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Japan 2013/2014 epic planning thread!

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

  1. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    On behalf of one of my colleagues, what kind of options are there for some very last season snow (beyond April 24) on Honshu?
    Something within reasonable range of Tokyo would probably work well.

    I've been reading about Gassan, and it's probably ideal, but it's a fair hike from Tokyo.
     
  2. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    kagura would be an option... usually open until at least golden week
     
  3. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    So I am here now.
     
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  4. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Last season Akakura Kanko did not close till May 6th. There was still heaps of snow but it would have been spring skiing.
     
  5. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    But it doesn't stay open the whole time. It closes end of March or start of April then opens again for the Golden Week holidays in May (snow permitting).
     
  6. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah, did not know that and it is not obvious from the websites.
     
  7. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you take out the comma that would be said in a southern US accent.
     
  8. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    OK a bit of a warning if you are going to go to Joypolis, dont if you have any sort of motion issues. And dont go on the veil of Dark first ride up either. I managed to keep it all inside but my missus had a chunder on one of the rides, and I felt terrible for the whole day. If you have no issues with motion sickness they it is a great place to hang out for half a day, but there is little air circulation through the place and if you cant take VR stuff then you will be sick quite quickly. Props out to the staff who stopped the ride almost instantly when the chunder occurred, and the 3-4 staff that help us around to the first aid area to get her cleaned up.
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ewwww!
    Poor lass.
    Gotta be your worst nightmare come true (or one of them anyway).
    But I bet they get that all time working there.
     
  10. Sandy

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

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    Hmmmmm.......

    Some good points.
    I found that the Half Pipe Canyon is the one that tends to do that a little for me.
    Which ride was it that she was sick?
     
  11. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    She was sick on the water rafting ride, but the damage was done in the veil of dark.
     
  12. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Not sure where you are flying from but we did it from perth. Was convenient to fly out first thing in am and get in to your hotel by midnight in tokyo. Seats narrow, more than a lack of leg room, which is okay if you are sitting with family. No frills. Good book, I-phone with tunes and lots of snacks + cheap flights and 5 in a family = somewhere between winning and breaking even.
     
  13. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep, if you prepare yourself it's good value. Plus you can add on luggage and sports gear so much more flexible. You just don't want a long layover in KL LCCT - boring as hell (unless you're happy to while away your hours with free wifi at The Coffee Bean)
     
  14. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm beginning to fish all of my ski gear and clothing out of the war chest and am wondering about layering for Honshu.
    I generally run pretty hot in Aus and even on the colder days don't need much more than a set of thermals and t shirt at most but obviously that ain't gonna cut it over there.
    What's everyone's advice on layer for the colder days and wind chill?
     
  15. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Just another thin mid layer needed..I run a lightweight 200 poly fleece zip
     
  16. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    what he said ^^
     
  17. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Too easy! Thanks lads!
     
  18. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

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    It only takes a few wallows around in deep pow to keep you warm anyway.

    My jacket is just a shell so i have thermals, fleece and jacket and i am fine. Ninja mask is a must.
     
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  19. oppositelock

    oppositelock One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    ^^This. You can buy one over there for about $10
     
  20. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will do.
     
  21. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    Somewhere between right and wrong

    narrow seat is no problem by how lack is 'lack of leg room'?
     
  22. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pre-book aisle seat, or one of the extra leg room seats.
     
  23. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL a couple of us do really good beached whale impersinations.Gopro shows white out but sound track is pretty funny.

    Temps in Nagano and Niigata are not much colder than in Aus ski areas. We wear the same gear as at home. Usually the biggest difference is not getting wet though this season ...well there have been days when I have been glad I have chosen the goretex over the other stuff.
     
  24. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mate I ski in ski pants a tshirt a hoodie and a jacket, and it was around -10C today. If you get hot like I do then this will be fine for all but the coldest days. If not then ski harder.
     
  25. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snap. This.
     
  26. skee

    skee Hard Yards

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    Hi guys, another quick question. I get in to Narita at 7pm and back off to Niseko at 7am and would love to see a bit of Tokyo again (I understand how far it is from Narita). Anyone done the layover and stayed in Tokyo? If not, are there hotels close to Narita that you'd recommend?
     
  27. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Standard and budget? Generally can't go wrong with Richmond or Mercure. I can personally recommend the Mercure and know others here have liked the Richmond.
     
  28. skee

    skee Hard Yards

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    Ah would like to go cheap but not worried too much.. Both look good, thanks!
     
  29. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    wondering if you guys can help me out - is there anywhere i can store my snowboard bag in tokyo for 5 days while i go do Hiroshima / Kyoto before heading back to nagano?
     
  30. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Takuyban your bag from your accom to the Airport, pretty sure they will hold on to it for 5 days.
     
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  31. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep. Just let them know it's coming. Also saves you carting it on the train.
     
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  32. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Last time the Mercure cost us about 6,000 without brekky for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby. Plus we got free shuttle to/from the airport. Awesome deal.
     
