Japan 2020 / 2021 snow season planning

Sandy

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I'm daring to dream about an Easter trip to Japan. I understand it's unlikely at this point but perhaps still some hope.
It would be a tourist trip with a few days of skiing rather than a ski trip. I understand powder skiing would be very unlikely. Ripping groomers would be the order of the day.
Where would be a good hill for that time of year (very early April)? Obviously somewhere with some elevation and north facing. Shiga Kogen?
I'd be heading to Hokkaido.... can still get powder then.
 

M_G

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That would be my suggestion too. For something different also check if Gassan in Yamagata Prefecture will be opening by then.
 
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ahhh... everyone talking the following season.
Knowing the way things work out, this year = record powder year, next = record slush year.


This is what's been on my mind but even prior to this whole pandemic sh1t because I knew I would miss out on the 2020/2021 when I took up a job in Kinshasa. First time I log on after the last trip which has left many smiles on my face. Will definitely miss not going this year and I truly hope locals are able to scrape to this year with some earnings despite circumstances. Will definitely try to make it 21/21.
 

Ramenman

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This morning in Okutadami (Niigata)


The border of Niigata and Fukushima is one of the snowiest regions of Japan, and 530cm of snowdepth is not suprising for the ski resort. Tadami village is in Fukushima but Oku Tadami ski resort is in Niigata. The roads are closed in mid winter, so it's only open in December and spring (It's closed in mid winter)
 
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Ramenman

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This morning in Okutadami (Niigata)

The border of Niigata and Fukushima is one of the snowiest regions of Japan, and 530cm of snowdepth is not suprising for the ski resort. Tadami village is in Fukushima but Oku Tadami ski resort is in Niigata. The roads are closed in mid winter, so it's only open in December and spring (It's closed in mid winter)

This was filmed at Oku Tadami on April 16th. Considering the latitude and altitude, having this amount of snow on April 16th is impressive.

This was uploaded in May, saying "Oku Tadami is opening till May 12th".

This was filmed on December 20th, 2017 before it got closed in mid winter.


By the way, in "Latest Japan ski & tourism news" thread, I wrote a new road is under construction near Mt.Asakusa - Mt.Sumon, which are close to Oku Tadami and very snowy region on the border of Niigata and Fukushima and the road will be open in mid winter too. I wonder if it will make more people enjoy BC skiing in the region in mid winter by use of the new road.
 

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This was filmed at Oku Tadami on April 16th. Considering the latitude and altitude, having this amount of snow on April 16th is impressive.

This was uploaded in May, saying "Oku Tadami is opening till May 12th".

This was filmed on December 20th, 2017 before it got closed in mid winter.


By the way, in "Latest Japan ski & tourism news" thread, I wrote a new road is under construction near Mt.Asakusa - Mt.Sumon, which are close to Oku Tadami and very snowy region on the border of Niigata and Fukushima and the road will be open in mid winter too. I wonder if it will make more people enjoy BC skiing in the region in mid winter by use of the new road.
I am coming to ski in Japan as soon as the plague is OVER.
 
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Heinz

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Ramenman

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You couldn't go through the ticket reading gates by use of JR Pass?. I mean, JR is saying "Now you can use the ticket reading gates" and it might be because they just wanted to cut down on the labor costs of ticket reading?. The rules of JR pass changed (Japanese people living abroad couldn't use the pass, and they claimed and JR had changed the rule so that they could also use the pass, etc). I hope a group of foreign tourists claim JR and they change the rule again (make it flexible again, not consecutive days only). The rule is not good if Japan want long stay travelers from abroad. That said, most international tourists to Japan are short stay tourists from Asia.
 
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Donza

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You couldn't go through the ticket reading gates by use of JR Pass?. I mean, JR is saying "Now you can use the ticket reading gates" and it might be because they just wanted to cut down on the labor costs of ticket reading?. The rules of JR pass changed (Japanese people living abroad couldn't use the pass, and they claimed and JR had changed the rule so that they could also use the pass, etc). I hope a group of foreigner tourists claim JR and they change the rule again. The rule is not good if Japan want long stay travelers from abroad. That said, most international tourist to Japan are short stay tourists from Asia.
That idea is good. In the old days you had to line up at a JR office to exchange and validate the pass. That could take hour or more at the airport.

