     
    #117 Vermillion, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  18. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,152
    Likes Received:
    13,154
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    The police come and take a look at the spot, and verify the numbering of the spot. It's more relaxed out in the country though.

    Most city addresses don't have car parking spots, or if they do, they don't "come with" the spot. i.e. You have to pay extra for the spot.
    I paid 15,000/month(quite cheap!!!, many are 30,000yen+) until after the 2011 earthquake when many foreigners left.... the rents around Yokohama then dropped, and I ended up getting my parking spot for free.
     
    #118 Sandy, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  19. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    w00t w00t!

    Yeah I have heard they are more relaxed in the country, my brother has half a dozen spots out the front of his house, all for him if he wants them. But he drives a Kei which would fit in a bike spot [​IMG]
     
    #119 Vermillion, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  20. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    If you get the timing right, like you did, yes not much different. But the trains are far more regular than flights and you can arrive and get straight on a train - shink runs at least every 30 mins. Plus you have to get the timing right also to get the good fares.

    Last year we landed in the evening at Haneda, stayed overnight in Ueno, caught the train to Narita, checked into into Skymark and was in Asahikawa late morning. Obviously could've been in Nagano long before then.

    That said we did enjoy the trip so worth it if the timing/cost is right.
     
    #120 M_G, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    25,850
    Likes Received:
    9,496
    Location:
    Adelaide
    How many Narita/Asahikawa flights a day are there? Not many I would have thought.
     
  22. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    Four by the look of it on Skymark. http://skymark.co.jp/en/ Just noticed they also have a 'free' fare - 10,000 for one leg.

    Not sure if any of the new budget airlines are flying there too?
     
    #122 M_G, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  23. smackies

    smackies A Local

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,762
    Likes Received:
    1,670
    You're not allowed to get one.

    But I'll use the parking space. [​IMG]
     
    #123 smackies, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  24. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,614
    Location:
    wollongong
    Verm in a Kei?

    I legit laughed
     
  25. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    72,324
    Likes Received:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Do not laugh. We had 3 of us in there plus luggage from Nasushiobara to my bros house. Sticker on the boot said max load 200kg. Also drove it up and down mt nasu during snow, although that was a little hairy. 3 gaijin piled into a tiny white Kei would have been a sight though, i'll admit that.
     
    #125 Vermillion, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  26. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    OK after not having posted on here for a year or so I'm back. And planning my first Japan trip for next January. We have a couple of families, mix of very good skiers and average skiers plus a handful of kids.. Friends that we are going with have done Hakuba so we are thinking Niseko, mid Jan for a week to 10 days. I haven't read this entire thread yet so sorry if I'm asking the same questions but can you offer any suggestions on which areas of the village to base ourselves in for maximum ease? Ideally we'd like to be able to ski or walk to / from lifts and ski school (kids) and be reasonably central for restaurants / shops etc as the wives and kids will no doubt want to 'wander' on a few non-ski days. Thanks in anticipation!
     
  27. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    587
    Anyone used Yuzawa as a base for accessing the surrounding resorts, like kagura etc? Is it a nice town?
     
  28. ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    victoria
    Hirafu lower village would meet your needs, as in being central to everything. Also easy enough for those that want to take a down day and head into Kutchan or even further a field to Sapporo.

    Hirafu is not that big and has very little to do during the day, a couple of coffe shops, retail store, enought to keep you entertained for a couple of hours.
     
  29. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,152
    Likes Received:
    13,154
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Yuzawa is an ordinary town, which just happens to have a lot of snow resorts within a 15km radius from Echigo Yuzawa station. The only place I've stayed in Yuzawa, that would be within 5km of the station is Ishiuchi Maruyama(twice). I've skied Naeba/Kagura quite a few times (Kagura maybe 10 separate occasions) and Gala Yuzawa a handful of times.

    If you have a car, then it's practical to access various places around Yuzawa.


