Japan 2017 thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

dr80

One of Us
Ski Pass
Oct 8, 2012
1,167
772
363
Vic surf coast
Would not waste time or money for any 'Snow Monkey Tour'.
The only time I would bother (if you are keen) is if you have a car , are in the area and conditions for skiing aren't great
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
Ski Pass
Oct 26, 2002
70,608
59,985
1,525
Mountains
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....

Japan is a lovely soft adventure, lots of air time, face shots on moderate terrain, fluffing about and excellent food.

Japan resort skiing suits 98% of the skier market perfectly. Its an excellent holiday that usually delivers good snow.

There is some excellent steeper off resort back country but it may kill you.
 

Born2skii

One of Us
Ski Pass
Sep 23, 2016
4,852
9,621
363
Brisbane
Japan is a lovely soft adventure, lots of air time, face shots on moderate terrain, fluffing about and excellent food.

Japan resort skiing suits 98% of the skier market perfectly. Its an excellent holiday that usually delivers good snow.

In my opinion that 98% figure should be much lower, maybe only 60%. There's a lot of people who don't like Japanese style accommodation, Japanese food and lots of snowy days. Many Aussie skiers/boarders want apartments with western style food on tap with lots of bluebird days. Very few resorts in Japan offer that.
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
Ski Pass
Oct 26, 2002
70,608
59,985
1,525
Mountains
I was referencing the resort skiing. Its a lovely skier experience, usually nice and soft on and off piste. Makes people feel happy with their skiing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Budgiesmuggler

Budgiesmuggler

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 7, 2010
10,509
9,150
813
In my opinion that 98% figure should be much lower, maybe only 60%. There's a lot of people who don't like Japanese style accommodation, Japanese food and lots of snowy days. Many Aussie skiers/boarders want apartments with western style food on tap with lots of bluebird days. Very few resorts in Japan offer that.

Northern hemisphere I've found is far easier when skiing with little kids (under 5s). Everything is just a little easier
 

Budgiesmuggler

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 7, 2010
10,509
9,150
813
I was referencing the resort skiing. Its a lovely skier experience, usually nice and soft on and off piste. Makes people feel happy with their skiing.

Suits me really well. I've skied a lot of steeper stuff in America/Europe but I always keep thinking I wish it would snow... so I tend to head back to Japan for the consistency and snow quality
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
Ski Pass
Oct 26, 2002
70,608
59,985
1,525
Mountains
Suits me really well. I've skied a lot of steeper stuff in America/Europe but I always keep thinking I wish it would snow... so I tend to head back to Japan for the consistency and snow quality

I love my Japan time. Always decent snow and its an excellent relaxing holiday and then .... I hanker for an exposed chute somewhere ....

deep powder is just one aspect of the whole skier life

blower overhead in Canada ... :D:thumbs:

or Utah
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ajmit321

Budgiesmuggler

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 7, 2010
10,509
9,150
813
I love my Japan time. Always decent snow and its an excellent relaxing holiday and then .... I hanker for an exposed chute somewhere ....

deep powder is just one aspect of the whole skier life

blower overhead in Canada ... :D:thumbs:

or Utah

Have been to both... but I've been spoilt from Japan with constant fresh pow days.

Plus I like the culture and food. Food a major letdown in most NH resorts.
 

Ajmit321

Hard Yards
Dec 11, 2016
164
99
98
:) I'm going to Canada to bitch about the lack of snow or whatever I can find ...

Yeah it's hard to progress your skiing powder skiing on piste, I def improved a little bit but I would have progressed on piste on resort more in revelstoke or chamonix ...

A few cortina runs and you think wow and then 2-4 days later you are really nailing them and getting bored. Still incredible snow though .
 

Budgiesmuggler

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 7, 2010
10,509
9,150
813
:) I'm going to Canada to bitch about the lack of snow or whatever I can find ...

Yeah it's hard to progress your skiing powder skiing on piste, I def improved a little bit but I would have progressed on piste on resort more in revelstoke or chamonix ...

A few cortina runs and you think wow and then 2-4 days later you are really nailing them and getting bored. Still incredible snow though .

Ok well maybe hit somewhere else next time with a more liberal off piste policy and less ropes!
 

pedub

One of Us
Jul 26, 2015
960
658
263
Sounds like you're really intense about your skiing Ajmit!
Give me any hill with 30+ slope angle, knee deep+ untracked dry japow and I could ride that all day for weeks :) it's all about having fun for me

Are you saying you could only ride powder on piste at Cortina? (never been there) if so, there's plenty of other resorts in Japan where you can easily get off piste
 
  • Like
Reactions: travelislife

Crispy013

One of Us
Jun 6, 2010
2,005
2,772
363
Port Macquarie, NSW
Sounds like Amjit spent 7 days straight at Cortina. I would get super bored too at such a small resort without variety. There's more to steep and deep Japan than one resort.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LMB

ojisan

station master
Ski Pass
Jul 26, 2011
19,236
9,125
813
:)
A few cortina runs and you think wow and then 2-4 days later you are really nailing them and getting bored. Still incredible snow though .
Did you ski anywhere else or you just stuck to cortina?
 

