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Last min trip to Japan...where should I ski?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by smarch678, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. smarch678

    smarch678 First Runs

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    Hey all! I'm taking a last min trip to Japan March 4-9 (first trip there) and will only be able to ski for 1 day. I can't go north and I need to stay relatively close to Tokyo.

    I've been researching and Cortina looks to be the spot from what I've found, but I'd love some input from people who've been there.

    I know powder is hit or miss in March, but here's what I'm looking for:

    Best odds of powder
    Strong intermediate and advanced terrain
    Tree skiing
    Not crazy touristy
    Easy to get to with public transportation (I won't have a car)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    head high... kagura or shiga kogan
     
  3. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen. Min elevation about 1350m. Stay at Ichinose, elevation 1603m at the bottom.
    It's going to warm and wet on around the 3rd/4th, so the higher the better. It'll rain at Cortina.
     
  4. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
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    We’re at Shiga Kogen atm.
    There is plenty of snow but no powder at all.
    The off piste is not on at all either.
    The pistes are skiing well but depending on the sun orientation, they are firm and fast throughout the day or slower and softer in the afternoon.
    There are no real crowds.
     
  5. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen has the highest bottom elevation in Japan, so with this rain, it's the best place to go right now
     
  6. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just watch out for the monkeys ;)
     
    Untele-whippet likes this.
  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, we are lucky to be here atm :)
     
    DidSurfNowSki and Hyst like this.
  8. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another vote for this.
     
  9. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper One of Us

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    yup shiga, or kagura
     
  10. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    The other thing you'll need to think about is travel times, connections etc.
    You said 1 days skiing. So, will you be able to stay overnight at the place you will ski or do you need to leave from Tokyo, ski and then return on the same day?
    Eg: All up travel time to Shiga is about 3.5 hours, Shink from Tokyo to Nagano / bus to Shiga.
    Kagura is about 2.5 hours Shink from Tokyo to Echigo Yuzawa / bus to Mitsumata.
     
  11. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Kagura is your best bet.
     
    Lucky Pete likes this.
  12. smarch678

    smarch678 First Runs

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    Travel and ski all in one day.

     
  13. Sandy

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

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    From a travel there and back POV, Kagura is better.

    From a rain/snow POV, Shiga Kogen is better.

    In spite of what Snow-forecast says, Kagura, kagura is NOT 803m at the bottom, 2028m at the top, it's 620m at the bottom, 1845m at the top. It will be raining at the bottom on 3rd/4th, all the way up to the top of the Kagura Gondola. It'll be raining at the bottom of the Kagura high speed quad No. 1 lift. (1200m).

    OTOH, if you go to Shiga Kogen, and ride at Yakebitaiyama, it's be snowing there. (bottom 1548m, top 2009m), or at Yokoteyama (1750m-2305m)
    It's a tough day trip though.
     
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  14. Sandy

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

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    BTW, if you go to the JR travel office, you can get JR SKI SKI day trip packages, around 14,000yen, for Kagura lift ticket and Shinkansen round trip. Normally, that's the price of just the Shinkansen.

    There will probably be a two day trip on JR SKI SKI for Prince hotel Shiga Kogen. (Yakebitaiyama)
     
  15. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ambitious...
    However, +1 for Kagura and JR skiski. Stay (i.e. accommodation) on the JR line somewhere like Ueno, Nippori or Omiya
     
  16. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Shiga is way too far / hard for a day trip. IMO
    You would have to be on the Shink at Tokyo station 6.16am to get you to Nagano by 7.38am to then get the first bus to Shiga leaving at 8.15am (all going well). The first bus does not go all the way to Okushiga either, so you would have to get off at Sun Valley at 9.25am to start skiing from there. If you wanted to start at the Okushiga end you'd have to wait for the next bus which leaves Nagano at 9am and doesn't get to Okushiga until 10.41am. Way too late.
    http://www.go-nagano.net/tripinfo/bus-timetables/northen#shigakogen
    The last bus down to Nagano leaves Okushiga at 4.40pm getting to Nagano at 6.54pm. Next Shink would be 7.08pm getting to Tokyo at 8.52pm. What a day!!!!!!
    If I was you.............I'd just pick the best weather day (at this stage looks like 7th or 8th may be snowing and cold/low freeze levels) and head straight to Yuzawa. Get on Shink in Tokyo at 7.00am and arrive at Gala Yuzawa 8.15am, walk out of station and ski. Much much easier. Return leaving Gala Yuzawa at 5.01pm arrive Tokyo station 6.20pm.
    https://www.jreast.co.jp/gala/english/
    If the freeze level isn't low enough or Gala Yuzawa snowpack is poor (work that out the day before), then you could get off one station before at Echigo Yuzawa and catch the bus another 20 minutes or so over to Mitsumata to get you up to Kagura.
    Edit: at the moment I'd be pencilling in the 8th (snowing / 300m freeze level) and watching the maps/forecasts for any change.
     
    #16 Zimbooo, Mar 1, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  17. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Hope your heading to Kagura tomorrow? -3C and snowing this morning at Kagura whilst raining in Yuzawa (Gala). With snow expected all day today and into tomorrow morning at Kagura it should be great!!!!
     
    Melskius likes this.