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Latest ski & tourism news

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

  1. dcx3

    dcx3 Hard Yards

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    I think its going to be absolutely nuts seeing how niseko will be like this season, especially during extremely high peak times. I will be there from 24th of December until 3rd of January. It might be the first time ever I won't have to rush out to get some nice pow. The waiting times at many restaurants will be down, and seicomart won't be so packed either.
    How are the ski schools going to fair? considering many foreigners may not be able to get in the country by season start.
     
  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most of the ski schools will be having less staff, either because they know visitor numbers will be down, or staff are simply snookered getting back to Japan. There are some Niseko instructors still in town from last season though - Lucky buggers!!
     
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  3. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  4. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hanazono was planning to install a new lift and a new gondola during this green season for 2020 - 2021 season, but due to COVID-19, engineers couldn't fly to Japan, and they'll install them next year.
     
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  5. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seems Gala Yuzawa installed this new gate system this summer for the coming season.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Nozawa Onsen has snowmaking also .
     
  7. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Happo. New Gondie?
     
  8. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Is it a prox card system or do you need to feed the slot?
     
  9. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can keep the card in a pocket of your ski jacket to go through the gates.
     
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  10. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I heard that Shiga Kogen also has snow making and Madarao has a new ticket reader system.
     
  11. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen has a new gondola.
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/latest-ski-tourism-news.82608/page-62#post-4363471
    I haven't heard of any new snow making. Most places don't need it.... Maybe just the bottom of Hoppo. Most of Shiga Kogen is high, so doesn't suffer from the kind of warming that afflicted a lot of places last season.
     
  12. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Copy of what I was told:
    "Yokoteyama and Shibutouge ski park in Shiga-Kogen will start to be open the most longest term in Japan. From this season, they try to be open from Novenber to June by using complete new snow making machines."

    and a link https://yokoteyama2307.com/news/984...ImC6FK7e1i02bZ9O_GN1qzz2_ZeyVJe2Jk1ygXEeWglG0
     
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  13. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yokote at the bottom flat bit gets real patchy late in the season. Will be good if they have some mobile guns to fill that in.
     
  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seems Madarao was cutting trees this summer to make a new course at the bottom area (it's a connecting course)
     
  15. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    mm is that recent because it seems like far to many trees. Seki san, the ex GM was pretty handy with a chain saw and did a lot of pruning a few years ago. Madarao is not in a national park so they are allowed to prune. Or perhaps it is for mountain bikes.

    At the very end you can see my roof.

    Edit. Yep it is a new course
     
  16. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    So, thanks to the new course, you won't need this (and it seems they won't put it there next season)
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another new big investment to Niseko (at the bottom of Niseko Village ski resort). It will consist of a big luxury condominium hotel + luxury villas. They are opening in 2023. It is said that it's a bit rare in that it's a mainland Chinese company which are investing for the project. I mean, quite many investments come from Hong Kong, but from mainland is rather a bit rare.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seems a Japanese company bought a hotel in Shiga Kogen (Sankt Moritz Hotel). They'll keep the restaurant & bar open till midnight. And, they are planning to open a Konbini near the hotel (I hope 7/11, Lawson or Family Mart, not Daily Yamazaki nor Seico Mart:p, especially no Daily Yamazaki!)
     
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  19. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aiyaiyai!
    SO MANY big hotel developments, not a lot of on hill investments to open up new terrain, particularly new beginner terrain.

    Hanazono’s plan with the Gondola access to that nice long flat pitch post the base of the gnarly Shinya is a good one. Under utilised area that will provide a decent learning environment for the masses that will come and stay in the new hotels. Shame it has been delayed.

    And open up Weiss is great. Whenever that is going to happen...

    There is an old disused lift that used to be a beginner area at Annupuri that could be opened up, not sure about Niseko Village (it’s not my favourite place to go). But investment in crowds is great only as long as the hill isn’t overwhelmed (and the queues this past season at times weren’t good.).
     
  20. Sandy

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

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    It means that you'd need to take No11, instead of going straight past Banf Restaurant, which may lose a bit of business.
     
  21. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's rather scary if I see the list of investments coming to Niseko between 2020 - 2023. The biggest investment is Arukuzaka street. The second biggest is Aman Group's investment to Moiwa (They say they'll invest at least 40 billion Yen). Hanazono's investment to install a connecting gondola to Weiss + 3 or 4 new lifts on Weiss is also very big, but they haven't mentioned when they'll install them, so I don't include the project in the investment list opening between 2020 and 2023. 5 to 10 billion Yen investment is a quite big investment for 99% Japanese ski resorts, however, when it comes to Niseko, 5 billion Yen can sound small, which is crazy.
     
