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Japan 2016

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Born2ski, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ueno park 07 April 2012
    [​IMG]

    Ueno park 13 April 2012
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    I love Kyoto under full bloom sakura. Kanazawa is sometimes called "Little Kyoto". So I guess Kanazawa looks good in Sakura season(but I have never been to Kanazawa when Sakura is in full bloom)
     
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  3. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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  4. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    I've seen many crazy Jvloggers at Hanami parties in Yoyogi park. Jvloggers are the foreign video bloggers living in Japan and upload their daily life in Japan onto Youtube, etc. Hanami is Sakura viewing party, and it's a Japanese traditional culture, but almost nobody was seeing Sakura in Yoyogi park, they were just drinking, drinking and drinking.
     
    #3154 Ramenman, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  5. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yoyogi park drinkies
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Sandy

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

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    If it's not windy or raining, they'll last a bit over 2 weeks from bloom to drop.

    There's also a lot of different varieties.... There's one up the street that's blooming right now, and a big one a bit closer that blooms about 1 1/2 weeks later than the regular ones.

    There's also a park up near Hachioji, that has all the varieties, and they have a continuous bloom from mid March until late April.
     
  7. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    You drunk them all?. Among them, I like suntory premium malts the most:cheers:
     
  8. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    No.
    There were three of us.
    I was a strong and a Yebisu.
    I like suntory malt in a bottle , such as you get at Yoshinoya ..
    Its not as good in a can
     
  9. ATT

    ATT First Runs

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    hello. I'm Japanese skier. I enjoy ekiing mainly in Fukushima prefecture.
    Sometimes I saw some Australians skiing at Inawashiro or Bandai which
    is ski resort in Fukushima.

    I think there are better ski resorts in Japan such as Niseko. If you are Australians
    Could you tell me why Australians come to Fukushima prefecture for skiing?
    Is Fukushima popular ski resort in Australia?
    Furthermore, where can you buy packages for Fukushima in Australia?

    It would be helpful if you give me answer.

    Thank you
     
  10. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Australians are always keen to look for new places where not many other foreign skiers go. That's why many prefer to ski Fukushima and other less less known places.

    Powder Recon does a few packages up that way. I can put you in touch with the owner if you PM me.
     
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  11. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Tokyo(Ueno) to Koriyama is only 70 mins by shinkansen, and there is a free shuttle bus service between Koriyama station and Inawashiro ski resort. Easy access is one of the reasons, I guess. Btw, I might have seen you, cause I've skied there many times;)
     
  12. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    I love skiing around the peaks of Mt.Nishi-Daiten and Mt.Nishi-Agatsuma (the Gran Deco ski resort mountains), but we need to hike for a few hours. If there are lifts around the peaks, I do think Fukushima will become a lot more popular destination for Australian skiers.

    The elevation of Mt.Bandai is 1,820m, but the highest lift accessed elevation of Bandai ski resort is 1,200m. The elevation of Mt.Nishi-Daiten is 2,000m, but the highest lift accessed elevation of Gran Deco ski resort is 1,580m. If they have top lift stations around the peaks of the mountains, I think Fukushima Prefecture will become a lot more popular ski destination for Australians;)

    Mt.Bandai, Mt.Nishi-Daiten, and Mt.Nishi-Agatsuma, those 3 mountains can offer us 1,000 to 1,250m of vertical drop, which is the biggest vertical drop in Japan(As far as I know, the biggest lift-served vertical drop of Japanese ski resorts is 1,225m, and it's Kagura ski resort).

    Not many people know Mt.Nishi-Daiten and Mt.Nishi-Agatsuma have Juhyo(snow monsters) and they can ski through many Juhyo around the peaks if they hike for a few hours.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #3162 Ramenman, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I skied Inawashiro & Bandai in 2010. Some of us like to go places in Japan that feel like Japan and don't need imported Western infrastructure and crowds. Fukushima isn't a popular ski region in Australia, hence the appeal.
    You don't need packages to ski. There is a thing called the internet. Jump on a train, book a pension, catch a bus, done, easy.
     
