Japan 2022 snow season Planning

mannyk

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Seeing I cant go next month as planned I am keeping myself busy planning 2022.
Early plans are fly into Tokyo, 5 nights In Shiga Kogan then hire car out of Nagano and drive up the west coast have a look around for 2 rest days then dive into Mt Bandai area for 4 days. Noted Fukushima had airport so looked at the option of flight back to airport. Just looking at ideas at the moment.
 

Sbooker

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I’m hopeful of skiing in 2022 in the northern hemisphere but I’m becoming more doubtful as I’m seeing more government decisions domestically.
 

Hyst

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I’m hopeful of skiing in 2022 in the northern hemisphere but I’m becoming more doubtful as I’m seeing more government decisions domestically.

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/...nation-programme-in-late-february-2021-122120

Don't know about other European countries - but here in DK we will have finished by June 2021. All carehomes have already finished.

I do not think you should be worried - all need the tourists and the countries to work more normal again.

But off course AU might not let you out.:D

https://cphpost.dk/?p=121718
 

LMB

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Lots of ifs.

If we are let out (and when).
If I’m vaccinated (and when)
If I have access to my nieces and nephews for Christmas or not...

But likely Boxing Day flight into Sapporo.
3 months in Niseko.
Happy Days.

Happy to do 2 weeks quarantine on return if Aus requires it.
 

David-eTO

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https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/...nation-programme-in-late-february-2021-122120

Don't know about other European countries - but here in DK we will have finished by June 2021. All carehomes have already finished.

I do not think you should be worried - all need the tourists and the countries to work more normal again.

But off course AU might not let you out.:D

https://cphpost.dk/?p=121718
Just my contribution to this topic.

In Italy they have again postponed the official opening date for the ski season, despite the (huge) loss of income caused by this decision.
I honestly would not recommend going to Italy unless there was an official Government backed opening date. On the other hand, it seems in Switzerland they are having a hell of a time.
 
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skichanger

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What flights can you get from Australia to Niigata ........ none AFAIK ?
I think the OP was talking about flying to Haneda or Narita.

AFAIK in a past time you could fly to Niigata with one stop. Actually when I think about it there are a few options where you could get to Niigata with one stop. So really not much different to lots of the flight s people take to Japan.
 
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Ramenman

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If you don't want to drag ski bags, you can use this bus from Aizu region to Narita airport, but not sure it is running when you come.
20161222092522.jpg
 

Ramenman

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I've seen some "major" hotels own and operate shuttle bus to Narita Airport, targeting tourists from abroad. I don't need the bus, so I don't know the details, though.

This one is Urabandai Lake Resort Hotel's bus to Tokyo / Narita.
d0151247_2364957.jpg


This one is Hoshino Resorts Urabandai Hotel to Tokyo / Narita.
src_37514599.jpg
 

Ramenman

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Yes, and it's only 1500 Yen from Aizu region to Sendai airport by bus IIRC.

This says Fukushima station (Shinkansen station) to Sendai Airport is 1500 Yen by bus. If you go to Aizu region from Tokyo, I think you'll use Tohoku Shinkansen. Most people drop at Koriyama station, but you can drop at Fukushima, then rent a car in front of Fukushima station, driving to Inawashiro. Then you drive back to Fukushima station, hiring the bus to Sendai Airport.
aizubus.jpg
 
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mannyk

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If you don't want to drag ski bags, you can use this bus from Aizu region to Narita airport, but not sure it is running when you come. We would be there late Jan or early February.
20161222092522.jpg
That looks like a good option, I know my wife will prefer,she likes the ease of the Hwy bus and finds it more relaxing than dragging her bag through train stations.
 
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mannyk

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ANA flies out of Niigata. ANA flies to Sydney from Haneda.
Interesting.. be great if you get a good connection to Sydney. Worth looking at these options.
Being further Nth I was wondering why more dont depart from Niigata or Sendai rather than traveling back to Tokyo.
I like to explore something different.
 