Kimski

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2010
1,575
2,185
363
Love the big Euro resorts but it's a different trip. Longer and more expensive flight plus jet lag. Really need to do at least two weeks of skiing plus some sightseeing to justify the trouble and expense of getting there.

Japan is easier to get to and solved the keylah problem. You definitely don't go just for the skiing. It's the whole package.
 

pedub

One of Us
Jul 26, 2015
960
658
263
I am planning a trip to the powder-iest places in Canada next year. Then I will be able to objectively comment on Japan versus X debate :)

It's also just another thing on the bucket list (not because I was let down by Japan :))

EDIT: Just got home on a horrible flight with Korean air... I don't think I'll use them again
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: LMB

Froff Life

A Local
Ski Pass
Apr 2, 2014
8,268
5,206
563
Melbourne
Having just returned from my 5th trip to Japan, I'm also interested in perhaps a trip to North America next year. I love love love Japan, for all (and many more) of the reasons people have already talked about above, but I want to explore and ski more of the world too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Pow and LMB

LMB

Old but definitely not Crusty!
Moderator
Ski Pass
May 6, 2010
34,983
37,653
1,063
Perth
Having just returned from my 5th trip to Japan, I'm also interested in perhaps a trip to North America next year. I love love love Japan, for all (and many more) of the reasons people have already talked about above, but I want to explore and ski more of the world too.
This was a factor we carefully considered before buying in Japan. We knew that by buying the convenience factor would mean we would be repeat visitors.

But we were both very clear that while we wanted to have a 'home base', some kind of local connection, we also wanted to be world explorers. We decided they're not necessarily mutually exclusive, and try to add a new ski area or country every year.

Last year was Chile.
And that redefined my concept of steep and my perception of what was skiable for me.
I've been back to my Hirafu home base since then, it was low tide but we still had great fun. I found that things that used to elicit a butt clench no longer did, but I feel that only increased the fun factor.

Everywhere has its charms.
You should sample them all and go wherever you are happy. Life is short. Seek out happy days.

(Fixed my English. Wow! Can't even speak my first language, no wonder I'm struggling with others!)
 
Last edited:

blowfin

One of Us
Ski Pass
Nov 3, 2012
2,812
2,048
363
42
Perth
Just got back from a 12 day trip with 3 bottles of Sake and a bunch of stuff from Ueno Yamishiroya. Chatted to three different groups of people while eating and drinking around Ueno on Saturday night, all very friendly. One of whom decided they really wanted me to enjoy and remember my stay in Tokyo, so they offered to cover my bill (only beer and snacks). So I shouted someone a drink to pay it forward. It's a good example of why Japan is so wonderful to visit.

Apart from that what everyone else has mentioned is spot on. Correct that the inbounds terrain just doesn't compare to my main reference point of Canada, but all that terrain can be for zero if it's a bad season or you just luck out on snow. Japan basically has the most reliable and constant snowfall in the world, and it's (relatively) easy to get to from Australia.

I did see some pretty good examples of people getting ahead of themselves on this trip though, always in a rush, and quite big egos about how fast or "well" they could ride the relatively mild terrain. Some of them could use a trip to tougher terrain to really test themselves.
 

TJ

One of Us
Aug 5, 2000
3,657
863
363
Hakuba, Japan
www.whitehorse-hakuba.com
Being at the right place at the right time is what it is all about here. 9 resorts within easy reach and then extend that to the many others that I have access to and then add the BC which would test anyone. Stay at one place and I can understand why some would be disappointed. Ski -in ski out is not the best option for Hakuba. Access and knowledge is the key. I just saw crew in our restaurant for lunch today and ask where they rode today. Resting up they say for the snow tomorrow. I have just had an epic morning session. These guys just did not know where to go and listened to weather reports that it was going to rain. I was getting puked on :)
16830860_1456336737733180_4353403816038207105_n.jpg
 

