Japan 2020...first off...all of the questions

Kimski

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2010
1,465
1,917
363
Surely groomers and good views are not the reason you go to Japan though. Groomers and views are best consumed in Europe.

This is true but when the powder gods don’t provide then you find the positives where you can :D
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Personally, I think there is "sidecountry" in Japan.
IMO, there seven types of terrain in Japan:
1. Inbounds, goomed "courses", inside ropes, patrolled
2. Inbounds, ungroomed (moguls or powder, depending on the snow cycle) "courses", inside ropes, patrolled
3. Inbounds, groomed or ungroomed "courses", gated with a warning about steepness, inside ropes, patrolled
4. Inbounds, ungroomed including trees, inside ropes or no control ropes. Patrolled. Terrain traps.
5. Sidecountry, ungroomed including trees, gated through ropes, out & back to pistes. Unpatrolled. Terrain traps.
6. Sidecountry, ungroomed including trees, outside ropes, out & back to pistes, enter at your own risk. Unpatrolled. Terrain traps, possible avalanche risk.
7. Backcountry, all terrain outside ropes, enter at your own risk. Unpatrolled. Terrain traps and avalanche risk.

Examples:
2. Just about any moguls courses that are never groomed.
3. Super G & Olympic courses at Shiga Kogen. Hakuba Goryu Expert & Adventure courses.
4. Many places. Myoko Suginohara Super Giant trail. Nozawa Onsen inside the ropes around Yamabiko
5. Kagura Expert Forest Trail, Okushigakogen gated entrances above Kuma-Otoshi course.
6. Hakuba Norikura, southern end. Nozawa Onsen outside the ropes off Mt Kenashi: 1. down to Yamabiko 4. 1. Down to Karasawa.
Yep, my greatest concern when in bounds in Japan is terrain traps. We've learnt a lot through experience and training (AST1&2) that they're always front of mind. Case in point, second trip to Japan in 2011 we got caught in a few traps at Nozawa, one up top in Yamabiko and two on piste off the side of Skyline. In the three trip since then I've done my best to avoid them = missing out on potentially great lines at Rusutsu, and Appi last year. I don't want to suffocate it in a ditch.
A lot of people talk about avalanche, but for the average person, terrain traps are more likely to be a problem....
And most people are not even aware of what terrain traps are... Not just breaking through into a creek, or tree wells (which are not so common a hazard as they are in in NA), but unexpected cliffs/waterfalls.... and because it snows so quickly in Japan, a slope that yesterday was ok with 30cm on it, becomes a trap with 50cm on it... mainly gullies where you end up at the bottom and can't move, or skiing onto the "flat" where it takes you 30min or much much longer to get out. And of course, head planting in deep deep snow, making a big hole where you can't breathe because of swirling snow falling in on you. And of course, "glide cracks".
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Nori can be particularly bad and almost had an issue one day there myself a long time ago after ducking a rope....
You need to understand the exact nature of Norikura. The open face on the southern end is particularly susceptible to big glide cracks. As I understand it, there's some thermal activity under there.
It's best to scope it from the northern end of Tsugaike before hand:

P4350421.JPG

P4350428.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: LMB

Lucky Pete

One of Us
Nov 14, 2014
1,100
1,623
363
Hakuba
www.hakubadowntownapartments.com
Even though my epic fail day was elsewhere there I know a lot more about the the place now after a few years here and that area in the photo is also very susceptible to slides and presents several classic terrain traps. Always blown away how many people hit it 1st thing after a lot of new snow overnight, rarely with any stability assessments or gear. Saw some ridiculous decision making there this year when the inbounds areas were gold. Its a classic 'its only a matter of time' place particularly with some of the gaijin lodge guests and owners now in Nori ....
 
  • Like
Reactions: M_G

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
Side question. Why has this necro thread from March be resurrected? OP hasn't been back since March.

Not sure, but I’m glad it was. Started planning in March, then life got in the way...I’m now back on my planning with a bit of extra reading material :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: LMB

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
So we have a rough itinerary down...

