Japan 2022/23 Travel plans and ideas.

Nozawaman

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Whilst it appears most members here prefer budget accomadation, we are a tiny fraction of the overall market, which has been trending for several years now to the higher end. I know a lot of families that utilise other Club Med locations and love it and they arent cheap. Sure its spendy but if you are American not Aussie its much cheaper and convenience is never cheap, especially after such large capital inputs. Once borders open, particularly to Chinese I can see that being a very popular spot. Be thankful for small mercies as being a skier/snowboarder who wanted to ride there I'd much prefer that its full of 1st time skiers and non skiers etc than a couple hundred pow hungry Scandos. :) :)
Couldn't agree more , and IMO if you want to make money you need higher tariffs and be in the higher end of the market .
I have seen some western owned accommodation , and to be honest it's pretty basic . Add to that limited customer care skills , a very limited operating window . It's a wonder they have lasted so long . Lucky for them the properties are cheap .
 
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Nozawaman

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I agree, there are plenty of people I know who go to Club Med and if you want everything provided and everything all-in it's a decent option if you have the money for it. You get all your equipment thrown in, all day lessons for you and the kids every day and all the food and drinks you can force down. When you add it all up it's still expensive but unfortunately that is skiing for you and you do get a lot thrown in.

For us, we take our own skis and we like to ski with our kids rather than send them off to ski school (we do that enough at home) so it doesn't make financial sense to pay for all of that at Club Med and then not actually use it. But I totally get that for many people it would make sense.
Try booking a ski in / ski out property in Thredbo for a week and tell me what the damage is .
 
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Chux-sw

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Good news? I think not!
I put a post on MissSnowItAll's Japan FB page asking if people thought $330 pp a day for meals, drinks and accommodation was worth it (taking off the $60 per day included lift ticket, $2734/7 = $390). It was deleted shortly afterwards. Perhaps she is getting paid to promote it.
At $3734/7 it is $533 a day including the lift ticket. Per person!
FYI your post is still visible
 

yourmate

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Kiroro prices might scare some , but I can tell you that there are plenty of people that wouldn't blink at paying that .

Yep, their Hokkaido model appears to be buying old and unused buildings at operational resorts and doing up the building. Those old buildings at Tomamu were just waiting for a savvy buyer to come along.
A few more lifts and Tomamu would be sooooo good.
Both Kiroro hotels were/are in great condition.....the base building needs a refit. Ive since read the Thai developed condo building was not included in the deal so no doubt they will allow outside skiiers.
 
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ratherb@thesnow

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In todays paper,
First points I noticed was the travel dates, Oct 2022, the price and the in the inclusions there are no evening meals provided, so me thinks that you may be able to roam free for dinner. Either way it looks like a positive step forward

FAEEEEFE-3A0C-4D33-8E5E-00E870098C7B.jpeg
 

Donza

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In todays paper,
First points I noticed was the travel dates, Oct 2022, the price and the in the inclusions there are no evening meals provided, so me thinks that you may be able to roam free for dinner. Either way it looks like a positive step forward

FAEEEEFE-3A0C-4D33-8E5E-00E870098C7B.jpeg
Mate I don't mean to be a downer . However those adverts are deceptive advertising.
They've been advertising that deal prior to June 10th and nothing has changed in the makeup.

I've read the T&C's and frankly. Its terrible.
 
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ratherb@thesnow

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Happy to hear peoples views, my intent was to post it and have the wiser forum members pick the faults in it. It’s interesting that in the TA they refer to visa requirements currently only available for tours like this but I can also see so many options to wander around Tokyo, Osaka without the tour leaders, they also state that they will assist in making reservations for evening meals, and day tours for individuals to attend away from the tour. Goes against all the restrictions I’ve read to date
 
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Donza

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This is in their T&C.

There is nothing regarding the current restrictions . For the record. I read this same deal in May of this year. Nothing has changed.

Please note: All countries and territories have different entry requirements in relation to vaccinations, quarantine/isolation periods and travel restrictions. Due to the evolving nature, we would ask all of our customers to monitor, meet and adhere to the specific requirements of their intended destination(s) in the lead up to and immediately prior to travel, as well as any requirements post-travel upon their return.

CANCELLATION POLICY
Covid-19 Booking Policy
• TripADeal Tour packages are non-refundable. If your Tour package is affected by Covid-19-related travel restrictions and you are unable to travel, you will receive either a free date change (credit that is specific to your original package and purchase value) or an open credit less any non-recoverable supplier fees to the value of your original purchase for use on any other package available via the TripADeal website.
 

ratherb@thesnow

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There is this statement in the T&C’s

Visas
A tourist visa for Japan is required if traveling on an Australian or New Zealand passport and is currently only applicable for travelers on group tour packages such as this one. Requirements vary between consulates so please check with the nearest Japanese consulate for further information
 

Lady Penelope

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I agree, there are plenty of people I know who go to Club Med and if you want everything provided and everything all-in it's a decent option if you have the money for it. You get all your equipment thrown in, all day lessons for you and the kids every day and all the food and drinks you can force down. When you add it all up it's still expensive but unfortunately that is skiing for you and you do get a lot thrown in.

For us, we take our own skis and we like to ski with our kids rather than send them off to ski school (we do that enough at home) so it doesn't make financial sense to pay for all of that at Club Med and then not actually use it. But I totally get that for many people it would make sense.
I’ve come into this discussion a bit late, but here’s my 10c worth about Club Med resorts. As someone who has stayed in two of them on multiple occasions (the old Lindemann Is resort and one in Malaysia, Cherating Beach) I can report only positive experiences. This was with young children. While the cost initially looks expensive, you are getting a package: all meals and snacks, alcohol (except top shelf), child care/kids clubs (my children really enjoyed what these had to offer and kept asking to go back; older kids had the flexibility to come and go as they liked), gym, activities, pool, entertainment, etc etc.

This is not an option that would suit everybody, and personally I would prefer to continue staying in more traditional accommodation in Japan. However, if you are travelling with children who don’t want to ski or board from first to last lifts, and/or with a partner who is less enthusiastic than you are about snowsports, this may actually be a good compromise. They will have plenty of other things to do while still enjoying a snow holiday. My 19yo daughter sadly is very ‘meh’ about skiing these days, but she did say she’d be happy to come to Europe with us to ski if she could stay in a Club Med. I am at the stage where I’d prefer to stay somewhere else, but I wouldn’t rule it out (asking her for a financial contribution towards the cost might be the deciding factor ;) ).
 
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SnowCat9

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I agree, there are plenty of people I know who go to Club Med and if you want everything provided and everything all-in it's a decent option if you have the money for it. You get all your equipment thrown in, all day lessons for you and the kids every day and all the food and drinks you can force down. When you add it all up it's still expensive but unfortunately that is skiing for you and you do get a lot thrown in.

For us, we take our own skis and we like to ski with our kids rather than send them off to ski school (we do that enough at home) so it doesn't make financial sense to pay for all of that at Club Med and then not actually use it. But I totally get that for many people it would make sense.
You make some good points there @blueandwhite. I also know families and couples who've gone to Club Med ski resorts and had a great time and thought it was worth the expense.

We're not thrilled about Kiroro now being a Club Med, but will probably put up with it as there's only two of us and we both like the skiing there, and ski in / ski out is mandatory for us. (Too old / slack to drive / bus every day).

A cursory look at the website suggests that the all inclusive price is accomodation, meals, lift passes and group lessons, but equipment hire is additional. So at least we wouldn't be paying for the pleasure of using our own equipment. It does look pretty expensive when compared to other Hokkaido resorts, but I've always found that to be the case.
 
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Telezacski

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I tend to agree with @nezumi, the club med thing isn’t about the money, I’m sure you could spend more on high end accommodation if you really tried. Club med is about ease of travel and convenience.

It’s not for me, as I think it voids the cultural experience we personally crave from travel.

But if you read through this forum across multiple o/s threads many people aren’t really looking for a cultural experience; they just want to ski. We try and make our trips about more than skiing as it appears many here do as well
 

SnowCat9

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I tend to agree with @nezumi, the club med thing isn’t about the money, I’m sure you could spend more on high end accommodation if you really tried. Club med is about ease of travel and convenience.

It’s not for me, as I think it voids the cultural experience we personally crave from travel.

But if you read through this forum across multiple o/s threads many people aren’t really looking for a cultural experience; they just want to ski. We try and make our trips about more than skiing as it appears many here do as well
Spot on. If I was restricted to only one location then it wouldn't be a Club Med, but we're fortunate enough to be able make it part of a much longer trip which includes the cultural experiences you point out.
 

Telezacski

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I should add, that whilst I can’t speak for Japan, their are plenty of resorts around the world which are club med in nature, big white and silver star would be two that would fit this description.
 

sourmash

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This is in their T&C.

There is nothing regarding the current restrictions . For the record. I read this same deal in May of this year. Nothing has changed.

Please note: All countries and territories have different entry requirements in relation to vaccinations, quarantine/isolation periods and travel restrictions. Due to the evolving nature, we would ask all of our customers to monitor, meet and adhere to the specific requirements of their intended destination(s) in the lead up to and immediately prior to travel, as well as any requirements post-travel upon their return.

CANCELLATION POLICY
Covid-19 Booking Policy
• TripADeal Tour packages are non-refundable. If your Tour package is affected by Covid-19-related travel restrictions and you are unable to travel, you will receive either a free date change (credit that is specific to your original package and purchase value) or an open credit less any non-recoverable supplier fees to the value of your original purchase for use on any other package available via the TripADeal website.
My partner has booked stuff with Trip-A-Deal ( now partially owned by Qantas ) and after COVID forced cancellations found it difficult to rebook something we wanted on the dates we wanted. Buyer beware, but the might of their advertising budget means they get a lot bookings with a lot of folk prolly not paying attention to the T's & C's.
 

Donza

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My partner has booked stuff with Trip-A-Deal ( now partially owned by Qantas ) and after COVID forced cancellations found it difficult to rebook something we wanted on the dates we wanted. Buyer beware, but the might of their advertising budget means they get a lot bookings with a lot of folk prolly not paying attention to the T's & C's.
Yeah friends lost money with that company. Their credit expired before they could use it.
 

Donza

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If this happens. It will be a great push towards Japan opening its borders IMO. Guardian/Kyodo news.

Some businesses and local government officials are also calling for authorities to reclassify the virus – which belongs to the same category as tuberculosis – so that it is regarded in the same way as flu, amid evidence that the BA.5 subvariant of Covid-19 produces milder cases than previous strains, said the Kyodo news agency.
 

Donza

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IMO.
If the classification gets changed from 2 to 5. (seasonal flu). The borders will be open to tourists.
There will be a element of self reporting at the border. Ie some sort of questionaire, pledge etc on arrival. Still a grading of countries as well. Which shouldn't affect Australia.

Perversely . The larger the wave of infection wave in Japan. The faster this may occur.
 
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PMG

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Sounds promising. What we don't need is another variant to replace BA.5. Even the emergence of a milder variant than BA.5 could spook the horses there and set back reopening well into 2023. Imo.

At the moment there doesn't appear to be anything replacing BA.5. Should I have written that? :oops:
 

Lucky Pete

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We are now being asked not to go to the doctor/clinic etc even if we have flu like symptoms. Its gone back to being difficult and expensive to get tests although was probably always like that, even if you are a close contact. Both these seem to indicate that they are trying to drive down 'positive' results. Would be interesting to know what the true infection rates are if they followed a decent testing regime here, which has never happened like it did in Aus.
 
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Tasjez

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Not sure of the credentials behind this article, but also some cause for optimism

 

PMG

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Not sure of the credentials behind this article, but also some cause for optimism

It's a pretty good article imo. "Analysis paralysis". :)
 
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Sandy

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If this happens. It will be a great push towards Japan opening its borders IMO. Guardian/Kyodo news.

Some businesses and local government officials are also calling for authorities to reclassify the virus – which belongs to the same category as tuberculosis – so that it is regarded in the same way as flu, amid evidence that the BA.5 subvariant of Covid-19 produces milder cases than previous strains, said the Kyodo news agency.
More here.
I think one key point, is that the Japanese heath care system was never in danger of being overwhelmed in the past two years because of COVID infections (as was widely reported in the media), it was because of this bureaucratic classification (class II)....
Since many people who tested positive had to be hospitalised based on Class II classification and not necessarily on severity, and that they were only able to go to specific hospitals, this is the type of bureaucratic nonsense that can overwhelm a "system" but not necessarily the provision of health care. Couple that with contact tracing and you get a bureaucratic behemoth.

