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Japan ski area bus schedules

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Heinz, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    In response to a couple of questions I've had on bus schedules in the Morioka region I thought I'd start a new thread based on the research I've done on my Tohoku trips. There was a general travel thread but that focused more of internal flights, car hire & trains so anything else is hard to find.

    Train schedules are covered extremely well by Hyperdia so that side is pretty easy. But unlike Europe, Japan has very few ski areas directly accessed by train, so if you are not hiring a car a bus will be required.

    Bus schedules for ski areas however are not readily available in English outside some of the major resorts. Purpose of this thread then is to show ways you can find these and post specific examples.
     
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  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've used a combination of methods to find these.

    Most common approach has been to start with SnowJapan and locate the particular resort. That will have a very brief access section suggesting possibilities but no times. But they will also have a link to the ski area website. In a few rare cases these websites will have an English page, but even then it will only be a brief summary. Most of the time I will paste the link into Google and select "translate this page". Then look for an access page which should list the different ways of getting there.

    Sometimes there is limited info, so I've also tried looking up the specific bus companies to the full timetables. This often ends up with a PDF in Kanji which is trickier as Google doesn't translate directly. You have to translate individual text strings.

    The Powderhounds website also provides some useful info.

    Then there are regional websites which provide some basic detail.
    For example this one for Iwate prefecture (which I have used quite a bit).
     
    #2 Heinz, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morioka to Iwate Kogen Snow Park & Amihari

    This was for 2015/2016 and verified. Note. Morioka has bus bays outside the East and West exits of the train station. There is a walkway on the first level connecting the two.
    For Amihari it is bus bay 10 outside the East exit.

    For the below ignore the bit about Koiwai farm, that is long way short of Amihari. It stops at Iwate Kogen Snow Park then finishes at Amihari. It stops by the base building. There will also be a guy with a van to take you to the hotel if you are staying there. Pay fare Y1140 in cash as you get off the bus.

     
    #3 Heinz, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  4. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good stuff Heinz.

    I've done something fairly comprehensive for Myoko and Nozawa. Will update local schedules prior to the season start.

    The problem for most bus schedules in countryside Japan is that they update every 3-6 months. Plus they almost never put re-directs so if you put a link and they change schedules visitors just get a 404. Hint: if someone finds this just put the main page into Chrome, wait for the translation, then you should hopefully be able to fumble your way through to the required timetable.
     
    #4 M_G, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morioka to Appi Kogen

    Appi is a major resort so does actually have very good info in English on their website.
    http://www.appi-japan.com/welcome-to-appi/howto-gethere.html

    You can get there by train and short shuttle or directly by express bus.
    The express bus goes from the West exit at Morioka bus bay 26. There is a small ticket office there with a vending machine for Appi where you can buy a return bus or combined bus and lift ticket which saves quite a bit. It stops at the hotel just before the base building.

    They already have the 2016/2017 schedule up.

     
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  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morioka to Shizukuishi

    For 2015/2016 this only operated in peak holiday periods and Saturdays.

     
  7. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The other option is to stay somewhere that will pick you up from and drop you back at the train station. ;)
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morioka to Hachimantai

    This is a regular commuter service which goes on a roundabout route and take about 90mins so is anything but express and so not really worthwhile for a day trip, but ok if you are staying a few days. Good for observing regular Japanese - school kids, people doing their daily shopping and the very odd skier (me).
    The final destination is the Hachimantai Royal Hotel which is between the 2 ski areas - Panoramo & Shimokura. There is a regular free shuttle bus that operates between the two areas stopping at the hotel on the way.
    Bus leaves Morioka from East exit bay 3. Payment as usual upon leaving.

    Morioka to Hachimantai (2015/2016)


    Hachimantai to Morioka (2015/2016)
     
    #8 Heinz, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Kitakami to Geto Kogen

    There is a free shuttle bus that runs during the ski season specifically for Geto. Easiest to catch it from the East exit to Kitakami station (used to be from West exit where most buses leave from. It will be pretty easy to spot as ther aren't many bays outside the East exit.

    2015/2016 schedule
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tazawako station to Tazawako ski area

    This is the Nyuto line which goes to that onsen resort. Buses leave from bay 1 (from memory) at Tazawako station. Fare is Y550 to the ski area. Buy ticket at information office inside railway station - there are also some printed English maps there. For the hotels nearby get off at Mizusawa onsen stop which is before the ski area.
    Note. Sukiing area should of course read Skiing area (Google translate not perfect).

    2016 schedule

     
    #10 Heinz, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aomori - Hakkoda

    This is a JR Bus service which runs from Aomori to Lake Towada stopping at Hakkoda (listed as Ropeway station). Note that this is included in a JR pass but NOT a JR east pass.
    There are not surprisingly more regular services in summer than winter. In winter it runs 2-3 times a day. Winter services start in November so check schedules then.

    http://www.jrbustohoku.co.jp/route/detail/?PID=9&RID=14
     
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  12. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds strange but a lot of these places actually get more summer (or 'green season') trade than winter.

    Keep up the great work on these. @Sandy maybe this could be stickied?
     
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  13. Sandy

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

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    Done!!
     
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  14. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great thread, well done Heinz.
     
  15. jab1966

    jab1966 Hard Yards

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    Great work and extremely valuable for our trip this year
     
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The schedules above are all ones I have had recent experience with. Anyone else with experiences elsewhere free to post. I'm sure there would be a few Hakuba schedules around and most likely in English as well.
     
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  17. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  19. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is the official Nagano English tourism site. Overseen by a mate of mine plus a bunch of other forward thinking locals and supported by the prefectural government. Just wish we had more of that attitude around other parts of Japan.
     
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  20. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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  21. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    I wonder what travel times are like Nagano to Myoko-Kogen eki on the slow line vs getting off at MyokoJoetsu and busing back to akakura..
     
  22. Sandy

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

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    Train only:
    Nagano to Myoko-Kogen: 44 min
    Nagano to JoetsuMyoko: 22 min
    Nagano to iiyama: 11 min
     
  23. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    If the trains link up. Got to add in the delays for trnsfers.
     
  24. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Nagano to Iiyama isn't 11 mins on slow train , Shink maybe .
     
  25. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    I dont remember the bus from myoko-kogen to akakura-onsen to be all that long, and it seems it would take the bus an hour from the myokojoetsu station to akakura, so it would be close. slow train would certainly be cheaper. and i dont think the bus was 1100 yen!
     
  26. Sandy

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

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    Yeah that's what I mean.
    i.e. If you're heading to Joetsu Myoko or iiyama, you just stay on the Shinkansen, so it takes those times.
    If you are changing to go the slow train to Myoko Kogen, the transfer could be 10 min or 30 min, added to the 44 min.
     
  27. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh try over an hour between the shinkansen arriving and the myoko kogen local train leaving Nagano
     
  28. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    The JoetsuMyoko-Akakura Onsen bus schedule is here. The advantage is that it takes you straight into Akakura Onsen. No waiting for buses or taxis at MyokoKogen Station.

    For example - leave Tokyo at 14.24, arrive at 16.20, bus at 16.35, arrive Akakura Onsen 17.35

    Catch the same train and get off at Nagano and you'll arrive in MyokoKogen at 16.55. IF you can get a taxi straight away you should be in by 17.15. There's no bus until 17.35 so you won't get in till after 18.00.
     
    #28 M_G, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  29. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is why you stay somewhere that will pick you up from the station. ;) Especially if you are avoiding the boguns by staying out of Akakura Onsen with the new bars and dj and......:whistle:
     
  30. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    It is put out there as general advice as the vast majority of foreign guests will continue to stay in Akakura Onsen, not as a promotion of any particular place or locale to stay.

    Most hotels will pick up if they know in advance. Just don't be like the rude older woman standing at the stationmasters window I encountered last season telling him in English to call her hotel and get them to pick her and her husband up. When I said it's not his job and she should be asking at the tourist office she looked out and said, "I'm not walking all that way!". :headbang: Not just the bogans who can be painful...
     
    #30 M_G, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not a bus schedule, but some recent info on rail travel to Furano & Tomamu posted in another thread..

     
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  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    #32 Heinz, Oct 9, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  35. freddy

    freddy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  36. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Trying to locate an up to date bus schedule for Yamagata - Zao Onsen but I can only get last seasons.
     
  37. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Probably not out yet. A lot don't list schedules till November or even December.
     
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  38. ldj226

    ldj226 Hard Yards

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    Anyone know if its possible to get a bus from Rusutsu to Kiroro or vice versa?
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unlikely I would think. You'd probably have to do it via Sapporo with Resort Liner (posted earlier).
     
  40. ldj226

    ldj226 Hard Yards

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    Thanks Heinz. I'll work on re-jigging the iternary
     
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Include a night or two in Sapporo in between.
     
  42. Goreng

    Goreng First Runs

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    Anyone have any information on buses from Furano to Asahidake? Not as part of a guided tour just for transport.Thanks
     
  43. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not aware of any. The schedules I listed above from Asahikawa were the only ones listed on the Asahidake website. I had a quick look at the Furano tourism website but there was nothing listed there. It might be something they do on an occasional basis. @telenomore may know? Though if you've never been to Asahidake before, it would be a good idea first time around to do it as a guided tour in any case.
     
  44. Goreng

    Goreng First Runs

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    Ok thanks. Powderhounds said to check the Furano tourism website but there's not much info on there as you said. Will probably get a bus to Asahikawa and then on to Asahidake.
    Yeah will probably do a guided tour the first day but going to be staying there for a few days anyway.
     
  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You could check tourist office in Furano when you are there, but I think trips from there will be organised day trips rather than regular scheduled services, so if you are going to be staying a few days, then best to get bus from Asahikawa.
     
  46. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    #46 Heinz, Nov 18, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  47. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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  48. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm told that the furano tourism bus doesn't run anymore to asahidake. Risk-adverse culture and all.
     
  49. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Was there one? I don't recall it. There have been day bus connections to Kamui and Tomamu, depending on the day of the week, run in conjunction with Furano Tourism and local taxi/charter company, but not Asahi Dake. I'd assume the same again this season. Some very keen skiers last year determined to do their own thing did a day trip from Furano to Asahi Dake via public transport, got the earliest train (about 6:00 am I think) to Asahikawa then bus to Asahi Dake and back again the same day. Very long day for about 4 hours on site.
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is a very long day! Obviously didn't know how nice it is to actually stay in Asahidake.
    Otherwise would have been much easier to stay a couple of nights in Asahikawa.