Planning on 1/25/20 thru 2/8/2020
Staying in Furano - 4 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Furano, Tomamu, Asahidake, Kamui
Staying in Niseko - 2 ski days
Shimamaki Cat Skiing - 2 ski days
Rusutsu - 2 ski days
Otaru - 2 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Kiroro, Sapporo Teine, Sapporo Kokusai, check out the Snow Festival (1/2 day)

Anything on my list you think I should ditch? Am I missing any "must-do" mountains? Any opinions of the Furano or Otaru resorts, which is your favorite, which could we skip?
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
So we have a rough itinerary down...

Planning on 1/25/20 thru 2/8/2020
Staying in Furano - 4 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Furano, Tomamu, Asahidake, Kamui
Staying in Niseko - 2 ski days
Shimamaki Cat Skiing - 2 ski days
Rusutsu - 2 ski days
Otaru - 2 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Kiroro, Sapporo Teine, Sapporo Kokusai, check out the Snow Festival (1/2 day)

Anything on my list you think I should ditch? Am I missing any "must-do" mountains? Any opinions of the Furano or Otaru resorts, which is your favorite, which could we skip?
I think it's too many places, if that's your first trip to Japan. Wastes days getting to other places.

Plus the order is not quite right. Better flow: Chitose Airport -> Shimamaki -> Rusutsu -> Niseko -> Otaru -> Sapporo (Ice Festival runs from 31st - 11th) => Furano -> Chitose Airport. Or reverse the Sapporo and Furano.
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
I think it's too many places, if that's your first trip to Japan. Wastes days getting to other places.

The only day that really seems like it would be "wasted" would be getting from Furano to Niseko, other than that, it seems like all of the travel would be all within a few hours, which could be done early morning before skiing or late evening after skiing.

If we trimmed down the number of locations, what would you cut out? Which would you extend?

Plus the order is not quite right. Better flow: Chitose Airport -> Shimamaki -> Rusutsu -> Niseko -> Otaru -> Sapporo (Ice Festival runs from 31st - 11th) => Furano -> Chitose Airport. Or reverse the Sapporo and Furano.

I know the order listed isn't ideal, but I didn't think it would be a huge hindrance either? The Shimamaki dates are dictated by the availability of the tour. We wouldn't be driving to Shimamaki, we'd be doing the full tour that goes out of Niseko (picks up and drops off there). So it makes sense to ski Niseko, then Shimamaki next to each other.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
The only day that really seems like it would be "wasted" would be getting from Furano to Niseko, other than that, it seems like all of the travel would be all within a few hours, which could be done early morning before skiing or late evening after skiing.

If we trimmed down the number of locations, what would you cut out? Which would you extend?



I know the order listed isn't ideal, but I didn't think it would be a huge hindrance either? The Shimamaki dates are dictated by the availability of the tour. We wouldn't be driving to Shimamaki, we'd be doing the full tour that goes out of Niseko (picks up and drops off there). So it makes sense to ski Niseko, then Shimamaki next to each other.
It can take longer than you think. Big snow, slow vehicles on small snowy roads...
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
It can take longer than you think. Big snow, slow vehicles on small snowy roads...

Understandable. If we stick with going to Shimamaki, there's not a ton we can do with the order of locations. But we definitely have the possibility of trimming the number of locations down. Which places would you recommend removing from the list? Which would you extend?
 
  • Like
Reactions: grantn

grantn

Addicted
Aug 10, 2011
281
187
113
Understandable. If we stick with going to Shimamaki, there's not a ton we can do with the order of locations. But we definitely have the possibility of trimming the number of locations down. Which places would you recommend removing from the list? Which would you extend?
I agree with Sandy, you are moving around a lot for a short trip. When you are based in Niseko you can easily do Rusutsu or even Kiroro as a day trip, if you have a hire car. If it were me I would base myself in Niseko for longer, and hire a car for a period (you can get one from Niseko) and use that to do day trips to Rusutsu/Kiroro or even Otaru as you need. That way you could get rid of staying in Rusutsu or even Otaru. If you did that, you could also take the weather into account, and use Rusutsu or Kiroro/Otaru when you need to. In my experience Rusutsu is a good option when high winds are forecast.
 