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
15,496
5,181
813
Brisbane
Having just returned from my 5th trip to Japan, I'm also interested in perhaps a trip to North America next year. I love love love Japan, for all (and many more) of the reasons people have already talked about above, but I want to explore and ski more of the world too.
I did my trip to Canada last month after 3 years in a row of Japan. Back to Japan next year. :D
 

pedub

One of Us
Jul 26, 2015
960
658
263
Tell us the story.
Well its nothing amazing just 3 major gripes:
1. Either they served some bad food, or they plane was super under designed in regards to bathroom per person ratio, because there was massive queues for them. Sometimes 10 people on each isle at a time (was a 747). If there was bad food I didn't eat it because I was able to hold off until just before landing, but the main issue was it was very hard to sleep because of all the shuffling/door shutting/people climbing around. Felt sorry for the guy right in the front row by the bathroom...
2. There was turbulence, which doesn't bother me much but this caused the PA to frequently announce in Korean and English that everybody should sit down and for some reason the volume of the 'bing' and the voice was exceedingly loud. Happened around 15 times during the start of the prime sleeping hours. They could just say it once and say sit down until we give the all clear to move again etc. The turbulence was really not that bad anyway.
3. Forgot/ran out of sleeping pills before this trip

Took the flight because of 1 stop. Auckland>Incheon>Sapporo.
Have done Auckland>Sydney>Tokyo>Sapporo before on JAL, cant recall anything too bad from those flights but the stops are annoying! (plus I think I had sleeping pills!) Korean was fast, slightly rushed in transfer, but we made it just as the boarding line was ending. About 11 hours to that point then 2.5 more to Chitose. Previously on JAL wanted to stay in Sapporo that night so had to add 1 hour train ride as well. Took 18 hours all up. Staying it Chitose was better. Stayed in the Wing hotel, which is the worst accom I've had in Japan so far but did the job. Most uncomfortable bed and smallest room. Nice hotel staff though which is basically a given in Japan.
 

Incider

One of Us
May 20, 2011
1,119
412
263
Qantas really need to lay off spruiking the duty free.

It gets pretty tired having 4 English & 4 Japanese announcements re duty free during a 9 + 2 hr (delay) flight.
 

Coutta

Hard Yards
Jul 24, 2002
228
52
98
Sydney
Just got back from a 12 day trip with 3 bottles of Sake and a bunch of stuff from Ueno Yamishiroya. Chatted to three different groups of people while eating and drinking around Ueno on Saturday night, all very friendly. One of whom decided they really wanted me to enjoy and remember my stay in Tokyo, so they offered to cover my bill (only beer and snacks). So I shouted someone a drink to pay it forward. It's a good example of why Japan is so wonderful to visit.

Apart from that what everyone else has mentioned is spot on. Correct that the inbounds terrain just doesn't compare to my main reference point of Canada, but all that terrain can be for zero if it's a bad season or you just luck out on snow. Japan basically has the most reliable and constant snowfall in the world, and it's (relatively) easy to get to from Australia.

I did see some pretty good examples of people getting ahead of themselves on this trip though, always in a rush, and quite big egos about how fast or "well" they could ride the relatively mild terrain. Some of them could use a trip to tougher terrain to really test themselves.


Hey Blowfin, how did the rest of your trip to Bandai go. What was the tour like?

Thanks for the few runs we got to do in Zao, I hope it's not me you're talking about above. ;-)
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,331
28,723
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Being at the right place at the right time is what it is all about here. 9 resorts within easy reach and then extend that to the many others that I have access to and then add the BC which would test anyone. Stay at one place and I can understand why some would be disappointed. Ski -in ski out is not the best option for Hakuba. Access and knowledge is the key. I just saw crew in our restaurant for lunch today and ask where they rode today. Resting up they say for the snow tomorrow. I have just had an epic morning session. These guys just did not know where to go and listened to weather reports that it was going to rain. I was getting puked on :)
16830860_1456336737733180_4353403816038207105_n.jpg

This ^^^

I find it a little perplexing (but satisfying from a selfish POV), that so many people go to the same place(s) on a powder day, wait in line for 30min, while I can lap track after track elsewhere.
As TJ says, knowledge is the key at Hakuba, and elsewhere.

Example. Shiga Kogen
Yesterday, at Kumanoyu, could still make tracks until after lunch.... And has some of the steepest inbounds courses (powder) at Shiga Kogen. Yes, there's not much vertical, but you can make track after track even on a weekend.
The key is to go where others are not riding powder.
 

blowfin

One of Us
Ski Pass
Nov 3, 2012
2,812
2,048
363
42
Perth
Hey Blowfin, how did the rest of your trip to Bandai go. What was the tour like?