    What may not be apparent to a lot of people, is that the top of Nozawa Onsen is only around 30km (as the crow flies) from Echigo Yuzawa station, and just over 20km from the top of Kagura!!!! Quite a bit further by car though!!
     
    #129 Sandy, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  30. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    Can FatBoy run his oversnow transport for collection? [​IMG]
     
    #130 M_G, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  31. conradskis

    conradskis One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    32
    I stayed near Yuzawa in a hotel near the Maiko resort, in a smallish apartment that someone's family member had access to. Easy walking distance to Maiko but very little in the vicinity. We took taxis to Ichiuchi Maruyama/Gala and hired a car to get to Kagura.

    We saw very little of Yuzawa itself but it did not seem a particularly interesting town. We cooked in our room most nights which helped keep costs down (at the time it was only 57 Yen to the dollar!)

    As Sandy says there are dozens of smaller resorts around Yuzawa but most of them would not really be worth your time. Transport between them can be an issue. Kagura definitely seemed to be the pick.
     
  32. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    587
    We will have a car so transport around wouldn't be an issue.

    I am pretty keen to go to Tenjindaira and was looking at stopping along the way from Nozawa.

    The only resorts that i am semi keen on around the area are Kandatsu Kogen and Kagura.

    Kagura seems to advertise alot of vert but from google earth it seems pretty split up, heard it gets a fair whack of snow though.

    Decisions!
     
  33. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Perth,wa
    Man, you must be my twin!

    The conclusion I have come to is Hirafu area of niseko. Can you not book anything for the next few weeks while I sort out all my crew?!
     
    #133 tr+h, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  34. Tobey

    Tobey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Guys,

    Looking to go to Japan mid to late January for a couple of weeks. Will be going for skiing and to see the sights in Tokyo etc.

    The main thing I need help from is the skiing side of things. With so many resorts it's hard to choose. But what we'd like is:

    - Japanese Experience
    - Close to the slopes
    - About 12 days of skiing (maybe too much?)
    - Skiing to suit intermediate ability

    I have been looking at Nozawa, but am open to further suggestions. What is a good amount of time to ski in Japan?

    Does Nozawa have enough skiing for 12 days? Or should we looking at spending half our time there and maybe half our time in Myoko or Hakuba? I was initially looking at Hakuba but told there is very strong Western influence there (not as much as Niseko though).

    Also looking for accommodation suggestions - we would like something with our own bathroom (if possible), and a Japanese style.

    Thanks!
     
  35. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,614
    Location:
    wollongong
    Nozawa and Myoko sound the bill.
    easy as..perfect for 12 days...
     
  36. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    12 days solely at Nozawa might be too much. I'd mix it up with Myoko or Shiga. A couple of days in Madarao might also be worth thinking about.

    If you want real Japanese style you might struggle for en-suite bathroom. Here's a list of ryokan (somewhat exxy) or perhaps try some minshuku Lodge Matsuya might be worth looking into - they have some rooms with toilets (not sure about bathrooms).
     
    #136 M_G, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  37. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    Myoko is quite relaxed about tree skiing, Nozawa a bit less so.
     
    #137 M_G, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  38. conradskis

    conradskis One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    32
    While I have not been to Nozawa myself, a friend of mine who spent some time there earlier this year said that in his view there was not a lot there skiwise, and it was better as a short add-on for a couple of days when en route to or from Hakuba. However it is good for the "Japanese experience" and if you are intermediate level you may be happier to spend a bit longer there.

    True Japanese style is a shared, communal bath...
     
    #138 conradskis, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  39. Tobey

    Tobey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    What would be the best way for getting between the two? I assume hiring a car wouldn't be worth it being small towns?

    Also, fin terms purely of skiing, would Hakuba be a better location?
     
    #139 Tobey, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  40. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,097
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    Location:
    赤倉
    There is a shuttle service between the two by Keinan bus, although a bit expensive. By public transport, catch the train back towards Nagano and change lines at Toyono Station.
     
