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Heinz

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Another good example is Shizukuishi. They used to have 1 ropeway, 2 gondolas and 15 lifts, but now only 1 ropeway and 5 lifts. The 2 gondolas Shizukuishi used to have are the longest gondolas in Japan. Please look at this trail map. You see the pink slopes on the right side. Now they are only for CAT tours, and you need to pay additional fee to ski there. There used to be a gondola there. And the bottom gondola station was at 420m above sea level and the top gondola station was 1220m, so one gondola = 800m vertical. One gondola has 800m vertical rise, I can't see that long gondola in Japan. The other gondola was also very long. As I wrote above, they used to have the 2 longest gondolas in Japan, but both of them were removed because Shizukuishi ski resort couldn't attract enough guests to renew the gondolas unfortunately. Plus, Shizukuishi ski resort is located between Tazawako ski resort and Appi. Shizukuishi to Tazawako is roughly 50mins and Shizukuishi to Appi is roughly an hour. So if they had the 2 long gondolas and 15 lifts just like back in 90's, nothern Tohoku = Tazawako - Shizukuishi - Appi would be a great 2 week ski trip destination.
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yes, I find Shizukuishi in it's current format somewhat underwhelming. Admittedly the snow conditions weren't great the days I went. Also I think it is closer to Morioka than Appi, but Appi you can get to mostly on the expressway, so is quicker to access. And in 2016 they only ran busses to Shizukuishi on Saturdays.
 
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Heinz

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There are many mountains in Japan where you can see Juhyo but you need to hike to see Juhyo in most of those mountains. There are only a few ski resorts where we can see Juhyo without hike. They are Zao, Hakkoda and Ani. There might be some more, though.

I also remember seeing them (30 years ago) at Shiga Kogen - Yokoteyama.
 

Ramenman

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I also remember seeing them (30 years ago) at Shiga Kogen - Yokoteyama.

Ah, yes, Shiga Kogen too. I don't know much about ski resorts in Central Honshu, though. I mentioned Ani as a ski resort where you can see Juhyo without hike. Last night, I visited the website of Ani after a long interval, and I noticed they also started having English website. I highly doubt they can attract tourists from abroad, though, considering the location and its size. They have amazing snowfall, Juhyo and relatively long vertical drop of 700m or so, but the accessibility is too bad, the size is small and the terrains are a bit too flat. It might be a good ski resort for powderhound snowboarders who are interested in Gaijin free ski resorts with Juhyo, though. If you visit Ani on weekdays, it can be human free, let alone Gaijin free:p

Ani ski resort : http://aniski.jp/englishpanf.pdf


 

Ramenman

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I have been to Central Honshu too, but once or twice per each ski resort because we have a lodge in Tohoku region, so we usually go to Tohoku or Hokkaido to ski:p
 
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Tonester

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Oh, yes. I forgot to mention Asahidake. In fact, I think that was the epicentre of the Euros, including a few from further south. Those crazy Italians are just as nuts as the Scandos!
Update....I've been in contact with the BC guides running out of Aomori Spring today. They are having a hard time trying to accommodate me for the dates I plan to travel there because of a "special" group of Italians that booked a few months ago.
In the end, they were very helpful and it seems that I will be skiing Iwati BC in the latter part of February.
Which leads me to another dilemma!......
 
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Tonester

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.......dilemma (it's not really, more a first world problem). My AT bindings are on skis that I don't like. I'm planning on taking my kastle 98s (yes, I know...not wide enough. We can have that convo later) which I love. What do I do. Snowshoes? Hire AT skis?
Ughhh...first world probs :(:rolleyes:
 

Toto Warmlet

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So where exactly are these lodges Ramenperson? and please post just one still pic that proves you ski or board anywhere where you claim to.
No offence of course.
 

Tonester

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ummm. am I missing something here?
Better still....let's move on...more Tohoku chat. Ahem.....have I mentioned my dilemma recently?:whistle:
 
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Ramenman

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Pictures taken at Minowa today. Minowa's lowest lift station is at 1050m above sea level, so winter season comes early, Grandeco and Tengendai Kogen too. By the way, is there someone who skied at Minowa last season?. They had official tree run courses on their trail map last season too?
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Ramenman

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There was pronounced scandanavian influx post 2010 or so.
Youtube and Vimeo had alot to answer for.
They travel in packs...smashing the powder.

Actually, JNTO = Japan National Tourism Organization has been aiming at Scandinavian and British now. This picture was taken in London last week. The Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the Nagano Prefectural Government and the Niigata Prefectural Government were jointly promoting their ski resorts with JNTO in London. If Scandinavian and British go to Alps to ski, they need to fly after all, then JNTO think "Let's make them fly a bit further to Japan:thumbs:". Nobody from Tohoku joined to promote their ski resorts in London last week, though.
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Donza

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With respect to the JNTO.
And i mean this in the nicest possible way.
They do sweet FA (and have done sweet FA) in increasing the number of anglo ski visitors to Japan.
IMO
The growth has come from third party foreign owned companies.
Japan doesn't get tourisim. Its fallen into being popular.
Friends that worked in tourisim described dealing with these government bodies was akin to dealing with a 1960's era Datsun .
 
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Heinz

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Euros generally aren't going to be regular yearly visitors to Japan in any case. There have been those attracted by the videos of powder and head over, but it is a way to do, it is in their season and they have so many places to ski at home. Different from us down here out of season or Chinese next door with few established resorts.

Generally they will follow a similar pattern that you described previously ie Niseko, Hakuba, Nozawa, Myoko, Furano, Asahidake etc. Tohoku will be well down the list.
 
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Donza

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Euros generally aren't going to be regular yearly visitors to Japan in any case. There have been those attracted by the videos of powder and head over, but it is a way to do, it is in their season and they have so many places to ski at home. Different from us down here out of season or Chinese next door with few established resorts.

