1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Japan 2020 / 2021 snow season planning

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Snowwww, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    Wow! 2m in Japan would test every aspect of life! Some good tips, not into legless chairs either! :rolleyes: - easier to sit on doubled futons & lean against the wall.

    I recall my second day at Happo leaving a washroom at Kitaone terrace Cafe. I got distracted exchanging pleasantries and braining my lower forehead (no helmet) - it was no glancing blow either. Took it easy for 5 mins.

    At ~ 1.90m In my socks and nearly 1.95m in tele boots -I reckon I slammed into a door less than 1.80m tall. Fair dinkum, it was almost as low as some-of the medieval doors I’ve ducked under in The UK. :p

    So I wish hubby luck! Maybe keep that helmet on AMAP?

    And the old-style two-seater chairs fitted me quite comfortably, thank you. With even a little wiggle room! :p

    Most Hakuba establishments were fine for height however. Probably less problems than for beds. Maybe mini buses were the other weak spot for long western legs. Especially with straddling 1.85m skis. :rolleyes:
     
    fennekeg likes this.
  2. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Delft
    Yeah his worst part was when we were in the one ryokan that didn't have western breakfast so he had to eat fish, there was no coffee either, and then he ducked for a low door but it was so low that even though he ducked he still bumped his head hard :( luckily we found a coffee vending machine soon after.

    Also he's a big train fan, but the overnight train is not an option as he would not fit in the beds (the cheap option with just an open floor space would work but we'd like some privacy as well). Oh and another tip: if you ever go to a sumo match, book chair-seats! not sitting space on cushions, your legs will thank you. And if you're travelling with seniors don't book the discount family/senior sumo spots either, that's just sitting on cushions with less space. The average Japanese senior is quite small so the family-with-senior discount spots are smaller because they need less space.
     
    snowgum likes this.
  3. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    Mm could probably get used to a fish brekky but not my preference. I’d struggle without coffee - I’d think that’s pretty rare around J ski fields? Major resorts? Ryokans are more like hostels than lodges aren’t they? Something to consider?
     
  4. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Delft
    I find the rule of thumb is generally ryokan=all japanese style=futons=only japanese breakfast (which I love btw) =no coffee. So we usually have hotels instead, but I want to do the ryokan thing once or twice on a trip. I usually get that as a trade-off for sitting in the cold spotting trains a few times. So we both suffer a bit :p
     
    snowgum likes this.
  5. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    A good partnership / trip = give & take.

    I hope you can agree on the resort / slopes to ski?
     
  6. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,240
    Likes Received:
    2,672
    Location:
    上越妙高
    #356 M_G, Oct 10, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
    Snowwww, hotsaki and fennekeg like this.
  7. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Delft
    Yes, we're both snowshoers so anywhere with lots of snow, nice Japanese villages, and a mountain train ride to get there. Last time we did Zao and Nozawa (and Narai, Yamadera, and a whole lot of other places). For next time I'm looking at Hakone (for the mountain train), Tenjindaira (with nearby Doai station), Tadami, Grandeco or Urabandai, Shizu Onsen, Yokote, Hachimantai, Sukayu Onsen (for the extreme amounts of snow), Furano and Asahikawa. Don't think we can fit it all in two weeks, so that'll be some tough choices to make.
     
    M_G, snowgum and Asama like this.
  8. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,968
    Likes Received:
    2,618
    Location:
    Port Macquarie, NSW
    That’s a lot for 2 weeks. I did Urabandai region and Hachimantai / Akita area in 10 days. That was trying somewhere new most days and with help of car. Was pretty tiresome. I think pick 2, maybe 3 broad areas at most.
     
    fennekeg, Lucky Pete and M_G like this.
  9. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    4,997
    You would be fine at Gran Deco. Stay in the Tokyu hotel. It is beautiful. My only criticism would be that when we stayed there in 2013 there was no wifi in the rooms so we had to go out in the hall or down in the foyer.

    We went there for a moguls event in early April. The Japanese moguls team trains up there. The snow comes in a bit earlier and stays a bit longer than The Listel, their other training site. So they train there until there is to much snow and then move down to the Listel.

    They had some really cheap deals. And I would expect mid week, late in the season you would be able to get a very good deal. Ours including lift tickets was 10,800 per person per night and included lift tickets, dinner and breakfast. But it may have been a special deal organised for us by Midori Takano who works there. She is a moguls legend and wife of the national coach.

    The room was huge and had 2 double beds plus a day bed. The bathrooms was a huge western style. There would be no head height issues.

    Dinner was a choice of Japanese or French restaurants. You do the Japanese once. Breakfast is a buffet. At that time my moguls skier ate an enormous amount of food so we would spend nearly an hour having breakfast. Funniest thing was he decided to have custard on his pastries. The look on his face when he discovered the "custard" was corn soup.

    Probably the best value for money we have ever had at the snow.
     
    fennekeg likes this.
  10. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic

    Just out of curiosity I scanned JAL’s site - it appears even NZ are still on the ‘no entry list for Japan as of ~ 30 August. In fact most of the world is on the list, so the situation would have to evolve mighty fast for Aussies to book for this winter. That’s my take - I’ve only flown once. Maybe if we Viccos quash this thing it could turn around?

