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Resource Japan 2018 thread

Discussion in 'Japan' started by M_G, Apr 23, 2017.

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  1. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow One of Us

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    Fair play
     
  2. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    #2302 M_G, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  3. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    The number of skiers / snowboarders from abroad to Hakuba. +45% between 2016 - 17 season and 2017 - 18 season.
    [​IMG]
     
    Hyst and Any like this.
  4. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

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    Yep, we were there :D
     
  5. Karen Hopper

    Karen Hopper First Runs

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    Hi I was wondering if you would share the best way to travel to Aizu and the accommodation booked when you stayed there. Looking for economical digs for 2 adults. Cheers Karen
     
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  6. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Welcome Karen
    @Ramenman's reference to Tonester-san is me! So maybe I can answer the question.
    You can get a shinkansen from Tokyo to Koriyama and then a local train to Aizuwakamatsu easily enough. There are plenty of hotels near the station.
    I caught the train and picked up a hire car from outside Koriyama station and drove to Aizu city. I stayed at the Hotel New Palace. It was an OK hotel. Not too expensive and near a few dining options. But it's not near the station.
     
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  7. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    It seems a Singaporean company bought the forest of 270 hectares very near Kiroro. 270 hectares is quite large area. I wonder what the company are planning to do now.
     
  8. Any

    Any One of Us

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    wow they keep selling that thing
     
  9. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Get close to nature?
    [​IMG]
    Somewhere to put the bodies?
    [​IMG]
    Start a trinket shop?
    [​IMG]
    Hide out from their wicked stepmother?
    [​IMG]
    Build a secret military base
    [​IMG]
    Possibilities are endless I guess...
     
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  10. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    You are very funny !!!!!
     
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  11. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers Fatboy. And just a bit drunk.
     
  12. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    It seems Yokoteyama Lift Co. Ltd went bankrupt last month. It's one of the companies that own and operate Shiga Kogen. They say Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen have been attracting a lot of guests from abroad but Shiga Kogen haven't been able to. I'm rather optimistic about the news, though. New managers will make Yokoteyama area better:whistle:
     
  13. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Who are the possible new managers? Please tell.
     
  14. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Would be nice if they would merge all together. "The Shiga Kogen lift company".

    But ......:headbang:.
     
  15. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not so sure about that.

    [​IMG]

    It needs a proper English ski school, a la Myoko Snowsports, Evergreen, etc.
    It needs a coherent marketing strategy with foreign input, plus a modern website and social media
    It needs one holding company to run all the lifts
    It needs a few foreign owned lodges who will help push things along a bit.

    I expect however that it will be same old, same old.
     
  16. Sandy

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

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    What they probably need as well, is a shopping complex at Ichinose. They have the Shiga Kogen Shizen Hogo centre / Shiga Kogen Natural History Museum / old ropeway / bar at Maruike/Hasuike, and it has a big hall there (venue for the Shiga Kogen Beer Festival, which has bands, etc and I assume can be used for indoor sports)
    If they can and DID build that complex at Maruike/Hasuike, then if there was a shopping complex with supermarket, restaurants and bars, ATMs, ski/board shop at Ichinose, then they would do much better at attracting foreigners, because there's nothing much at Shiga Kogen except hotels.
     
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  17. Sandy

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

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    Thinking about this more, they need this more than they need new/replacement lifts, for example.
    Wherever people ask about Shiga Kogen, I suspect that when they find out there are no shops, supermarkets, ATMs (except for at the Post Office), ski/board shops, etc, they will often decide to go somewhere else. I dare say that the holiday companies do the same.
     
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  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have to admit that Shiga has never been on my list of places to visit. The high altitude and more reliable snow at the begin/end of the season doesnt offset the negatives of the place. I also dont recommend Shiga to others for these reasons.
     
  19. Sandy

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

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    Actually, if you know what to expect, Shiga Kogen is a good destination for exactly those "negative: reasons!!!! ;)
    It's often deserted during the midweek, so you can often find powder on the runs, and if you know it well, there are other prime gated and ungated powder areas. I've been to some places(resorts) there, where there's less than 5 people.
    Plus the snow quality is often Hokkaido like.
     
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  20. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Deserted is great for powderhounds or those that like quiet pistes, but not great from a business perspective.
     
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  21. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are places that get a fair few school groups during the week, but they tend to stay on the bunny slopes and leave the other pistes for people like me.... and it feels like its deserted.
     
  22. Sandy

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

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    No, but if you can attract foreigners to Shiga Kogen because of those sorts of reasons, then Shiga Kogen will survive. Shiga Kogen is so big that it can absorb a lot of people. Even on busy weekends, there's lots of places there that have few people, because they spread out. Have you been there?
     
