Japan 2017 thread

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ojisan

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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....
ummmmm... the massive snowfalls Japan can get ;)
 
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Tonester

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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....
  • Proximity to Australia
  • Minimal time (zone) difference = little/no jetlag
  • Japanese people
  • Japanese efficiency incl transport
  • 500+ hidden gems
  • snow
  • snow
  • It's a culturally different experience
  • snow
  • The manner in which the Japanese people show respect and consideration for each other. (There's a million daily examples that are easy to miss the first time.)
  • the food is just sooooo good
  • have I mentioned the snow?
 

ojisan

station master
Ski Pass
Jul 26, 2011
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  • Proximity to Australia
  • Minimal time (zone) difference = little/no jetlag
  • Japanese people
  • Japanese efficiency incl transport
  • 500+ hidden gems
  • snow
  • snow
  • It's a culturally different experience
  • snow
  • The manner in which the Japanese people show respect and consideration for each other. (There's a million daily examples that are easy to miss the first time.)
  • the food is just sooooo good
  • have I mentioned the snow?
I think you should mention the 'snow'.. :D
 

pedub

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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....

Some of the lightest driest pow you will ever find. (Ref: central Hokkaido)

Also its pretty cheap really

EDIT: missed your comment "major resorts" in my experience these are not the best place to go
 
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ojisan

station master
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EDIT: missed your comment "major resorts" in my experience these are not the best place to go

That bit was confusing... one sentence he says 'major resorts' and the next he mentions why give Japan a 'second visit'.
Also, I need to find out what the Cortina reference is all about
 

LMB

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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....
You're looking for extreme steeps rather than the deep powder experience - this is what I take from your recent posts.

So yes, you're better off in Europe or in the Andes in Chile if you want Southern and Northern adventures - but if you put usual Japan snowfall on those mountains you couldn't ski it - it'd be a death trap.

There is some insane skiing - way out of my league - out of bounds, but my guess is it wasn't exactly safe to get out there during your trip because of the huge amounts of snow Honshu has received this season.

I'm going for a full season next Winter with the main motivation of having access to those kind of go windows.

It's a lot easier to find an opportunity to ski big mountains where the snowfall amounts aren't so huge. We got 5 out of 6 heli days in Chile in August - all bluebird - not a lot of bluebird days in Japan most Winters.

It's just different.
If it's not your preference, no problem. But there are clearly a lot of deep snow fans here
 
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Born2ski

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  • Proximity to Australia
  • Minimal time (zone) difference = little/no jetlag
  • Japanese people
  • Japanese efficiency incl transport
  • 500+ hidden gems
  • snow
  • snow
  • It's a culturally different experience
  • snow
  • The manner in which the Japanese people show respect and consideration for each other. (There's a million daily examples that are easy to miss the first time.)
  • the food is just sooooo good
  • have I mentioned the snow?
I think you missed one.........great value.

Lift tickets under $50 for adults and between zero to $30 for kids. On snow accommodation for under $200 a night for a family. And return airfares in peak school holidays for $1000 or less. All up two weeks skiing Japan is cheaper than skiing OZ.
 

kaegee

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Sat on a chair at Kanda ( promised D 12 a ski school day ) with a Swiss flouro euro on his bright orange 125 Black Crows . Nice bloke 56 skied for 50. Saw he and his mates ski ... rate . Said he'd never experienced anything like the armpit deep dry off the back of Cortina in the trees .Ever!!! Said he'd be back .
Asked why there were so many Australians here . I said maaate it's 40 degrees in Sydney today . 'Oh! '
 
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hongomania

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So all in all a pretty unsuccessful trip to japan...

Left hakuba 3 days early after hucking off a "cliff" at high speed onto a flat landing and almost breaking myself in half. Luckily landing was pow wow. The mental anguish of not being able to shred 1m fresh was unbearable moreso than the physical pain.

Had a week off, finally had 2 days riding in niseko (the snow is so thin here), at which point yesterday i caught an edge full carve mode at 85kmhr (thanks Garmin watch).

Tried to ski out on one leg...then slid for a while. I minimised damage with the way i deliberately went with the crash, but have twanged my knee badly and am heading back to tokyo 3 days early.

Oh well you win some you lose some.

Here is some footage from yesterday anyway by fellow moosher and friend tcross

 

Mike Pow

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TUESDAY 07 FEBRUARY 2017

HAKUBA - WHITE HORSE 3
Yours truly (@mikethesnow) getting deep in the 'Double Black Diamond' terrain of the 'Tsuga Pow' sign up programme
Hakuba Tsugaike Kogen, Hakuba Valley, Nagano, Japan

Tsugaike trees the best I've skied in Japan.

 

pedub

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Another good day at Kokusai. Not quite full reset but close. Many niseko gaijin there once again, but still a quiet weekday overall and fresh tracks easy to find. Snowed all day and got heavy as we left, hope its a full reset tomorrow
 
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Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....
So do you mean that you were only riding at Cortina?
 
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expatgm

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  • Proximity to Australia
  • Minimal time (zone) difference = little/no jetlag
  • Japanese people
  • Japanese efficiency incl transport
  • 500+ hidden gems
  • snow
  • snow
  • It's a culturally different experience
  • snow
  • The manner in which the Japanese people show respect and consideration for each other. (There's a million daily examples that are easy to miss the first time.)
  • the food is just sooooo good
  • have I mentioned the snow?
Why visit a second time??
Going touring with a Japanese mate in Central Hokkaido.
Drinking (too much) afterwards with Japanese mate

Being invited to share dinner with members of the Sapporo university white water canoeing club for no other reason that I was behaving respectfully and making an effort with my poor Japanese.

Going shopping in the Fuji supermarket in Kamifurano and being the only westerner there.

Driving to Minamifurano via Lake Kanayama trying to avoid deers hell bent on running into my car.
Drooling at the drop dead beautiful scenery around Lake Kanayama while avoiding the deers.
Driving past Tomamu resort and having no interest whatsoever in going in.

Yelling at westerners forgetting to take their shoes off at my accomodation and having my Japanese hosts thank me for it.

20 Days skiing without visiting a resort. Can't wait to do it again next year.
What is there not to like.
But hey! That's just me, I understand others don't see it that way.
 

pedub

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I'm the same. Keep a towel in my jacket pocket and wipe down after every run. Otherwise you get freezer burn. What a problem to have!
I just take super thin masks, so easy to breathe through. Usually take at least 3 of them, swap them at lunch or if I have taken many face-shots or if I have had some crazy bail cartwheeling down the hill
( today I wish I had a 2nd pair of goggles :) )
I just need something to cover the skin, not needed for warmth.
 
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LMB

Old but definitely not Crusty!
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I just take super thin masks, so easy to breathe through. Usually take at least 3 of them, swap them at lunch or if I have taken many face-shots or if I have had some crazy bail cartwheeling down the hill
( today I wish I had a 2nd pair of goggles :) )
I just need something to cover the skin, not needed for warmth.
I'm the same.
Winning combination for me after much trial and error is the arctic buff with lightweight stretchy teeshirty fabric on one end and a thin single layer fleece on the other.
Most days fleece is tucked into neckline of midlayer and fabric sits on my chin, and comes up over my nose if necessary (windy chairlift).
However if it's bitter and I'm getting frost nipped cheeks I turn it up the other way and have the fleece on my face.
Works a treat and easy up and down so I don't get claustrophobic.
 

Chondro

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I just take super thin masks, so easy to breathe through. Usually take at least 3 of them, swap them at lunch or if I have taken many face-shots or if I have had some crazy bail cartwheeling down the hill
( today I wish I had a 2nd pair of goggles :) )
I just need something to cover the skin, not needed for warmth.
Yep . I carry 2 spare blackstrap facemasks in my backpack.
Found the blackstrap ones have been the best so far for warmth + breathability. Have never had to get the 3rd out but its always there just incase.
 

Stiffler

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I prefer this method, keeps you breathing easy all day amongst the deepest of pow. LOL
 

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Mike Pow

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THURSDAY 09 FEBRUARY 2017

TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC 1

I bumped into old friend and Niseko photographer Glen (@gcp_ @360niseko) at the bottom of the Center chairlift and spent the morning with him and his group who were over from the Niseko Resort Area on a ski photo trip

Kiroro had been skied hard the previous three days and even with no new snow in that time period, I was able to find plenty of untracked areas for Glen to shoot the Murphys - dad Kieran, daughter Grace and son Sam

Grace (@graceemurph) catching the light
Kiroro Resort, Hokkaido, Japan

16730376_10155035237943624_1209514750815470480_n.jpg
 

pedub

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I prefer this method, keeps you breathing easy all day amongst the deepest of pow. LOL
:p Maybe good for avalanche too?

Today I ran into a guide I rode with in the past, he said 600(!!!) people signed up to go OOB at Kiroro yesterday.
Some kind of record.
Also, according to his boss: "worst season in Niseko for 12 years" (It's one of the big tour companies), but apart from first 2 weeks in Jan it's BAU at Kiroro etc
He also said there are a lot of new buildings/accom setup this season in Niseko and they are having a really rough start. A lot of disappointed tourists. Wonder what affect this will have on future seasons...