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  22. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Crazy amounts of money being invested, but not much seems to be toward new terrain to spread out the punters across some already quite crowded slopes.
     
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  23. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Having seen the amount of investment to Niseko, I was sometimes joking "A gondola will go to Mt.Yotei at this rate". I don't think it will happen, but Moiwa and Weiss are likely to be connected to Niseko United and a lift might go to the opposite side of the mountain = Goshiki Onsen in that the company that own & operate Moiwa have already bought Goshiki Onsen.
    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort are now putting in 22 snow guns on two runs, a red and and a green course (If I translated it properly). They also are putting in a new high speed gondola.

    The snow arrived later than usual in central Honshu last season, customers from many ski resorts were traveling each day to Shiga Kogen or Ryuoo ski park who have snow making facilities. I think most people travel to Japan to ski on nice natural snow, however, man made snow is definitely better than nothing!

    http://nozawaski.com/summer/diary/2...m5EotSm7WyacCGrX3uTBwNl5mUJUbzL5dQqPhWzIWbC4Y
     
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  25. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was reading Nagano pref's ski resort reports of 2019 - 2020 season. Due to the least snowiest season + COVID-19, most ski resorts had smaller number of guests compared to 2018 - 2019 season. For example, Happo One was -24.5%. But Goryu / 47 is + 12.1%. What caused the difference?. Happo One closed very early due to COVID-19 while Goryu / 47 were open till late?.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Goryu/47 had snowmaking?? Not much else open around Christmas.
     
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  27. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    On most years 47 will be open right up till golden week. North facing.
     
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  28. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Happo banks has been cancelled due to climate change
     
  29. Sandy

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

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    Yep, north facing, and the way to the bottom 500m is a bit narrow and mostly in the shade.
    Although the bottom bit of Nakiyama at Happo has snowmaking, but fully exposed to the sun.
     
  30. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wrote a British prestigious school Harrow School is opening inside Appi Kogen resort in 2022 and a lot of related buildings are under construction now in this thread a few times before. It seems Appi have started constructing a hotel as well now.
     
  31. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Happo really struggled last year for the obvious lack of snow, particularly down low, hence the big investment in snow making over this summer which will be deployed this winter. 47 picked up some of the Happo refugees, at least some of our guests prefered that. On another positive note all the resorts have had great Green Season numbers so that will help offset this winter as will the Japanese (and expat) market which will be very strong this winter compared to those previous.

    Not quite, as I understand it that area is needed for the super successful Glamping which has gone much better than anyone expected and proved their was a market for high end (and price) products in Hakuba which is awesome. The message re Banks not happening was just poorly (mis)communicated by the Happo Banks crew which are contractors. Some red faces over that gaff as I understand it.
     
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  32. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If comparing annual snowfall of Hakuba (JMA's weather station) of 1981 - 1999 and 2000 - 2019, the snowfall are statistically the same. However, Hakuba looks suffering since 2016. Hakuba's average annual snowfall (JMA's weather station's data) is 668cm. 2015 had 766cm, so it was slightly better than average. Then 304cm in 2016 = less than half, 484cm in 2017, 409cm in 2018 and 479cm in 2019. 2020 lacks December's data, but Jan - Feb - March - April = only 226cm, quite small amount.

    Nozawa Onsen is also in Nagano Prefecture = Central Honshu, but Nozawa Onsen hasn't been suffering much if compared to Hakuba. Nozawa Onsen's average annual snowfall ( = JMA's weather station) is 1,177cm. Nozawa Onsen's 2019's annual snowfall was 1,115cm (Nozawa Onsen suffered in 2016, though).
     
  33. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow. I had no idea these two areas which are in the same general vicinity varied so much in seasonal snowfall. How does Shiga Kogen with it's better elevation compare?
     
  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think you can't compare precipitations of different weather stations by use of JMA's weather stations, though.

    It depends on the location. I mean, if it's 5km away, the snowfall can be quite different. The weather around mountains are very changeable and you can compare the same weather stations but you can't compare different weather stations. I mean, a weather station can't represent a region.

    For example, a weather station is usually located very near a city center (downtown) while ski resorts are usually away from the city center, so snowfall / snowdepth of the weather station and ski slopes are completely different things in many cases.
     