  23. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I haven't visited Shiga, similar mindset to Verm in that the lack of supermarket, shops etc is a bit of a drawback for me.
     
  24. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's many reasons why Shiga wont be on an overseas visitors list, especially an Aussie overseas visitor. If they wanted to survive without making too many adjustments they'd be much better off gearing up to attract Chinese. For an Aussie to be convinced to visit in large numbers you'd need excellent on-slope access, multitude of choices for accom, including self-contained, which means you'd need shops and stores to buy things from, car access or shuttles, English-speaking ski schools. Yeah they potentially could do that, but at the moment why go to Shiga and 'struggle' when you have all of that and more at Noz and Hakuba? It wouldnt make sense to the majority.
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would go back to Shiga Kogen.
    Despite @Sandy trying to break me with all the uphills/skoochin’ LOL ;)

    But you’re 100% right - If it had more facilities I’d consider it as a full trip destination; as it is - more as a road trip or daytrip destination.
     
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  26. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Ramenman did say "Yokoteyama Lift Co", so I imagine that would mean the separate area of Shiga that has Yokoteyama, Shibutoge, Kumanoyu? Quite a few old closed hotels in that area already.
    Shiga has so much potential. I enjoyed it greatly and would go back (we had some great powder). We have stayed from Sunday to Friday and had runs to ourselves all week. Our son, "snowboarder" didn't like some of the ski area connections which are poorly designed for snowboarders, having to release a binding to push or in some cases both bindings and walk for a bit.
     
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  27. Sandy

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

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    Those things are mostly all true, but the snow quality, large terrain and lack of people more than make up for that IMO. It would be interesting to find out, but I suspect that most people on here who have been to Shiga Kogen, would probably go back.
    It's a bit like hitting up out of the way ski hills, you need to put in the effort, but it's usually rewarding for those who have tried it.
     
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  28. Sandy

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

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    I understand this. However, if you have a car as part of your trip, it eliminates that problem. You just need to hit the huge Aeon supermarket in Nakano (the big town at the bottom) and the big grog shop, and you're set.
    Having a car is also useful to get to Yokoteyama/Kumanoyu, instead of using the shuttle bus. There's a lot of powder out there, and just about nobody around during the week.... and I mean 20-30 people, plus 50 school kids on the bunny slopes.
     
  29. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think you'll find a lot of people will say it's a nice place to have visited, but im not planning on going back, or not planning on basing my Japan trip out of Shiga. With respect to out of the way ski hills, I have visited more 'oh yeah that was nice to say i've been there' hills vs. 'holy balls I need to get back here'. The lack of people is kinda a novelty for those first-timers in Japan and people who have only skied places like Niseko, Noz, Hakuba, but the lack of people to me is a more general sign of ski resorts around the country. That and the sad realisation it probably means the resort isnt viable.
     
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  30. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah OK but why do that when I can drive less than 5 minutes out of Happo and hit up 2 giant supermarkets too? Plus if I dont want to drive I can just walk to any number of restaurants to eat at? I know what you're saying Sandy, and I know you're biased because you love Shiga, but for the vast majority of visitors coming to Japan, Shiga doesnt tick enough boxes for them to consider it over other places, in its current state.
     
  31. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lack of people during the week.
    Most japanese don't take days off work during the week.
    Its the weekends that ramp up, especially if you go to a resort that is easily accessible from a town/city.
    It's why, when I go somewhere, that I only board during the week
     
  32. Sandy

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

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    I've been saying all along that it doesn't tick enough boxes for a lot of people.
    You go to Shiga Kogen, because it's deserted midweek, and the snow quality is better than Nozawa or Hakuba. Nozawa and Hakuba crowded by comparison. If Shiga was crowded like Nozawa, I don't think I would go back as often.
    And you can walk to SOME restaurants at Shiga Kogen, depending where you stay. You would know that if you'd ever been there.
     
  33. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    I heard new managers will be the owner of Kumanoyu ski area of Shiga Kogen, a sports goods retailer, etc.
     
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  34. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    What ski areas did "Yokoteyama Lift Co" manage?
     
  35. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    I'm not sure. I heard about six companies operate ski resorts in Shiga Kogen now. Yokoteyama Lift Co is / was? one of them. At least they managed Yokoteyama and Shibu Toge areas, not sure if they managed some more areas or not.
     
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  36. Sandy

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

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    That would make sense
     
  37. Sandy

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

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    I'd say there's probably a logical spilt if there were 6.
    1. Yokoteyama, Shibutoge
    2. Kumanoyu & Okushigskogen
    3. Sun Valley, Maruike, Hasuike
    4. Yakebitaiyama
    5. Giant, Hoppo, Higashitateyama, Terakoya
    6. Takamagahara, Nishitateyama, Tanne no Mori, Diamond.
     
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  38. skivet

    skivet Addicted

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    Ok ,We have been back to Shiga 5 times and are back again next year. We always incorporate another area to ski as well but always find Shiga our most favourite place to ski. Ichinose does have several restaurants, tappas bar, small convince shops, and is basically ski out/in and also has a good ski rental/buy shop. Of course if you want to rage then maybe another matter. Our most favourite place is Okushiga Kogen Hotel, very luxurious , variety of restaurant options, great Onsen, again good ski hire, jazz band, massive bar with fire place. Very suited for Aussie guests and here English ski/snowboard school as well.ski in/out as well. Combine that with tremendous variety of terrain and high altitude I really think you cannot go wrong. You don’t know what you are missing out on if you never try!
     
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  39. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Shiga was the first place we skiied in Japan. Naeba the second.
     
  40. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It's not that good.If you are not careful more people will go there defeating the purpose of going there.If that makes sense.Personally I love the place.But I didn't say that.
     
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  41. Ecstatic

    Ecstatic Hard Yards

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    All this Shiga talk has got me thinking. Anyone had experience basing themselves in Nagano with a car and having Hakuba, Myoko, Madarao and Shiga as day trips? Google tells me all of them can be done ~1hr 15 from Nagano, I'd be fine with that much driving.
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Same two for me in reverse order in 1986. Was on a group tour staying at a hotel near Maruike with dinners included and an izakaya just down the road. No other shops, restaurants, facilities required. Plenty of powder to be found.
     
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  43. Sandy

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

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    Probably the same hotel I often stay in down that way!!! ;)
     
  44. Sandy

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

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    No, that's too much IMO. It may seem like 1hr 15 from Nagano, but add snow & traffic, and it'll be longer. If you were doing something like that, better off basing yourself in Iiyama to access Nozawa, Myoko, Madarao/Tangram or Joetsu to access Myoko, Madarao/Tangram, Arai. Then Nakano to go to Shiga Kogen, Ryuo, Kijimadaira. Then Hakuba.
     
  45. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shiga has to be one of the unvisited ( by foreigners) gems if it is as it was last time I was there 5 years ago approx. It’s funny how aussies ( generalisation time) seem to focus on western attributes and don’t embrace Japanese style skiing ...ie I want pow, self cater, ensuite, restaurants, bars etc all walking distance. Japan style: ski, onsen,eat, sleep , nato all without having to go “out”. I just hope the opportunity to find “unknown” resorts all over Japan lasts for a few more years. Sorry random pic from snow harp hakuba aaahh Japan always fascinating
     
  46. Sandy

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

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    It's pretty much the same as it was 5 years ago.
     
  47. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Years ago I had some days at Shiga Kogen and Hakuba and liked the immersion experience at the former whereas the latter could have been an exotic version of Thredbo.

    Reason it came to mind is that MrsOG and I had bought Epic Passes this time last year thinking of utilising them not just locally this season but also in Summit County Colorado, mainly Breckenridge, next Jan/Feb in between other components of a longer vacation. However a number of factors meant no can do, the plunging South Pacific peso sending costs up but mainly not being able to get away for more than a week or so.

    Thus liking Japan very much we recently thought of Hakuba, for the 5 days covered by Epic, as it would keep costs down and fit into the seven days we might manage to get away for.

    It would be at Tsugaike or Goryu as MrsOG is very tentative, always has and always will be. Me too for that matter so they would be fine. But then I thought well Shiga Kogen would suit better if we really wanted to do a bit of mild skiing. It would also allow a night at Ryokan BiyuNoYado in Yudanaka, where our son did a working holiday back then (and he and I hope to visit early October next year on the way home form Europe).

    Although we would not get the Epic Pass benefit I recall that lift passes are not as expensive in Japan as the case here and US so it might still work out to be a better choice on cost, and especially cost/benefit. Can't decide yet though but closer to the time, which would be about mid February, maybe even last minute, but shall consider options in the meantime.
     
  48. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  49. shepski

    shepski Addicted

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    We split our 2018 trip between Shiga Kogen and Myoko, loved both of them for different reasons. Planning on going back to both in 2019. Not fussed on the lack of shops or nightlife, we found enough to keep us amused.
     
  50. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I will be splitting our 19 trip between shiga and Hakuba, just havent made a decision on how many nights at Shiga Kogan, my thinking is we can get plenty of night life in Hakuba, not that we will be out late..At this stage looking at 4 nights shiga and 5 nights in Hakuba, with some rest days in between.Total 14 days away.
    Looking at car hire, at the right price for Hakuba.
     
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