On more positive note, another great day at Kokusai (We've had 3 in a row)
Really started dumping by late morning, tracks more-or-less filled in by midday. HEAPS of gaijin once again,but everyone tracking the gondola line out, leaving the rest alone for us ;) The off-piste zones aren't the easiest to navigate
 

Mike Pow

One of Us
Nov 13, 2014
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THURSDAY 09 FEBRUARY 2017

TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC 2
I bumped into old friend and Niseko photographer Glen (@gcp_ @360niseko) at the bottom of the Center chairlift and spent the morning with him and his group who were over from the Niseko Resort Area on a ski photo trip
Kiroro had been skied hard the previous three days and even with no new snow in that time period, I was able to find plenty of untracked areas for Glen to shoot the Murphys - dad Kieran, daughter Grace and son Sam
Sam (@standardsockco) enjoying a pillow flight
Kiroro Resort, Hokkaido, Japan

16711654_10155037344758624_723053402400572410_n.jpg
 
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pedub

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An arty shot from Teine today, such a peaceful spot.
P_20170215_132910_PN.jpg


Had been snowing on and off since Sunday, just went up there for a few quick runs in the morning. (Was told we couldn't get the 2 hour pass since you have to be aged 60+ for that one LOL)
 

winter

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  • Proximity to Australia
  • Minimal time (zone) difference = little/no jetlag
  • Japanese people
  • Japanese efficiency incl transport
  • 500+ hidden gems
  • snow
  • snow
  • It's a culturally different experience
  • snow
  • The manner in which the Japanese people show respect and consideration for each other. (There's a million daily examples that are easy to miss the first time.)
  • the food is just sooooo good
  • have I mentioned the snow?
I personally need to add the onsen experience to this list.
 
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Tonester

Lift Line Nazi
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Just having come back from dinner I'd like to add a few more things:
  • sake
  • grilled things on sticks
  • convenience stores
  • japanese beer (esp Yebisu Premium...yum!)
 

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
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Just having come back from dinner I'd like to add a few more things:
  • sake
  • grilled things on sticks
  • convenience stores
  • japanese beer (esp Yebisu Premium...yum!)
Japanese vending machines. I love the variety and that you can find them everywhere.
 
D

d15812

Guest
I don't get the exaggerated sudden stop that seems so popular in these video clips.

Sure it sprays up heaps of snow but what's the point exactly? Artificially concocting "face shots" so it looks amazeballs on the go pro footage.....
 
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pedub

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I have finally figured out how to do this without losing heaps of speed.
In fact, it is very convenient when you are on a steep slope and need to check your speed a little in a tight area (i.e. not much room to put some proper turns in) Just a very quick turn on your heel side then straighten the board up again.

Otherwise, I think its just for show. Who doesn't love spraying the powder around.
 

TJ

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Haaaa. We were Artificially concocting for 350 vert in that snow yesterday. I do love my face shots. Most of them yesterday were straight line ones :)
He did go hard and deep for the camera on that one but he got pulled under for the next turn which showed how deep it really was.
 
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OT

Hard Yards
Apr 17, 2002
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I'm gonna be a bit of a kill joy - can I ask any expert/advanced skiers - aside from family reasons, why they come back to the major resorts ? I'm just amazed aside from the culture/ food, why Japan is worth a second visit.... As for terrain, Cortina was my reference....

I feel like I'm missing something. It's like everyone has a secret and they aren't telling me....
If your referring to the major resorts in Hakuba then for me it's the cheap and easy access to the backcountry, 1500yen for a gondola ride. If its dumping there's heaps of great relatively safe tree skiing and when the weather clears and snow pack stabilises you've got great alpine skiing.
 

Mike Pow

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Started slow but been a cracking season. One of the best. So many days of "as good as it gets"
Yesterday was pretty good too :)

Looks great Tony.

Do you think you'll dodge the rain forecast from tomorrow?

Thinking of a return visit :)
 

Mike Pow

One of Us
Nov 13, 2014
711
875
263
THURSDAY 09 FEBRUARY 2017

TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC 3
I bumped into old friend and Niseko photographer Glen (@gcp_ @360niseko) at the bottom of the Center chairlift and spent the morning with him and his group who were over from the Niseko Resort Area on a ski photo trip
Kiroro had been skied hard the previous three days and even with no new snow in that time period, I was able to find plenty of untracked areas for Glen to shoot the Murphys - dad Kieran, daughter Grace (@graceemurph) and son Sam (@standardsockco)
Kieran making waves on the lower mountain
Kiroro Resort, Hokkaido, Japan

16649329_10155040699568624_6607851300933026673_n.jpg
 
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pedub

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Did a lot of driving and zero snowboarding today. Woke up to light rain in Jozankei and headed to Kokusai to check the snow - horrible rain crust, was not even snowing when we go there, just sleet. Turned around and drove to Rusutsu. Over the Nakayama pass it was looking promising, car thermometer hit -4degC and snowing fat flakes. On descent into Rusutsu area it was evident how little snow there was this season compared to last. Inspecting the snow at the East Mtn carpark there was about 5cm heavy wet snotty snow on crunchy rain affected facets.

So that was it, the trip was over :( didn't want to finish on a bad note

Had a really good time. 19 days. 14 days on the hill.
Fresh pow all except 4 days, just not as deep as I was expecting/hoping for.

Just had sushi train entree and then miso Ramen. Goodbye Japan
 
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