When you buy the pass now you get a pass with a QR code.
Which you then use at a machine at the JR station to have a reserved ticket issued.
 
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PMG

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Bad news for skiers that use the JR East Shinkansen to access areas.
The 5 day of 14 day pass is now 5 consecutive days only.

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pdf/20201217_press_pass_e.pdf

Duration 5 consecutive days Note: This pass has been changed from a flexible pass, any 5 consecutive days within the 14-day period from issuance, to a consecutive pass
Well that's stuffed that. It's now pretty much useless for skiers/boarders.
 

Asama

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You couldn't go through the ticket reading gates by use of JR Pass?. I mean, JR is saying "Now you can use the ticket reading gates" and it might be because they just wanted to cut down on the labor costs of ticket reading?. The rules of JR pass changed (Japanese people living abroad couldn't use the pass, and they claimed and JR had changed the rule so that they could also use the pass, etc). I hope a group of foreigner tourists claim JR and they change the rule again (make it flexible again, not consecutive days only). The rule is not good if Japan want long stay travelers from abroad. That said, most international tourists to Japan are short stay tourists from Asia.

In the good old days it was just a little booklet with your name on it painstakingly written out at the service desk. No security features whatsoever on the document and very little checking (this would have been the mid-2000s). Don't know what it's like these days, but my guess is compatibility with the ticket machines is an anti-fraud measure as much as time-saving. I heard stories of people scanning and tweaking the dates at home :whistle:

How to go about finding some willing tourists to fight for the cause on the consecutive days rule? O/S Japanese would probably have more luck.
 
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Donza

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If you're a foreign national in Japan its a no brainer for travelling...
Or for Business people.
 

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In the good old days it was just a little booklet with your name on it painstakingly written out at the service desk. No security features whatsoever on the document and very little checking (this would have been the mid-2000s). Don't know what it's like these days, but my guess is compatibility with the ticket machines is an anti-fraud measure as much as time-saving. I heard stories of people scanning and tweaking the dates at home :whistle:

How to go about finding some willing tourists to fight for the cause on the consecutive days rule? O/S Japanese would probably have more luck.

It was still a card which had to be manually stamped in 2018 (couldn't use a pass in 2020). 5 days in 14. So you always had to go though the manual gate. They didn't always look very closely. Moving to automatic QR code system is good, but removing flexi option is just crap. Makes it virtually unusable for our purposes.
 

PMG

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It was still a card which had to be manually stamped in 2018 (couldn't use a pass in 2020). 5 days in 14. So you always had to go though the manual gate. They didn't always look very closely. Moving to automatic QR code system is good, but removing flexi option is just crap. Makes it virtually unusable for our purposes.
If the plan was to rid the carriage floors of ski/board bag clutter on the Hayabusa then I'd say it'll be mission accomplished. :mad:
 
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Ramenman

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Looks like we're on the Highway bus next time.

I think highway bus was almost always as reasonable as JR Pass for most skiers.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Morioka by highway bus(on weekdays) is 6,000 Yen (or can be less). Skiing at northern Iwate ski resorts for a week(Appi, Shimokura, Amihari, Iwate Kogen, Shizukuishi, Okunakayama Kogen, etc)

Morioka to Kitakami by train = 45min "without Shinkansen" is 860 Yen (if you use Shinkansen, about 3,000 Yen and 18 mins)

Kitakami to Geto is for free (shuttle bus) and skiing at Geto Kogen for 2 days.

Kitakami to Koriyma by Shinkansen = 9,130 Yen, skiing in Aizu region for 4 - 5 days.

Koriyama to Narita Airport by highway bus is
4,950 Yen.

So, 6000 + 860 + 9130 + 4950 =
20,940 Yen is as cheap as JR East Pass.