    FWIW: I think an opening for winter 21/22 would be a ‘good’ outcome given all the Covid-related uncertainty around the globe?

    https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/info/2020/other/flysafe/flights-service/quarantine-immigration/
     
  11. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Japan currently has "travel bubbles" with 3 countries, and are currently in talks with Australia and NZ as well.
    Take a look in the COVID travel thread.
     
    snowgum and skifree like this.
  12. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    1,861
  13. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    I think there's a possibility of travel to Japan as early as Feb, but will probably need a 2 week quarantine back into Australia. Requirements in Japan for bubble partners requires no quarantine incoming to Japan
     
  14. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    You're teasing now.:)
     
    Froff Life, Sandy and 2ESki like this.
  15. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    4,997
    @Sandy are you seeing tourists? My translator is telling me she is seeing tourists. She went to Nara last weekend.
     
  16. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    The only tourists afaik, are from Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan I think. No other tourists are allowed in.
    However , with a million expats living in Japan, they have to holiday somewhere.
     
  17. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    Not sure I’d want to do a 14d quarantine even if just in one direction. Not for a simple 2 week ski break. Depending on my work / boss, I’d maybe consider for a somewhat longer break to the in-laws in UK?

    Maybe If it was home Q but locked in a hotel I’d go pretty nuts. It’s bad enough now in Stage 4!! :confused:
     
  18. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    4,997
    Ok that is what she may be seeing.

    She went to Tokyo the weekend before and said the same. Trying to explain why we cannot get there is difficult.
     
  19. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    4,997
    I am doing everything I can to discourage my contacts from going to Nth America and Europe. Not from a business point of view but from an I want them to survive point of view. One of my kids normally goes to Nth America every year as part of a moguls training thing. Most of the parents are saying USA no way for now and probably a couple of seasons.

    I know athletes who have just left for Europe. I hope they stay safe.
     
  20. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Right now, UK + France combined have around ~ + 42,000 cases/day which is only 10,000 less than USA.
    Populations: UK 68M, France 65M, USA 331M.
    i.e.
    Right now UK + France have a cases/day/population rate more than twice as high as USA.
    And in the US, they are way more spread out.
     
  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    Even if Japan are open to Australians for tourism (under 3months) I doubt Aus will let us out. And in my case, that WA would let us out or in. It’s just madness.
    I get the quarantine thing. No drama.
    But grounding all bar the rarest of essential movements for near enough two years just seems like madness.
     
    Snowwww and skichanger like this.
  22. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    41,689
    Likes Received:
    44,568
    Location:
    woonona
    It's not madness in my eyes.
    If you let people travel to do called "safe bubbles" .....what happens if it all goes to Shit again in the country these people are in?
    You could potentially have thousands of your nation's citizens marooned. Again.
     
  23. Ecstatic

    Ecstatic Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    62
    What we've got in WA is pretty special. We're locked behind a hard border but we're COVID free. It's a sacrifice but I don't think there's a middle ground. I'd love to get on the slopes this coming season but I've accepted it's not happening.
     
  24. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    I've accepted it too.
    Will you be able to accept not skiing next Australian winter and northern hemisphere 21/22 also? Because that is the general vibe I'm getting for those that live in the likes of WA and Qld.
     
  25. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    I have relied on OzSnow two times for my trips to Japan. Expect quite a long and tiresome journey as they picked you up at the airport and drive you to Hakuba or Madarao on a very small bus. In case you opted for Madarao, you will have to embark on another bus at some point during the journey.

    The hotel in Hakuba was not bad and very convenient, but the one in Madarao needed a good refurbishment, was freezing and, apparently, noting could be done about it:(. Still a very convenient location but I arrived at my destination at 4.00am which is something that should be considered.

    I assume that with a bit of planning both destinations can be reached without the never-ending bus trip.
     
    hotsaki and M_G like this.
  26. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Not too much planning needed:
    - Madarao: Tokyo > Shinkansen to Iiyama > Bus Madarao
    - Hakuba: Tokyo > Shinkansen to Nagano > Bus to Hakuba. OR Tokyo(Shinjuku) > express train to Hakuba direct (once a day 7.30am, return once a day 2.37pm).
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  27. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    I feel the same way and I live in Canberra.
     
  28. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    Yeah it’s a really interesting win:lose isn’t it.
    This is the bit that’s freaking me out quite frankly. At this stage we can bear the loss of income on our property despite the big costs for a year, but if it’s extending into 2, 3, 4 or 5 years it’s going to sting.
    Ha ha At least you could get to the Snowys from Canberra :p

    Yeah guys, I’ve accepted the next time I’ll mount up will be Thredbo opening 2021. With the rider that IF something magically happens I’m ready to roll. And I’m just hoping we are back for season 21/22!!
     