    #3163 Heinz, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
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  14. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've only ever seen Ueno park under 10-20cms of snow :p
     
  15. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I go skiing in Fukushima to get away from other gaijin. And to not have to worry about sharing the runs and fresh snow with others.
     
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  16. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The problem with those ski areas is that the weather is usually not the great higher up the mountain. That's why the lifts are usually on the lower, more protected slopes. There's no point putting a great lift up the side of a mountain if it's never open due to weather, or needs to be dug out all the time due to high snowfall.
     
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  17. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Speaking of ski resorts in Fukushima, 6 Australian skiers got lost and rescued on Mt.Bandai (or a mountain nearby) this winter. I remember many local media were reporting it. I wonder how local people think about foreign skiers who like backcountry skiing there. Most Japanese ski resorts are not very supportive for backcountry skiers, so they might attract more foreign skiers if they are more supportive for backcountry skiers and make backcountry / sidecountry skiing areas more accessible;)

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20...safe-fukushima-mountain-rescued/#.VtjAdPl97IU
     
    #3167 Ramenman, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  18. skichanger

    skichanger A Local

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    Very few Aussies go there. We have skied at Gran Deco and Listel. Did not see many other westerners at the time. We were there for moguls events. Most of the other Aussies that go to the region go for the powder back country skiing.

    If you PM me I can put you in contact with a Japanese travel agent who can arrange travel packages in Japan.
     
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  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, that was reported earlier. And as per Verms thread this has now resulted in more area closures including access between Bandai & Nekoma.
     
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  20. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I believe they were lost going BC at Nekoma, possibly to try and get across to Alts, or just to ski some BC nearby. As a result, Nekoma ski patrol has gone full-retard with their off-piste policy, and has not only roped off but also fenced off and put up a million signs warning anyone who thinks about going OOB there. It's something really different to what i've seen elsewhere. Normally there are just ropes and signs explaining dont do this, it'll cost you and we wont be responsible etc, but at Nekoma they've actually fenced things off so that it's almost impossible to even get out to these areas (OK yeah you could if you wanted to but it would be difficult). The ski patrol and lifties also watch any foreigners like a hawk, well at least we felt that way the day we were there. Every time we looked up there was a ski patroller near us, or a lifty looking at us.
     
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  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm liking the kiroro and Moiwa policy of having beacon and pack checks at the gate.

    They've got a beacon checker at gate 5 Hirafu but no one is enforcing it. It beeped as I went through yesterday - but the people before and after me had nothing.

    I doubt the policy will change here, but if they introduce OOB beacon and pack checks elsewhere I think it'll be a good thing - manage the risk rather than ban it altogether.
     
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  22. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Agree. The operators of ski resorts in Fukushima should learn from ski resorts in Hokkaido. Niseko has BC gates, Kiroro, Furano and some others newly made BC gates this season or last season. If they want more serious skiers from abroad, they should let us ski in their backcountry areas.
     
  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, but controlled.

    If you enforce packs and beacons the likelihood is people will learn to use them.

    I'd rather be out there with someone who has gear and is iffy on how to use it than someone who has no gear and no idea.
     
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  24. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not knowing how to use avalanche saftey gear turns it into corpse finding gear.
     
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  25. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you have gear and dont know how to use it you're as useless as a dude with a basketball singlet and a can of redbull. A beacon checker is useless if you arent required to actually know how to use it, it's a simple thing to hire or buy just to pass a gate.
     
  26. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You know Japan quite well geographically, Fukushima is not as easy a destination to get to as some of the other resort areas, nor does it have the links set up from train lines and airports to make access smooth. The terrain in Fukushima is also different, generally speaking, to that in Nagano and Hokkaido. I'm happy for Fukushima prefec. to remain undiscovered.
     
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  27. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can you do your avalanche course/s in Niseko/Hokkaido?
     
  28. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Yep, agree, to remain undiscovered, it's nice, but, at the same time, I think they need a bit more visitors to maintain their infrastructure (lifts, restaurants, etc). I mean, Hokkaido and Central Honshu (=Northern Nagano and Southern Niigata) are attracting skiers from abroad, and I don't worry about them much, but ski resorts in Tohoku, I worry a bit. On weekdays, epecially Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I felt like they were my private mountainsROFL.


