Japan 2022/23 Travel plans and ideas.

Annabuzzy

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I'm thinking of the other end of the valley, somewhere around this area perhaps?

Bus Stop.PNG
Tsugaike Gondy Area.png
It looks pretty cool up there but that’s the place I have least experience of. @Sandy can no doubt provide insights. @rugbyskier and no doubt locals such as @TJ and others.
 

Donza

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You will not find any foreigners to mix with up there. Tsugaike is mainly a Japanese resort.
You think?

I know a few crew that moved their operations up there. Guiding etc.
When we were last there in 2020. The BC culture was strong as.
 
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Donza

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I was talking about meeting a few people at a lodge in the evening, which was one of the parameters for Marty Mc.
Yeah . There were lodges being used by Non Japanese operators. Seemed quite well established in 2020. Discussed this with a couple of local business owners over a beer or two.
Though I imagine that's fallen in a hole since then.
They were trying to build something up there.
 

PiggabeenBoarder

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We are taking bookings at both Chalet Myoko and Chalet Madarao.

Our policy is if you canot get here due to covid travel restrictions there is either no charge or a full refund. But also happy to offer a credit.

PM or email me and with dates and I will tell you what is available. Or look at my websites:
https://chaletmyoko.com/
https://chaletmadarao.com/

You are welcome to call me as well.
OK that's great, will look into it and let you know.
 

Sandy

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Yeah . There were lodges being used by Non Japanese operators. Seemed quite well established in 2020. Discussed this with a couple of local business owners over a beer or two.
Though I imagine that's fallen in a hole since then.
They were trying to build something up there.
Definitely big problems (and building damage) for business owners who couldn't get into Japan the last two seasons. (roof damage, frozen pipes, etc)
 
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skichanger

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The tarriffs page still references the 2018/19 season - have the rates not changed since then?
Not for early bird bookings.
Thanks for letting me know. We will be on to it soon.We were using a channel manager and the page was not published. But the channel manager went broke so we have lots of stuff to update till we decide on a new channel manager. Painful for us unfortunately.
 

Marty McSly

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It looks pretty cool up there but that’s the place I have least experience of. @Sandy can no doubt provide insights. @rugbyskier and no doubt locals such as @TJ and others.
Yes, it looks OK on paper from the POV of getting to most of the valley by bus. Also some <$110/night accommodation options very close to the gondy base and bus stop. I'll need to spend more time looking over maps to see what else is close food, drink and convenience wise before committing. But if it works as well in practice as it seems to on paper, it could be good for say 10 days of my trip.

Somehow this failed to post earlier. Subsequent comments noted.
 
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Annabuzzy

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Yes, it looks OK on paper from the POV of getting to most of the valley by bus. Also some <$110/night accommodation options very close to the gondy base and bus stop. I'll need to spend more time looking over maps to see what else is close food, drink and convenience wise before committing. But if it works as well in practice as it seems to on paper, it could be good for say 10 days of my trip.

Somehow this failed to post earlier. Subsequent comments noted.
Also last I did them Hakuba cabs are relatively inexpensive.
 

Donza

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Yes, it looks OK on paper from the POV of getting to most of the valley by bus. Also some <$110/night accommodation options very close to the gondy base and bus stop. I'll need to spend more time looking over maps to see what else is close food, drink and convenience wise before committing. But if it works as well in practice as it seems to on paper, it could be good for say 10 days of my trip.

Somehow this failed to post earlier. Subsequent comments noted.
If you're staying up at tsg.
You need a car.
 

Donza

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Even a 1000cc Micra with roof racks.
Just something to get you around.
Its a legit ghost town up there
 

Lucky Pete

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If you want to stay at TGK stay with my friends the Hunters. Awesome family with a great location, affordable rates and they know the resort REALLY well.


Its arugably the best resort in the valley for varied terrain from the low angle really wide slopes, great intermediate areas mid mountain, then the DBD area which is great tree skiing and easy back country access. If its snowing you could ride there for days without getting bored. In a normal season its the resort I ride the most.

You will not find any foreigners to mix with up there. Tsugaike is mainly a Japanese resort.
The fact its predomantly Japanese is a great bonus although the street running up next to the resort has numerous places owned by gaijin now as are others non ski in/out nearby. Which is good and bad, still nothing like Wadano, Happo or Echoland. The Hunter's also have great guests too. Been lucky enough to ski with quite a few over the years.

My wife's cousin's also have a super locals bar/Izakaya out that way that opens sporatically but is always goodtimes as is the Ghengis Khan place.
 
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AuroraAustralis

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Flights to/from Tokyo booked for a two week trip late Jan into Feb. No other plans at this stage, though getting plenty of ideas from the pages here - thank you everyone. Trying to convince a few friends to join and getting mixed responses. As other people have noted there is some hesitancy given Japan hasn't fully given the green light to tourism yet.
 
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Marty McSly

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Flights, the next frontier for me. Options out of NTL for single ticket flights aren't great unfortunately. Disappointing compared to flights to Canada. But when a Japan trip is less than half the cost of Canada, I'm not going to whinge.

Well, not much anyway.

Getting out of Oz involves 2 legs, generally via BNE/SYD or MEL/SYD, but sometimes BNE/MEL or vice versa. And the wait times add up. 19-25 hours total travel time, ugh!

I'm thinking along the lines of sending my skis ahead with a service like My Baggage and just taking the train to SYD with a suitcase and carry-on, and taking the 10pm-6am SYD/NRT QF A330.

I haven't got as far as checking Shinkansen timetables yet, but I'd hope to be able to arrive at my accommodation during daylight hours, settle in and have a good night's sleep before hitting the slopes.
 

Sandy

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Flights, the next frontier for me. Options out of NTL for single ticket flights aren't great unfortunately. Disappointing compared to flights to Canada. But when a Japan trip is less than half the cost of Canada, I'm not going to whinge.

Well, not much anyway.

Getting out of Oz involves 2 legs, generally via BNE/SYD or MEL/SYD, but sometimes BNE/MEL or vice versa. And the wait times add up. 19-25 hours total travel time, ugh!

I'm thinking along the lines of sending my skis ahead with a service like My Baggage and just taking the train to SYD with a suitcase and carry-on, and taking the 10pm-6am SYD/NRT QF A330.

I haven't got as far as checking Shinkansen timetables yet, but I'd hope to be able to arrive at my accommodation during daylight hours, settle in and have a good night's sleep before hitting the slopes.
You should be checking HND (Haneda) as well as NRT.

Shinkansens run pretty often into Nagano & Niigata Prefectures. If you arrive at 6am, you'll be at your destination before midday.

If heading to Hakuba, there a direct express train once a day.
 

Donza

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You should be checking HND (Haneda) as well as NRT.

Shinkansens run pretty often into Nagano & Niigata Prefectures. If you arrive at 6am, you'll be at your destination before midday.

If heading to Hakuba, there a direct express train once a day.
I think all direct flights from Sydney are into Haneda now.
 

skichanger

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No guarantee that your luggage will make it though.
?? why would you say that when the same applies to every flight?

We have had 2 guests ever have delayed luggage. And my mogul skier to Canada is the only instance where anybody in my famiy has had an issue. Since he carries his boots as carry on luggage it was a case of borrowing skis till his turned up a day later.
 

skichanger

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Flights, the next frontier for me. Options out of NTL for single ticket flights aren't great unfortunately. Disappointing compared to flights to Canada. But when a Japan trip is less than half the cost of Canada, I'm not going to whinge.

Well, not much anyway.

Getting out of Oz involves 2 legs, generally via BNE/SYD or MEL/SYD, but sometimes BNE/MEL or vice versa. And the wait times add up. 19-25 hours total travel time, ugh!

I'm thinking along the lines of sending my skis ahead with a service like My Baggage and just taking the train to SYD with a suitcase and carry-on, and taking the 10pm-6am SYD/NRT QF A330.

I haven't got as far as checking Shinkansen timetables yet, but I'd hope to be able to arrive at my accommodation during daylight hours, settle in and have a good night's sleep before hitting the slopes.
We fly Canberra - Sydney - Haneda. We check our luggage in at Canberra and collect it at Haneda. We have to collect it at Sydney on the way back, go through customs and check it back in.

From what you have said you would be flying from Newcastle or Sydney. Unless you are adverse to flying Jetsar that could be an option. The fly to Japan from the Gold Coast and Cairns.

Also it might be worth looking at some of the other international airports in Japan. I have flown into Niigata. Toyama is another option. There are options from Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore.... to some of the other international airports.

If you arrive in the morning or before about 6pm you can usually make it to the Nagano and Niigata resorts at a reasonable hour the day you arrive. If later, for a first trip, spend the night in a hotel at or near the airport.

First time it can be a bit confusing. I write a set of instructions for my guests that may seem a bit lacking in some details. But as I tell them, there will be lots of light bulb moments on the way when they see things and it then all makes sense.
 

Annabuzzy

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Flights, the next frontier for me. Options out of NTL for single ticket flights aren't great unfortunately. Disappointing compared to flights to Canada. But when a Japan trip is less than half the cost of Canada, I'm not going to whinge.

Well, not much anyway.

Getting out of Oz involves 2 legs, generally via BNE/SYD or MEL/SYD, but sometimes BNE/MEL or vice versa. And the wait times add up. 19-25 hours total travel time, ugh!

I'm thinking along the lines of sending my skis ahead with a service like My Baggage and just taking the train to SYD with a suitcase and carry-on, and taking the 10pm-6am SYD/NRT QF A330.

I haven't got as far as checking Shinkansen timetables yet, but I'd hope to be able to arrive at my accommodation during daylight hours, settle in and have a good night's sleep before hitting the slopes.
I’d definitely get the Newcastle train to central, and then central to Sydney airport. It would be much easier than flying out of Newcastle I’d imagine.

People take bikes and surfboards on that train line all the time - a ski bag should be much the same.

I’ve often overnighted in Tokyo after arriving. On each occasion in Shinjuku. There’s an airport bus (limousine!) that will drop you at the door of most major hotels, making transiting with ski gear so much easier. It may be easier though to Black Cat your ski gear to your destination from the airport - reasons will become apparent.

You then have a few options -

* Bus from Shinjuku Station to Hakuba. It’s cheap, direct (with two stops en route) but takes around 5 hours. Getting your ski gear from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA as you will need to carry/drag it through multiple blocks in busy Shinjuku. While the taxis in Hakuba are well equipped to carry skis, they aren’t in Tokyo. It won’t happen.

* Shinkansen to Nagano from Shinjuku station and bus from there to Hakuba. A bit quicker, you get to ride a bullet train, but some transfers. Did I say getting your ski bag from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA?

* direct train to Hakuba from Shinjuku. A once a day service. This is what I’d do. It will take you to Hakuba station. From there your accomodation may pick you up, or you can select one of the cabs almost certainly lined up outside. Again, did I mention the hassle of dragging ski gear through Shinjuku?

Once in Hakuba the buses will take you to either a bus station near Echoland, or another one near Happo. Your accomodation will probably pick you up. If not, and there are no taxis waiting, there’s a courtesy taxi phone or the staff can call one for you.

As above from Hakuba train station your accomodation will probably pick you up, or just hail a cab. I’m not aware of a courtesy phone for taxis there, or a tourist desk who can order one for you.

If you’re getting a discounted Epic pass check whether you can get it at the ski area, or you need to go to the Hakuba Valley office at the Happo bus interchange. The second last time was there you could do it at Happo. The last time I was staying in Goryu and they couldn’t do it - I needed to trek into Happo bus station (which I didn’t bother with).

Since day lift passes through your accomodation are around half of the Hakuba valley day pass rate, there’s not an awful lot of value in getting the 50% off valley pass, other than not having to get new passes for each area. If you get it at your accomodation though it’s little hassle and no queue. Having said that, if you can get the 50% off all valley pass without hassle, it’s much the same.
 

Annabuzzy

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I’d definitely get the Newcastle train to central, and then central to Sydney airport. It would be much easier than flying out of Newcastle I’d imagine.

People take bikes and surfboards on that train line all the time - a ski bag should be much the same.

I’ve often overnighted in Tokyo after arriving. On each occasion in Shinjuku. There’s an airport bus (limousine!) that will drop you at the door of most major hotels, making transiting with ski gear so much easier. It may be easier though to Black Cat your ski gear to your destination from the airport - reasons will become apparent.

You then have a few options -

* Bus from Shinjuku Station to Hakuba. It’s cheap, direct (with two stops en route) but takes around 5 hours. Getting your ski gear from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA as you will need to carry/drag it through multiple blocks in busy Shinjuku. While the taxis in Hakuba are well equipped to carry skis, they aren’t in Tokyo. It won’t happen.

* Shinkansen to Nagano from Shinjuku station and bus from there to Hakuba. A bit quicker, you get to ride a bullet train, but some transfers. Did I say getting your ski bag from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA?

* direct train to Hakuba from Shinjuku. A once a day service. This is what I’d do. It will take you to Hakuba station. From there your accomodation may pick you up, or you can select one of the cabs almost certainly lined up outside. Again, did I mention the hassle of dragging ski gear through Shinjuku?

Once in Hakuba the buses will take you to either a bus station near Echoland, or another one near Happo. Your accomodation will probably pick you up. If not, and there are no taxis waiting, there’s a courtesy taxi phone or the staff can call one for you.

As above from Hakuba train station your accomodation will probably pick you up, or just hail a cab. I’m not aware of a courtesy phone for taxis there, or a tourist desk who can order one for you.

If you’re getting a discounted Epic pass check whether you can get it at the ski area, or you need to go to the Hakuba Valley office at the Happo bus interchange. The second last time was there you could do it at Happo. The last time I was staying in Goryu and they couldn’t do it - I needed to trek into Happo bus station (which I didn’t bother with).

Since day lift passes through your accomodation are around half of the Hakuba valley day pass rate, there’s not an awful lot of value in getting the 50% off valley pass, other than not having to get new passes for each area. If you get it at your accomodation though it’s little hassle and no queue. Having said that, if you can get the 50% off all valley pass without hassle, it’s much the same.
Sorry I should add, even if you don’t black cat gear from the airport, you can do it from many of the hotels.
 

Sandy

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You then have a few options -

* Bus from Shinjuku Station to Hakuba. It’s cheap, direct (with two stops en route) but takes around 5 hours. Getting your ski gear from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA as you will need to carry/drag it through multiple blocks in busy Shinjuku. While the taxis in Hakuba are well equipped to carry skis, they aren’t in Tokyo. It won’t happen.

* Shinkansen to Nagano from Shinjuku station and bus from there to Hakuba. A bit quicker, you get to ride a bullet train, but some transfers. Did I say getting your ski bag from your hotel to Shinjuku station will be a major PITA?

* direct train to Hakuba from Shinjuku. A once a day service. This is what I’d do. It will take you to Hakuba station. From there your accomodation may pick you up, or you can select one of the cabs almost certainly lined up outside. Again, did I mention the hassle of dragging ski gear through Shinjuku?

If you stay around the NE area of Shinjuku Station (around Kabukicho), this may be the case, but since the big development of the southern part of Shinjuku station, there's lots of hotels around that area, which has easier access without all of those narrow streets and lots of roads to cross.

The old Toyota Crown taxis are being replaced by the new taxis since 2020, with sliding doors, 5 seats, loads of baggage space, wheelchair accessibility, but they still won't carry skis!!! I think it's POSSIBLE they may snowboards though, as there seems to be enough space. They look about as long as the old taxis, and look like they will eventually replace the old ones.
They remind me a little of London taxis:
Taxis tokyo 2021.jpg


Taxis tokyo 2021 b.jpg
 
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Tanuki

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If you stay around the NE area of Shinjuku Station (around Kabukicho), this may be the case, but since the big development of the southern part of Shinjuku station, there's lots of hotels around that area, which has easier access without all of those narrow streets and lots of roads to cross.

The old Toyota Crown taxis are being replaced by the new taxis since 2020, with sliding doors, 5 seats, loads of baggage space, wheelchair accessibility, but they still won't carry skis!!! I think it's POSSIBLE they may snowboards though, as there seems to be enough space. They look about as long as the old taxis, and look like they will eventually replace the old ones.
They remind me a little of London taxis:
Taxis tokyo 2021.jpg


Taxis tokyo 2021 b.jpg
Nooooooo. I love that old Crown design. Progress. Are they electric?
 

Sandy

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The old Toyota Crown taxis

Toyota Crowns, modern vehicles. The old taxis up here were Nissan Cedrics. But I have not seen any for a while though.
The Toyotas were not new.

- Toyota Mark II X80 (1988 - 1995), Toyota Crown Comfort (1995 - 2018 as taxi)
- Nissan Cedric Y30 (1984-1987), Nissan Cedric Y31 (taxi version from 1991-2014), Nissan Crew (2003-2009)


The Toyota Comfort (Japanese: トヨタ・コンフォート, Hepburn: Toyota Konfōto) and the long-wheelbase Toyota Crown Comfort are a line of mid-size sedans produced by Toyota between 1995 and 2018. A platform derivative of the Toyota Mark II (X80), the Comfort was aimed at fleet buyers with a primary focus on taxicab operators.[5][6] A third model was released in 2001 as the 11th generation Crown Sedan (the first Crown Sedan not based on the normal Crown executive car) for the Japanese market only.[7]
Its main competitors were the Nissan Crew (discontinued in June 2009) and the Nissan Cedric Y31 (discontinued in 2015). Production of the Comfort ceased in January 2018, after more than 22 years in production, and it was subsequently replaced by the Toyota JPN Taxi which was launched at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in October 2017.[1][8]

All those cars from Nissan & Toyota had a similar shape.

The new Toyota JPN directly replaces the Toyota Crown Comfort.
 
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Marty McSly

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I’d definitely get the Newcastle train to central, and then central to Sydney airport. It would be much easier than flying out of Newcastle I’d imagine.
Flying out of Newcastle is easy, when connecting flights are in place. For example, my trip to Sun Peaks 5 years ago. Luggage checked at Newcastle for Kamloops, so I didn't have to collect and transfer enroute.

It occurred to me while I was slashing paddocks this afternoon (very therapeutic and conducive to reflection) that there just aren't the connections to Newcastle in place because Japan hasn't opened up yet. I could fly Qantas ex Sydney, but there aren't cheap or efficient JAL/ANA options available at present because they're largely flying to/ex Singapore.

So I won't be in any hurry to pull the trigger for flights yet. I'd expect to be able to do NTL-either Tokyo airport via BNE or OOL with ANA or JAL when the border opens to general tourism. Qlink or J* for the NTL/Qld leg, but single ticket, so I get the international baggage allowance on the domestic leg.
 

Sandy

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It occurred to me while I was slashing paddocks this afternoon (very therapeutic and conducive to reflection) that there just aren't the connections to Newcastle in place because Japan hasn't opened up yet. I could fly Qantas ex Sydney, but there aren't cheap or efficient JAL/ANA options available at present because they're largely flying to/ex Singapore.

So I won't be in any hurry to pull the trigger for flights yet. I'd expect to be able to do NTL-either Tokyo airport via BNE or OOL with ANA or JAL when the border opens to general tourism. Qlink or J* for the NTL/Qld leg, but single ticket, so I get the international baggage allowance on the domestic leg.
I can see flights with Qantas right now (for Feb 2023), direct from Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda HND).
And with ANA.

OTOH, I think you may be making the mistake of assuming that there's only one international airport at Tokyo (Narita NRT).

- Jetstar flies into NRT.
- Qantas flies into HND.
- ANA seems to fly from SYD to HND, but into NRT from Perth.
 

nezumi

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I can see flights with Qantas right now (for Feb 2023), direct from Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda HND).
And with ANA.

OTOH, I think you may be making the mistake of assuming that there's only one international airport at Tokyo (Narita NRT).

- Jetstar flies into NRT.
- Qantas flies into HND.
- ANA seems to fly from SYD to HND, but into NRT from Perth.

JAL flies Melbourne to NRT
 

Annabuzzy

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I can see flights with Qantas right now (for Feb 2023), direct from Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda HND).
And with ANA.

OTOH, I think you may be making the mistake of assuming that there's only one international airport at Tokyo (Narita NRT).

- Jetstar flies into NRT.
- Qantas flies into HND.
- ANA seems to fly from SYD to HND, but into NRT from Perth.
Haneda = better. Imho of course!
 
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