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Latest ski & tourism news

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Ramenman, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    News on Geto Kogen 2019 - 2020 season.

    ・They'll set (a) new treerun zone(s).
    ・Official treerun guides(15,000 Yen for group of 6 = 2,500 Yen per person)
    ・Official backcountry tours.
    ・More free shuttle buses.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    More about Geto Kogen. This is the last season's trail map.The Purple = Rabbit, Stream, Beech, Summit and Shooter 1-4 are the treerun zones that Geto Kogen had last season. The treerun zone Geto will newly make for 2019 - 2020 season is between C3 and C5.
    [​IMG]




    The pink area below is the new treerun zone(from Geto Kogen's official 2019 - 2020 season brochure)
    [​IMG]




    The operators of Geto Kogen have been changing(Kokusai Kougyou - Kamori Kanko - X-project Group). X-project Group have started operating Geto Kogen since 2014 and they have started having treenrun zones since 2016, only 3 seasons ago. Without X-project Group, Geto Kogen wouldn't have many treerun zones now. If X-project Group also give up making Geto Kogen profitable enough, Kitakami city needs to find a new operator and it's not for sure that the new operator will decide to keep having the treerun zones. According to an insider's report, the new treerun zones are surely helping Geto Kogen attract advanced skiers / snowboarders from abroad, but still not enough for the rising maintenance expenses. Geto Kogen opened in 1993(26 years ago). All gondolas and lifts are 26 years old and the maintenance expenses are rising year by year. Actually, the main gondola suddenly stopped running early January 2018 and some courses including treerun zones along the gondola were closed for a month(from early January to early February, IIRC). I hope more people will visit Geto Kogen so that X-project Group can keep operating Geto Kogen.
    [​IMG]







     
  3. Any

    Any One of Us

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    i hope there are razor wire fences blocking every other tree'ed area on the mountain. cant have people going off the designated routes that someone else has decided for you.
    perhaps they'll identify exactly which trees you're allowed to ski between, and require you to wear grid-iron style armor before you go off the piste in case you hurt yourself.

    the attraction of tree skiing is the freedom to make your own decisions, and the fact that 60,000 other people haven't skied there yet. sticking a designated area on a map completely defeats the purpose.
    perhaps it works for Japanese, but imo this sort of nanny state thinking will mean less westerners instead of attracting them.
     
  4. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    See, that is why I stay on piste - do not need body armor. :rolleyes:

    But looking forward to be back in JP - I so much miss the onsen in the Alps.
     
  5. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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  6. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Maintenance and infrastructure issues are not exclusive to Geto Kogen. Some lifts in Australia are at least that old or older.
     
  7. Any

    Any One of Us

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    wonder if theyre going to retire the old one, or reuse it for one of the other new lift positions. its a bit old and clunky and not as fast as other high speed lifts.
    the new one seems like it will be even more wind exposed than the current. wonder what they'll do with that.
     
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  8. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, it seems that japow is not for you then!
     
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  9. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can **cough cough** attest to the proposed tree area. I wondered why it wasn't open when I last skied it. Mind you, it did drop into it by accident.
     
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  10. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Any has had his fair share.
     
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  11. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    His cynicism would suggest otherwise.
     
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  12. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    :DLOL
    I don't regularly ski closed areas... But when i do...
     
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  13. Any

    Any One of Us

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    japow is quite convenient for when i use my face to stop

    i dont have the greatest reputation with trees either :p
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    Ahh so you wanna ski the backcountry
    But you also wanna use the lifts!
    I get it!
     
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  15. Any

    Any One of Us

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    im talking about attracting tourists to a dying ski resort named Geto Kogen that is struggling to boost its numbers.

    i do more days bc than most people ski in year.
     
  16. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    ok awesome. i was just trying to make a funny ;) I had just re-read that a bit out of context.... had to take a dig
    just seems a bit trivial to me whether they mark it up on the trial map. i don't quite get your logic
    for example check out many resorts popular with westerners in hokkaido e.g. kiroro, kamui links, sapporo kokusai... they have have tree run/ "deep snow" runs marked...
     
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  17. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    This guy ^
    Doesn’t mind a walk up hill ;)

    I think the point is more that if you’re attracting a powderhound with a specific marked powderzone then you’re likely to also be attracting some rope ducking if you’re denying access to perfectly fabulous treed terrain nearby.

    There was always complaints about Kiroros off piste policy until recently, despite the “powderzones” on the map, people could see, wanted and poached more - and found themselves in trouble for it too.

    I do, however, support the opening up of new terrain in ski areas all over Japan - please - take the pressure off Niseko.
     
