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Japan 2013/2014 epic planning thread!

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

  1. Sandy

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

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    If you have a JR Pass, then they should be going every 30 min (Hikari shink, not Nozomi). wont' be a problem.
     
    #251 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  2. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome. And if we don't have a pass? We might only need rail trips so it might be a better option to just by an individual ticket??
     
  3. Sandy

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

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    One other think to note, unlike the old (old) Haneda domestic, Haneda International is a beautiful airport.
     
  4. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry I meant Tokyo. I didnt like the transfer across the street, keeping it in the same 'building' was much easier for me. I mean, each to their own but it's certainly not a nightmare changing in Tokyo.
     
    #254 Vermillion, May 1, 2013
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  5. Sandy

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

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    The round trip Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo is just under 27,000 yen, while the 7 day JR pass is 28,000 yen. If you do any other side trips, then get the JR pass.
    e.g. Nagano-Tokyo, Kyoto-Hiroshima
     
    #255 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  6. Sandy

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

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    Once you know where it is, it's easy enough.
     
    #256 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  7. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Makes sense. Just get the pass it will open your options up and you wont be worrying every trip about a. tickets and b. how much it costs.
     
    #257 Vermillion, May 1, 2013
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  8. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah the 7 day pass is a bargain.
    Though with a car, I would consider cutting off some of the distance.
    Ie Tokyo.....Nagano...car pickup....ski Hakuba/Nozawa...drive to Matsumoto...train to Nagoya...Kyoto....then Kyoto back to Tokyo.
     
    #258 Donza, May 1, 2013
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  9. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah that's a good option Donza. Would do the same in a similar situation.
     
  10. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Although to add to that, if you can be flexible and put Tokyo at either end of the trip I would go with that. If you arrive and there isnt snow forecast for a day or 2, or it's not big snow, then do Tokyo at the start and then go ski. If you arrive and it's going off then head straight to the snow. I was able to work that this year and it paid off grand.
     
  11. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can also get train/hotel packages through companies like JTB or NTA which can save some yen.

    Also think about the train ride down the Japan Sea coast with a stop in Kanazawa. Well worth it.
     
  12. Sandy

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

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    While we're talking about the Nagoya end of things, up along the expressway about 50km from Nagoya(in the Nagano direction) is an interchange called Nakatsugawa. It's the gateway to the Kiso valley, which goes all the way up to near Matsumoto. (the railway to Matsumoto follows this route)

    Now while I wouldn't necessarily choose to drive the entire way along the Kiso valley, near the Nakatsugawa end is a "post town" preservation area. In the samurai period there were two roads from Kyoto to Edo(Tokyo). One took you not far from the coast pretty much along the route that the Tokaido Shinkansen takes today. The other route took you along the north route through the Kiso valley, before turning south(near Suwa) along what is now the Chuo expressway route. It was decreed by the Tokugawa Shoguns that, no wheeled traffic would ply these roads, so all people had to travel by horse or by foot, so along both these roads they built "post towns" about every 3-5km, for people to rest and stay.

    The southern end of Kiso valley has a number of preserved "post towns", where you can stay or visit. If visiting for the day, it's an easy detour. You can also hike parts of the old road between Magome & Tsumago.(which I did about 4 weeks back)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    See here:
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6075.html


    In Tsumago, I drove on the narrowest road I've ever been on!!!!
     
    #262 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  13. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agreed. It's definitely worth a stop if you're going through there. There is a walking trail (about 20km) between a couple of the posts which is quite popular. If you stay at one end they will forward your bags so that you can pick them up at the other end. I first tried it on my bike but gave up after the first few km's because of the regular steps.
     
  14. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This would also save on car drop off fees to yeah? Sounds like a potentially good plan and will see bit more country side.
     
    #264 mick chopps, May 1, 2013
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  15. Sandy

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

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    This:

     
    #265 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  16. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Ive done both Matsumoto and Nagano... Matsumoto is a better spot if youre heading south.
     