BoofHead

One of Us
Ski Pass
Ski Pass
Aug 8, 2007
3,305
8,101
363
Brisbane
I’m with the others who have said that you are cramming too much in to too short a time.
1 normally go to Japan for 2-3 weeks, some times lucky enough to go twice in a season.
This year I spent 3 weeks in the Furano area only skiing 3 different locations. Not enough time particularly if you have a car and intend exploring out gates and such.
I also think that there is more than enough to keep you busy if you base yourself in Hirafu or (or Kutchan if wanting to save some money)
3 weeks banging around the North Honshu resorts would be an option also but for a first time I think Furano and surrounds or Hirafu and surrounds would keep you froffing for a couple of weeks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Any

Froff Life

A Local
Ski Pass
Apr 2, 2014
8,217
5,062
563
Melbourne
Same as above, too many locations. Part of the fun is skiing the same resorts for a 2nd or 3rd day and knowing where to go to first thing to get fresh tracks.
Planning on 1/25/20 thru 2/8/2020
Staying in Furano - 4 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Furano, Tomamu, Asahidake, Kamui
Staying in Niseko - 2 ski days
Shimamaki Cat Skiing - 2 ski days
Rusutsu - 2 ski days
Otaru - 2 ski days - Resorts may or may not include Kiroro, Sapporo Teine, Sapporo Kokusai, check out the Snow Festival (1/2 day)
I'd combine the Rusutsu-Otaru part and stay in Otaru the whole time. As you know, from Otaru you can ski 3 resorts (Kiroro, Teine and Kokusai), giving you the 4th day to revisit your fave.

Driving in Hokkadio can often take a lot longer than what Google Maps indicates if there is a snow storm. Factor that in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LMB and tugboat

Any

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 23, 2015
1,226
2,293
363
oz/japan/usa
Understandable. If we stick with going to Shimamaki, there's not a ton we can do with the order of locations. But we definitely have the possibility of trimming the number of locations down. Which places would you recommend removing from the list? Which would you extend?
in addition to what's mentioned, 2-4 days somewhere isn't long enough if you happen upon unlucky weather.
in mid jan/fen you're often sitting around for 1-2 days a week with everything closed (except maybe 1 beginner lift), waiting for the weather pass.

also imo Otaru to Rusutsu is a huge drive in winter. you've got traffic jams every morning and afternoon. plus a 2-3 hour drive when youre tired and wet at the end of every day skiing is just dangerous.

you could remove Furano, and with a car you could base yourself anywhere in the Niseko region (Hirafu/Niseko Town/Kutchan/Kombu/Rankoshi/Makkari), stay for the whole 11 days, and hit Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Shimamaki quite easily from there. you can wing it on the day, chase the best weather and make the most of your trip. and be 1000% more comfortable and relaxed and recovered after every day. not to mention your gear will be dry. Hirafu and Kutchan are quite expensive (hideously so if you dont shop around), but the other options are't much more than Otaru (which has become a shitty tourist trap btw).

you have zero chance at getting bored in that time if that's what you're concerned about.
for reference, each season i do about 7 days at kiroro before i think im getting bored, 5 at rustsu before bored. and, well, um 70+ at niseko/slackcountry lol. lots of pure backcountry nearby if you want to spend some energy too.
note, those numbers of days would be much much more if i didnt already know those resorts off by heart (16 seasons here). plus you're considerably less efficient at covering ground when with a group or family.
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I was already thinking about extending Niseko and Otaru, skipping Rusutsu (or taking it as a day trip from Niseko)....I think all of your feedback solidified that.

you have zero chance at getting bored in that time if that's what you're concerned about.

Not worried about getting board at all...I grew up with a tiny hill and never got bored with it. The reason for so many stops is mainly because I read about so many amazing places and I want to experience them all.

Sorry but with 5-8 people and that much movement a recipe for disaster .