  33. Mercyrx3

    Mercyrx3 Hard Yards

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    I've just been looking for one myself. Mercure was $75AUD for 2 or $52 for a single. seems perfect for me!!
     
  34. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    Thanks guys!
     
  35. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    leg room is about same as Jetstar.
     
  36. argento

    argento Hard Yards

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    I woud be into this big time! have you done the 8km walk between between Magome and Tsumago? Have you done it winter (do you think it would be possible)?
     
  37. Sandy

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

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    It may be possible, but I reckon there might be a fair bit of snow. I'd be more inclined just to have a good look around Tsumago.
     
  38. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    So Tsumago and/or Magome are the recommended spots Sandy? We're definitely doing this detour on our drive from Nozawa to Kyoto.
     
  39. Sandy

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

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    Ok, so let's say you don't have time for the hike, but have a car..... so for example, you're in Magome, you do the hike, you need to catch the bus back from Tsumago to Magome, so the whole thing might take 4 hours(it's an up down up down hike in forested hills), plus looking at the towns.

    Tsumago is mostly an old sleepy looking 100yo town next to a river....
    Magome is a bigger town, with modern stuff, but an interesting old street up a hill, with both older buildings and slightly newer ones.
    i.e. Tsumago is old, Magome is more touristy, but definitely worthwhile. with a car, you should just do both.
     
  40. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cool, will have car, will do both. Walk might be a bit of a stretch although would be nice.
     
  41. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just the drive through the Kiso Valley makes it worth it I think.
     
  42. teletripper

    teletripper Addicted

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    Chops and Argento, the wife and I did the 'post town' walk between Magome and Tsumago in winter, (mid Feb 2011) mainly because it was rated in the top 10 Japan sites in Lonely Planet and we do a lot of walking. Whilst it was OK, I would not rave about it as a must do experience as a winter walk. I think it is more geared to spring or autumn in terms of scenery foliage colour etc, and would probably really recommend the walk then rather than mid winter. In fact the locals and ryokan owner that we stayed with in Magome thought we were mad doing it mid winter under snow conditions, the luggage transfer service which normally operates between the two towns to cater for walkers closes down over winter, but the owner of the ryokan we stayed with organised transfer of our gear via a taxi for us anyway so we could do it as he couldn't dissuade us. The walk whilst it has some lovely sections through bamboo forests and alongside rivers and streams etc, is doable in winter with good boots to deal with snow and ice, slippery pathways and stairways etc, the highlight was probably the architecture of the towns either end, and the experience of the stay and food we had in the ryokans. They were very happy for the business outside of their peak tourist season and it was great to wander around the towns at a very quite time of year for them. So would recommend a visit for that alone even if you don't do the walk. Hope that helps.
    TT
     
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  43. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think that sounds about right TT. I wouldn't do it in winter.
     
  44. argento

    argento Hard Yards

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    Thanks for sharing your experience TT. Migh resconsider (I won't have a car with me) and aim for autumn/spring
     
  45. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    So today we decided to go to the Shirakawa-go historical villages, with a long road home down some back roads to check out some ski hills, as the weather was sort of obliging to drive those roads at a decent speed. We went to the villages at Ogimachi, which I think are one of the bigger ones. They were cool and quite uncrowded (being a Friday we suspected that, tomorrow and Sunday will be busy though). On the way back we stopped in a village called Kidani when I could see a deserted ski hill from the road. 1000Y later I was on the lift (it was only a single lift running today) with 1 other guy and no grooming. Skiing through at least 40cms of untouched fresh was what this trip is all about. I reckon I did about 10-12 runs and didnt touch my previous tracks once. Had an onsen at the bottom and then headed home. There was another lift above the one I rode, but it didnt look like it had been open for a while. A bit of a shame as the steeper stuff looked to be accessed by that lift and it would have given another 100-150m of vert. Good day.
     
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  46. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds awesome Verm. Some pics if you've got any!
     
  47. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I dont have pics of me skiing, and I didnt charge the gopro last night so I didnt take that either. I'll see what I did take on the DSLR and put up any that are worthwhile. Post-trip I plan on putting up heaps in an album like last year.

    Tomorrow I reckon ill head SE of Takayama down around Takasu ski are and see what I can find. Being the weekend I expect a lot of places to be busy, so single lift hills will be what I am looking for.
     
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  48. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great stuff Verm. Utterly jealous.
     
  49. Hauffy

    Hauffy Hard Yards

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    mmm so tempted to hire a car, could stretch the budget a little! :whistle: Got my International license today 'just in case'...
     
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  50. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bros get a car and get down here. It really is a great area and there is no one here, at least today. Tomorrow being a weekend will probably be more busy, ill comment on whether it's nuts or not.

    A note on travel time, I spent 5 hours in the car Nagano > Takayama yesterday. This was on expressways clear of snow and me doing between 110-120km/h pretty much the whole way. So it's a bit of a drive. I went the coastal route because there was a good chance the Kamikochi route via Matsumoto would have have closed at the tunnel. Which it was according to reports.
     
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