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  18. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    :whistle:Yup, so please keep up with news on new terrain in Japan @Ramenman! :D
    Love all your updates in the thread! :thumbs:
     
  19. Any

    Any One of Us

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    usually when a specific area is marked on a map, it means that everything else is strictly off limits (i should have mentioned that).

    im very happy for Geto Kogen to try new things, but don't think its going to mean westerners suddenly prioritize it over somewhere else.

    I'd very gladly stop walking uphill if someone gave me a free heli.
    In the mean time, I'm "forced" to do it. Like a beaver that cant stand the sound of running water, I can't stand a mountain of untouched snow LOL
     
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  20. Any

    Any One of Us

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    Last season I heard a lot of rumors that Moiwa was going to join Niseko United.
    previously ive heard conflicting reports, about 50% saying they were for it but niseko united didnt want them and 50% saying they were against it and niseko united wanted them.
    have you seen anything about it?
    probably just people got nothing else to talk about.
     
  21. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Moiwa (La Ponte ....)
    Well its the little two lift ski hill with access that is common all across Honshu.
    Most of which are going broke.
    Its cute...
    But f..k me. Those lift ideas are silly
     
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  22. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    I've got a better image of Geto Kogen's new trail map. The orange area is the new treerun zone. The vertical drop is about 220m. As a treerun course, 200m is a big vertical drop, I think. If I remember correctly, there are a few very steep areas in the bottom half of the orange area(the new treerun zone) and I assume they've cut some trees to open the new treerun zone. According to the new trail map, Geto will have two gates to out of boundary next season too(they set the gates for the first time last season), but now that Geto has many treerun zones and they are very easily accessible by use of lifts and gondolas, I don't think you need to use the gates.
    [​IMG]


    By the way, Geto Kogen newly opened luxury ski-in ski-out rooms last season(?) named "Premium Stay 豪(Gou)". It's 105,000 Yen for 3 nights, so it might sound expensive, but the room = maximum 4 people(2 beds and 2 sofa beds), so if you stay with 3 other people, it's 7,500 Yen per night per person, reasonable;). The luxury room is named "豪(Gou)". The kanji 豪 means like "overpowering", "excelling", "powerful", etc, and you know, Australia is written as "豪州" in Japanese. 州 means "States". So, 豪州 = Australia = Overpowering / Excelling / Powerful states in Japanese:p.

    Defenition of 豪(Gou) : https://www.nihongomaster.com/dictionary/kanji/921/豪

    [​IMG]

    In Japanese, 豪 is used for 雨(rain) / 雪(snow). 豪雨 = (extremely) heavy rain. 豪雪 = (extremely) heavy snow. Geto call themselves 豪雪 ski resort = extremely snowy ski resort, so extremely heavy snow + targeting Australian is the reason why they named the room "豪", I guess:p
     
  23. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Geto is looking good! Those buffet rates look great and top to bottom night skiing, maybe even the sides of that tree run ;) . Is there much drama getting back in resort etc from the two BC gates?
     
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  24. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    You will not be able to ski back into resort if you go out the gates. last season a group dropped out at the top to the backside and had to climb back up after realising no other way, got back near dark. I checked it all out and talked to resort and definately cant just ski back onto piste/resort area.
    tree run areas at geto have flatish spots in sections which can be a problem when snow is deep, and if you miss the tagged trees indicating the boundary of tree run area you will end up in a gully and need to walk out (like a guided well know aussie tour company group had to last year) maybe fencing of tree run areas not a bad idea at geto
     
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  25. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    You need to hike. Now that Geto Kogen has many official treerun zones which are very easily accessible by use of lifts and gondolas, I think you don't need to use the gates for powder treeruns. I post this image last year as well. If huge investment came to Geto Kogen like Niseko - Rusutsu - Kiroro region, Geto would make ski slopes in the Red:p. As you can see, there is Geto Onsen Kanko Hotel near the Red along Route 122. There is Geto Onsen village there, not only Geto Onsen Kanko Hotel. Route 122 is closed between Geto Kogen ski resort and Geto Onsen Kanko Hotel during winter due to heavy snow, so the village is not accessible during winter. But If mega investment came from foreign billionaires, they would clear the snow on the road to keep the village open all year around:p



    Around the Geto Onsen Kanko Hotel, there are a lot of this kind of natural outdoor onsens along the mountain streams.
    [​IMG]

    This is a map of Geto Onsen Village. There are many onsens and Ryokans along mountain streams(closed during winter)
    [​IMG]



    If you are interested in Geto's backcountry(OOB), it looks like this in mid March(It was filmed on March 12th).
     