I completely understand this thought. The group that I’m going with would be the only people that I would ever consider moving around this much with. I’ve been on plenty of trips with other people that take hours to get out of the house to do anything....brutal
 
  • Like
Reactions: blowfin

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
in addition to what's mentioned, 2-4 days somewhere isn't long enough if you happen upon unlucky weather.
in mid jan/fen you're often sitting around for 1-2 days a week with everything closed (except maybe 1 beginner lift), waiting for the weather pass.

also imo Otaru to Rusutsu is a huge drive in winter. you've got traffic jams every morning and afternoon. plus a 2-3 hour drive when youre tired and wet at the end of every day skiing is just dangerous.

you could remove Furano, and with a car you could base yourself anywhere in the Niseko region (Hirafu/Niseko Town/Kutchan/Kombu/Rankoshi/Makkari), stay for the whole 11 days, and hit Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Shimamaki quite easily from there. you can wing it on the day, chase the best weather and make the most of your trip. and be 1000% more comfortable and relaxed and recovered after every day. not to mention your gear will be dry. Hirafu and Kutchan are quite expensive (hideously so if you dont shop around), but the other options are't much more than Otaru (which has become a shitty tourist trap btw).

you have zero chance at getting bored in that time if that's what you're concerned about.
for reference, each season i do about 7 days at kiroro before i think im getting bored, 5 at rustsu before bored. and, well, um 70+ at niseko/slackcountry lol. lots of pure backcountry nearby if you want to spend some energy too.
note, those numbers of days would be much much more if i didnt already know those resorts off by heart (16 seasons here). plus you're considerably less efficient at covering ground when with a group or family.

Just further to this..... Anybody who has not been to Hokkaido might ask "why would I be wet?"
When you're riding powder, and it's billowing and getting into every little nook and cranny, it melts, and wets you underneath !!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: LMB

Sbooker

One of Us
Ski Pass
Sep 28, 2015
2,596
3,938
363
Just further to this..... Anybody who has not been to Hokkaido might ask "why would I be wet?"
When you're riding powder, and it's billowing and getting into every little nook and cranny, it melts, and wets you underneath !!!

Thank the lord for that clarification. I was thinking 'wet' was referring to a frequent high chance of r*in.
 

LMB

Old but definitely not Crusty!
Moderator
Ski Pass
May 6, 2010
34,492
35,963
1,063
Perth
in addition to what's mentioned, 2-4 days somewhere isn't long enough if you happen upon unlucky weather.
in mid jan/fen you're often sitting around for 1-2 days a week with everything closed (except maybe 1 beginner lift), waiting for the weather pass.

also imo Otaru to Rusutsu is a huge drive in winter. you've got traffic jams every morning and afternoon. plus a 2-3 hour drive when youre tired and wet at the end of every day skiing is just dangerous.

you could remove Furano, and with a car you could base yourself anywhere in the Niseko region (Hirafu/Niseko Town/Kutchan/Kombu/Rankoshi/Makkari), stay for the whole 11 days, and hit Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Shimamaki quite easily from there. you can wing it on the day, chase the best weather and make the most of your trip. and be 1000% more comfortable and relaxed and recovered after every day. not to mention your gear will be dry. Hirafu and Kutchan are quite expensive (hideously so if you dont shop around), but the other options are't much more than Otaru (which has become a shitty tourist trap btw).

you have zero chance at getting bored in that time if that's what you're concerned about.
for reference, each season i do about 7 days at kiroro before i think im getting bored, 5 at rustsu before bored. and, well, um 70+ at niseko/slackcountry lol. lots of pure backcountry nearby if you want to spend some energy too.
note, those numbers of days would be much much more if i didnt already know those resorts off by heart (16 seasons here). plus you're considerably less efficient at covering ground when with a group or family.
Listen to this guy.
Does know the region like the back of his hand and not afraid of driving around in search of fun times - so if he’s saying it’s too much, it’s too much.

Personally I wouldn’t do any more than 2 locations. You’ll get a feel for the place being there more than a single day, and you can plan to come back to do other areas. I’ve been coming for 14 years now and there is still so many places I want to try.
 

Kimski

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2010
1,465
1,917
363
The only day that really seems like it would be "wasted" would be getting from Furano to Niseko, other than that, it seems like all of the travel would be all within a few hours, which could be done early morning before skiing or late evening after skiing.