    #266 Donza, May 1, 2013
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  17. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Would this area be visitable without a car Sandy? Does the train stop in any of these towns/close proximity to them along the way? I like Donza's idea of dumping the car in Matsumoto and getting the train through to Kyoto but would also be happy enough to drive the car all the way to Kyoto or Nagoya if necessary.
     
    #267 mick chopps, May 1, 2013
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  18. Sandy

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

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    Yes, you can visit by train..... I can look at the appropriate stops....
     
    #268 Sandy, May 1, 2013
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  19. Junior

    Junior Hard Yards

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    Yes! The international terminal is great, I'd almost visit without even having a flight. There's a restaurant with these very tasty 'dumpling burgers' and another shop with a massive slot car track you can use! There's a big outdoor decking you can wander around and observe landing/take offs.
     
    #269 Junior, May 1, 2013
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  20. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Sounds epic.
    Old Haneda was pretty much my first introduction to Japan [​IMG].
    (besides NRT)

    [​IMG]

    Looks swish
     
    #270 Donza, May 1, 2013
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  21. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    #271 Born2ski, May 3, 2013
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  22. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We did a couple of days there on the way home from Noz this year. It's definitely worth a couple of days there if the snow is falling. Off piste they have some very tasty treed and open terrain up high. However, don't go there on a long weekend like we did. It's not a large resort and the 30 cm+ that fell on the Friday night was tracked out by the frothing hordes by about 11 am the next morning.
    I imagine you would still be finding freshies the day after if it was mid week. malibu was there for at least a week this year so he should know more about that.
    It's a good idea to get a Madarao/Tangram ticket if you want to venture over to that side of the mountain which is worth a look as well. Tangram has a very strict no off piste policy though which I've heard they really enforce.
    Very nice public onsen with a rotemburo in Madarao as well although it's not free.
    Twas a nice morning.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #272 PMG, May 4, 2013
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  23. Sandy

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

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    Yeah a couple of days midweek would be ok. Make sure you get the Madarao/Tangram combined ticket, as either one by itself is not quite enough.

    You should also consider Shiga Kogen. While Madarao is around 20km from Myoko & 25km from Nozawa, Shiga Kogen is about 50km from either (but around 25km of that is on the way back to Nagano) You also have the bonus that the snow monkeys are on the way there.
     
    #273 Sandy, May 4, 2013
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  24. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    PMG thanks for the pics. Where did you stay in Madarao ? Did you like the accommodation ?


    Sandy - I'm looking for a place similar to Myoko with a relaxed off piste(inbounds) policy and a good amount of intermediate tree skiing. Any of the Shiga Kogen resorts fit this bill ?
     
  25. Sandy

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

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    There are so few people mid week at Shiga Kogen, that if it snows, you will find a lot of powder everywhere.... no need to look very far, or worry about off piste policy.

    Not similar to Myoko though.
     
    #275 Sandy, May 4, 2013
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  26. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    You are describing Rusutsu!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We link it with a few days at Kiroro.
     
    #276 blutek, May 4, 2013
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  27. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Check your PM Born2ski.
     
  28. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    #278 mick chopps, May 4, 2013
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  29. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    I would be looking at Nozawa for this .
     
    #279 Nozawaman, May 4, 2013
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  30. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Madarao is putting in yet another tree course for next year so they are certainly trying to pull that market. If you are doing Myoko/Nozawa double it's definitely worth a 2-3 day stop in the middle.

    There is some good accommodation there but some lodges are doing it tough. The Madarao Kogen Hotel is generally a good bet with easy access to the slopes. Fujio Pension is also worth a look. Give La Foret Cham Pia a wide berth. See the Madarao map here.

    Nozawa-Madarao access is straightforward but Madarao-Myoko a bit more difficult. Powder Recon used to be able to help but I understand now that it's only for those on pre-paid packages. I am looking at some solutions for next season so PM me if you want to be kept in the loop.
     
    #280 M_G, May 4, 2013
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  31. Sandy

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

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    Ummmmm FB, he's doing Myoko AND Nozawa, and wants a THIRD option!!!! [​IMG]
     
    #281 Sandy, May 4, 2013
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  32. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Sorry the desert heat has gotten to me ( I'm in Dubai) , I haven't read all the posts.
     