I currently have a cold (given to me by my wife) and quite frankly, the symptoms are not that much different to what you might expect from a mild COVID infection. If COVID SYMPTOMS are not severe, then why classify COVID like TB?

The cold symptoms are slight runny nose which precipitates a tickley throat cough, which for my wife is sometimes often, lasting for 5-10 seconds.... you should see some Japanese people panic when that happens. It seems that this particular cold is quite common in Japan recently. The duration seems to be around 10-12 days, which is quite long for a cold.... but with reduced antibodies against colds in general, due to the hiatus in respiratory infections over the past 2 years, a more extreme version of this cold's symptoms is hardly surprising.

We should expect more of the same unfortunately.
 

Goski

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I had a cold three weeks ago that lasted a week and it was much worse than the Covid infection I just came out of isolation for. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, some fever, lethargy with the non-covid cold for about five days.
Three days of fever, coughing, and a mildly sore throat with covid.
I'm still coughing up stuff. Will go to a respiratory clinic if that persists into next week.
 

ratherb@thesnow

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Some interesting opinions within this article relating to the requirements for 'tour group travel' under the current rules, guessing it still comes down to having an “ERFS certificates,”
 

LMB

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I had a cold three weeks ago that lasted a week and it was much worse than the Covid infection I just came out of isolation for. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, some fever, lethargy with the non-covid cold for about five days.
Three days of fever, coughing, and a mildly sore throat with covid.
I'm still coughing up stuff. Will go to a respiratory clinic if that persists into next week.
I had flu 4 weeks ago.
Persistent post viral cough, mostly at night. Annoying AF, and so much worse than my one covid experience so far.
 

Lucky Pete

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On the news the other day there was a highly concerned 'medical officer' raising fear by stating that as 41% of Covid beds were full we had to be extra vigilant. 41%...... During the largest outbreak to date.. I think they got this.

As TJ mentioned the other night over a beer if you have ever been to regional hospitals here like we both have, they are like ghost towns at night with no end of empty beds. I doubt they were never near capacity, well at least out our way.
 
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Annabuzzy

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Isn’t that the same group tourism we’ve been discussing?

I’m increasingly quietly optimistic, but (very respectfully) aren’t seeing why that one is boosting my hopes.
 

Hyst

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It does. It's beginning the framework.

The situation hasn't changed though
At least I like that phrase "At this time..."

Q6 : Who can use the eVISA system? Are there any restrictions?​


A6:
At this time, the JAPAN eVISA system is only available to foreign nationals of CANADA or the USA who reside in their own countries. The visa to be applied for is a Temporary Visitor Visa.

Might be a permanent system like the" European ETIAS to come".

 

Donza

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At least I like that phrase "At this time..."

Q6 : Who can use the eVISA system? Are there any restrictions?​


A6:
At this time, the JAPAN eVISA system is only available to foreign nationals of CANADA or the USA who reside in their own countries. The visa to be applied for is a Temporary Visitor Visa.
Yup.
 
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Donza

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The key difference is its all done online, no need for visits to consulates etc. Great start. Wonder what the term 'sponsored by a travel agent' means as its mentioned seperately to groups..
Yeah I thought it good.
My takeaway.

The consulate thing isn't working.
VISA entry to Japan will continue for a long time. You wouldn't create such a system for short term.
The conditions of entry seem to getting a bit more flexible.
 

musehead

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Yeah I thought it good.
My takeaway.

The consulate thing isn't working.
VISA entry to Japan will continue for a long time. You wouldn't create such a system for short term.
The conditions of entry seem to getting a bit more flexible.

To me, the implication of this new eVISA process seems to be that Japan has decided to continue the suspension of visa waiver agreements into the medium or long term.

That doesn't sound like a good thing. It's potentially a permanent hurdle for entry to Japan - getting a visa for countries that require it can be quite a big hassle, with things like accommodation and travel sometimes needing to be pre-booked, a visa applied for well in advance, in-depth scrutiny of your financial, professional and personal details, and no guarantee of success. Before 2020, citizens of 68 countries could simply book a flight and turn up in Japan with no problem. And of course, Japanese citizens are able to enter many countries visa-free right now.
 
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