Thanks for the few runs we got to do in Zao, I hope it's not me you're talking about above. ;-)

It was nice to meet you and do a few laps together :thumbs:. And no definitely not a comment about you :p The rest of the trip was great. The real kicker for me was having someone to put us on the fresh snow for those days without needing to hire a car or deal with buses. For example, riding fresh lines pretty much all day on Thursday, when the last snowfall of any consequence was on the previous weekend. Having said that, I think i'll try and do things a little differently next time. I was looking at a lot of stuff around Bandai and thinking how I'd like to go back with my Splitboard and full safety equipment. Not so much to get out into the backcountry immediately, but so full advantage could be taken on a suitable day. There's a lot to consider before the next trip.:D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coutta

dr80

One of Us
Ski Pass
Oct 8, 2012
1,167
772
363
Vic surf coast
This ^^^

I find it a little perplexing (but satisfying from a selfish POV), that so many people go to the same place(s) on a powder day, wait in line for 30min, while I can lap track after track elsewhere.
As TJ says, knowledge is the key at Hakuba, and elsewhere.

The key is to go where others are not riding powder.

Yes, but you either need your own local knowledge or an experienced guide to take you there.
It takes time to figure it all out - basically being in the right place at the right time - to keep riding untracked powder.
 
  • Like
Reactions: blowfin

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,331
28,723
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
This ^^^

I find it a little perplexing (but satisfying from a selfish POV), that so many people go to the same place(s) on a powder day, wait in line for 30min, while I can lap track after track elsewhere.
As TJ says, knowledge is the key at Hakuba, and elsewhere.

Example. Shiga Kogen
Yesterday, at Kumanoyu, could still make tracks until after lunch.... And has some of the steepest inbounds courses (powder) at Shiga Kogen. Yes, there's not much vertical, but you can make track after track even on a weekend.
The key is to go where others are not riding powder.
Yes, but you either need your own local knowledge or an experienced guide to take you there.
It takes time to figure it all out - basically being in the right place at the right time - to keep riding untracked powder.
True, but instead, just meet up with someone here who knows the various resorts well. e.g. I spent a day with @hotsaki, @argento and crew last week, and showed them some places at Shiga kogen....
 
  • Like
Reactions: argento

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
15,496
5,181
813
Brisbane
I'll have a look at your Canada report. But, yes, why back to Japan?
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed Canada. It was nice to have a big ski in/ski out condo for the family, lots of blacks and double black runs plus no roped off areas within the resort boundaries. It's good to mix it up. But........

Japan offers more fresh snow, less people off piste, shorter flight times, better food, and all up costs less than a trip to North America. And even though Japan can be a little quirky, I think it's grown on me. I'm sure I'll get the urge to head back to North America at some point but for the next trip we're off to explore Hokkaido. :D
 

blowfin

One of Us
Ski Pass
Nov 3, 2012
2,812
2,048
363
42
Perth
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed Canada. It was nice to have a big ski in/ski out condo for the family, lots of blacks and double black runs plus no roped off areas within the resort boundaries. It's good to mix it up. But........

Japan offers more fresh snow, less people off piste, shorter flight times, better food, and all up costs less than a trip to North America. And even though Japan can be a little quirky, I think it's grown on me. I'm sure I'll get the urge to head back to North America at some point but for the next trip we're off to explore Hokkaido. :D

To a large extent I went back to Canada in 2014 to catch up with friends I'd made when I was there for my working holiday. I think next time I go back it's going to be around my 40th birthday, to treat myself with some world class cat skiiing, or something similar. The jet lag is the worst thing for me. It takes a week to get adjusted IMHO.
 

smitty484

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Apr 27, 2006
22,789
4,748
1,025
33
London, previously Brisbane
This ^^^

I find it a little perplexing (but satisfying from a selfish POV), that so many people go to the same place(s) on a powder day, wait in line for 30min, while I can lap track after track elsewhere.
As TJ says, knowledge is the key at Hakuba, and elsewhere.

Cortina is the most fun in bounds in Hakuba on a fresh snow day though.
 

Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Sep 29, 2010
12,023
8,193
813
This ^^^

I find it a little perplexing (but satisfying from a selfish POV), that so many people go to the same place(s) on a powder day, wait in line for 30min, while I can lap track after track elsewhere.
As TJ says, knowledge is the key at Hakuba, and elsewhere.

Example. Shiga Kogen
Yesterday, at Kumanoyu, could still make tracks until after lunch.... And has some of the steepest inbounds courses (powder) at Shiga Kogen. Yes, there's not much vertical, but you can make track after track even on a weekend.
The key is to go where others are not riding powder.
Precisely
 

pedub

One of Us
Jul 26, 2015
960
658
263
It's sometimes surprising where you find fresh tracks. Several times I went to typical OOB spots and found it completely tracked out, while in-bounds I found plenty of untracked. Word obviously gets around about OOB lines, but obscure lines within the resort, sometimes very few know about them.

Also, when you're with a tour company. The respectful ones will not duck ropes. Leaving those who do it discreetly to enjoy the inbounds pow. I don't feel good about ducking ropes but it's obvious at some resorts they simply don't care. If I was running a business though, I wouldn't do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Pow and LMB
Status
Not open for further replies.
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass