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

  1. skifree

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

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    In Australia if the rescue is out of bounds it is SES/Police/Fire/Ambulance (I think this is al coordinated by SES?) but they may call on resources such as Ski Patrol.

    If the rescue is in bounds it is normally Ski Patrol but they will call on SES Plus if required. Evacuation from resort to Hospital, is by Ambulance (who currently a contractor to the State Gov). This might be road or chopper. There is a charge for the Ambulance as it is considered to be post rescue. Normally covered by Health Insurance if you private cover in Australia, if not you can take out Ambulance cover direct with the Ambulance service in most States. Otherwise you might be charged.

    I'm not aware of ski resorts charging for rescues, @dawooduck or @Telemark Phat any advice here?
     
  2. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I heard years ago that in Japan:
    • if you get lost OOB and it is you that calls for the rescue, you get charged for the rescue/repatriation
    • if the police call for rescue on your behalf then it doesn't cost you anything
    Unsure how much truth to either proposition as I've never needed to call on anybody whilst OOB...
     
  3. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    And sometimes it is because these areas are just to dangerous. Weren't there some deaths in an area at Niseko marked as prohibited a couple of years ago?

    When we went to Taira we looked at the slopes around the resort with areas with no or less trees. We talked to the resort owner about how great they looked. It was suggested we think about why there are less or no trees there.

    So if somewhere is actually prohibited, and I don't just mean out of bounds, please have enough respect not to go there.

    This is where there are some really big cultural and legal differences.

    Many of our rescue services are volunteers. Most of ski patrol are volunteers.
    We have charity and corporate funded/subsidised rescue services such as the Care flight helicopter and the RFDS.

    My understanding is that in Japan the resorts are held to have some responsibility for deaths even if people duck ropes. Weren't there police at Nozawa Onsen stopping people ducking ropes a few years ago?

    We also wonder why the Japanese don't ski the powder just over there within sight of the groomed runs or under the chairs. Basically they are told or asked not to and they have enough respect for authority to do as they are asked. Aussies, yeah well, the disrespect is embarrassing. A couple of years ago we had the CEO of one the major tour to Japan companies post a video of himself breaking the rules by doing a run under the chairs.

    One of the full time residents at Hakuba who used to post on here but no longer does, discussed how distressing it is for his friends who do rescues to have to find and bring back dead bodies. Most people are pretty thoughtless about the affects of this on the rescuers. I knew someone who was a rescuer at the Thredbo landslide who had on going issues. Whilst we have had some skiing and boarding deaths in Australia, the opportunity is far less than in Japan because we have a far smaller area with snow.


    There is lots of discussion on this in past threads. There was a lot of discussion about the gates at Niseko in particular.

    But the real message I want to get across is, if you go out of bounds be bloody careful!
     
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  4. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well said - puts our powder chasing issues into perspective!
     
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  5. skifree

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

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    Absolutely this. But it is a different matter to needing a rescue. Sure, lock up and or fine people who commit the crime of entering prohibited areas.

    When in Cervinia we were told if you duck the ropes ski patrol will not follow, they will call the police who will come (if they are not already in resort) and arrest you.
     
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  6. skifree

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

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    Many are vollies but many are paid. And much of the funding for such things as RFDS does in fact come from Guvments, it's just a better deal for the Guvment to have independent bodies undertake the tasks and be funded in background by Guvment. And the corporate funding comes from a Guvment expense in the corporates writing off the donations in their tax minimisation strategies and tactics. Very few would donate so much if there was not a tax break for it.

    I don't know much about Care Flight, I suppose someone could provide an exc summary in the context of this discussion from their Reports, https://careflight.org/about-us/annual-reports/
     
  7. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anyway, if you love skiing, hiking / climbing, etc, mountaineering insurance is must. Yamap's insurance (my one) is only 480 Yen per month and it covers the search & rescue costs up to 3 million Yen.
     
  8. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like he idea of the ‘open glades’ policy some resorts are trying in Japan, if only in a very limited way. With patrolling and some armband & education/ signatures etc...

    Seems are healthy compromise to an all or nothing approach.
     
  9. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I know there is insurance you can take out once you are in Japan. Would be great if you could provide some links to this.

    I know some links have been provided before but they are probably buried.
     
  10. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The policy has always varied depending on where you are. But the one consistent rule was don't ski under the chairs.

    Quite a few resorts have gates. But there are different approaches to these gates. Some, like Hakuba 47, you need a vest and to sign a waiver and ... not sure what else as it may have changed since I was there. When we were at Niseko, a long time ago, they closed the gates if conditions were dangerous.

    Other resorts have strict rules about not going off piste. It only seems to become an issue when there are westerners.

