Question Many people skied shiga kogen?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by theflyingmuzz, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. theflyingmuzz

    theflyingmuzz Hard Yards

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    Hi Forum people.

    Ive been to shiga once last year and am heading back next year. We bumped into very few aussies. We where there in December so snow was fairly thin for japan at the time, this trip will be later.

    But has anyone been there? i couldn't ski to much off piste as the bamboo was shooting through. Whats the edict of skiing off piste in shiga?

    I dident make it last time but i hear the highest point among the snow monsters in japan is quite the site to see. Planning on doing this this time for sure.

    Been skiing nozowa twice and they seem to be a little more relaxed with the skiing in the trees thing compared to what a was told before we got there. But not to sure about Shiga.

    Considering the local aussie "guide" was skiing his clients under chairs all day and in areas that the japanes call closed i really question the value of him being a guide in a resort.

    Thanks for any info on the area.

    Massive resort BTW 600 hectares big on Japaneses standards.
     
  2. rikedwards

    rikedwards Hard Yards

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    My uncle ski's at Shiga every year. He tells me that off piste is not allowed and is patrolled.

    As a result I've not made the trip.
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I've skied a total of probably 30+ days at Shiga Kogen.

    If it's roped off you are not allowed to ski there, but then if you know where stuff is, you don't have to!! There's not many people midweek, so you often just ski powder on the pistes. Most of the steeper courses are ungroomed, so that means powder, including Yakebitaiyama.
    In general, powder is nto that hard to find.
    There are also a couple of gated areas around Okushigakogen.
    A good place for powder is Kumanoyu, as hardly anyone skis powder there, there's some of the steepest courses at Shiga Kogen, and you can ski in the trees mostly without restriction.
     
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  4. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us
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    To add to Sandy's comment, don't cross/duck a rope.............but, that rope inevitably has an end. Find the end, ski around it and off you go. There are stacks of places to ski pow in any resort, just slow down, scan, and look where others aren't going.
     
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  5. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Can find lots of powder. If you are not looking for or expecting powder, you will not find it.
     
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  6. Dave allen

    Dave allen Early Days

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    Shiga rocks! Stayed 6 nights last year and staying 10nts early feb 2018. There are soooo many powder stash spots to find and so much terrain to cover. Shiga is very uncrowded mid wk but watch out for skool kids lol
     
  7. skivet

    skivet Hard Yards

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    We have skied Shiga Kogen 5 times and back next year for our sixth!Love the place, mind you we are groom run only skiers. Plenty of terrain esp for intermediates and lots of variety. Never ski weekends though, prefer to do something else then to miss the crowds.
     
  8. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us
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    My best day at shiga was skiing the ungroomed on-piste at Giant. Knee deep just next to the race training. Sometimes, you just have to look a little.
     
  9. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Heh, heh..... and often just a little, not a lot!!
     
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  10. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us
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    So, so true Sandy-san!
     
  11. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    Anyone who wishes to PM me some tips for where to head for a cheeky stash or 2, please do! Am heading there for the first time this coming Feb and would love to find some of the goodness being alluded to in this thread. :)
     
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  12. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us
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    Seek and you shall find..............;)
     
  13. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    This thread was good timing. I'm looking for advice on best option for me and wife (both advanced skier/SB) based on the following

    - have skied hakuba twice loved it but want to try somewhere else
    - did Niesko & Rutusu last year - was amazing and would head back to Hokkaido to do other areas but due to work don't have time to go to Hokkaido this year due to additional travel so going to fly into Tokyo and stay in Honshu. Dates will probably be 3rd or 4th week in Feb or 1st week of march.

    Love skiing offpiste, powder, love jap culture, not fussed on nightlife. Will be flying into Narita. Would shiga be the best option? Any others to look into
     
  14. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us
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    Its not hard to get to Hokkaido and be skiing nearly s soon as getting to Shiga. Overnight in Narita early flight to Sapporo, hire car or get train on snow ( e.g Mt Racey, Tomamau , Sopporo resorts ) by midday easy.
     