For a 2 week ski travel (2 weeks = the period of ex JR Passes for foreign tourists), using highway bus could be more economical.

Shuttle buses are running to ski resorts from Morioka, so you can hire a car only on the days when you need. From Koriyama & Fukushima stations (both are Shinkansen stations), free shuttle bus are running to Inawashiro ski resort. Near Inawashiro ski resort, there is a rent-a-car company, so you can rent a car there on the days when you need.

Anyway, both highway buses and trains = charged per person. Cars = charged per car, so if you are in a group of 3 or bigger, hiring a car for a long term might be the most economical (and it can make the travel more flexible)
 
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Donza

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I think highway bus was almost always as reasonable as JR Pass for most skiers.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Morioka by highway bus(on weekdays) is 6,000 Yen (or can be less). Skiing at northern Iwate ski resorts for a week(Appi, Shimokura, Amihari, Iwate Kogen, Shizukuishi, Okunakayama Kogen, etc)

Morioka to Kitakami by train = 45min "without Shinkansen" is 860 Yen (if you use Shinkansen, about 3,000 Yen and 18 mins)

Kitakami to Geto is for free (shuttle bus) and skiing at Geto Kogen for 2 days.

Kitakami to Koriyma by Shinkansen = 9,130 Yen, skiing in Aizu region for 4 - 5 days.

Koriyama to Narita Airport by highway bus is
4,950 Yen.

So, 6000 + 860 + 9130 + 4950 =
20,940 Yen is as cheap as JR East Pass.

For a 2 week ski travel (2 weeks = the period of ex JR Passes for foreign tourists), using highway bus could be more economical.

Shuttle buses are running to ski resorts from Morioka, so you can hire a car only on the days when you need. From Koriyama & Fukushima stations (both are Shinkansen stations), free shuttle bus are running to Inawashiro ski resort. Near Inawashiro ski resort, there is a rent-a-car company, so you can rent a car there on the days when you need.

Anyway, both highway buses and trains = charged per person. Cars = charged per car, so if you are in a group of 3 or bigger, hiring a car for a long term might be the most economical (and it can make the travel more flexible)
Yeah for a group of 3 a car is a no brainer.
Two is comparable in cost.
1 person. Highway bus for sure.
 
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Ramenman

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I think highway bus was almost always as reasonable as JR Pass for most skiers.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Morioka by highway bus(on weekdays) is 6,000 Yen (or can be less). Skiing at northern Iwate ski resorts for a week(Appi, Shimokura, Amihari, Iwate Kogen, Shizukuishi, Okunakayama Kogen, etc)

Morioka to Kitakami by train = 45min "without Shinkansen" is 860 Yen (if you use Shinkansen, about 3,000 Yen and 18 mins)

Kitakami to Geto is for free (shuttle bus) and skiing at Geto Kogen for 2 days.

Kitakami to Koriyma by Shinkansen = 9,130 Yen, skiing in Aizu region for 4 - 5 days.

Koriyama to Narita Airport by highway bus is
4,950 Yen.

So, 6000 + 860 + 9130 + 4950 =
20,940 Yen is as cheap as JR East Pass.

For a 2 week ski travel (2 weeks = the period of ex JR Passes for foreign tourists), using highway bus could be more economical.

Shuttle buses are running to ski resorts from Morioka, so you can hire a car only on the days when you need. From Koriyama & Fukushima stations (both are Shinkansen stations), free shuttle bus are running to Inawashiro ski resort. Near Inawashiro ski resort, there is a rent-a-car company, so you can rent a car there on the days when you need.