    Madarao, now they only groom some of the runs so there is good access to powder. They also thinned a lot of trees. They are pretty laid back about where they let you go but if it is roped off, apart from ducking under the rope to come back to my place, they get pretty upset if you duck a rope. Tangram used to be on piste only but they are slowly opening up more of the mountain. These resorts are not in a national park so they are allowed to remove trees.

    Mt Myoko resorts:
    Seki Onsen - was no rules except don't jump off the chair lift
    Other resorts - our first few years there we were allowed to go almost anywhere but under the chairs. At Kanko there was an area with a sign saying you are going out of bounds to an unpatrolled area and you will not get rescued. But from what I am hearing, and because of the dumb stuff people do, and the disrespect, they are cracking down on where you can go.

    Lotte - they have areas blocked of and will pull your tickets if you go in those areas. They are opening some areas some of the time now, depending on the conditions.

    Others will know more about other resorts. But as these examples show there are lots of different rules and they change.
     
  11. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are some. Yamap is the most used mountaineering app in Japan. They have mountaineering insurances too. I called Yamap and I was told foreigners also can sign their insurance. However, their mountaineering insurance only covers incidents happening in Japan(mountains outside Japan, the insurance won't cover). It's only 480 Yen per month, super cheap = I'd say 480 Yen per month is almost for free and it can cover up to 3 million Yen. I think there are Australian insurances or international ones, so it doesn't have to be a Japanese one.


     
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  12. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most people on this forum are happy to see Autumn snow, but a lot of people who went to mountains for the beautiful Autumn color last weekend were disappointed:p. Mid October is mid Autumn, but it can snow on tall mountains such as Japanese alps. Many were climbing those mountains for this kind of Autumn color but what they saw was "white mountain":p











    The same place the day before yesterday (Saturday)
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    Shimokura bc ~ up Gentagadake

    we also had a go at heading up above panorama ; up Iwate San, but the bush was very thick to Skin let alone try and ski down Then the weather packed in
    Iwate is serious and will need an ave assessment for the big open bowls
     
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  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the map you are showing is 上倉山 (Kamikurayama) at 1350m asl. 源太ヶ岳 (Gentagadake) is 1545m (near Kamikurayama, though). We hiked up to Gentagadake from the Onsen Ryokan at the bottom without using lifts of Shimokura / Panorama. Here is the route map. For me, it was the second biggest vertical hike after Dake Course of Mt.Iwaki (the tallest mountain of Aomori Pref).











    Speaking of Mt.Iwate, I've never climbed up to the peak (2038m) in winter, but have climbed in green season twice. In both times, the winds suddenly became very strong around 1700m asl. Super strong high wind + cold rain + without proper gears (proper wears), couples died there. I wonder how the condition is like there around the peak in mid winter. No taller mountains around, so I guess it can be very windy.
     
  15. crackson

    crackson Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thankyou for the literal analysis of a joke.

    A joke in English for RM, to show my appreciation for her mastery of the English language.

    Didn't mean to offend nudists.
     
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  16. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Border of Fukushima and Niigata is one of the most secluded areas of Japan, being surrounded by many quite snowy mountains. Route 252 is closed in winter because of very heavy snow. I wrote about JR Tadami Line in this thread before. JR Tadami Line have a lot of bridges and some of them were swept away by floods about 10 years ago, and there is a dead section now because of it. Tadami Line has been getting popular among tourists from Asia in recent years due to the views from the train. JR and local villages decided to reconstruct the brides to make Tadami Line fully open again. I wrote about it here before and my new point is, it seems a new road between Fukushima and Niigata is also under construction now and it'll be open in winter too. First of all, I'll write about Tadami Line.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Speaking of 八十里越 (= Hachijurigoe Pass), the new road under construction consists of 14 tunnels and numerous bridges & snow shelters. It was planned in1970 and will be finally open in 2023. It is running very close to Sumon-dake, Asakusa-dake, etc which are popular spring time backcountry skiing mountains. They are quite snowy, and the road is running there and be open in winter too. I wonder what the road looks like in winter.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sumon-dake


    Asakusa-dake on March 17th
     
    #3366 Ramenman, Oct 20, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  17. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes Tadami and the Tadami line is on my list for next time! There's also a nice winter festival apparently.
     
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  18. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Local media are reporting that young Japanese people are rushing to golf resorts recently. Golf resorts and ski resorts in Japan have similar backgrounds. Quite many ski and golf resorts were made around 1990 during the bubble economy era. Compared to 30 years ago, both the populations of golfers and skiers have become 1/3. Now, young people have started rushing to golf resorts and I hope the same thing is happening to ski resorts too. Here is the link (the news is written only in Japanese, though)
    https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/381914

    By the way, where there are ski resorts, there are golf resorts. For example, in Aizu region, from our lodge, within a relatively short drive, there are about 10 ski resorts and 10 golf resorts. Both ski resorts and golf resorts are over-supply, so they are very cheap. Where there are ski resorts, there are mountain streams good for trout fishing as well. We were hiking in the place of the video below last week. With easy drive, you can reach a parking area of 1600m asl, then enjoy walking like the girl in the video. Some are walking with their dogs too. The ski resort regions don't need to be very popular, but now we need to make those villages more sustainable with more people:p


    A mountain stream next to Gran Deco ski resort in Autumn (we fish there too)


    The same mountain stream in summer.


     
    #3368 Ramenman, Oct 21, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  19. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  20. yardsale96

    yardsale96 First Runs

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    Japan are still issuing Working Holiday Visas according to the Embassy of Japan in Australia website. So theoretically if you are eligible for the WHV, it would be possible to make it over to Japan for the winter. Obviously would have to jump through a fair few hoops, but I know several people who have been granted International travel exemptions after showing evidence that they would be leaving Australia for longer than 3 months. Definitely a risky move with uncertainty surrounding flights home/quarantine etc, but could be worth a shot to ski the least crowded season in decades.
     
  21. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Question is how big the need is this year - employers might be very careful. But no customers = lot of skiing,:ski: but maybe no pay and no :party:. ;)
     
  22. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    WHV in 2020 - 2021 means "Be able to ski in less crowded slopes in popular ski resorts more economically + Tokyo Olympics". Not sure if Tokyo Olympics can be held in 2021, though(Japan is not suffering from the virus if compared to most other countries, however, the newly infected people are rapidly increasing in Europe, etc again, not sure Tokyo Olympics can be really held in 2021)
     
  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I truly would not be surprised if the 2020 Olympics (delayed to 21) get canned totally and IOC decides to move all Olympics 4yrs from original - IE: Tokyo runs in 2024.
     
  24. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seems not only a new gondola but also a new connecting lift is under construction in Shiga Kogen (between Hasuike and Giant?). I heard there used to be a T-bar there before.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not still issuing but have restarted issuing is my understanding. And you need a pledge from an employer.
     
  26. Sandy

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

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    There used to be a rope tow between Giant & Hasuike. However, those photos don't look like the terrain between Giant & Hasuike.
    It looks like the bottom station of the new gondola between Giant and Yamanoeki..... That looks like the Yamanoeki station building at the top.

    It makes more sense, because the new gondola is more of an access lift, not a sking/snowboarding lift. And that's clear, because it's right next to the road.

    https://www.google.com.au/maps/@36....4!1s14VYy2ppAy3u7OReJxHVNQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Here: You can see Yamanoeki building up the top to the right, and the Giant lift to the left
     
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  27. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah, yes, but I'm a bit confused now, I mean, some people are mentioning some gondolas / lifts coming to Shiga Kogen, so I was or I am still a bit confused which lifts / gondolas they are / were mentioning:p.
     
  28. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ski Jam Katsuyama uploaded a new video for 2020 - 2021 season. They newly opened a treerun zone and sidecountry course last year and it seems they are expanding further. The length of the new treerun is 830m, which is relatively long as a treerun zone (and 400m one too)
     
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  29. yardsale96

    yardsale96 First Runs

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    Anyone keen to sign a pledge for me? ;)
     
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  30. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Interesting. I had to check Snow Japan to work out where this place was. It’s in the Fukui prefecture on western side of Hakuba range. Some surprising snow totals over the years...last year was pretty bad, but in 14/15 and 17/18 they had base totals of almost 400cm. That’s pretty nuts.
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Low tide for Dave Downing!
    We go through Fukui between Osaka and Hakuba.
    Interesting diversion.
     
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  32. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Japanese government suddenly started saying New Year holidays of 2021 should be longer. The Black = From Dec 29 to Jan 3rd is the New Year holidays of average year (or it can be 2 days longer with a weekend). The Orange = From Dec 25th to Jan 11th is Japanese government have started suggesting. The length is double. Really?. With Go to Travel Campaign, it will help Japanese ski resorts.

    [​IMG]
     
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  33. sheepshaver

    sheepshaver Hard Yards

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    I just received notification from my accommodations in Niseko that Japan won’t be opening the borders to tourists until April 2021. Any official news on this statement?

    They are currently asking me to cancel if I don’t have confirmation of travel. But the airline has yet to cancel my flight.
     
  34. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am yet to see anything official about dates for opening for tourism. My translator has told me she saw tourists from outside Japan when she went to Nara recently.

    Sounds like they do not want to open. Have you booked directly? If via an OTA they get penalised if they cancel.
     
  35. Sandy

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

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    This is uncertain at this stage.
    What we know right now, is that entry for 150+ countries for tourism is banned, and entry for other reasons restricted.
    Japanese citizens have been allowed to enter all along, and expat residents resumed in September. There are also "travel bubble" countries, who are currently allowed to enter on "business track", including the following:
    Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea.
    However, it's likely that other countries will added to the list, with Australia, New Zealand, the state of Hawaii, and Hong Kong, among others, reported to be in talks about joining the Japan travel bubble.

    "Normal" entry is not expected until spring, but it's likely that if this happens, then tourism from "travel bubble" countries will happen sooner.
    See the COVID Travel thread for more info.
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/c...ing-and-after-covid.88247/page-7#post-4479215

    (So don't believe your accommodation at this stage)
     
  36. Sandy

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

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    No tourists allowed into Japan ATM.
    There were > 3 million expats living in Japan last December. The chance to tour Japan without lots of external tourists is very attractive for expats, particularly with travel incentives(1/2 price fares) for domestic tourism.
     
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  37. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    Just because they are non-Japanese, does not mean they are on tourist visas (I mean, obviously they are not with current restrictions). I know a few lodges that have booked out rooms for the whole winter season at discounted rates for expats.
     
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  38. RCN

    RCN Hard Yards

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    I am hopeful of making it to Japan in January via Singapore (allows travel from Australia without quarantine). Once a bubble occurs between Singapore and Japan, then a mid winter trip is not out of the question. This major stumbling block will be the Australian government's outbound travel restriction. Otherwise im willing to pay and undergo the 2 week quarantine + testing on return to Australia, if I can get a 2 week ski holiday out of it.
     
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  39. Sandy

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

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    You're heading back into Japan shortly, right? It might be good to get an account of your experience in the Travel thread.
    Plus how the 14 day quarantine waiver works (if you can get it shortened if, they remove it after COVID tests at each end)
     
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  40. Sandy

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

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    HOWEVER, the Japanese rule states that if you've been to any banned countries 14 days prior to landing in Japan, you are not allowed to enter Japan, until you've spent 14 days in the non banned country. (or you may need to do 14 day quarantine in Japan.)
    i.e. Travel Australia to Singapore, one night in Singapore, you cannot enter Japan (or you may need to do 14 day quarantine in Japan.)
     
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  41. RCN

    RCN Hard Yards

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    Yes good point. It'll be feasible only if I didn't have to quarantine twice.
     
  42. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    Second this!

    I have a family "event" (not the happy sort) back in the UK next month, but given current UK infection rates I'm not confident Japan won't toughen entry rules while I'm away. Long story short, I'm not going. Don't want to get marooned.
     
  43. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Getting marooned is the main reason why I am seriously considering opening my Japan apartment up for local bookings. I’d kept Jan -April held until now. No matter what happens I won’t go in January anyway, so that’s the first stage for me - let that go. (Likely to be caring for children of family members during Jan now). But do I just throw the whole season in now, or hold out a modicum of hope for a while longer?
     
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  44. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    If I were you, I'd keep hold of that modicum. Assuming Australia can hold things down over summer and Japan manages to keep walking the tightrope that's served it fairly well so far... just keep fingers crossed for a political breakthrough.

    The UK on the other hand can't stop embarrassing itself.
     
  45. Ecstatic

    Ecstatic Hard Yards

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    I'd lease it out and if things turn good for travel, use the income to rent places all around japan. Might as well vary the usual theme if it's an unusual year!
     
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  46. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Perhaps your setup is different but most property managers will want it for the whole season or not at all in my experience MB so it may well be an all or nothing situation. I had thought about hitting you up for an accomm swap, still trying to see what winter trips I'll do. So far we have 5 nights sold across 5 places (quite confident we'll get significantly more than that) so might have plenty of time to travel :)
     
  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty sure occupancy rates will be down mate, so when you have your dates hit me up and I’ll see what we can do! If it’s not booked it’s all yours. (No bookings Jan thru April yet - because I’ve still got it blocked out).
    Management of Hirafu Apartments always have flexibility for owners block out dates. Whether that’s a week or the whole winter, makes no difference to them, they still get their management fees etc.
     
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  48. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Awesome cheers!
     
  49. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  50. Jacksong

    Jacksong Addicted

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    Have postponed my entry for a few weeks, I have the letter and everything sorted out, just missing the Covid test within 72 hours which I am not looking forward to. I am planning to do the Quarantine regardless. Personally do not want to be the one who infects any locals and have a lot to do around home so a good excuse to get stuck in. Could you please add a link to the travel thread? Not Lazy, just couldn't find it for some reason.