  26. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    @Ramenman have you ski -toured up Washigamori-san 1208m,
    ski down to GK Onsen, and Route 112 to exit ?
    this looks nice on the topos
     
  27. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    No I haven't in winter. I've climbed up in green season, though. All skiing videos on mountains around Geto Kogen such as Mt.Washigamori(1208m) and Mt.Ushigata(1340m) uploaded onto Youtube were filmed in last week of March and April, so I guess the condition is risky(Geto Kogen area is very windy and the visibility is low, not only very snowy in mid winter). This video was filmed on Mt.Washigamori on April 13th.


    This is from Geto Kogen to Mt.Washigamori filmed on March 25th (On Youtube, there are some other videos filmed on Mt.Washigamori, but none of them was filmed in mid winter).



    Geto Onsen village and Route 122 are surrounded by many snowy 1000 - 1350m mountains. There are gates for climbing to those mountains in green season. There is a gate for Mt.Ushigata(1340m) at 570m asl. The gate is 570m and the top is 1340m, so the vert is about 770m. It is also a good mountain for skiing, but too far to hike from Geto Kogen ski resort, not too far from Geto Onsen village, though. These pictures were filmed on Mt.Ushigata on June 1st. It's June, so it's early summer, rather than spring.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's popular for green season hikers too(Mountain hiking + Onsen at Geto Onsen), and there are many signs like the pic below, and they can tell where you are, but the problem is, many of them are buried in snow in winter and if not, they are written only in Japanese, so you can't read them.
    [​IMG]
     
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  28. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good to have visual translation machine along. LOL
    I do not like hiking in the woods - much above treeline? Or not so dense wood?

    Edit: (should have been under green season - sorry)
     
    #1378 Hyst, Aug 22, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  29. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Due to heavy snow, tree lines there are low. For example, Tohoku's very snowy mountains's treelines are 1000 - 1300m asl. If treelines are 1200m asl, 800m asl is not dense wood(the trees are nicely sparse to hike). We own a lodge in Urabandai Highland(Northern Aizu region, Fukushima Pref). The highland is 800m and surrounded by many beautiful lakes and some 1800 - 2100m mountains. You can go up to 1600m asl by car(but not in winter), then hike to some different peaks of 1800m - 2050m. There are many good hidden onsens and onsen Ryokans there. So you might like the region(Please buy a lodge there, and try to attract more skiers / snowboarders from abroad to your lodge. It will help ski resorts in the region;)). This is the parking area & restaurant area at 1600m above sea level.
    [​IMG]

    A road near the parking area.
    [​IMG]

    A lake very near the parking area(1600m asl), there is a bigger lake at 1800m asl near the parking area.
    [​IMG]

    Popular for cyclists too.
    [​IMG]

    In Autumn.
    [​IMG]

    There is a closed ski resort near the parking area, and it's one of our backcountry ski areas(The region has many ski resorts, not only the closed ski resort. The closed one is the closest to the parking area, though). You'll see a closed ski resort in the video below.


    The Blue is a 2000m mountain range. The Black line is about 15km, so it's long = fun to hike. Yellow is 1700 - 1800m mountains. The region has Juhyo(Ice Monster) around 1700m asl like Zao mountains. Red is Urabandai Highland at 800 - 900m asl, where there are lodges, restaurants, etc. There are numerous hidden onsen on the mountains!.


    This is Urabandai Highland (800 - 900m asl), where we own a lodge. It's 800m asl, so the trees might look dense, but the highland is surrounded by 1800 - 2000m mountains, so once you hike up, the trees are not dense at all;)
     
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  30. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Vote 1 "Ramenman" for Japanese tourism minister!!!!!!!!
    Your posts are great........thankyou!
     
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  31. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    +1

    But maybe she has other ambitions - female ministers have a hard life, and they are not part of the old boys club.
    (Not ministers, but .......)
     

    Attached Files:

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  32. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    I am looking to squeeze in 2 days in the urabandai region - really want to try Nekoma and Minowa. That highland area looks interesting, but I’m also drawn to some neat little places closer to Fukushima in Tsuchiyu Onsen. It looks like it’s on the eastern side of the mountain range. Only 25 mins from Minowa, but maybe 50 mins to Nekoma. Would this be an okay choice as a base?
     
  33. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    +2!!

    Thanks! Ramenman.
     