  15. markopolo

    markopolo Naughty Corner Resident
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    Shiga is the schizz! Stay at okushigakogen and long day tours are easy.
     
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  16. croanster

    croanster Hard Yards

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  17. Chillybin

    Chillybin Hard Yards

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    Completely off topic. But the don't duck rope theory doesn't apply in many places in Canada where you only don't duck the rope if it says so otherwise it's fair game..... I was a bit taken back when the head patroller told me to duck and go explore..... but Japan is a different story and we all need to obey their laws etc etc
     
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  18. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Being that late in the season, the best bet would either be chasing elevation (so Shiga Kogen) or latitude (ie Hokkaido). Have you considered Furano?
     
  19. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    Over 5 years ago, and on snowboard.
    Was absolutely dumping down, but thick heavy snow.
    From memory, offpiste was mainly fir trees not the more open birch forest like Hokkaido?
     
  20. Bendalong+

    Bendalong+ Hard Yards

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    Agree with @marcopolo, Okushiga Hotel is most enjoyable and the diversity of runs across all shiga resorts keeps things interesting for extended stays.
    Have done 3 visits since 2010, staying in Yakabitaiyama(Prince hotel East-good but expensive), Ichinose(Sun....... Closed for last few seasons) & Okushiga hotel-Excellent-French/Canadian owned for last few years reflecting wonderful cuisine and wine).
    If you are after hero steeps- not recommended, but have experienced nice dry knee deep on all 3 trips for 3-4 days out of 12 day stays in Feb.
    Enough interest to return in 2018.
     
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  21. rikedwards

    rikedwards Hard Yards

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    I'll be staying at Prince East in mid Feb for 4 days. Decided to finally try Shiga out and visit the uncle. Hoping to find some of that knee deep powder!
     
  22. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    I'll be in Prince east from 6-13 Feb. Let's hope for some decent weather!
     
  23. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    I didn't know there is a joint season pass of Nozawa Onsen + Shiga Kogen. It's 75,000 Yen.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    I wanted to do Furano but combination of too expensive flights vs journey time vs available time from Brisbane is causing me to think Shiga. Furano next year!
     
  25. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    Whats the recommended best location to base yourself in Shiga? We like slackcountry, happy to explore offpiste and to travel across large resorts via piste (have skied a lot in France & Italy) and somewhere with a great Onsen. I like a beer but not fussed on nightlife. Friends have recommended Okushiga Kogen. Thoughts? Any other recommendations?
     
  26. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    You are limited to eating at Okushiga if you are down there.
    More options and central location at Ichinose
     
  27. Joliver

    Joliver Hard Yards

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    We stayed at Ichinose last year, going back in again this year - loved it...! ( we are mainly on piste skiiers so suited us perfectly well)
     
  28. bill76

    bill76 Hard Yards

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    Is it feasible to stay in Ichinose but ski commute to the Prince or Okushiga for kids lessons in the morning? Not sure how far it is, or how long/many lifts? Thanks
     
  29. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yes, but do you need to go all the way to Okushiga?
    Ichinose to Prince Hotel West is effectively only one lift plus a 40m walk.
    Ichinose to Okushiga is 4 lifts. However, it's quite a long way, plus you need to know the way. (probably 4-5 km)
     
  30. skivet

    skivet Hard Yards

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    If you do put the kids in ski school at Okushiga another option would be the free bus Ichinose to Okushiga around 10 minutes commute.
     
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  31. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    I think the answer to that really depends on the age of your kids, their ability and the conditions.
    Eg.We were based in Ichinose last season. One morning after very significant snowfall, we did that route and the first run down from Ichinose Diamond to Prince West was about knee deep powder...........too much snow for little kids learning. That was before we went higher on the next lifts, where it got deeper.
     
  32. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    This is why I want to try it this season this sounds ace and no kid issues for me!
     
