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

Discussion in 'Japan' started by tugboat, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    I saw that one...but I think they only had the large Tatami rooms left. There's going to 5 of us during that part of my trip...and I wasn't really sure how I felt about cramming 5 people into 1 room with all of our gear. Boots don't normally smell that great after being on the slopes all day.

    Then there was some reviews about the "shared bathing". Maybe you can elaborate on if it's actually shared bathing there, or if they just meant it's a shared bathroom. We'll have a car, but is it walking distance to the Furano lifts?
     
  2. Sandy

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

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    Onsens........
     
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  3. Any

    Any One of Us

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    there was little onsens downstairs, segregated. inside was a little spa about big enough for 3, or maybe 4 very friendly guys. and space for 4-5 people to sit on those little stools and wash up.
     
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  4. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    Gotcha. Probably just the way the review was written that made it seem a lot weirder than it is.
     
  5. Sandy

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

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    Depends what you think "weird" is!! ;)
    Sitting on a plastic stool washing, half a metre from another butt naked guy, and then getting into a hot pool with a few other butt naked men.... ;)
     
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  6. fennekeg

    fennekeg Hard Yards

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    I found that for some hotels they had cheaper rates on their own websites than on Booking.com (although I think officially they're not allowed to do that?). So that might be worth checking out. Others however state on their website 'please book via booking.com' or similar, so YMMV
     
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  7. Any

    Any One of Us

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    booking.com (and others) take ridiculous amounts in booking fees. 35%?
    so booking directly with someone might either help that small business, and/or they might give you a discount too.
     
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  8. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    Well....when you put it that way...LOL

    Actually...that brings up the question. Are there generally showers also in a place like this? Or are the stools/bath the only way to bathe yourself? Just don't want to be too surprised upon my first Japanese bathing experience.
     
  9. Sandy

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

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    There's a shower head that you can also pick up at each stool. I prefer to wash standing up....
    You MUST shower off to wash first, before you go into the onsen (bath).
     
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  10. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not weird at all, however I prefer the old wooden ones - and as a rule there is a shower for each 1 og 2 stools.
    Take a look how one washes and you will finde out this is the best way to get clean!

    And we want to be clean before entering the bath! And remember to clean the towel.


     
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  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    As Sandy says, there’s a shower head but no the whole Onsen thing doesn’t usually have segregated showers, let alone private showers. It’s usually a wall of showers with little plastic stools and you wash alongside the next person before immersing your clean nakedness into the communal Onsen bath.
    You usually get a modesty towel and a larger towel that stays in the dressing room space or area within the Onsen to disrobe and dry and dress. The modesty towel can cover some bits as you walk between areas, but in the Onsen it’s folded and in your head, not in the water.

    Turns out I’m allergic to sulphur so Onsens and me don’t get on. It’s a legit excuse, but also handy as I prefer my bathing experience to be alone time.
     
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  12. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    Wow...thanks for the education. I definitely had the wrong idea about onsens. I knew birthday suits were the norm but I thought of them more like hot tubs rather than a bathing experience. I'm sure, just like a locker room shower, you get used to it pretty quickly.
     
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  13. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Usually 10-12%. The accom can opt for a higher commish to gain a better position in the ranks. Check places out on the engines but try and book direct and you will usually get a better price especially with smaller hotels. We only use them to fill in gaps and for low season. As we don't add room availability they will say we are full which is not necessarily the case.
     
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  14. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    this is such a useful point for people. I find about 70% of the time hotels say they are full online it’s often not the case. Or if you contact them nearer the date people have cancelled.
     
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  15. silva

    silva One of Us

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    There is lots of "instruction" videos on how to use Japanese onsens - its worth a quick look just so all members of your party know what to expect (from experience teenage girls may not be keen).
    This one shows a typical paid sort of onsen which I have seen in big hotels and in resort areas with more westerners - mini partitions between the showers:
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...39BCDE7E56AEBF04A6CC39BCDE7E56AEBF0&FORM=VIRE

    This is more what I have seen in hotels/pensions bathing areas etc
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...39BCDE7E56AEBF04A6CC39BCDE7E56AEBF0&FORM=VIRE

    A couple of other things to be aware of:
    Tattoos are largely frowned upon and sometimes banned from onsens. I know friends who have gotten around this by taking a piece of tubular bandage to but over their tattoos but if you have a big back piece or something you may not be welcome at some traditional onsens. This will not be a problem in the bathing areas of smaller accommodation places but just be aware of it and be a bit sensitive to the fact that if you are sharing the accommodation with Japanese families it might be better to come back in half an hour to enjoy your bath/onsen if they are already there.

    Onsens were traditionally not segregated by sex. If you end up in a traditional village onsen you may not find separate male and female facilities.

    Lots of larger accommodation places or places which cater for a lot of westerners sometimes have private onsens or bath houses that you can book to share with your family only.

    Onsens are very relaxing and a unique Japanese experience. I really enjoy them but understand that some people find it hard to get their head around.
     
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  16. ponyrider

    ponyrider Addicted

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    I'm taking my 19 y.o. and 16 y.o. daughters to Myoko next Jan. I haven't told them yet that if they want to shower, they will need to use the Onsen wash-room. Ummm ...maybe I'll mention it on the Shinkansen :confused::thumbs:
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    As I understand it, SOME women's onsens have shower cubicles, so it may be possible for them to shower privately, and not use the onsen.
     
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  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Try Rakuten or Japanican I have used both a quite a bit and found it better than Booking.com for smaller resorts.
     
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  19. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    100% best way to book accom for Japan! Look on Bookings.com (or your preffered travel website), find the availability at the place you want, and then contact that place directly. Usually results in better service and a cheaper rate.

    I've stayed at Resha house too, they have a big drying room for all your gear so you don't need to store boots/helmets/skis in the room. 5 people in 1 of their rooms would be a bit tight though. It's also a decent 300m walk up-hill to the gondola.
    If you don't have a car look at staying in this area marked in red. Not too far from the ski lifts, enough options for resturants and you can walk to the 7/11 for supplies.


    Wayyyy more dining/drinking options in Furano town over the bridge, but no car means relying on the bus which isn't ideal
     
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  20. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    @tugboat Slight misuse of the word "Onsen" here. Pension Ressha doesn't have an "onsen" (Natural Hot Spring Bath), it does have a standard Japan "ofuro" or shared bath, and the use of which is well described above. While your in Furano though, I highly recommend trying an actual Onsen, as very different from smaller bath houses in pensions, particularly if you get up to Tokachi area, but the closest onsen to Furano is Highland Furano, about a five minute drive from Kitanomine. For accommodation, I'd have a look at "Burlap Furanui". You might find some adverses reviews if you search Furanui, as the previous owner was very keen on smoking at the reception area! The mew management has changed all of that and Burlap is a good location, about a block or so down from the lifts. Here is a direct link: https://www.burlapfuranui.com There prices may have gone up under the new management but worth having a look at as huge place with lots of room options.
     
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  21. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That (standing up) is allegedly a cultural faux-pas in Japan... The stools are there to minimise the fall height of the water and hence any splash toward the person next to you...

    At least that's what I was told...
     
  22. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I always thought the chairs were there because you can wash your arse on the loo. I'm probably wrong. :D
     
  23. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought it was bad form too.
     
  24. Sandy

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

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    Yes, that's why I move to the other end. If too close, I'll sit down.
     
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  25. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've been to onsens with standing showers ?
    They are usually in the corner away from the sitting style.
     
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  26. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Visited one last year with convenient screens between the washing stalls. Pretty high traffic Onsen in Yuzawa though.
     
  27. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    Thanks. I actually emailed them yesterday. They’re available on a few travel site, but I was going to try to contact them directly to see if I can leave out the middle man. Good to know they are recommended, and that some of the reviews about smoke smell might have been old reviews.
     
  28. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    We do plan on having a car, making it easier to travel to another resort or two during our stay. But I do always like the possibility of walking to lifts...not mandatory by any means, but a nice perk.
     
  29. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's why you should book a place with a private onsen. ;)
     
  30. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    He would be arrested LOL, let them feel the culture instead.;)
    Who's 19 year daughter old would go to privat onsen with her father? May be her boyfriend - but father .....! :D
     
  31. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    More on onsens...I know tattoos are a faux pas. How strict are they about not allowing them? And how difficult is it to find ones that allow tattoos around Furano/Niseko/Rusutsu? One person in our group has a couple (nothing huge).
     
  32. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Um, his 2 daughters go together?
     
  33. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    If they aren’t huge just cover them up. I got a tan coloured arm sleeve that usually does the trick.

    Furano princes are fairly strict if the see it in the change room. Not sure on the others.
     
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  34. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Asked your hotel about their policy?
     
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  35. tugboat

    tugboat Early Days

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    We'll definitely check with our hotel, which has a small one (which telenomore corrected as being a orfuro). But we'd also like to visit a couple "real" onsens during our stay. Some of the ones around Tokachi look pretty awesome, especially the open air ones. So, I was just hoping to get a feel without going into research of specific ones.

    Good to know you can cover them up and it's generally not an issue.
     
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  36. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ohhh. :whistle:
     
  37. ponyrider

    ponyrider Addicted

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    *puts-over-protective-father-hat-on* :mad: Enough speculation on my daughter's bathing habits please !

    o_O...maybe I'll do what I normally do and just find a female in the lodge to explain it all to them :thumbs:
     
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  38. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Speaking of public onsen, this is a public onsen that opened recently, targeting foreign tourists too(you see, partitions)
    [​IMG]


     
  39. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've never had an issue in 7 trips across Japan, I have two sleeves and a few leg tatts, I'm very Caucasian though.
    However, In Otaru last Feb we had a member of our group (who's parents are Malaysian) who has lots of tattoos get asked to leave the onsen by staff. He pointed to me and said 'what about this guy then!?' and the staff just shrugged LOL
     
  40. Any

    Any One of Us

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    places used to western tourists in Hokkaido seem much more than elsewhere ive been in japan.
    Furano/Niseko/Rusutsu will be fine. but if you go 15 minutes drive away you might suddenly have issues.
     
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  41. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    My mate got stopped at the big one at Odaiba.
    He has a tattoo about the size of a coffee cup on his arm.

    Whereas I've been to onsens in itiogawa area with a mate who had full sleeve. No worries
     
  42. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    One son has just got his first sleeve (4th tattoo but first full sleeve work). My only consolation is that he isn’t a public bathing person so it won’t effect him when boarding in Japan.
     
  43. Any

    Any One of Us

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    ive been thinking of getting a kutchan town tattoo, based in hirafu/kutchan 15 years now. but access to onsens has been my limiting factor.
     
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  44. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who could deny the cuteness of that!!
     
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  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ha ha ha nice quick edit Oz!
    Fitness! The skiing potato!
    Now that’s a Tatt I could support.
     
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  46. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the contents of my recycle bin are more to blame than auto correct!

     
  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stay on topic!
     
  48. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's easy enough. You'll get the picture as soon as you enter the room; follow the lead of the locals and everything will be ok. There's often English language instructions in the dressing/change room
     
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  49. Any

    Any One of Us

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    when i go to my local onsen at about 2:30pm-3pm its completely deserted (it opens at 2).
    a nearby mixed-sex onsen is also empty from 12 till about 3pm also.
    these might be good times to get started and break the uncertainty barrier.
    remembering my experiences, it gets heaps easier the 2nd time, and by about 5-6 times it becomes clinical.

    however one of the furtherest onsens i visit seems to always have 1 or 2 people in it, no matter the time. probably because its part of a reasonably popular ryokan.

    there are also usually multiple sections of stools/wash areas. you can usually have a whole section to yourself.
    the water is so dark for most sulphr based onsens that you cant see anything once you're in.
    the outdoor pools are usually extremely dimly lit at night too.
    most onsens have spots that are deep enough for me to sit on the bottom and my shoulders are under the water.
    you can get away with reasonably large modesty towels too (especially if theyre the skinny and long type of towel).