Anyway, both highway buses and trains = charged per person. Cars = charged per car, so if you are in a group of 3 or bigger, hiring a car for a long term might be the most economical (and it can make the travel more flexible)

I forgot to mention "Japan Bus Pass". You can choose 3/5/7 days that you use buses. It's valid for 2 months. If it's Mon to Thu pass, it's only 12,800 Yen for 5 days within 2 months. So, land in Kansai airport, spending some times in Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, including USJ). Then take a bus to Tokyo from Kyoto / Osaka (Bus hire Day 1). Spend some time in Tokyo. Then take a bus to Nagano for skiing in Hakuba (Bus hire Day 2). Take bus from Hakuba to Tokyo (Bus hire Day 3). Spend a day or two days in Tokyo. Then take a bus to Morioka for skiing in Iwate or Yamagata for skiing at Zao, etc or Fukushima for skiing in Aizu region (Bus hire Day 4). Then take a bus to Tokyo (Bus hire Day 5). It's only 12,800 Yen if you use the busses on Mon to Thu. Even if you use weekends, its only 15,300 Yen. The website says it's valid for two months. Edit: It's unavailable now due to COVID-19.
JBP.PNG


buspass_japan_map.png


I think Osaka / Kyoto - Tokyo - Central Honshu (Niigata or Nagano) - Tokyo - Tohoku - Tokyo = 12,800 Yen is veeeeery cheap.
 
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Sandy

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If you're a foreign national in Japan its a no brainer for travelling...
Or for Business people.

How come?
I'm a resident with a resident's visa, not a visitor. Only visitors can get JR passes, except the for the Kanto Plain pass.
That's why I tend to stick with Nagano/Niigata, because it costs me too much for trains otherwise.
 

Donza

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I'm a resident with a resident's visa, not a visitor. Only visitors can get JR passes, except the for the Kanto Plain pass.
That's why I tend to stick with Nagano/Niigata, because it costs me too much for trains otherwise.
No thats changed. The three main changes come April 1st on are.
  • Available for purchase to anyone with a foreign passport.
  • Change to a consecutive day pass* JR EAST PASS (5-day pass).
  • East Japan Railway Company (Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, President: Yuji Fukasawa, hereinafter "JR East") has offered a number of rail passes for various areas of Japan to meet the needs of foreign tourists visiting Japan, but there have been some inconveniences to use as the customers have to show rail passes to the station staff at the ticket office or the staff attended gate. To provide an even more seamless service, JR East will introduce a service that enables customers to use the automatic ticket gates, and purchase passes and reserve seats at the Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines that is compatible with all rail passes offered by JR East. Therefore, there will been some changes to the validity and price of the rail passes offered by JR East. We are striving to provide an even higher q
 

Sandy

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No thats changed. The three main changes come April 1st on are.
  • Available for purchase to anyone with a foreign passport.
  • Change to a consecutive day pass* JR EAST PASS (5-day pass).
  • East Japan Railway Company (Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, President: Yuji Fukasawa, hereinafter "JR East") has offered a number of rail passes for various areas of Japan to meet the needs of foreign tourists visiting Japan, but there have been some inconveniences to use as the customers have to show rail passes to the station staff at the ticket office or the staff attended gate. To provide an even more seamless service, JR East will introduce a service that enables customers to use the automatic ticket gates, and purchase passes and reserve seats at the Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines that is compatible with all rail passes offered by JR East. Therefore, there will been some changes to the validity and price of the rail passes offered by JR East. We are striving to provide an even higher q
There's been a 3 day JR East pass from October that I can use, but not for other areas.
The idea seems to be that foreign residents can use this instead of international travel.
Do you have a link for that?
 

Donza

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Elibility Anyone who possesses a passport issued by a country other than Japan. Note: Type of visa will not be checked
 
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skichanger

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Oh man the change to the JR East pass sucks. Mmm might have to find how to complain to them about it. It was bad enough when it changed from being for a month to 14 days but this is useless to lots of people. .
 

Donza

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Oh man the change to the JR East pass sucks. Mmm might have to find how to complain to them about it. It was bad enough when it changed from being for a month to 14 days but this is useless to lots of people. .
And ...exceptional to a lot of people in the mode of GOTO.
 

Donza

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Let's not pretend that skiing folk are a main focus of jnto..

Short stay Asian visitors from abroad....m
 

mannyk

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I forgot to mention "Japan Bus Pass". You can choose 3/5/7 days that you use buses. It's valid for 2 months. If it's Mon to Thu pass, it's only 12,800 Yen for 5 days within 2 months. So, land in Kansai airport, spending some times in Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, including USJ). Then take a bus to Tokyo from Kyoto / Osaka (Bus hire Day 1). Spend some time in Tokyo. Then take a bus to Nagano for skiing in Hakuba (Bus hire Day 2). Take bus from Hakuba to Tokyo (Bus hire Day 3). Spend a day or two days in Tokyo. Then take a bus to Morioka for skiing in Iwate or Yamagata for skiing at Zao, etc or Fukushima for skiing in Aizu region (Bus hire Day 4). Then take a bus to Tokyo (Bus hire Day 5). It's only 12,800 Yen if you use the busses on Mon to Thu. Even if you use weekends, its only 15,300 Yen. The website says it's valid for two months. Edit: It's unavailable now due to COVID-19.
JBP.PNG


buspass_japan_map.png


I think Osaka / Kyoto - Tokyo - Central Honshu (Niigata or Nagano) - Tokyo - Tohoku - Tokyo = 12,800 Yen is veeeeery cheap.
That is very cheap, the Nagano snow shuttle was about $200? each one trip.
That would work into my plans nicely. Tokyo-Nagano-Nagano back to Tokyo-Fukushima-Fukushima-Tokyo Approx $160 Aud...
Plus the Nex 2 ways and the Local bus to Shiga to and back to Nagano.. SOLD..
Is there the issue with over size bags ??
Theres a cheap bus from Narita to Tokyo but no ski bags..
Could be a deal breaker?
 
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Ramenman

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That is very cheap, the Nagano snow shuttle was about $200? each one trip.
That would work into my plans nicely. Tokyo-Nagano-Nagano back to Tokyo-Fukushima-Fukushima-Tokyo Approx $160 Aud...
Plus the Nex 2 ways and the Local bus to Shiga to and back to Nagano.. SOLD..
Is there the issue with over size bags ??
Theres a cheap bus from Narita to Tokyo but no ski bags..
Could be a deal breaker?

The Japan Bus Pass is relatively new one and I don't know much about it, but they have quite a lot of routes nationwide (except Hokkaido and Okinawa), and it's very cheap and flexible (it doesn't have to be consecutive days and it's valid for 2 months). Not only that, you can use 3 buses per day. So, even if there isn't a bus directly from the ski region to Narita or Haneda, you can take two buses on the same day (Take a bus from a ski region to Shinjuku / Tokyo, then take another bus from Shinjuku / Tokyo to Narita or Haneda).

This is about luggage: https://willerexpress.com/en/guide/luggage/

This is about Japan Bus Pass : https://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/

Japan Bus Pass is very cheap, so, even if your luggage is too big, you can send them by use of Takkyubin (Yamato = Black Cat, Japan Post or Sagawa). I mean, Nagano - Tokyo - Tohoku - Tokyo, then, you'll have non skiing days inbetween (So, on the day when you leave Nagano, you can send the luggage to the hotel you are going to stay in Tohoku by use of Yamato, Japan Post or Sagawa).
 

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The Japan Bus Pass is relatively new one and I don't know much about it, but they have quite a lot of routes nationwide (except Hokkaido and Okinawa), and it's very cheap and flexible (it doesn't have to be consecutive days and it's valid for 2 months). Not only that, you can use 3 buses per day. So, even if there isn't a bus directly from the ski region to Narita or Haneda, you can take two buses on the same day (Take a bus from a ski region to Shinjuku / Tokyo, then take another bus from Shinjuku / Tokyo to Narita or Haneda).

This is about luggage: https://willerexpress.com/en/guide/luggage/

This is about Japan Bus Pass : https://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/

Japan Bus Pass is very cheap, so, even if your luggage is too big, you can send them by use of Takkyubin (Yamato = Black Cat, Japan Post or Sagawa). I mean, Nagano - Tokyo - Tohoku - Tokyo, then, you'll have non skiing days inbetween (So, on the day when you leave Nagano, you can send the luggage to the hotel you are going to stay in Tohoku by use of Yamato, Japan Post or Sagawa).
Thanks @Ramenman
The bus pass looks very good value when it is available again.

Need to be careful to book a single deck bus that will accept ski gear with a company that will carry ski gear otherwise if you have an itinerary that allows for it, post it separately and have lots of bus choices. The Monday to Thurs 5 day pass is not much more than what I paid for a single Shinkansen ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2015. Great for travellers who don't mind a slower transport day with time to take in the scenery or take a night bus is you can get to sleep in one. Not for me, I find it hard to sleep in stuffy and bumpy night buses and on overnight flights in cattle class.

"Size exceptions are made for the trunk storage of ski goods, snowboards and golf bags on single-deck buses. Other sporting equipment must be within the size restrictions. Please note that double-decker buses do not have trunks for storage.
Note: Ski goods, snowboards, surfboards, large instruments and golf bags are not accepted by the following bus companies:
Eagle Bus Co., Ltd., Enoden Bus Fujisawa Company, Limited, Ibaraki Kotsu, Kanto Bus Co., Ltd, Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd., Maruichi Kanko Co., Ltd., Nagaden Bus Co., Ltd., Nankai Bus Co., Ltd., Nara Kotsu Bus Lines Co., Ltd., Nishi Tokyo Bus Co., Ltd., Odakyu City Bus Co., Ltd., Sanyo Bus Co., Ltd., Shimotsui Dentetsu., Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd."
 

Ramenman

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The Japan Bus Pass is relatively new one and I don't know much about it, but they have quite a lot of routes nationwide (except Hokkaido and Okinawa), and it's very cheap and flexible (it doesn't have to be consecutive days and it's valid for 2 months). Not only that, you can use 3 buses per day. So, even if there isn't a bus directly from the ski region to Narita or Haneda, you can take two buses on the same day (Take a bus from a ski region to Shinjuku / Tokyo, then take another bus from Shinjuku / Tokyo to Narita or Haneda).

This is about luggage: https://willerexpress.com/en/guide/luggage/

This is about Japan Bus Pass : https://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/

Japan Bus Pass is very cheap, so, even if your luggage is too big, you can send them by use of Takkyubin (Yamato = Black Cat, Japan Post or Sagawa). I mean, Nagano - Tokyo - Tohoku - Tokyo, then, you'll have non skiing days inbetween (So, on the day when you leave Nagano, you can send the luggage to the hotel you are going to stay in Tohoku by use of Yamato, Japan Post or Sagawa).

Yamato (= Black Cat) have "Ski Takkyubin". Pair of two skis, poles and boots, ski wears can be 2,178 Yen (Yamato's website is showing an example and ski gears for two people = 2,178 Yen). Ski Takkyubin can directly send the ski gears to ski resorts, not only hotels. They are asking "2 days in advance", so you need to have two non-skiing days, though (if you are skiing in both Central Honshu and Tohoku, you'll have non-skiing days in Tokyo inbetween, so I think it won't be a problem for most people).

The right one = 2 pair of skis, poles, boots, ski wears, etc = 2,178 Yen (it might cost more, but it's the cost for two skis, not one, so it's cheap)
Ski Yamato.PNG



There is a highway bus leaving Shinjuku around 11pm, arriving in Morioka around 6:30am. So, drinking in Shinjuku till late, catch the bus, have breakfast around Morioka station till 7:30 am, hire a car around Morioka station and drive to Appi Kogen (or you can hire Appi Kogen's shuttle bus from Morioka station). Then, you can save the accommodation cost of the day because you sleep in the bus. It can be tiring for some people, but it can make the long ski travel even cheaper.
 
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Donza

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And may makes cars a better option for more people ;) mmm might have to investigate the long term parking at the airports.
Maybe.
However I bet the majority of aussies still head to the Nagano/Niigata triangle.
Tokyo return to Nagano tickets bought from the vending machines aren't that different in value (circa 16,000yen) compared to the old 14 day JR East pass.
Tohoku is obviously different though.
 