    Jonathan_P likes this.
  29. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    41,689
    Likes Received:
    44,568
    Location:
    woonona
    Ozsnow have a pretty reputation in Jindy/Thredbo.
    Had multiple covid breaches at their accomodation.
    Shonky as IMO
     
    M_G likes this.
  30. Ecstatic

    Ecstatic Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    62
    No point fussing, COVID wasn't a thing this time last year. Who knows what the story will be in +12 months.

    I've met people that have flown to japan from Australia looking at the forecast a week in advance. Doesn't take long to book a flight and pack the board bag, just gotta be flexible and wait and see!
     
    mannyk and LMB like this.
  31. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    I guess that's true. Politicians are making some questionable calls on things. There are so many inconsistencies and contradictions.
     
    LMB likes this.
  32. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    Even easier that all my stuff is there.
    Just need a window.
    :wave:

    Lot of lessons in resilience and flexibility this year. And a few more in being thankful for what is around you right now.

    Still worth discussing.
     
    Snowwww and Jonathan_P like this.
  33. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,509
    Likes Received:
    2,643
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
    It's the getting back , that is the problem .
     
    Snowwww and LMB like this.
  34. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    Keeping it Apolitical if possible in this thread - the Feds are as strict internationally as several of the states. One wonders what sort of guarantees a country like Japan has to give Aussie to permit a bubble but then surely the reverse is true?

    I think the lack of travel insurance for Covid-related matters is a biggie. It’s all very well to enjoy a nice 2-week break in late summer when nos. Settle down (as they will) but if one developed Covid in Japan or in transit, say through Singapore, that nice ‘little $5k getaway could easily escalate into multiples.

    So I wonder if there’s been any scuttle about TI orgs working to design a ‘Covid-cover option’ ? Without such an option or a vaccine, the general travel market will continue to struggle, even with easing cases.
     
  35. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    @Sandy shared an American based insurance company that is offering coverage a few weeks back
     
    snowgum likes this.
  36. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,240
    Likes Received:
    2,672
    Location:
    上越妙高
    We're booked to fly early Dec and back mid Jan to allow 2 weeks quarantine. No word from Qantas about that yet but I seriously doubt it's going to happen. Can't get stuck there because eldest is starting Year 12!
     
    snowgum likes this.
  37. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    Ooohhh thats exciting MG! Light at the end of the child rearing tunnel. Here’s hoping your new year 12 will have a much easier run of it through their final year than many kids did this year.
     
    M_G likes this.
  38. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,913
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    vic
    cheers for that - I spent Some time away from this thread.

    You turn your back...see what happens?
    Must take a peek. Someone had to get on board; chicken & egg. ;)
     
  39. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    COVID insurance in the COVID Travel Thread:
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/coronavirus-travel-during-and-after-covid.88247/#post-4412090

    Any travel "bubble" is agreed to by both countries. The bubble would effectively need to have no quarantine at either end.
    However, that's probably doable, in a logical way, if there's a mandatory PCR test at both ends:
     
  40. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    That COVID insurance has been around for at least 2 months. See my last post. ^^
     
    snowgum likes this.
  41. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    611
    Location:
    Darwin Australia
    $7.5K for quarantine?Or can you do it at home?
     
  42. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,059
    Likes Received:
    22,053
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    The key for bubbles is no quarantine, but PCR tests on departure and on arrival and both ends (like Japan is doing right now)
     
  43. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    RE: "Ha ha At least you could get to the Snowys from Canberra :p", this year there was so much "logistic" involved in going up there that I gave up. Luckily i had my March trip to Japan.

    Maybe next year I'll find some more motivation but believe me not going to the snow feels weird:(
     
    LMB likes this.
  44. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    I can certainly confirm their reputation. First and only time I went to Thredbo with them they put 6 people into a 4 bedroom apartment. The lovely couple who had to sleep on a couch was not particularly impressed.
     
  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30,922
    Likes Received:
    27,154
    Location:
    Perth
    Ahhh so you and I are at similar stages of deprivation then.

    In reality, I know 20/21 Japan in a bust for us.
    And I’m worried about 21/22 now. But it is what it is right? Was awesome while it lasted, and hope we can get that back ASAP.
     
  46. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,240
    Likes Received:
    2,672
    Location:
    上越妙高
    Ah, yes but big gap to the next one - he'll be in Year 3 next year.

    And, so much for that. Not that it was unexpected.

     
  47. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    Most definitely salivating for a few rides on a fluffy, untouched, cold and white surface.
     
  48. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    4,997
    I would never call their location in Madarao convenient. It is a long way from the slopes.

    4am arrivals, ah the stories I can tell but something we prefer not to have happen. Very few people are on the slopes the next morning. Shinkansen that night or in the morning is a much better option. Iiyama is less than 2 hours and then 30 minutes by road up to Madarao. A lot better option than by shuttle from the airport.
     
    M_G likes this.
  49. David-eTO

    David-eTO Early Days

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Canberra
    Honestly, I did it because while we were on the way, it had been snowing so much that missing such a great day just because I was tired seemed a sin.

    I also agree that their location is not very convenient but it's still a relatively short walk that I don't mind having.