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 or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Japan 2020 - planning and stuff.

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Donzah, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,543
    Likes Received:
    16,544
    Location:
    Perth
    Yes. Or taxi.

    With the savings you’d make on accomodation and food/beverage prices you could easily get a taxi whenever the bus is not convenient.

    Or hitch.
    A lot of us pick up people when we are driving back and forth. I’ll be in town with a car - often will head to Kutchan in the late afternoon for a grocery shop or the gym, if you’re doing the bus option get in touch and I can let you know if we are heading in and can offer a lift.

    Re: @Sandy’s comment above ..
    Train DOES go to Niseko, but the Niseko stop is near nothing. He is right in that the correct stop for the ski resort is Kutchan. It’s a 10 minute drive from Hirafu which is the Ski Village you’re after. The bus is fairly regular.

    Can get some English GPS
    I just use my phone.
     
  2. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,028
    Likes Received:
    11,317
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    IMO, if you get a Japanese Prepaid data SIM, it's more useful for navigation. English speaking Nabi (Sat Nav / GPS) is hit and miss, plus you usually cannot punch in destinations in English. (Telephone numbers are a better bet).
     
    LMB likes this.
  3. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    649
    Location:
    Hakuba
    For our guests we recommend Hakuba Snowsports School at Iimori. They have shuttles from all over town. Drop the kids off and go ride Goryu/47.
     
    brissmith likes this.
  4. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    944
    A kind offer thanks but unless you've got a Tarago for myself, wife and two kids it probably won't work.:)
    The kids are now 12 and 14 and are really comfortable carrying gear around (cars or buses) if we're not staying on snow.
     
    LMB likes this.
  5. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    944
    Again great info. Thanks.
     
  6. brissmith

    brissmith Early Days

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks! I'm a beginner so probably in the ski school!
     
  7. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,543
    Likes Received:
    16,544
    Location:
    Perth
    LOL
    I haven’t actually sorted the car yet because we had a few things up in the air (wasn’t sure if PB was coming and going or coming for the whole time, and I won’t need a car for the entire time if it’s just me, as I’ll be busy). But last time we had a 9 seat Hiace van with piles of room for gear LOL - probably not that big this time.
     
  8. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I'd rent a car for the whole time, even if you might not use it every single day whilst in Kutchan. It is still handy to be able to leave when you want in the morning and not have to cram into the shuttle bus, and also useful for searching out some of the more private onsens in the area.

    RE the GPS - most come with an English option that are pretty easy to use, Japanese GPS's use phone numbers instead of addresses. We did get taken down a few roads that were closed in winter though.
    A good compliment to the GPS is to pre-load the Google Maps route on your phone at your accommodation using wifi. Then even when you leave the wifi connection Google maps will still track your location on the route.

    p.s - glad we are helping with your trip planning, that's what these forums are for :)
     
    Sbooker likes this.
  9. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    190
    Wandano has good green runs at the base of Saka, dunno about ski school, looked like there were lessons
     
  10. Shrike

    Shrike Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    SE Melbourne
    Lauren my partner went through them last time and improved alot
     
    brissmith likes this.
  11. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,028
    Likes Received:
    11,317
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Japanese GPS doesn't use phone numbers instead of addresses, but as well as addresses. Not all places have phone numbers, and this is restricted to commercial phones. But most westerners can't input the addresses.
     
  12. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    I use Google maps nowadays.

    Works fine.

    Let's be honest. Unless you're in a metro area, Japan is a very easy country to drive and navigate around.
     
  13. Medicine_Shoes

    Medicine_Shoes Early Days

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    21
    I'm also thinking about staying in Otaru and hiring a car to get to the nearby ski areas. Just wondering if there is any decent ski hire in Otaru, preferably English language friendly, but I can get by if Japanese only. It would suck if we had to hire at each different ski area each day. Planning on doing Kokusai, Tiene, Kiroro at a minimum. Any other areas I'm missing?
     
  14. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    We couldn't find any decent ski hire in Otaru unfortunately. Best to hire from one of the larger ski resorts (my pick would be Kiroro), making sure you bookend your skiing at that place so you can pick up and then return the gear at the end of the trip.

    In terms of resorts around Otaru, the 3 main ones are the places you have already mentioned, with Kiroro having enough terrain for 3 days exploring, whilst Tiene maybe just 2 days and Kokusai a single day. Obviously with fresh powder the appeal of the resorts lasts longer.

    Otaru Tenguyama is worth a look for a few hours night ski if it's a clear night, the views are beautiful. Banskei is also ok for a night ski, but very small.
     
    Medicine_Shoes and Any like this.
  15. Medicine_Shoes

    Medicine_Shoes Early Days

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    21
    Mmmm, I never thought of doing it like that. Thanks for the idea!
     
  16. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth

    Hi again , looking at getting going with this now. So I had a go at booking then for start of Feb for 10ish days. I was taking a while to get through the booking site then ANA timed out on getting the $670 direct return flight bugga - now at $820. I am looking at around 4th - 14th.
    Now Im somewhat nervous about this haha, I havnt been out of the country much and I will be solo so going to Japan seems somewhat daunting right now!
    Landing in Tokyo obviously and wanting to go to Furano but am also open to move around. I dont want to spend much time checking out the big smoke as I havnt hit the snow for close to 15 years and that would probably be on the agenda next visit or potentially on the way back for a night.
    What are my options to get to Furano? I have no accommodation booked yet as I have been trying to lock in flights first.
    Thank you K.T.

    EDIT - landing 820am at Narita and departing 11.10am prob 5th to 15th
     
  17. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Furano and Tokyo are not close. You will either need to get a connecting flight up to the north island of Hokkaido, or a long (8hr) train connection. Why are you set on Furano? There are plenty of amazing ski resorts with much easier access from Tokyo.

    Tokyo = Blue, Furano = Red
     
    tot likes this.
  18. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    Today's purchase
     
  19. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    Hi Froth Life , thanks for the that. Yeah I kinda want to go North Island for a possible greater chance of pow and Furuno seems to tick a few box's while not being as busy as the main aussie smashed resorts - not that I have any experience there. I am open to moving around a bit. I am happy to look at flying up. Honestly not to sure on my plan yet.

    EDIT Perth to Sopporo direct flight then. As i said i'm new to this haha
     
  20. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    I wouldn't pick Furano as a POW destination as such. They have some nice sunny cold days and smaller snowfalls in the interior.
    Nice snow and great terrain sure.
    Majority of the resorts on Honshu get more snow than Furano.
     
    Zimbooo likes this.
  21. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    Thanks Donzah , yes understood. Better off closer to china sea for fresh?
     
  22. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,472
    You tak'n em with ya?
    I would, all those vending machines in Shiga were empty......just like the hills.
    But come Friday as the hotels fill, so do the vending machines. LOL
     
  23. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    Darwin Australia
    Eg.Myoko last season,nearly 17 metres!
     
  24. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    LOLOL
    I also bought some Suntory The Malt.
    good beer
     
  25. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    If i was you. I'd go to Myoko.
    Also visit madarao and arai.
     
    tot and Zimbooo like this.
  26. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,472
    Very good beer!!!!
    How much you pay?
    $100 for case?
     
  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,726
    Likes Received:
    26,161
    Location:
    woonona
    5 bucks for the chu hi and 7 or 8 for the 500ml can

    Each
     
    M_G likes this.
  28. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,543
    Likes Received:
    16,544
    Location:
    Perth
    Hang on.
    Can I clarify?
    You haven’t booked any flights yet?
    And you’re coming from Perth?

    No direct flights from Perth into Sapporo.
    One direct option on ANA from Perth into Tokyo. New for this ski season is a direct service from Sydney into Sapporo - I’m giving that a go this time around.

    If you want a direct flight then look at the resorts on Honshu. Plenty will have pow in Feb.
     
    tot likes this.
  29. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    Righto then I shall investigate.. Any accom recommendations?
     
  30. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    Hi LMB ,

    Sure!
    NO , but will tonight.
    Yes Perth.

    I did double check and as you say Perth to Tokyo then connecting flight if going that way(north) $895.
    I am aware of the direct flights and will lock this in tonight.
     
  31. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,543
    Likes Received:
    16,544
    Location:
    Perth
    I’ve also caught
    Perth-hk- Sapporo on Cathay
    Perth - Bangkok - Sapporo on Thai

    They’re good options as bags checked all the way through, good connections in HK or Bangkok with just enough time for a bathroom trip and to smash a bottle of water.

    Chitose International and Domestic are connected so it makes very little difference upon arrival, except clearing customs/immigration.

    Arriving into Tokyo international clearing customs/immigration and collecting your bags and re-checking at domestic is an extra layer of pain in butt. I’ve done it plenty of times, but much prefer to STAY in Tokyo at least for a few days if I’m going via Tokyo.

    Just some tips from a Perth girl who has flown into Sapporo on pretty much every route available over approximately 30 ocassions.
     
    Any and tot like this.
  32. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5,898
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Location:
    赤倉
    Full in Jan but still have some space in Feb at Red Warehouse Myoko. We don't have single rooms but can organise a single Japanese room at our neighbour right in the village for a good rate. Hit me up with a PM for more details.
     
    tot and elSpike like this.
  33. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5,898
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Location:
    赤倉
    [​IMG]
     
  34. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    Airfares sorted, 4th - 14th flying to Tokyo. I will stay on Honshu for max time on snow.
    Now for the rest of the puzzle!
    @ M G , I dont know if i can do the full Japanese bed situation, I think ill be needing a good mattress. Pm coming thanks.
    I'd be happy to tag along with crew here and there or perhaps some guiding the first few days? not sure.
     
    LMB likes this.
  35. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    548
    Futons in a Japanese room are the best. I’ll do Japanese style every chance I get.
     
  36. tot

    tot Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    perth
    I had a bad experience years ago and think of them as straw filled lumps of no joy haha. Or was that crappy western copy?
     
  37. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    548
    I’ve had a thin one once but every place will happily provide another so you can double up. I suspect you had a bad ikea experience.
     
    tot likes this.
  38. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    944
    As mentioned previously in this thread I will be in Hokkaido for some early season skiing just prior to Christmas. I'm going with low expectations snow wise due to the time of year. Hopefully there'll be some white stuff to slide on.
    We've got a couple of 'free days' at Niseko so we may as well take advantage of these. Would it be best to commit to a few nights accommodation now in the Niseko area or is it likely there will be more released sooner to the dates? Is it likely to be more expensive the closer we get? Lastly would it be best to ski on a Monday/Tuesday or a Thursday/Friday as far as crowd numbers are concerned?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  39. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,028
    Likes Received:
    11,317
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    As far as crowds go, it doesn't make too much difference, since there's no holidays around that time. When you say "before Christmas", do you mean the week days before the Christmas week, or the week days either side of Christmas?
    Accommodation at that time of year will be plentiful, and not so expensive, booked now or a bit later.
     
  40. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    944
    The week before Christmas week. 15th to 21st.
    We plan on using either Otaru or Sapporo as a base for a few days to check out Kiroro and Teine.
     
  41. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,486
    Likes Received:
    4,330
    Considering how expensive the new Arai resort is, this could be quite a good deal:
     
  42. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Location:
    Port Macquarie, NSW
    Not too bad, but like most things, once you check availability to get the $1799 price, its really only an option before 17 Dec or in March.
     
    M_G and nezumi like this.
  43. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,486
    Likes Received:
    4,330
    Yeah, true, However I did a mid January option and it had return airfares with Thai or Malaysia and 7 days at Lotte for $4500 2 pax. That's not too bad.
     
  44. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,543
    Likes Received:
    16,544
    Location:
    Perth
    Liquid Snow Tours is doing Japan shizukuishi packages at 7 nights for $810 - accom, breakfasts, lifts passes and one day snow cat.
    Wow
     
    Ramenman likes this.
  45. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,472
    This does not need to be advertised any further thank you.
    We don't need another stampede to this area.
    P.S. Can be done much cheaper on diy! ;)
     
  46. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    298
    Planning trip 5, we have leave booked from work for last 2 weeks of feb (though thinking of pushing it back a week into March). So was looking into where to ski... and discovered Naeba prices have risen 2 &1/2 times for same time period as this year. That puts it out of “willing to pay” price range. Now looking into Shiga Kogen, though there are less food options. Anyone else found dramatic price rises?
     
  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    2,491
    The accom = Prince Hotel?. If so, even if you don't ski at Shizukuishi, it's a good deal. From Shizukuishi, It's only less than 20 min drive to Amihari and Iwate Kogen(I like Amihari and its sidecountry / backcountry). Appi and Tazawako are also only 1 hour drive. 7 nights mean 7 or 8 skiing days?. 2 days = Shizukuishi(including the snowcat), 2 days = Amihari, 1 day = Iwate Kogen, 1 day = Appi, 1 day = Tazawako and 1 day = backcountry tour(I want to ski more at Appi and Tazawako, but they are not that close to Shizukuishi, compared to Amihari and Iwate Kogen).
     
    Mitchthewitch likes this.
  48. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5,898
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Location:
    赤倉
    Only one dinner. Another 5-6 dinners will add on another $400.
    Only a two day pass. Another 4-5 days will set you back another $400
    No transfers from Tokyo - another $250
    That puts it over $3,000 pp for a week out of prime season.
    Value is okay but, by the time you tot it all up, it's not as good a deal as it first looks.
     
  49. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5,898
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Location:
    赤倉
    Liquid Ski Tours = Bogan Tours Ltd. I'd DIY just to stay away.
     
  50. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    944
    To those who have driven in Hokkaido in December would you consider a Subaru Impreza a suitable vehicle? We won’t be lugging skis so won’t need a wagon.
    Also for first timers to Japan would collecting a car from Chitose be easier than collecting from inner city Otaru (from a language barrier point of view)?