    Yellow = 2 hour hike, Blue = Juhyo area, Red 1 (the left) = 450m vert of backcountry juhyo & tree run, Red 2(the right) = 1,050m vert of backcountry Juhyo and tree run. The base elevation of Gran Deco is about 980m and the elevation of Mt.Nishi-Agatsuma is about 2,040m, so 1,060m vert of backcoutnry juhyo & tree run.
    [​IMG]

     
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  29. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    They do classes/courses but I've never been on one. On the job training ;)
    When I come for a season I'll definitely do one just to have the piece of paper. :thumbs:
     
  30. skichanger

    skichanger A Local

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    When we went to Gran Deco we were the guests of Gran Deco and Listel staff. We were told they cannot cut down any trees to create tree skiing areas at Gran Deco because it is in a National Park. And that they do not encourage back country skiing because they see the risks as being to high.
     
  31. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wait, so you have all the gear and go OOB, but you've never done any of the courses (AST1 etc?)?
     
  32. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Correct.

    However I use a guide who has trained me - in the use of all the equipment, reading the history, reading the snowpack, terrain, rescue etc. I've done a lot of reading. I've had practice with the probe and shovel, I know my beacon inside and out and how to use it. I'm first aid current. AND I'm overly cautious.

    I don't do stuff I'm unfamiliar with unless I'm guided. I want to know entry's and exits and terrain traps before I go in.

    I won't ride stuff outside my ability (and I trust Pete to make that call). OOBs has been relatively recent for me. I've worked up to it through a lot of inbounds off piste.

    Probably my first real OOBs was heliskiing in NZ and they started the day with a safety lecture and Avie education including the use of the provided beacons. It was immediately after that that I bought our own - I wasn't happy about using unfamiliar gear in a life or death situation - as far as I was concerned we needed to have our own gear and be able to use it without thinking while under pressure.

    I've looked at a number of courses over the last few years but dates just haven't matched up yet. The trouble with living in Perth and having family commitments. It is on my to do list. We are planning on doing a season in about 18 months time - so that'll be when I do any courses I've been toying with (and there's more than just basic Avie I want to do)
     
    #3182 LMB, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
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  33. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Actually they can cut, they need paper works and lobbying, though. I mean, many of ski resort mountains in Japan belong to national parks, and they are not allowed to cut trees without local government permissions. Now, an American fund has been constructing a huge luxury Ski-in Ski-out condominium hotel named "Skye Niseko" on a lower slope of Niseko Grand Hirafu area. The construction site also belongs to a national park, but after a few years of lobbying and some paper works, they got the permission to build a huge luxury condominium hotel there from the government. When they made ski resorts, they did the same things, lobbying and paper works. If they say "If we can attract more skiers from abroad, it will help local people get jobs, lowering the unemployment rate" etc, the local government might issue the permission to cut trees;)ROFL
     
    #3183 Ramenman, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    A bit weird? news. http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai/201503/0007790837.shtml

    A new ski resort will open in Hyogo Prefecture. Hyogo Prefecture is next to Osaka Prefecture, and Hyogo already has a small ski resort "Rokko Snow Park". Rokko Snow Park is about only 40 or 50 mins by bus from Osaka. More and more tourists from abroad are visiting Osaka and a lot of the tourists from abroad who have never skied before are visiting Rokko Snow Park recently, so a small village in Hyogo decided to make a small ski resort to attract tourists from abroad who come to Osaka, Kobe, Himeji Castle, etc. I would rather want them to go ski resorts in Central Honshu. Most ski resorts in Japan needs more visitors to renew their lift / gondola infrastructure. Anyway, it might be a good sign for ski industry in Japan Asian tourists have started skiing.


    Rokko Snow Park
    http://www.rokkosan.com/en/
     
    #3184 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  35. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting, not so sure it's a great idea. They'd be better off investing in better transport/connections to existing resorts.
     
  36. Sandy

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

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    The article doesn't mention trying to "attract tourists from abroad who come to Osaka", so I very much doubt that this is the reason for the resort. Osaka/Kobe has a big population, and I'm sure it's trying to cater for that population that is already overloading Rokko. The logic looks like trying to build a resort within easy reach of Osaka/Kobe for locals.
     
  37. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Yep, interesting. There are 3 things for sure. 1 = The number of tourists from Asia visiting Japan has been increasing very rapidly recently. 2 = Most of the Asian tourists haven't seen snow much, so to see snow can be a reason for them to visit Japan. 3 = Ski resorts near major cities like Rokko Snow Park have started attracting many Asian tourists, which made a small village nearby decide to make a ski resort.

    The small village in Hyogo has this prefectural natural park and the elevation of the highest mountain of the natural park is 1,141m. The altitude of the base village is about 300m to 400m above sea level. I don't know where in the village they make the ski resort, though.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppiko-Mineyama_Prefectural_Natural_Park

    It's near Himeji Castle, Kinosaki Onsen, Arima Onsen and Kobe. So visiting the new ski resort can be a part of group tour packages for Asian tourists (Asian people like group tour packages;))
     
    #3187 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  38. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Some other media are reporting so, I mean, "attract tourists from abroad who come to Osaka". For example, this article.
    http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLZO98070770V00C16A3LDA000/
     
    #3188 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  39. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    This is the number of tourists from abroad to Rokko Snow Park. As you can see, it's been growing very rapidly, so no wonder a small village nearby decided to make a ski resort for Asian group tour packages. They say the new ski resort will have 2 or 3 lifts. Asian tourists will start skiing at such small ski resorts near major cities, then they will start going to bigger ski resorts in the other areas (Nagano, Niigata, Hokkaido, etc) in the future?.
    http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/keizai/201602/0008787352.shtml
    [​IMG]
     
    #3189 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm really in no hurry to see more Asian tourists skiing in Japan. They tend to need as much of a 'helping hand' in services, accommodation types, lessons etc as Western tourists as they also often travel in large groups, so it will still take a while (hopefully).

    I'm happy to be a little selfish and keep visiting smaller 'traditional' Japanese resorts in the meantime.
     
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  41. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    Those smaller traditional Japanese resorts love the people like Heinz-san so much:love:. I saw some of those Japanese ski resorts stopped operating some of their old chairlifts because their 30 year old chairlifts are too old to overhaul and they can't afford to replace the old chairlifts for new ones. As a result, we can't ski on some of their slopes where we used to enjoy skiing:(. Younger people in those rural ski resort villages tend to move to major cities in search of "better jobs", so the population of most ski resorts in Japan started shrinking. The local population is shrinking, so they need visitors from abroad like Heinz-san even more than before:thumbs:

    I love the old one-man chairlifts that a lot of Japanese ski resorts have, but I think you don't see such old one-man chairlifts much in North America / Europe because they were already replaced for new ones.
    [​IMG]
     
    #3191 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  42. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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    #3192 Ramenman, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  43. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    still smoozing around hokkaido conditions ok with today being a late arvo blue bird this place is bc heaven [​IMG]
    another shot of here ... no lifts keeps the numbers down ...earning turns means you keep warm and do no need to feel rushed for fresh lines and every turn is special...hard to believe rain tomorrow..good travel day next stop kutchanish[​IMG]
     
  44. Ramenman

    Ramenman A Local

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  45. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    To add to this, the Chinese and Korean groups tend to be a lot like the Aussie bogans of Niseko, Hakuba and Nozawaonsen IE you can hear them before you see them.
     
  46. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    So far fortunately I have seen very few of these. They do stand out though.
     
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  47. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I find it interesting that, whilst I can only really understand Japanese when spoken very slowly, I can instantly pick Korean or Chinese apart from Japanese. It does make it easy though when it's accompanied by a group pushing everyone else out of the way to get through.
     
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  48. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep same. You can certainly recognise the difference when they speak, but more so you pick them by the way they act. Quite often loud, rude and pushy - totally opposite to most Japanese.
     
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  49. blutek

    blutek One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
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    Location:
    central coast
    CNY vacationers seemed to keep arriving for most of Feb this year.
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Adelaide
    Thankfully not many made it up into Tohoku.
     
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