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Resource Japan Snow Country Realestate 2020 to 2070

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Scoober, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    I find it hard to get any Real Estate websites for buying property. Is it because they are in Japanese and don't show up on google?
    If life goes well would like to buy a house/ something in a Honshu ski area in a few years.
    Any insightful directions? (Yes off topic I know...)
     
  2. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Besides Hakuba, Niseko and maybe one or two other places, agents sites are in Japanese and there is no unified website like realestate.com.au that Im aware of. You will need to search in Japanese and for each specific area.

    My advice is if you dont plan to live in Japan dont buy here and use the money to travel to different places each year. Owning a place will definitely tie you to one location when there are so many places to go see and shred in Japan.

    If you do buy a place here and plan to rent it out whilst you arent here property managers wont be interested unless they can market from Mid Dec to Early March so there goes being here in prime time. Managing it yourself from a distance is difficult (we just set up a business to help Absent Owners :) ) and unless you set up a business you will be stuck on tourism visas if you plan to be here an extended time. No visa also means you cant buy a car, get utilities, bank accounts etc although you can buy property insurance.

    From finding the property perspective, once you find one understand older properties here are generally poorly inuslated, often near the end of their build lives and require a lot of $ to get right. Getting Japanese tradies is also a whole other issues that some of us do well with whilst others dont and you defintely want to be here to manage their work or appoint someone to supervise which we are doing now too.

    Apologies for raining on your parade but having seen many with the same dream and flounder its further mentioning the above.
     
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  3. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Not raining on it at all! Appreciate the post and the honesty.
    Admittedly theres a lot of homework to be done and reading over the years of the issues forum members have with tradies as you mentioned is something to keep in mind. As is absent owners etc.
    We have businesses in Australia so may be worthwhile and more productive to set up a business for it too to get around the headaches you listed.
    All very much food for thought, we have many good friends in Japan so its a place we would like a base in the near to medium future.
     
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  4. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Question A :
    What kind of real estate are you looking for? (family use or business use, number of bed rooms, price range, etc)

    Question B :
    Which ski regions are you interested in?

    I can read Japanese and I want people from abroad to make the most of real estates in Japanese ski resort regions, so I'm happy to help people from abroad to find & buy real estates in Japanese ski resort regions. If you answer Question A and Question B, I'll show you 5 real estates that (I think) match your interest. Then, you tell me which of 5 you like the most, which helps me to understand what kind of real estate you are actually interested in and I'll show you 5 other real estates which are similar to the one you choose previously.

    I think I should not gain a profit from this forum, so, what I wrote above is all I can do for you or any other people on this forum.
     
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  5. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A kind offer, indeed.
     
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  6. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    This. Unless you have a Japanese speaking contact who can organise everything for you, most importantly snow clearing, along with a bottomless pit of money to dig into as needed. Like Lucky Pete I've encountered far too many people with rose coloured glasses about how it all works.
     
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  7. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Hey @Ramenman,
    Thanks its a very kind offer. We are a year or two away yet to be financially set to buy and up-keep a property but am keen to start looking at locations and what prices to expect.
    A) Primarily looking for a house. Would be mostly private use but as @Lucky Pete mentioned would be best set up for business use also. Would need 3 bedrooms as we were mad and had 4 kids!! Not sure on price range as mentioned above the older the place the more it takes to get right and up to scratch. But as a ball park $300k AUD, but not knowing the market is it too little??

    B) Would be on Honshu. We were meant to be staying with @skichanger in Madarao this January to try out the area. It seems a good area with lots of variety within decent driving distance. We also have friends in Tokyo who could join us but don't have a car.
    Far from ruling out other areas though. All help is greatly appreciated.
     
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  8. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    We have Japanese friends in Tokyo that may be able to organise as long as its just speaking over the phone. Not sure about a bottomless pit, but I won't be jumping in until I know what I'm in for and well off enough to be able to spend xxx a year to maintain. I've worked far to hard to get where I am to throw it away. With advice from this forum and speaking with my friends in Japan will all help make a decision, something I will not rush into. Cheers
     
  9. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    It's ok to say you have 'friends' in Tokyo that can help , but the reality of it is that it's not going to be cursory phone calls to translate . If and when actual reno's start that's when the fun begins !!!!!
    WRT running as a business , well unless you are experienced , and or are a people person with a quick learning curve you are kidding yourself it is a 10 week season at best .
     
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  10. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you get to Japan this winter we can talk and I can introduce you to some people etc. In the mean time I will send you some stuff.
     
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  11. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    ATM just trying to grasp whats involved and the cost that I would be up for. And its not an idea on a whim that I am entertaining. I've been self employed for 15 years and have 60 staff that work for me. I have ran renovation projects involving my businesses, yes a new ball game in Japan I get that.
    Just at the starting point to look at this, its something I want to do for our family and friends. At the end of the day if its too hard then so be it, but it is something I want to spend a good time looking into to make that decision.
     
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  12. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Its looking soo unlikely atm :cry:
    Always next year.......
     
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  13. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sigh. What can we do? Just hope people stop doing the dumb stuff so we can all get on with our lives. We cannot even make plans till we know when we can get back. And who knows when that will be.

    On the bright side, I am enjoying spending time with my family.
     
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  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    300K AUD means roughly 25 million JPY, right?.

    This 27 year old lodge at the base of Mt.Madarao (Tangram side) is about 300K AUD. It's been used as a business use lodge (small one with 5 guest rooms and 1 owner's room). The owner says that you can see all of Mt.Madarao, Mt.Myoko and Mt.Kurohime from the lodge. 25 million JPY is just what the ower was initially saying and the price should be negotiable (and COVID-19 might make the price even cheaper). Judging from the pictures, the condition is not bad and I think you won't need a big renovation.
    [​IMG]

    Tangram ski resort seen from the lodge(As you may know, Tangram and Madarao are on the same mountain).


    A view from the lodge site


    Guest room


    Guest room


    The dining room


    I just showed you one of real estates. Older (or worse condition), smaller, and more walk (or more drive) means cheaper. Between Mt.Madarao and Mt.Myoko, there is Mt.Kurohime. Mt.Kurohime also has a ski resort and the ski resort is "less popular" if compared to ski resorts on Mt.Myoko and Mt.Madarao, so the lodges there are cheaper, and I'd say it's short drive to Myoko and Madarao.
     
  15. Sandy

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

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    I'd be reluctant to buy at Kurohime. It's less popular, which also means that it's more vulnerable in the future to closing. (when keeping in mind that if you have guests, the guests would need to get to Myoko or Madarao/Tangram.
    Also, Kurohime is not really between Madarao and Myoko, it's about 5km due south of Myoko Suginohara. Tangram is about 10km east of Myoko Kogen station.
     
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  16. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Thanks @Ramenman thats a good start. Not far off with $ conversion. Could even go something smaller as our family of 6 get along so we don't need too much space. It would be mainly for us, but if renting out would need to do a lot more homework on what would be involved in that.
    Don't feel to hindered in sending through different locations and values as it all helps give me perspective on the market.
     
  17. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    thanks @Sandy . Without seeing much in the market from Oz, was hoping to get more or less the values in areas to help guide me in what price point to expect.
    Thats where this forum is so good. All you guys in Japan and the ones who have experienced what I'm looking at doing, can give a true account and advice. No sugar coating or spin you may get through different avenues.
     
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  18. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    At resorts themselves the properties available tend to be commercial properties rather than family houses, hence the large number of rooms.

    If you don't mind the ski slopes not being on your doorstep, you can find more typical houses - at the other end of the spectrum this place is on sale for about 24k AUD (+ unknown amount on refurbishment). Lots of rooms and still deep in snow country (about 20km from Madarao and 6km from Nozawa onsen as the crow flies). Doing it up to modern standards would probably need to be a labour of love. This place is on the very cheap end of the scale for whatever reason but gives you a sense of rural property prices away from the resorts!

    http://www.kitashinshu.net/tatemono/1205/
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are a lot of such old cheap (and some of them are charming too) houses in ski resort inaka villages and I love seeing some people buy them at cheaper than 3 - 5 million Yen and nicely renovate it to be reborn as an inn of a great mix of old charm and modernism:D
     
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  20. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    There's a German architect called Karl Bengs who has taken this to the next level in Niigata.
    One of his projects is a hamlet called Taketokoro (Tokamachi) that has come back from the brink of disappearance with beautifully restored houses.
    https://www.nippon.com/en/views/b02339/
    https://www.japan.go.jp/regions/regionsontherise/01.html

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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  22. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Thanks @Asama , she looks like a lot of work!! But again appreciate seeing all thats on offer.
     
  23. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    Oh for sure. That one is definitely a job for a renovation enthusiast.

    On the other hand, this is a fairly typical modern town house in Iiyama city - not sure of the exact location but on Madarao's doorstep (3/4km?)
    4 bedrooms, decent sized living/dining space, car parking under the house (typical snow country architecture with the raised ground floor).
    Condition looks pretty good as far as I can tell from the photos.
    Asking JPY12.8 million (= 160k AUD?) I'm no expert on house prices in Iiyama but my instinct is they're being a bit optimistic.

    https://www.athome.co.jp/kodate/6968816646/?DOWN=1&BKLISTID=001LPC&sref=list_simple




    Will stop spamming the thread with estate agent listings if it's annoying...
     
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  24. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you have a link for this. I think I know where it is but not sure.
     
  25. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  26. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Hi @Sandy ,
    Sorry for hijacking the Tourism thread. If you could move all the posts here that would be awesome.
     
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  27. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  28. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Other questions are

    Question C:
    15 - 20 min drive to the nearest ski resort is too far?

    Question D:
    You want your lodge to be always covered with deep snow in winter?.


    I mean, Madarao Kogen (Kogen = Highland) is at 900m+ above sea level and it's almost always covered with deep snow in winter. On the other hand, there are many houses for sale along JR Iiyama line at 300 - 400m asl, which is roughly 15+ min drive to Madarao Kogen. 300m - 400m is not always covered with snow (I guess, but I don't know much about the region). We own a lodge at 850m asl in Aizu region. 850m asl highland is always covered with deep snow and I can feel "I own a lodge in a snow country" on the other hand, 300 - 400m asl there is not always covered with deep snow.
     
    #29 Ramenman, Aug 18, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  30. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  31. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    I believe that area is reliably snowy, even in the valleys. Scanning back to 1990, Iiyama weather station (313m asl) has almost always had a snowpack for all of January and snow depth gets over 1m most Februaries. This last winter (a disaster as most everywhere else), 2000 (late start), and 2007 (snowpack disappeared mid-Feb) are the only stand-out "off" years. A snowy city for sure.
     
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  32. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  33. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    My recognition is, it snows quite a lot there when it snows, but the snowfall (or I should say "snowdepth") is less consistent (less stable) due to the low altitude and low latitude. So, if a bad season hits (or warm season hits), 300 - 400m asl can be snowless even during New Year holidays, I think. Higher altitude & latitude = snow is more stable. In northern Tohoku, 300m - 400m asl is stable (snow condition is more stable), but Niigata - Nagano, I think 300 - 400m asl can be too warm for stable snow condition.
     
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  34. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    There are plenty of cheap places to purchase throughout Japan but if you want a roi then choose popular tourist areas for domestic and international visitors. They are also usually more foreigner friendly. Things to consider are how much it can snow and where the snow falls on your property and where can you put it. Also if you are located in a forest area the jungle will take over and you can have issues with bugs and mould if no one is looking after it in the warmer months. Taxes and rates can be expensive for concrete buildings. Anything built prior to 1977 will have old earthquake building regulations.
     
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  35. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    This. You need someone on the spot, especially for snow clearing. And how are you going to pay your bills if you don't have a business visa? If you only have a tourist visa you can't get a car, a bank account, a phone, etc.

    Here is something you may have already seen but the middle paragraphs are important.
     
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  36. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    C) Doesn't bother me to drive, being right near a ski resort would be great but not essential.
    D) This is the issue that others are rising and would have to consider. deep snow = lots of snow clearing. If there is a winter I am absent then consideration on how I would achieve the snow clearing etc
     
  37. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    More good advice @TJ
     
  38. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    C) You can't own a car without a residency visa and renting a car long term is not easy.
    D) Yes. Why you need a local contact.

    Sorry to sound like a negative nellie but rather you'd know fully what you're getting yourself into.
     
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  39. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Thanks @M_G
    Yeh have read that before a while back when initially contemplating. You are right in the fact about visa, makes more sense as we would want a vehicle, bank accounts etc.
    I would plan to be there for the winter but life is life and can't be schedule (this year being the perfect example of the unknown) so would need something solid in place for absence.
     
  40. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    @M_G I don't see it negative at all!! Quite positive actually as they are cold hard facts that I need to know.
    Its the main reason I posted as I know so many of you are over there or have experience and are willing to share. I'm 100% not looking for a cheer squad with everything being sugar coated for me to get to a point where I've shot myself in the foot.
    Very thankful for your time in posting
     
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  41. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow clearing is a "relatively" smaller issue when it comes to Tohoku, especially Northern Tohoku. I mean, I've seen quite many "unused" lodges there and nobody was clearing snow of those unused lodges. There are two reasons, I think. Reason one = Myoko (and the vicinity) can have the biggest 24 hour snowfall in Japan or the world(I mean, when it snows, it snows quite a lot). Reason two = I guess snow is heavier (a bit more wet) there in Myoko than here.



    This is a lodge at the base of Appi Kogen that we were interested in buying. With steep roofs, snow keep sliding / falling off the roofs and many unused lodges without clearing snow look okay(of course, clearing snow is better and clearing snow can be "must" for some lodges in some regions).
     
    #41 Ramenman, Aug 18, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  42. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Couple of things from my experience.
    Snow clearing is never ending and has to be done.
    If you cant do it yourself it will cost you plenty
    You cant own a car, you must have a car space if you hire one
    You can't have a bank account so bill paying is hard
    Rates, water, elec, sewer etc, the tariffs are higher if a business
    Tourist visa only good for 90 days then you must leave and re enter.
    Permanent visa is difficult(skichanger may be able to shed some light)
    You need someone to help out when not there to look after things.
    Never new i had so many friends
    The powder is incredible
    The Japanese are such fantastic people
    The food unreal

    Was it a good choice- absolutely
    Would i do it again - in a heartbeat
    Would i sell it - not a chance
    Goodtimes with family - priceless
    Having friends enjoy it with me - special
     
  43. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    This bottom paragraph is what I'm hoping to achieve. Understandably a mammoth task to realise it! Good thing I'm in no rush and all this advice will be used wisely!
     
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  44. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  45. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This 23 year old lodge is at the base of Tangram ski resort(inside Tangram ski resort lodge village). 19.5 million Yen = About 250K AUD. 5 bed rooms (4 guest rooms and 1 big owner's room), a dining room, etc. The lodge had been used till last year.
    http://www.kitashinshu.net/tatemono/1217/
    [​IMG]
     
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  46. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have never regretted for a second buying a place in Japan.

    But we went the easy option.
    A condo apartment in Hirafu looked after by a management company. Purchase was easy, the tax returns are easy, the bills are high but we don’t have to sort the snow clearing, repair the boiler or buy a new fridge when our breaks down (THAT happened last week).

    There is nothing to stop you using it as a base and exploring the region, or even going on trips further afield, or “house swapping” with other ski aparto owners through Japan.

    Good luck!

    I am devo that we likely won’t be able to go in 20/21 season.
     
  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Speaking of renting a car, I think many have one month plan (for example, the company I know near Narita / Haneda Airport has a monthly plan and it's about 60,000 Yen = 2,000 Yen per day and it can be cheaper if you book 2 months in advance or earlier).
     
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  48. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some people have amazing DIY renovation skills. He renovated an old (and very cheap) house by himself(not all but almost all), and the total renovation cost was only 4 million Yen (52K AUD). Without the renovation, the old house would be almost 0 Yen (you can get only the land price). Recently, I saw a young couple buying very cheap old house in Fukushima pref (our ski region) and renovated to open as a guest house. I wish I had the skills!.
     
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  49. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Thats nice
     
  50. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you are looking for a family use lodge with 3 bed rooms, this kind of lodges can be available around 10 million Yen = 130K AUD. The lodge below is not in Madarao region, but in northern Tohoku, though. It's at the base of Shimokura & Panorama ski resort, and it's short drive to Appi Kogen. It's close to Morioka city (the capital city of Iwate Precture) as well.
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    The local city clear the snow on the road (and it's for free).
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