Ramenman

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Thanks @Ramenman
The bus pass looks very good value when it is available again.

Need to be careful to book a single deck bus that will accept ski gear with a company that will carry ski gear otherwise if you have an itinerary that allows for it, post it separately and have lots of bus choices. The Monday to Thurs 5 day pass is not much more than what I paid for a single Shinkansen ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2015. Great for travellers who don't mind a slower transport day with time to take in the scenery or take a night bus is you can get to sleep in one. Not for me, I find it hard to sleep in stuffy and bumpy night buses and on overnight flights in cattle class.

"Size exceptions are made for the trunk storage of ski goods, snowboards and golf bags on single-deck buses. Other sporting equipment must be within the size restrictions. Please note that double-decker buses do not have trunks for storage.
Note: Ski goods, snowboards, surfboards, large instruments and golf bags are not accepted by the following bus companies:
Eagle Bus Co., Ltd., Enoden Bus Fujisawa Company, Limited, Ibaraki Kotsu, Kanto Bus Co., Ltd, Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd., Maruichi Kanko Co., Ltd., Nagaden Bus Co., Ltd., Nankai Bus Co., Ltd., Nara Kotsu Bus Lines Co., Ltd., Nishi Tokyo Bus Co., Ltd., Odakyu City Bus Co., Ltd., Sanyo Bus Co., Ltd., Shimotsui Dentetsu., Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd."

JR Pass is operated by JR Group. On the other hand, Japan Bus Pass is operated by numerous bus companies nationwide. Each company have different buses. The bus company names are Region / City name + Bus. For example, Ibaraki Kotsu = Ibaraki = non ski region. Odakyu = Kanagawa = non ski region. The bus companies that don't accept ski gears are the bus companies of "non-ski regions". So, you don't need to be too worried. That said, you must confirm in advance if the bus accepts ski gears. Even if they don't, you can use Yamato or Japan Post.
 

Hyst

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Yamato (= Black Cat) have "Ski Takkyubin". Pair of two skis, poles and boots, ski wears can be 2,178 Yen (Yamato's website is showing an example and ski gears for two people = 2,178 Yen). Ski Takkyubin can directly send the ski gears to ski resorts, not only hotels. They are asking "2 days in advance", so you need to have two non-skiing days, though (if you are skiing in both Central Honshu and Tohoku, you'll have non-skiing days in Tokyo inbetween, so I think it won't be a problem for most people).

The right one = 2 pair of skis, poles, boots, ski wears, etc = 2,178 Yen (it might cost more, but it's the cost for two skis, not one, so it's cheap)
Ski Yamato.PNG



There is a highway bus leaving Shinjuku around 11pm, arriving in Morioka around 6:30am. So, drinking in Shinjuku till late, catch the bus, have breakfast around Morioka station till 7:30 am, hire a car around Morioka station and drive to Appi Kogen (or you can hire Appi Kogen's shuttle bus from Morioka station). Then, you can save the accommodation cost of the day because you sleep in the bus. It can be tiring for some people, but it can make the long ski travel even cheaper.

And don't mind the length limitations - Yamato send them anyway.:)
 
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Ramenman

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Yamato (= Black Cat) have "Ski Takkyubin". Pair of two skis, poles and boots, ski wears can be 2,178 Yen (Yamato's website is showing an example and ski gears for two people = 2,178 Yen). Ski Takkyubin can directly send the ski gears to ski resorts, not only hotels. They are asking "2 days in advance", so you need to have two non-skiing days, though (if you are skiing in both Central Honshu and Tohoku, you'll have non-skiing days in Tokyo inbetween, so I think it won't be a problem for most people).