  35. Sandy

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

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    The JMA weather station is not a good indicator of the snowfall in the resorts at Hakuba. The JMA site is out in the middle of the valley, at 703m.
    The mechanism behind most of Hakuba resorts snow is orographic lift, from the mountains to the west, reaching up to 2900m (see diagram). The NW wind rises on the steep western side of the mountains causing the cloud to condense and thicken, dumping huge snow on the western side (at Kurobe dam & the snow corridor). That thick cloud moves over the eastern side of the mountains, still dropping a lot of snow over the resorts.(resorts in red) The bottom of the resorts are about 5km to the east of the peaks, and the closer they are to the peaks, the more snow they get. Out in the valley, it gets less and less snow the further away from the mountains. The JMA weather station is about 2.5km from the base of Happo, and get around half the snow that Happo gets at 1300m.
    In a season that lacks NW winds, there is very little snow at the JMA weather station. When you see 25cm of snow at the JMA weather station, you can often expect 40-50cm up on Happo on a NW wind, and maybe 60-75cm at Cortina.
    In fact, sometimes if you're skiing at Iwatake or Norikura in sunshine, and look up the valley back towards Happo and 47, you can see it snowing there.

    Highest is white(above ~2500m, lowest is blue(below ~1000m).
     
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  36. Sandy

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

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  37. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Sandy hit the nail on the head! We have tried to have a more representative location used for reporting snowfall in the valley, say mid mountain to no avail.
     
  38. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen needs specific wind directions for extra good snow. But the snow is very light and dry, and it holds the snow better because of elevation.
    Nozawa has multiple directions for good snow, plus is has a pre-orographic lift on the ridge where Togari Onsen sits.

    This is why local knowledge is important.
    A few times staying at Myoko near Akakura, we've had 10cm of snow on the ground, but it's a WNW wind. While Akakura is on the east side of Mt Myoko, Suginohara is on the south side, so it gets more snow on a WNW wind.... so we go to Suginohara and there's 40cm there!!!
     
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  39. Sandy

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

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    Even @ 900m would be more indicative, because it's 100-150m up from the base.
     
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  40. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    But the problem is, JMA are not placing weather stations for skiers / snowboarders:p
     
  41. Sandy

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

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    My point is that judging the snow depth at the resorts at Hakuba is not that useful. For instance, I've seen Happo and 47/Goryu get 50cm up the top, and ZERO cm at the weather station.
     
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  42. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Scenic trains are very popular here and a lot of new scenic trains have started running in recent years and a new one will start running this weekend named "36 + 3".


    It has 5 routes and it takes 5 days if you book all 5 routes (from Thursday to Monday)

    [​IMG]


    JR Kyushu's Scenic trains (the video doesn't contain the 2 most luxury scenic trains of JR Kyushu, though)










    A new luxury scenic train started running in Hokkaido as well last month.
    [​IMG]

    This is the route and it takes 4 days.
    [​IMG]


     
    #3292 Ramenman, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  43. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Oh man that Hokkaido train looks awesome.
     
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  44. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doesn’t it!!
     
  45. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Now, one of luxury scenic trains 四季島 = Shiki-Shima (meaning "Four Season Island") is running between Tokyo and Niseko as well. The train doesn't stop at Kutchan station, but guests will stay at luxury Ryokans in Niseko. 四季島 is the luxury train + luxury bus + tourist destinations & Ryokans along the train lines.


    About Shiki-Shima : https://www.jreast.co.jp/shiki-shima/en/




    Shiki-Shima has many different routes. Not all go to Hokkaido. These are the common routes going to Hokkaido (4 day trip)
    [​IMG]

    One of the routes goes to our ski region (Aizu - Mt.Bandai - Inawashiro region) too.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  46. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    I bet the price is in the luxury range also . Gran Class on Shinkansen isn't cheap .
     
  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not all scenic trains are pricy but the last one = 四季島(Shiki-Shima) is quite pricy. If you choose the most expensive room + most expensive Ryokans of the longest route, it can cost 1 million Yen. Many cheap ones are running. For example, Fruitea Fukushima is only 5,000 Yen (it's a scenic train for tasting Fukushima's fruits and sweets).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #3297 Ramenman, Oct 14, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  48. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    That's an interior Trump would be proud of. Amazing!
     
  49. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not only new trains, but also a new ferry will start sailing this week. It's Qeen Beetle. It's a new high-speed international ferry between Japan and Korea (Fukuoka - Busan) and the new ferry (Queen Beetle) is made-in-Australia. JR Kyushu was planning to sail it in July, but it was postponed due to COVID-19.


    [​IMG]

    The new ferry = Queen Beetle is about 3 times bigger than the current ferry = Beetle (it seems it's slightly slower, though)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]







    Edit : Queen Beetle is arriving in Japan this week (not sailing yet).
     
    #3299 Ramenman, Oct 14, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  50. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    But the old Beetle looks like a hydrofoil, way cooler.