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  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    You'll drive to Geto Kogen, etc on Tohoku Express Way later, right? Then, It's an okay choice in that Tsuchiyu Onsen is closer to Tohoku Expressway. I wrote this last season as well, a hostel targeting tourists from abroad opened in Tsuchiyu Onsen last year. The cheapest room is 3,500 Yen!. If you stay at such a cheap accommodation, you can use more money for accommodations at other ski resorts, hiring guides, etc in the same trip;)

    Yumori : https://yumori-hostel.jp/en/hostel/

    If you like playing darts, pool, table tennis, Karaoke etc at night after skiing while drinking, Urabandai Lake Resort might be good in that it has a good bar that has a big playroom.
    [​IMG]

    This is a video of Cody Townsend skiing at Hakkoda and Nekoma. In the video, he is staying at Urabandai Lake Resort. Urabandai part starts around 6:30.
     
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  35. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    R
    Ramenman.... the bar only has one person!!! LOL
     
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  36. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Yes, plan is to head up to Kitakami / Morioka after this. Will use Shinkansen from Fukushima to Morioka.
     
  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  38. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Any likes this.
  39. Any

    Any One of Us

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    When i read tallest building I imagined a Burj Khalifa competitor, but its 1/3 the height. The poor thing would have been wobbling around in an earthquake like a wacky waving inflatable dude.
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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  41. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    This is Kiroro's new trail map. I don't know what's new except for 23-Gateway Course(It's for a new ski-in ski-out condo hotel Yu Kiroro and the new chondola).
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  42. Any

    Any One of Us

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    Areas 14 and 7 Are new on the map.
    Everyone already skiied there, but looks like theyre officially making them inbounds now.
     
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  43. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    They should of had the Chondala go up higher to the peak of Yochi
     
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  44. Any

    Any One of Us

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    It gets a little bit windy up there.
     
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  45. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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  46. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    It seems a lodge in Aizu region which has 14 guest rooms is for sale at only 9.8 million Yen now. It's about 30 years old but the condition looks relatively good(judging from the pictures). It's located in the center of Nekoma, Alts Bandai, Grandeco, Inawashiro and Minowa. I mean, it's about 20 - 25min drive to Nekoma, Alts Bandai, Grandeco and Minowa, and it's only 8min drive to Inawashiro. There are some other tiny ski resorts around the lodge such as Adatara and there are many 1700 - 2000m tall mountains which are good for backcountry. If the owner initially says 9.8 million Yen, you might be able to get it at 8.5 million Yen.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    20 mins to this ski resort.


    20 mins to this mountain(gondola + hike). The video was filmed on this April 3rd. 2000m mountains in Tohoku means longer ski season.


    Mountains in the region have beautiful Juhyo(ice monster) at 1600 - 2000m above sea level.
    [​IMG]

    This is Mt.Minowa(about 20 min drive from the lodge) and there is a ski resort on the mountain between 1000m and 1500m asl. It's a good mountain for sidecountry / backcountry as well(the mountain is 1700m tall, and 200m vertical hike from the top lift station is not too tough for you)



    This is Mt.Adatara, a mountain just next to Mt.Minowa, and there is a ski resort on Mt.Adatara too, and lifts + short hike, you can enjoy backcountry skiing from the top. This is the video.


    This is also on Mt.Adatara, our favorite mountain hut.
     
    #1397 Ramenman, Sep 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
    Froff Life, skifree, Hyst and 3 others like this.
  48. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice! Got a link? Might know someone who'd be interested in something like this.

    That said, if you dig around there's lots of these in the yet 'undiscovered' Japan resorts.
     
  49. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    And nice bath! :whistle: (or onsen-tax?)
     
  50. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    This is the link: http://www.asera.co.jp/sales/inaka/20180612-001

    The Red is where the lodge is. Blues are the ski resorts(there are some other tiny ski resorts such as Numajiri ski resort in the region, I didn't add them in the map, though). Yellow line is about 2000m asl. Along the Yellow line, there are about 6 peaks which are between 1800 and 2040m tall mountains. Orange is north-facing quite snowy ski resort and I like skiing there(both inside the ski resort and backcountry), but the Purple road and Pink road are closed during winter, so it takes a long to time to drive to the Orange ski resort. The Purple road goes up to 1600m asl, and it opens in April. It means, tall mountains in the Black such as Mt.Issaikyo, Mt.Azuma-Kofuji and some other 1800 - 2000m peaks are easily accessible by car + short hike and they are good destinations for spring skiing. Very close to the Black, there is a closed ski resort there.


    The region is popular among green season hikers, and the mountains are volcanic, so there are many hidden mountain huts and onsen Ryokans on the mountains. They are useful when hiking for backcountry too, not only just using them in green season.
     
    M_G likes this.