Sandy

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Interesting.. be great if you get a good connection to Sydney. Worth looking at these options.
Being further Nth I was wondering why more dont depart from Niigata or Sendai rather than traveling back to Tokyo.
I like to explore something different.
Not enough traffic to Australia
 
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Sandy

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The Hwy bus back to Narita looks like a good option. 6000 yen
I've said MANY TIMES, that bus is often the easiest way to get around. People tend to be a bit worried about buses, because you sometimes don't know for sure where they are going, unlike trains, which run on tracks!!
I ALWAYS take the bus from the airport(s) to Yokohama, and not the train.
 

mannyk

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I've said MANY TIMES, that bus is often the easiest way to get around. People tend to be a bit worried about buses, because you sometimes don't know for sure where they are going, unlike trains, which run on tracks!!
I ALWAYS take the bus from the airport(s) to Yokohama, and not the train.
We did the Nagano shuttle to Shiga Kogan, although it was a bit long it was much less work, and got dropped at the door. Also got to see different view of Japan other than the usual view from the train. That year we also used the Hwy bus from Hakuba to Shinjuku, in hind sight should have used the direct to Haneda. Any way we are happy to use the buses.
 

skichanger

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Interesting.. be great if you get a good connection to Sydney. Worth looking at these options.
Being further Nth I was wondering why more dont depart from Niigata or Sendai rather than traveling back to Tokyo.
I like to explore something different.
We have had guests fly internally into and out of Niigata amd Matsumoto. And customs and immigration at Niigata is the easiest I have encountered. I would expect Toyama to be similar. I am going to check Toyama out because it is easier wrt the shinkansen.
 

ratherb@thesnow

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Been actively awaiting this thread, planning 10 days Nozawa, 10 days Myoko and then 10days up Niseko way, not been back to Niseko for 5 years so be good to get back up there. Accommodation booked for Myoko 9th Jan 2022 and working either side of these dates for the other two areas. Thinking of catching the bullet train up to Niseko rather than fly, something different.
 

LMB

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Been actively awaiting this thread, planning 10 days Nozawa, 10 days Myoko and then 10days up Niseko way, not been back to Niseko for 5 years so be good to get back up there. Accommodation booked for Myoko 9th Jan 2022 and working either side of these dates for the other two areas. Thinking of catching the bullet train up to Niseko rather than fly, something different.
Do it!!
I really enjoyed the train.

Sadly they won’t have completed the Shink to Kutchan by then - still 8 years away at that stage. But the changes to local trains are easy and a bit of variety also.

Occasionally you need to change platform via the walk over bridges (often not, but sometimes), it was never an issue for us even with luggage, but when we caught the train with our olds we sent them over without the luggage and we carried everyones items over bit by bit. Also helped a woman on crutches with hers. So it’s worth being aware of in the event of injury or inability to carry luggage up and down stairs. We tend to take only what we need for a couple of days with us and send the rest via Black Cat
 
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Jacksong

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We did the Nagano shuttle to Shiga Kogan, although it was a bit long it was much less work, and got dropped at the door. Also got to see different view of Japan other than the usual view from the train. That year we also used the Hwy bus from Hakuba to Shinjuku, in hind sight should have used the direct to Haneda. Any way we are happy to use the buses.

I think that's a good example, trains and bus are both great in Japan, just depends on the personal situation of the traveler. Bus is easy, train is faster and more exciting especially for most visitors to Japan. Who wants to sit on a bus for 6 hours when a train does it in 1/4 of the time? Especially after a long haul flight.

But yes there are exceptions for sure. Sometimes an overnight bus works well as it can get me to the airport for an early flight that no trains could get me there for, example. From the Airport to downtown, just throw the luggage under the bus and relax on the trip, arrive above ground with fresh air is nice. Then again, it's boring compared to arriving at a bustling Japanese train station, it's a lifelong memory for some travellers.

If I arrived in the afternoon in Tokyo and was on a short ski trip, I for sure would be jumping on a direct bus to the ski resort to arrive at my accommodation and wake up with the option to ski. Would never want to layover in a hotel and have a big travel day the next morning.
 
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Lucky Pete

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For any trip over an hour I will take a train over a bus all day every day and definetly would take one to Hokkaido, what an awesome way to travel. Second would be flying.

Whilst you can get flights into Niigata apparently the schedules would be very limited which may or may not suit you. Toyama much the same last time I looked. By the time you have to wait for connecting flights, baggae etc etc etc there would be no advantage and possibly more hassle and risk of missed connections etc.

KISS is often king, especially with having others with you so if you want simple Nagano Snow Shuttle from the airport direct to Shiga accomadation.

Then Shink (or local trains and shink) from Nagano to Fukushima area and rental car to cruise around in and spend the extra time up there. Less places, more time is my travel mantra.
 
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Sandy

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When you look at timetables, trains from Haneda to Hakuba vs bus is not so very different.
If you assume 7:00am ready to depart from Haneda:
Train: 7.12am -> 9:30am at Nagano. Alpico bus: Nagano 11.20am -> 12.35pm at Happo bus terminal. (there's a gap in the Alpico timetable, previous bus is 9:10am. You'd need to get the 6.34am monorail out of Haneda to catch the 9.10am bus)
Bus: 7:30am -> 12.45pm at Happo bus terminal.
 

PiggabeenBoarder

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I think that's a good example, trains and bus are both great in Japan, just depends on the personal situation of the traveler. Bus is easy, train is faster and more exciting especially for most visitors to Japan. Who wants to sit on a bus for 6 hours when a train does it in 1/4 of the time? Especially after a long haul flight.

But yes there are exceptions for sure. Sometimes an overnight bus works well as it can get me to the airport for an early flight that no trains could get me there for, example. From the Airport to downtown, just throw the luggage under the bus and relax on the trip, arrive above ground with fresh air is nice. Then again, it's boring compared to arriving at a bustling Japanese train station, it's a lifelong memory for some travellers.

If I arrived in the afternoon in Tokyo and was on a short ski trip, I for sure would be jumping on a direct bus to the ski resort to arrive at my accommodation and wake up with the option to ski. Would never want to layover in a hotel and have a big travel day the next morning.
Yeah I would love to do what you state about getting to the resort straight up but we always fly Jetstar from Gold Coast to Narita and it's the same flight, leaving 10.30 and arriving around 6.30 from memory. There's just not enough time to get up to Nozawa or Myoko (which is where we normally go) that night, I guess unless we took a direct shuttle bus but they are a fair bit more expensive, plus we have 2 small kids. Maybe that would off-set the price of the hotel we end up staying in?. Wish the flight was earlier, say 8 or 9am and then I reckon we could probably work it in. Not sure of any other options that would better suit
 

Ramenman

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I know the people who are skiing both in Niigata and Fukushima in one ski travel are very rare, but if you like snowy train lines, you might like the two JR lines between Niigata and Fukushima. The border between Niigata and Fukushima is one of the snowiest regions of Japan. JR Tadami line is very snowy but a big flood swept some bridges away and it will re-open in 2023 (IIRC, might be 2022?), so you can't use it in 2022. The other is JR Banetsu West line. The red is the route. Between Joetsu-Myoko station and Niigata station, a touristic train is running. So, Joetsu Myoko - Niigata - Inawashiro.
200px-JR_Banetsu_Line_linemap.svg.png


The title of the video is "SL Christmas Train Winter 2009 Banetsu West Line". So, it was filmed on Christmas. If not on Christmas, there is "usually" plenty of snow along Banetsu West Line between Niigata and Inawashiro in mid winter.

5e28ab2f138d9b40754aa8337f1ed3a3.jpg


Between Joetsu Myoko station and Niigata station, there is "Sake Train" (it's a touristic train for the people who want to taste some good local sakes). Actually, both Fukushima and Niigata are the two best sake prefectures. The image below is the routes of the Sake Train. So, even if you are skiing in Yuzawa region, you can use the train to Niigata station. So, Joetsu Myoko - Niigata - Aizu Wakamatsu / Inawashiro or Echigo Yuzawa - Niigata - Aizu Wakamatsu / Inawashiro.
201903et02r.jpg



This is the Sake Train :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koshino_Shu*Kura
img_main02.jpg
 

Lucky Pete

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Yeah I would love to do what you state about getting to the resort straight up but we always fly Jetstar from Gold Coast to Narita and it's the same flight, leaving 10.30 and arriving around 6.30 from memory.

When we come back at that time we either stay at an Airport Hotel with free shuttles and go get dinner in Narita township and come up in the morning or another option is to push through to Nagano (arr about 10pm), stay in the Metroplotitan Hotel at the station and then you could get the 1st bus out to Shiga/Myoko/Hakuba etc in the morning. Bag drop and go skiing :)
 
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PiggabeenBoarder

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When we come back at that time we either stay at an Airport Hotel with free shuttles and go get dinner in Narita township and come up in the morning or another option is to push through to Nagano (arr about 10pm), stay in the Metroplotitan Hotel at the station and then you could get the 1st bus out to Shiga/Myoko/Hakuba etc in the morning. Bag drop and go skiing :)
Yeah that sounds like a good plan trying to get to Nagano that night, then we'd be able to get a fair bit of skiing in the next day. Especially as the kids get older and can cope with the flight then the train as it's a long day overall!!
 

Sandy

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When we come back at that time we either stay at an Airport Hotel with free shuttles and go get dinner in Narita township and come up in the morning or another option is to push through to Nagano (arr about 10pm), stay in the Metroplotitan Hotel at the station and then you could get the 1st bus out to Shiga/Myoko/Hakuba etc in the morning. Bag drop and go skiing :)
Yeah that sounds like a good plan trying to get to Nagano that night, then we'd be able to get a fair bit of skiing in the next day. Especially as the kids get older and can cope with the flight then the train as it's a long day overall!!
I've stayed a number of times at the Sunroute Hotel Naganoeki Higashiguchi (Naganoeki Higashiguchi = Nagano Station East entrance), which looks right over the top of the buses at Nagano Station(closest hotel to the buses). It's changed ownership & name, now called Sotetsu Fresa Inn Naganoeki Higashiguchi.
 

PiggabeenBoarder

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I've stayed a number of times at the Sunroute Hotel Naganoeki Higashiguchi (Naganoeki Higashiguchi = Nagano Station East entrance), which looks right over the top of the buses at Nagano Station(closest hotel to the buses). It's changed ownership & name, now called Sotetsu Fresa Inn Naganoeki Higashiguchi.
Thanks @Sandy I'll look it up and note it down for (hopefully) our 2022 trip. Trying to maximise resort time and minimise travel or wasted days.
 

Donza

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My next trip to Japan will have a number of key factors.
  • Airport within realistic drive of ski resorts.
  • No need to use trains etc.
  • Cheap hire cars.
  • Good uncrowded ski jo.
Powder and family friendly terrain.

So its either into Sendai via Taiwan or Chitose via HK.

3 week road trip.
Combini access. Mandatory.
 

Heinz

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I've stayed a number of times at the Sunroute Hotel Naganoeki Higashiguchi (Naganoeki Higashiguchi = Nagano Station East entrance), which looks right over the top of the buses at Nagano Station(closest hotel to the buses). It's changed ownership & name, now called Sotetsu Fresa Inn Naganoeki Higashiguchi.
Perfect location opposite the station and bus departures and also has a 7-11 next door.
Also a good place to bump into other forum members;)
 

Nozawaman

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Yeah I would love to do what you state about getting to the resort straight up but we always fly Jetstar from Gold Coast to Narita and it's the same flight, leaving 10.30 and arriving around 6.30 from memory. There's just not enough time to get up to Nozawa or Myoko (which is where we normally go) that night, I guess unless we took a direct shuttle bus but they are a fair bit more expensive, plus we have 2 small kids. Maybe that would off-set the price of the hotel we end up staying in?. Wish the flight was earlier, say 8 or 9am and then I reckon we could probably work it in. Not sure of any other options that would better suit
Last train to Nagano is doable , from Jetstar flight .
Stay at hotel near station then first train to Togari , laughing ?
 
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Donza

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For 21/22 I'll be sticking to direct flights from Aus and if possible direct from Melbourne.
I feel flying via another country just adds another layer of risk to an already uncertain situation.
Hence Taiwan or HK. Pretty safe covid countries.
Mind you I do agree. I just dislike the timing of the Japan flights ex Sydney.
*this is moreso my wife and daughter who don't enjoy night flights.
 

mannyk

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I know the people who are skiing both in Niigata and Fukushima in one ski travel are very rare, but if you like snowy train lines, you might like the two JR lines between Niigata and Fukushima. The border between Niigata and Fukushima is one of the snowiest regions of Japan. JR Tadami line is very snowy but a big flood swept some bridges away and it will re-open in 2023 (IIRC, might be 2022?), so you can't use it in 2022. The other is JR Banetsu West line. The red is the route. Between Joetsu-Myoko station and Niigata station, a touristic train is running. So, Joetsu Myoko - Niigata - Inawashiro.
200px-JR_Banetsu_Line_linemap.svg.png


The title of the video is "SL Christmas Train Winter 2009 Banetsu West Line". So, it was filmed on Christmas. If not on Christmas, there is "usually" plenty of snow along Banetsu West Line between Niigata and Inawashiro in mid winter.

5e28ab2f138d9b40754aa8337f1ed3a3.jpg


Between Joetsu Myoko station and Niigata station, there is "Sake Train" (it's a touristic train for the people who want to taste some good local sakes). Actually, both Fukushima and Niigata are the two best sake prefectures. The image below is the routes of the Sake Train. So, even if you are skiing in Yuzawa region, you can use the train to Niigata station. So, Joetsu Myoko - Niigata - Aizu Wakamatsu / Inawashiro or Echigo Yuzawa - Niigata - Aizu Wakamatsu / Inawashiro.
201903et02r.jpg



This is the Sake Train :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koshino_Shu*Kura
img_main02.jpg
We did a trip to Joetsu from Myoko a few yrs ago. Left in full sunshine blue bird day, the mountains were beautiful, then got snowed on at the beach.
Takada was a stop over, had some great scenes of trains arriving at Takada, it was dumping and by the time we got back to Myoko it was still dumping.. Bad choice of rest day..But we had fun..
My wife and I have a saying when things dont go to plan "No mistakes" we pretty much liv by that when we travel
 
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