  33. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete Addicted

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    Shiga is HUGE and the couple times I have been there I have had no reason to ski off piste. Epic tree lines with great lift access equal to or better than Cortina without the crowds. NOTHING to do at night though which may not suit most folks although I think there is brew pub or similar now.

    If you do ski off piste please ensure you have completed AST training, have a comprehensive pack on, beacon etc and crew that know what they are doing which is a lot more than knowing how to use their beacon, probe etc and have BC insurance. Every year across Honshu there are numerous groups that break basic rules and get lost or worse. Japan is no joke.
     
  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Local media were reporting yesterday Yamanouchimachi = The Shiga Kogen village and Japanese government will work jointly to attract more tourists from abroad, promoting backcountry tours, etc. I don't know much about Shiga Kogen. Where are popular / common backcountry terrains in and around Shiga Kogen?

    http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/nagano/20171117/KT171116ATI090007000.php
     
  35. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    To start with, there are a number of gated areas around Okushiga, but apart from that, most of the terrain outside of ropes is out of bounds (prohibited). I assume they will look at providing more gated terrain.
     
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  36. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    Anyone done the drive from Tokyo to Shiga? Is there a more beautiful route to follow that doesn't add 5 hours onto the journey?
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Which route would you normally take (Kan-Etsu or Chuo)??
    i.e. Kan-Etsu expressway heads north towards Gunma, then west on the southern side of the mountains into Nagano, while the the Chuo Expressway heads west from Tokyo through Yamanashi, then north into Nagano.

    If you want a nice diversion, head west on the Chuo, and take the interchange at Otsuki towards Mt. Fuji. Get off at Fujiyoshida, and drive to Lake Kawaguchi. See Fuji reflected in the lake. You can go back the same way, or head north on route 137 overt the hills back to the Chuo.
     
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  38. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    Cheers for the suggestions.

    Haven't ever done the drive, but will have some spare time on this trip so am thinking about getting a car in Tokyo, rather than getting the shink to Nagano like we normally do, so hence was looking to see if there's an attractive drive option.
     
  39. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Also consider picking up a car in Takasaki. Its the last major shink station before it heads into the mountain ranges. I would just imagine the expressway from Tokyo out to Takasaki very mundane.
     
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  40. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    Noice!

    Am I likely to get snow tyres on a Tokyo rental?
     
  41. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    You would generally have to pay for snow tyres...so factor that in.
     
  42. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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  43. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    @Undies i've done the drive you speak of. Snow tyres are 1250 yen a day extra. Road tolls are expensive
    Going that way is very weather and traffic dependant. Its pretty enough I guess.
    How time you got?
     
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  44. Undies

    Undies 5th ponyman of the hypocralypse
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    Cheers bro. Will have 2 days in Tokyo and then head up to Shiga on the 3rd, so will have time aplenty. But the shink is pretty easy as well.
     
  45. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    If I did it again...i'd go down to Sagami bay, then Hakone, then Fuji.
     
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  46. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Depending on the time, the local roads along Sagami Bay can get really busy. But if you head down that way, you should stop off at the Miura Peninsular... they have some fabulous rugged rocky shores on the western side, and it has a really rural feel there.

    The other option is not going the Chuo Expressway to Otsuki, but going the Tomei Expressway, and getting off at Gotemba, then taking the Higashi-Fuji Goko toll road, which runs along the bottom slopes of Mt Fuji.
     
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  47. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    If you decide you don't want to drive, you could take the Highway bus from Shinjuku to Nagano instead of the Shink for something different.
     
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  48. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete Addicted

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    Do they serve beers and sandwiches on the bus? :) :)
     
  49. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Nope, although they do stop along the way for 15 minutes (to the second), so you can buy beer and sandwiches if you wished..........along with many other treats. :)
     
  50. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    The expressway road side stops do not have beer. You need to buy your supply before getting on the bus.
     
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