The right one = 2 pair of skis, poles, boots, ski wears, etc = 2,178 Yen (it might cost more, but it's the cost for two skis, not one, so it's cheap)
Ski Yamato.PNG



There is a highway bus leaving Shinjuku around 11pm, arriving in Morioka around 6:30am. So, drinking in Shinjuku till late, catch the bus, have breakfast around Morioka station till 7:30 am, hire a car around Morioka station and drive to Appi Kogen (or you can hire Appi Kogen's shuttle bus from Morioka station). Then, you can save the accommodation cost of the day because you sleep in the bus. It can be tiring for some people, but it can make the long ski travel even cheaper.
And don't mind the length limitations - Yamato send them anyway.:)

Oops, they have a well made English page for Ski Takkyubin (Ski TA-Q-BIN) :
https://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/ytc/en/send/services/ski/

Japan Post also have Ski Takkyubin naming it "Ski Yu-Pack" (Post is Yu-Bin in Japanse, so, Ski Yu-Pack):
https://www.post.japanpost.jp/service/you_pack/ski/index_en.html
 

Ramenman

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About Japan Bus Pass. This is a bit old video, though (I think the outline hasn't changed but a few details might have changed).
 

Zimbooo

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Thanks @Ramenman
The bus pass looks very good value when it is available again.

Need to be careful to book a single deck bus that will accept ski gear with a company that will carry ski gear otherwise if you have an itinerary that allows for it, post it separately and have lots of bus choices. The Monday to Thurs 5 day pass is not much more than what I paid for a single Shinkansen ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2015. Great for travellers who don't mind a slower transport day with time to take in the scenery or take a night bus is you can get to sleep in one. Not for me, I find it hard to sleep in stuffy and bumpy night buses and on overnight flights in cattle class.

"Size exceptions are made for the trunk storage of ski goods, snowboards and golf bags on single-deck buses. Other sporting equipment must be within the size restrictions. Please note that double-decker buses do not have trunks for storage.
Note: Ski goods, snowboards, surfboards, large instruments and golf bags are not accepted by the following bus companies:
Eagle Bus Co., Ltd., Enoden Bus Fujisawa Company, Limited, Ibaraki Kotsu, Kanto Bus Co., Ltd, Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd., Maruichi Kanko Co., Ltd., Nagaden Bus Co., Ltd., Nankai Bus Co., Ltd., Nara Kotsu Bus Lines Co., Ltd., Nishi Tokyo Bus Co., Ltd., Odakyu City Bus Co., Ltd., Sanyo Bus Co., Ltd., Shimotsui Dentetsu., Kintetsu Bus Co., Ltd."
I read that and thought to myself “ we put our ski/board bags and luggage in the trunk of a Nagaden bus to Shiga Kogan”. Much research required about routes and bus company service before buying the pass.
 

Ramenman

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Mar 3, 2014
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I read that and thought to myself “ we put our ski/board bags and luggage in the trunk of a Nagaden bus to Shiga Kogan”. Much research required about routes and bus company service before buying the pass.

Ski Takkyubin from Narita to Yamanouchi village (Shiga Kogen = Yamanouchi village) is 2 days and it's about 2,000 Yen. If you stay in Tokyo 1 or 1.5 day, Narita - Tokyo - Shiga Kogen becomes 2 days. So, less luggage is less stressful, 2000 Yen is cheap and Tokyo is worth staying at least a day or two days. In that sense, even if the bus doesn't accept skis, it's not an issue for many people, I guess.
 
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Zimbooo

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Ski Takkyubin from Narita to Yamanouchi village (Shiga Kogen = Yamanouchi village) is 2 days and it's about 2,000 Yen. If you stay in Tokyo 1 or 1.5 day, Narita - Tokyo - Shiga Kogen becomes 2 days. So, less luggage is less stressful, 2000 Yen is cheap and Tokyo is worth staying at least a day or two days. In that sense, even if the bus doesn't accept skis, it's not an issue for many people, I guess.
Think you may have misunderstood me. We have put our ski/board bags in the trunk of a Nagaden bus on our way Shiga Kogan, but the information on the bus pass site says that Nagaden bus Co. does not accept ski bags?
 
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