  41. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,605
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    With the favourable exchange rate (and so long as these transit companies don't inflate their prices [​IMG] ), inter-resort transfer should be quite satisfactory. Unless you find the odd shocker.

    Post in here often your plans and expectations. There are plenty of tyre-kickers floating around to ensure you can have a great trip.

    Speaking from experience.
     
    #141 JoeKing, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  42. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,605
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    Loaded question there mate.

    Depends on your type of skiing. What are you looking for in a resort?

    Hakuba requires a car or the dreaded(but quite OK) free bus to get to and from each resort.

    Shiga, by comparison you can get to a fair bit of the resort on skis.
     
    #142 JoeKing, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  43. MarkGC

    MarkGC One of Youse Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    1,690
    Location:
    Northern NSW
    If I buy a normal ticket for a shink, unreserved seat, am I able to break the journey?

    Looking at heading down to Hiroshima and the relevant rail passes don't quite fit the bill as well as just buying fares, but we want to stop at a place and look at a castle, does this mean we need 2 fares or can you leave the train and catch a later one on the same ticket?
     
  44. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    702
    Location:
    Vic surf coast
     
    #144 dr80, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  45. MarkGC

    MarkGC One of Youse Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    1,690
    Location:
    Northern NSW
    I thought the buses ran well, but your location can suck. If you are walking distance to the Happo Bus Terminal you will find it good, but if you are relying on a further shuttle to get to your accommodation it can result in a lot of waiting, or even worse shorter ski days [​IMG]
     
    #145 MarkGC, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  46. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,605
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    I was happy with the buses in Hakuba. Don't get me wrong. But yeah, the lodge location makes or breaks it.
     
  47. Tobey

    Tobey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Loaded question there mate.

    Depends on your type of skiing. What are you looking for in a resort?

    Hakuba requires a car or the dreaded(but quite OK) free bus to get to and from each resort.

    Shiga, by comparison you can get to a fair bit of the resort on skis.

    [/quote]

    Looking for long runs, no queues and fresh snow! I enjoy off-piste but missus likes groomers.

    Also, looking at Hakuba, (http://www.hakubaski.com.au/village/map.cfm) it seems like a lot of resorts are walking distance to the lifts/gondolas?

    From what I can workout there are three large resorts that are accessible easily from Hakuba (One, 47 & Goryu). What are these like compared to Nozawa?
     
    #147 Tobey, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  48. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,605
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    Shiga will err, how you say.. can seem a bit shortish but certainly not unsatisfying unless you expect mountains like the matterhorn.

    Queues in Japan mostly are on the weekend. If you visit in Jan and it is not around the big Japanese holidays, the loneliness can drive you bonkers.

    Suginohara in Myoko has some nice cruisey long runs. But can be a bit of an effort to get there.

    Top-notch groomers and real ski in/out you can't beat Prince East in Shiga, but yeah you've got to be around there a long time to get to know the off-p stuff I believe. I only do on-piste so can't really comment.
     
  49. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,605
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    So you can also do Happo-one (hap-po-oh-ney) in Hakuba. Also Cortina is the sh!t on a powder day.

    I spent a day in tsugaike which was very good.

    edit: should be noted, In Hakuba, you generally want to keep you plans to visit any of the resorts to perhaps that morning or maybe the previous evening. You've got to keep an ear to the ground whilst there to know which place will be "on" tomorrow. If you know what I mean.

    Shiga, or noz (Not been too) you kind of have to ski to where it's at on the day.
     
    #149 JoeKing, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  50. Tobey

    Tobey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just had a look at a brochure of Shiga - It appears to be what I want out of a ski resort! It has longer runs than Hakuba and the amount of runs look like it could use all 12 days of skiing.

    It also breaks up the skiing to be beginner - 30%, intermediate - 40% and advanced 30%. Does this sound about right?

    The Prince Hotel also looks reasonably priced and on snow!
     
    #150 Tobey, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013