    #282 Nozawaman, May 4, 2013
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  33. Sandy

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

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    [​IMG]
    Skiing down dunes, or in the indoor ski place??
     
    #283 Sandy, May 4, 2013
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  34. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    At this stage I'm still in the research phase but thinking about Myoko(5 days), Madarao(5 days), Nozawa(7 days).

    Really liked Myoko last time we were there so would love to go back, plus our daughter still has fond memories of her days at Myoko snow sports back in 2011. And with our son turning 4 later this year I think both of them would really enjoy a few days of lessons back at Myoko. This also means we can then hit up other surrounding resorts that DON'T provide group lessons in English, which opens up our choices.
     
  35. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    #285 Nozawaman, May 4, 2013
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  36. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive been wanting to hit up that place, id been keen for some feedback on it or a mini tr [​IMG]
     
    #286 piolet, May 4, 2013
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  37. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure I'd have 5 days b2s. Maybe 7 Myoko and 3 Madarao?
     
  38. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

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    Trips starting to firm up at this stage looking like

    10 Days Nozawa

    8 Days Myoko and surrounds (with a car)

    7 days Naeba/Kagura (hopefully with a 1 feb opening of peak chair)

    7 days Tenjin and minakami resorts
     
  39. colorado

    colorado Hard Yards

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    I recently booked shiga kogen for jan 2014, staying 9 nights at chalet shiga for 2 people, bus from narita, bus tour to monkeys and fire festival, 9 bfasts, 7 dinners, lift passes for 7 days for 2 persons for $2360 aust
    I also booked the jetstar rtn flights for 2 for $1960 total
    It seems awfully cheap, in fact I am thinking of cancelling our yearly trip to perisher next year and skiing Japan for 3 weeks instead.
    We used Jhn travel and so far they seem good. Anyone used them before?
     
  40. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Madarao/Tangram video from Matty at MSS

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57669314" width="630" height="380" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
     
  41. Sandy

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

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    ^^
    Agree.
     
    #291 Sandy, May 5, 2013
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  42. Sandy

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

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    I reckon 7 days around Tenjin &amp; Minakami is too much. Tenjindaira has the big ropeway up, but just 3 lifts at the top, without big vertical. (you can ski all the way down to the bottom of the ropeway, but it's more of a cat track)

    If that was me doing that sort of road trip, I'd be more inclined to do:
    9 Days Nozawa
    8 Days Myoko and surrounds (with a car)
    5 Days at Shiga Kogen
    7 days Naeba/Kagura (and others around Yuzawa)
    3 days Tenjin and minakami resorts
     
    #292 Sandy, May 5, 2013
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  43. Pat42

    Pat42 One of Us

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    #293 Pat42, May 5, 2013
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  44. Tobey

    Tobey Hard Yards

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    It seems our transfers are causing us longer travel time and a fair bit of cost. What is car hire in Japan like? We are doing narita to shiga to hakuba to Tokyo, with possibly a couple of day trips out of Tokyo....
     
  45. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very reasonable if there's a group of you.

    Check out Tocoo which a LOT of people on this forum have used.

    You'll also have petrol and highway fees. You can check the highway fees here.
     
    #295 M_G, May 5, 2013
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  46. Sandy

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

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    The expressway road tolls outstrip petrol by a long way
     
    #296 Sandy, May 5, 2013
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  47. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    True. If arriving into Narita late and driving at night it's pretty good though. Last year we caught the train from Narita to Omiya, then drove from Omiya to Myoko after 10pm and it was only 2,500 yen
     
  48. Junior

    Junior Hard Yards

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    Cool video. I'm missing Japan!!
     
    #298 Junior, May 5, 2013
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  49. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    #299 Donza, May 6, 2013
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  50. smackies

    smackies A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Three highly productive weeks back at work meant it was time to organise leave for January.

    Hakuba + actual day trips this time. Xmas/end December to 25 January.