If we trimmed down the number of locations, what would you cut out? Which would you extend?



I know the order listed isn't ideal, but I didn't think it would be a huge hindrance either? The Shimamaki dates are dictated by the availability of the tour. We wouldn't be driving to Shimamaki, we'd be doing the full tour that goes out of Niseko (picks up and drops off there). So it makes sense to ski Niseko, then Shimamaki next to each other.

Don't forget that weather can make a major dent in plans. Last trip for me to Niseko it was completely closed one day due to strong wind and the next day only had a couple of lift open.
 

Any

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 23, 2015
1,226
2,293
363
oz/japan/usa
Interesting, skiers, shoppers or something else? I wondered how long it would take until the word was out Teine or Kockusai
not so much targeting us westerners, they're going strong for the Koreans.
they must have some deals with tourist bus companies. causing every single restaurant, shop, seating area, food court to be packed with tourists shopping or filling in time.
there are 20+ minute delays because of traffic during rush hours and restaurant and accommodation pricing are quickly increasing to adapt to the demand too.
thankfully Koreans make for not so bad and respectful enough tourists, so its not super terrible, it just doesn't feel like a quaint little Japanese fishing village anymore (@Froff Life 's description is very apt for old Otaru).
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
you could remove Furano, and with a car you could base yourself anywhere in the Niseko region (Hirafu/Niseko Town/Kutchan/Kombu/Rankoshi/Makkari), stay for the whole 11 days, and hit Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Shimamaki quite easily from there. you can wing it on the day,

I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ozgirl

Donzah

Formerly know as Aldi whorehouse.
Ski Pass
Aug 3, 2017
50,665
59,304
1,563
woonona
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Stay in kutchan then
 
  • Like
Reactions: tugboat and grantn

grantn

Addicted
Aug 10, 2011
281
187
113
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Fair enough. BUT - Niseko is made up of a wide variety of resorts (Moiwa/Annupuri/Niseko Village/Hirafu/Hanazono). These all have a very different feel. Whenever we stay in "Niseko" we stay in a low key area, in a Japanese owned pension with Japanese people who speak no English, in accom with no westerners, for the most part. Every night they host you and drive to a different local onsen every night. I am similar to you and like to get "off the beaten path". Happy to share details with you if you P.M me. In my experience there will be little difference with going to Furano or Rusutsu. On the ski hill, in Niseko or Furano, or Rusutsu etc there will be loads of westerners, and crowds, depending on the day.
 

Any

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 23, 2015
1,226
2,293
363
oz/japan/usa
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
"Niseko" is the name of an area. Like a 100km x 100km region of Hokkaido.
If you want Rusutsu, Moiwa, Shimamaki Cat Skiing, Kiroro and the 4 ski resorts on Mt Annupuri (aka the Niseko United ski resort) within 1 hour drive, then you stay in the Niseko area.
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
Fair enough. BUT - Niseko is made up of a wide variety of resorts (Moiwa/Annupuri/Niseko Village/Hirafu/Hanazono). These all have a very different feel. Whenever we stay in "Niseko" we stay in a low key area, in a Japanese owned pension with Japanese people who speak no English, in accom with no westerners, for the most part. Every night they host you and drive to a different local onsen every night. I am similar to you and like to get "off the beaten path". Happy to share details with you if you P.M me. In my experience there will be little difference with going to Furano or Rusutsu. On the ski hill, in Niseko or Furano, or Rusutsu etc there will be loads of westerners, and crowds, depending on the day.

Thanks for the clarification, and yes, it sounds like we are very similar in what we would be looking for. I’d love to hear more about the details of the place you’ve stayed and how to find something similar...sending a PM
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Fair enough. BUT - Niseko is made up of a wide variety of resorts (Moiwa/Annupuri/Niseko Village/Hirafu/Hanazono). These all have a very different feel. Whenever we stay in "Niseko" we stay in a low key area, in a Japanese owned pension with Japanese people who speak no English, in accom with no westerners, for the most part. Every night they host you and drive to a different local onsen every night. I am similar to you and like to get "off the beaten path". Happy to share details with you if you P.M me. In my experience there will be little difference with going to Furano or Rusutsu. On the ski hill, in Niseko or Furano, or Rusutsu etc there will be loads of westerners, and crowds, depending on the day.
Depends what is wanted.....
Is it that you want "off the beaten track" locality wise where you're staying, or mountain wise? Annupuri/Niseko Village/Hirafu/Hanazono have heaps of foreigners on the mountains.
 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
Depends what is wanted.....
Is it that you want "off the beaten track" locality wise where you're staying, or mountain wise? Annupuri/Niseko Village/Hirafu/Hanazono have heaps of foreigners on the mountains.

Both. I don’t need it to be so far down the beaten track that I never see another person from another country. But I’d rather ski a smaller mountain with no crowds, than a large one with large crowds. I want to experience a glimpse of what it’s like to live in Japan (i.e. no Hilton or Marriott hotels). Where I’ve travelled in the past, I enjoy staying at bed and breakfasts or small Inns rather than hotels. I like to interact with local people...I don’t go places to interact with other foreigners (although that part generally happens anyways, and does end up being a good time). I don’t really plan on staying or skiing much of the Niseko United resorts unless I receive a compelling reason to do so.
 

Nozawaman

A Local
Nov 7, 2002
6,615
2,851
563
Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
www.sasa-nozawa.com
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Honshu is where you should be then ?
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,023
27,852
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Honshu is where you should be then ?
I suppose you can say that Hokkaido is more spread out. Nagano/Niigata have a lot of mountains within a short distance wiht better road conditions.
 

Mike Pow

One of Us
Nov 13, 2014
711
875
263
I don’t think basing myself in Niseko sounds like what I really want. Mainly based off of all of the feedback I got regarding how touristy and crowded it can get. I’m looking for much more low key, and cultural experience. I like to get off the beaten path a bit. Basically the same reasons I’ve never visited Vail or Whistler in North America.
Posted this on a different forum

Go to this page

https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts


Scroll down to the 'Ski Resorts by Prefecture' section.

Click on the prefecture you're thinking of visiting, for example

Hokkaido
https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/prefecture/hokkaido


Then click on the individual resorts / ski areas you like the look of.

On that particular page find the official web site link and click it, for example

Katsurazawa Kokusetsu
https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/hokkaido/mikasa/katsurazawa-kokusetsu
https://www.city.mikasa.hokkaido.jp/sightseeing/category/122.html

If the web site is in Japanese with no or very basic English translation then you will most certainly be in Japan if you visit it.

And there are scores of ski areas like this on Hokkaido, hundreds across Honshu.

PS the smaller more Japanese ski areas offer up lift accessed no hiking conditions like this all day

 

tugboat

Hard Yards
Mar 14, 2019
46
34
68
We're slowly making our way through booking everything. Flights, AirBnB for Rusutsu, Cat Skiing in Shimamaki...all booked. Now I'm trying to find something in Furano...and everything is proving to be expensive, or cheap with low review ratings. I'd really like to find some middle ground.

Any tips for finding accommodations in Japan? Any specific websites have a lot of options? (I'm currently digging through AirBnB, Agoda, Expedia and Booking.com). Or any recommendations based on experience?

Also, staying in Kitanomine or in town Furano....? Preferences?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Any

Any

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 23, 2015
1,226
2,293
363
oz/japan/usa
We're slowly making our way through booking everything. Flights, AirBnB for Rusutsu, Cat Skiing in Shimamaki...all booked. Now I'm trying to find something in Furano...and everything is proving to be expensive, or cheap with low review ratings. I'd really like to find some middle ground.

Any tips for finding accommodations in Japan? Any specific websites have a lot of options? (I'm currently digging through AirBnB, Agoda, Expedia and Booking.com). Or any recommendations based on experience?

Also, staying in Kitanomine or in town Furano....? Preferences?
i stayed at https://www.pensionressha.com/ for a short trip last year, pretty good and not too expensive. but we had a car.
i dont know much about Furano tho.
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass