Japan v Queenstown

Seafm

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In September this year my youngest son turns 21 and I'm trying to plan a ski trip to either Japan in 2017 or go across the ditch to Queenstown this year. I've initially looked at airfares and flying north seems to be significantly more expensive than going to NZ. These are based on Japan flights ex Cairns in March this year and to Queenstown late August as a guide only. I know everyone will say Japow is the best but that's not what I'm looking at but rather value for money. I have been to Queenstown a long time ago but not during a ski season and want to consider other activities as well. Both sons have never been there before and I'm sure they would love going for a spin on the jetboats. Being reasonably self sufficient for breakfast and dinner would also be a consideration. The last time we were in NZ you could go to a motel which was more like a house with all amenities. Do they still exist?

Thoughts and suggestions please people?:)
 

Sandy

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Look at the costs in terms of:
- Flights
- Accommodation
- Lift tickets
- Food
Which would be cheaper for each?

What else to do.
- Lots of things in Japan.

Timing.
- March in Japan is spring... go in Jan/Feb.
 
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oreo

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Totally different experience. The cost really depends on how long you are going for. If it's for 1 week or less then Queenstown may indeed work out fractionally cheaper. If it's for longer than a week you're probably going to find it cheaper going to Japan.

All costs being equal, you're looking at a cultural experience in Japan (Onsens, Japanese Food, different language, big city in Tokyo) vs Adventure Capital in New Zealand (Jetboats, bungy, skydiving, bars and nightclubs).
 
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Seafm

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Look at the costs in terms of:
- Flights
- Accommodation
- Lift tickets
- Food
Which would be cheaper for each?

What else to do.
- Lots of things in Japan.

Timing.
- March in Japan is spring... go in Jan/Feb.
March was used as a guide only. February prices were very similar.
 

Seafm

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Totally different experience. The cost really depends on how long you are going for. If it's for 1 week or less then Queenstown may indeed work out fractionally cheaper. If it's for longer than a week you're probably going to find it cheaper going to Japan.

All costs being equal, you're looking at a cultural experience in Japan (Onsens, Japanese Food, different language, big city in Tokyo) vs Adventure Capital in New Zealand (Jetboats, bungy, skydiving, bars and nightclubs).
My eldest son went to Japan with his girlfriend 4 months ago and loved it. Not much snow to look at unfortunately.
 
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ratherb@thesnow

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you need to decide what you really want, if its just value for money, as you state then NZ will be cheaper and give you some bang for your buck but if it's a holiday to explore an amazing country, experience a cultral difference, have some snow time, try different foods then hands down, spend some extra cash and go to Japan
 

seekingpow

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If the question is about snow and experience then this isn't really up for debate - Japan wins hands down on snow, culture, food & experience.

Queenstown I would only consider a contender if time and budget we quite constrained - even then flying direct into QT I have found relatively expensive.

Japan would be a value for money contender with QT if you can get a sale Jetstar fare from Cairns to NRT and go in shoulder season like late Feb/ early March since you sound like you don't mind about optimum powder timing. Stay in a Pension in Hakuba valley or Myoko Kogen (Myoko in late Feb would be cheap); you might be surprised how competitive Japan will be price wise.

Lots to do in Japan; just name your interests. You sound like you are already leaning towards QT anyway; in which case just go but in terms of an overall experience; I would go to Japan.

My bias is of course Japan; I used to ski in NZ until I discovered Japan; now I only go to NZ to taste wine :D
 

Heinz

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Totally different experience. The cost really depends on how long you are going for. If it's for 1 week or less then Queenstown may indeed work out fractionally cheaper. If it's for longer than a week you're probably going to find it cheaper going to Japan.

All costs being equal, you're looking at a cultural experience in Japan (Onsens, Japanese Food, different language, big city in Tokyo) vs Adventure Capital in New Zealand (Jetboats, bungy, skydiving, bars and nightclubs).

This.
Can hardly go wrong either way, both options are great in different ways. Queenstown though will have more non ski activities that would probably appeal to a 21yr old.

Plenty of motels in NZ where you can cater for yourself, but in general accommodation is more expensive than in Japan.
 
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Sandy

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Also Lift tickets prices which may not have been considered:
NZ is about $100 NZD = about $93 AUD
Japan around 4500jpy(and less) = $50
 

Sandy

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This.
Can hardly go wrong either way, both options are great in different ways. Queenstown though will have more non ski activities that would probably appeal to a 21yr old.

Plenty of motels in NZ where you can cater for yourself, but in general accommodation is more expensive than in Japan.
Other thing about activities: Japan has many theme parks. Disneyland/DisneySea, Joypolis, Fuji-Q, Universal Osaka/Harry Potter World.
 

Heinz

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Other thing about activities: Japan has many theme parks. Disneyland/DisneySea, Joypolis, Fuji-Q, Universal Osaka/Harry Potter World.

True - in the cities, but Queenstown has both skiing and non skiing activities in it's vicinity.
A big factor will be the length of trip. For 1 week it is a no brainer - Queenstown.
Once you get to two weeks of more, you have more time to travel and the costs will also start to favour Japan.
 
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Zimboo

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How many would be travelling in the group and for how long?
This could change things $$ wise a bit, if you are paying for everything.
Just an example: Transfers - if you were paying for 4 adults (2 adults, 2 kids of adult age) to get from Narita to Hakuba - the cheapest return (train to tokyo & bus to hakuba return) would be $600 for the 4 of you. Where as car hire for the 4 of you in NZ would be half that if you are there for a week or so.
On the other side of the coin, as Sandy just said - lift tickets. Japan would be around $200 a day for 4 people, NZ would be double that.
I'm surprised that you said Japan was more expensive for airfares compared to NZ Queenstown ex Cairns.
I just had a look and could get to Narita in late Feb for $820pp, whilst Queenstown was $890pp in Aug.
Don't know if airlines offer specials to Queenstown ex Cairns each year?
Jetstar have had specials to Tokyo for some years now. Some months ago you could purchase Cairns/Tokyo return for $450 travelling late Feb.
 
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Angus_McCrory

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absentskier

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If you can't have fun around Queenstown then you don't have a pulse. Sth Island is friggin amazing.

With respect to the OP, it isn't a question of one being better than the other. Obviously both are good options. Just work out what you want and what makes sense for this particular trip and forget about trying to work out which is better.
 

Seafm

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Lots of options to consider here but this is still early days yet. As for numbers and age myself and the missus are both 50+ with my sons currently 23,20 and the eldest's girlfriend 21. I'm still a bit young at heart but definitely over the nightclub scene, would prefer live music anyday. There are certainly advantages with both destinations but again it will ultimately come back to cost. For myself I would happily go back to Perisher but for the sake of going somewhere different overseas is the go. Plus as I've seen mentioned so many times snowsports in OZ is just a big rip off by comparison. I definitely want to avoid car hire and both Japan and QT solve that issue.
 

LMB

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Lots of options to consider here but this is still early days yet. As for numbers and age myself and the missus are both 50+ with my sons currently 23,20 and the eldest's girlfriend 21. I'm still a bit young at heart but definitely over the nightclub scene, would prefer live music anyday. There are certainly advantages with both destinations but again it will ultimately come back to cost. For myself I would happily go back to Perisher but for the sake of going somewhere different overseas is the go. Plus as I've seen mentioned so many times snowsports in OZ is just a big rip off by comparison. I definitely want to avoid car hire and both Japan and QT solve that issue.
Really? Not sure I'd want to do QT without a car...
 

Karicta

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If it's primarily a ski holiday. Japan. No ifs or buts.

Presuming your boy is a decent skier and snow lover.

(If my 21 year old self was asked, he'd say Japan too)
 

Seafm

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Really? Not sure I'd want to do QT without a car...
Direct flights from Brisbane to Queenstown so probably no need for car hire. I'm sure there are taxis or shuttle buses that service the airport. I also found out that there are daily buses to the snow fields so again possibly no need for a car. Does the same hire car policy for the australian alpine areas apply in NZ as well?
 

oreo

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Not taking them above snowline? No, it does not apply. You can drive around freely... Except that you are not allowed to drive on the skippers canyon road (you probably wouldn't want to anyway).
EDBBAED2-DA32-8393-72E99883458233EC.jpg
 

scalymanfish

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Get a car in Queenstown for sure. Can't imagine being there without one tbh. The drive to Glenorchy and surrounds is reason enough to hire a car, as is a drive to Wanaka through the Crown range. Some of the most awesome scenery you'll see anywhere is easy to get to with your own car and will be almost impossible without it. Shuttle buses are a massive pita.
 
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Zimboo

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Direct flights from Brisbane to Queenstown so probably no need for car hire. I'm sure there are taxis or shuttle buses that service the airport. I also found out that there are daily buses to the snow fields so again possibly no need for a car. Does the same hire car policy for the australian alpine areas apply in NZ as well?
Shuttle bus to ski resorts (Coronet & Remarkables) cost $20 per day per person ($100 for the 5 of you per day). Therefore, its not only easier and more convenient to get around in a hire car, it's also cheaper. Look at Apex or similar, you should be able to get a wagon for $40 or so a day if you choose to go to NZ.
 
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Harper11

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Shuttle bus to ski resorts (Coronet & Remarkables) cost $20 per day per person ($100 for the 5 of you per day). Therefore, its not only easier and more convenient to get around in a hire car, it's also cheaper. Look at Apex or similar, you should be able to get a wagon for $40 or so a day if you choose to go to NZ.
Only if you buy your tickets individually

If you buy a ten trip pack it only costs 13 a person per day. Car with insurance and fuel is going to cost more and far less convient than the bus especially at remarks
 

Zimboo

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Only if you buy your tickets individually

If you buy a ten trip pack it only costs 13 a person per day. Car with insurance and fuel is going to cost more and far less convient than the bus especially at remarks
I would much prefer a car. Can get to the mountains early and easily, supermarkets for stocks at any time, can get to Cardrona cheaply, don't have to be at a bus stop at a particular time. Don't need to buy extra insurance as this is covered by travel insurance. We have rented a car for $30NZ per day for the 4 of us for many years.
 

seekingpow

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I would much prefer a car. Can get to the mountains early and easily, supermarkets for stocks at any time, can get to Cardrona cheaply, don't have to be at a bus stop at a particular time. Don't need to buy extra insurance as this is covered by travel insurance. We have rented a car for $30NZ per day for the 4 of us for many years.
^^Yep this

Also if the weather sucks and you have a day off - you have more flexibility to take in the surrounding attractions; wine tasting, day trip to Wanaka or various national parks etc
 
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Kimski

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With five of you going hiring a car in Queenstown would be the way to go. Plus it's easy to drive there (apart from a couple of hairy roads). Also means more flexibility and options if conditions or weather are bad.
 

Harper11

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I would much prefer a car. Can get to the mountains early and easily, supermarkets for stocks at any time, can get to Cardrona cheaply, don't have to be at a bus stop at a particular time. Don't need to buy extra insurance as this is covered by travel insurance. We have rented a car for $30NZ per day for the 4 of us for many years.

doesnt travel insurance only kick if you have taken up the insurance option with the car hire place?

i guess having been to queenstown and surrounds many times i just like to keep it simple when i go there, everything you need is a short walk.
 

Zimboo

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doesnt travel insurance only kick if you have taken up the insurance option with the car hire place?

i guess having been to queenstown and surrounds many times i just like to keep it simple when i go there, everything you need is a short walk.
In NZ it is law that car hire companies include comprehensive insurance in the daily rental rate, however this does not include excess charges for accidents etc (which will range from 2K - 5k depending on the car, regardless if its your fault or not). The car rental company will try and gain more $$$ buy offering to reduce this excess as a extra charge to remove the excess. However, most comprehensive travel insurance will include cover for car hire excess charges (normally up to 5k).
 

benchives

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Re op

It's a personal thing

At 21 I wouldnt have gone anywhere with my parents but now I would

Queenstown if he likes to party and Japan if more introspect

But do him a favour buy him a ticket and cut him loose, nothing more annoying than trying to tune a chick with ya pa next to ya
 

Zimboo

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A quick example using standard accommodation (airfares not included).

Queenstown 10 nights (5 adults).
3 bedroom apartment with kitchen @ $300 per night = $3000
Car hire @ $40per day = $400 + petrol = $500
Lift Tickets 7 days @ $100pp = $3500
Food /Bev etc = $2000 self catering
TOTAL $9000

Japan 10 nights (5 adults)
Hakuba @ 6000Yen pp per night with kitchen (35000 Yen x 10nights = 350,000yen) = $3900 dollars
Tokyo / Hakuba transfers return @ $120pp = $600
Lift Tickets 7 days @ $50pp with lunch included = $1750
Food /Bev etc = $1650 self catering (cheaper due to lunch being including with Japan lift ticket - 7 ski days x $50 saved each lunch = $350 in food costs saved)
TOTAL $7900
 
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Seafm

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A quick example using standard accommodation (airfares not included).

Queenstown 10 nights (5 adults).
3 bedroom apartment with kitchen @ $300 per night = $3000
Car hire @ $40per day = $400 + petrol = $500
Lift Tickets 7 days @ $100pp = $3500
Food /Bev etc = $2000 self catering
TOTAL $9000

Japan 10 nights (5 adults)
Hakuba @ 6000Yen pp per night with kitchen (35000 Yen x 10nights = 350,000yen) = $3900 dollars
Tokyo / Hakuba transfers return @ $120pp = $600
Lift Tickets 7 days @ $50pp with lunch included = $1750
Food /Bev etc = $1650 self catering (cheaper due to lunch being including with Japan lift ticket - 7 ski days x $50 saved each lunch = $350 in food costs saved)
TOTAL $7900
Thanks @Zimboo This has brought it more into perspective. Number one son has already made his mind up and decided on Japan. He said flight specials and packages come on sale mid year so I might just wait and see. He went there last August on a pretty good deal.
 

LMB

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Re op

It's a personal thing

At 21 I wouldnt have gone anywhere with my parents but now I would

Queenstown if he likes to party and Japan if more introspect

But do him a favour buy him a ticket and cut him loose, nothing more annoying than trying to tune a chick with ya pa next to ya
LOL
Different strokes for different folks.
I wouldn't have gone anywhere with my folks at 21 either (but I was already married!) .... But I had to do some fast talking tonight to wangle out of wingman duties for one of the boys. The others threw me under the bus 'nah man, we are tired, take Mun she's the best wingman anyway!' (Yeah...gggrrreeat... I'm ready for bed!)
 
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TropicalPow

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My vote for the 21st trip is definitely Queenstown
If it was purely ski focused . Japoww no doubt . but Qtn is such a well rounded destination that certainly will keep a 21yo entertained and have you all talking about the trip for ages.
I love Japan culture , food , people and snow , but for a 21st trip I couldn't go past Queenstown
 

Zimboo

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Thanks @Zimboo This has brought it more into perspective. Number one son has already made his mind up and decided on Japan. He said flight specials and packages come on sale mid year so I might just wait and see. He went there last August on a pretty good deal.
I recall Jetstar specials for Japan winter came on in September this year. They had some unbelievable deals. ie $345 to Tokyo and return for free!!!! Needless to say they didn't last long.
 
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Zimboo

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Cant believe it hasnt been mentioned, Heli skiing. And heinz has posted in this thread like twice!

I couldnt imagine a cooler 21st present then going heli skiing in NZ and then getting cut loose in downtown queenstown.
What a great present that would be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I might do that for our No.1 in a few years time - didn't even think of it cheers Draizuh.
Mind you, I wouldn't want to be paying for 5 people heli skiing. Ouch!!!!!
 
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Heinz

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Cant believe it hasnt been mentioned, Heli skiing. And heinz has posted in this thread like twice!

I couldnt imagine a cooler 21st present then going heli skiing in NZ and then getting cut loose in downtown queenstown.

Cool no doubt, but might stretch the budget a bit.
 

Seafm

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Cant believe it hasnt been mentioned, Heli skiing. And heinz has posted in this thread like twice!

I couldnt imagine a cooler 21st present then going heli skiing in NZ and then getting cut loose in downtown queenstown.
None of us are that experienced:eek: We'd proably end up going back home in a wooden box with our name engraved on it:eek:
 

Heinz

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If you can ski blue runs, you can heli ski. Its not all gnarly steeps. they can just be big beautiful wide open runs. Its also not as insanely priced as you think!

how true is this statement?

It is largely true especially these days with fat skis. When you register you are asked to complete a questionnaire which does a rough rating of ability from 1 up to 4. It used to be on the website but I don't see it now. If you rate yourself an absolute beginner they will recommend you take a scenic flight instead. But even if you get a heli-1 rating you can still easily do a 3 run day. they will group you with others of like ability or you may already have a group of 4. They will take you on nice mellow terrain with plenty of time to cruise and take lots of photos of the amazing scenery and enjoy a picnic lunch.

I've seen some who were quite amazed how good it was (in good conditions) that have then requested to be upgraded to do more runs.

Of course the better and fitter you are the more you will enjoy it, but it certainly isn't an experts only experience like you may have seen from Alaskan footage in those ski films.
 

Heinz

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Southern lakes use the same questionnaire template. here

Capture.JPG


It is not meant to be a hard and fast rating, just a rough guide for the purposes of assigning groups. I''ve seen plenty that have rated too high to too low. Occasionally you see some apparently good skiers just panic and freeze in their first powder experience, but plenty others who have hardly skied powder before having an awesome day.
 
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Seafm

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If you can ski blue runs, you can heli ski. Its not all gnarly steeps. they can just be big beautiful wide open runs. Its also not as insanely priced as you think!
My two sons are reasonably capable snowboarders, I'm just lousy at it. The missus and no.1 son's girlfriend have no experience at all. I think heli skiing is out of the question.
 
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