Generally they will follow a similar pattern that you described previously ie Niseko, Hakuba, Nozawa, Myoko, Furano, Asahidake etc. Tohoku will be well down the list.
Scands gravitate towards vimeo and youtube influence.
They are quite sheeplike .
Niseko was 2007-2010
hakuba 2011-2013
Myoko 2014-15
 

Zimboo

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With respect to the JNTO.
And i mean this in the nicest possible way.
They do sweet FA (and have done sweet FA) in increasing the number of anglo ski visitors to Japan.
IMO
The growth has come from third party foreign owned companies.
Japan doesn't get tourisim. Its fallen into being popular.
Friends that worked in tourisim described dealing with these government bodies was akin to dealing with a 1960's era Datsun .
We did international tourism very poorly not that long ago here in Australia.
Only took one generation and a few Paul Hogan ads.
Maybe Japan should get Kei Nishikori to do some ads and then work it out from there?
 
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Ramenman

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Pictures taken at Minowa today. Minowa's lowest lift station is at 1050m above sea level, so winter season comes early, Grandeco and Tengendai Kogen too. By the way, is there someone who skied at Minowa last season?. They had official tree run courses on their trail map last season too?
251970058_624.v1509445153.jpg


251970061_624.v1509445159.jpg

The old trail map of Minowa I have doesn't have tree run zones, but the new trail map has two tree run zones = the red areas. Actually, Minowa had been rather strict, saying "You must not ski there". Some local people were already skiing there when Minowa staff were not seeing them, though. I heard the rumor that Minowa is waiting for the permission of making a new sidecountry zone to be issued from the local government, so I thought they are making a sidecountry zone somewhere in the blue area. I like Minowa. It's tiny, but snow quality is good and the season is longer due to relatively high altitude. It has Juhyo, and you can easily hike to Mt.Tetsuzan for backcountry skiing.
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This is the old trail map. There isn't a tree run zone in the map.
mino-map.jpg
 
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Hyst

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Last season I meet this Chinese lady in the osen (well not quite inside), and she told me all the area in Tohoku and further south is heavily poloted på radioaktivity, - that is why they now go to Hokkaido - so be carefull, it's dangerous out there - better find a save place like Niseko. :whistle:

Chinese knowledge goes thousend years back - so I do think they DO know. :D
 
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Ramenman

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They did not, we got told off over the loudspeaker for going into the trees.
I thought so. Minowa had been strict. This is the new trail map they released several days ago. 13 and 14 ツリーラン are treeruns. It's a good sign. Ski resorts in Tohoku had been more conservative and they didn't let us ski on their potential tree run / sidecountry zones, but it has started changing since a few years ago. Geto, Appi, Minowa, etc started having tree run zones on their official trail maps in recent years.
gi_course2017.jpg
 

Ramenman

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Jesus.
That's a huge carpark

They say it can hold about 2000 vehicles. But, they are under MacEarth now, so I guess they are also struggling. MacEarth is a Japanese company which has been buying dying Japanese ski resorts. Now they own 34 ski resorts in Japan. Even if the ski resorts can't attract enough visitors under MacEarth, they usually get closed.

MacEarth: http://en.macearthgroup.com
 

blowfin

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I thought so. Minowa had been strict. This is the new trail map they released several days ago. 13 and 14 ツリーラン are treeruns. It's a good sign. Ski resorts in Tohoku had been more conservative and they didn't let us ski on their potential tree run / sidecountry zones, but it has started changing since a few years ago. Geto, Appi, Minowa, etc started having tree run zones on their official trail maps in recent years.
gi_course2017.jpg

Short,sharp, and tight through course 14.
Not sure we skied the course 13 trees.
There's some good sidecountry around too :)
 

Ramenman

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Short,sharp, and tight through course 14.
Not sure we skied the course 13 trees.
There's some good sidecountry around too :)

You mean, the red course?. Some local people ski there too even though Minowa don't permit it. Yellow = top lift stations. Blue = Juhyo area. If you keep hiking along Black line, there is a hut at about 1650m above sea level. It's an easy hike for a good backcountry run there. Anyway, it's a small resort for local skiers, so it's never crowded at all on weekdays.
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Tonester

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So I am thinking that Minowa may be a good hill to start my Japow trip from.
I arrive the night before and stay in Ueno. Then an early Shinkansen to Koriyama, pick up a car and off to Minowa to get my ski legs. Probably finish up early and make my way to Aizuwakamatsu. I imagine I'll be pretty exhausted by then, Especially since it'll be a late one for me the night before my flight out to Japow.
Then the next few days hit up the other hills near Aizuwakamatsu.
 
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Donza

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Looks completely out of proportion with the size of the ski area. Would hate to ski there if that car park was ever full!
Japan.
Where car park size is more important than terrain and lifts.
 

Tonester

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And I should add....with pics of early snow on the ground and severe SDS having set in quite some time ago (thanks to a non skiing southern winter for me) I am really starting to get that little bit excited. :D
 

blowfin

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They say it can hold about 2000 vehicles. But, they are under MacEarth now, so I guess they are also struggling. MacEarth is a Japanese company which has been buying dying Japanese ski resorts. Now they own 34 ski resorts in Japan. Even if the ski resorts can't attract enough visitors under MacEarth, they usually get closed.

MacEarth: http://en.macearthgroup.com

How much business do they do in the spring and summer? I wandered into what seemed to be a hotel and a function centre? The hallways and walls looked like marble...it was a little bit surreal LOL
 

Ramenman

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How much business do they do in the spring and summer? I wandered into what seemed to be a hotel and a function centre? The hallways and walls looked like marble...it was a little bit surreal LOL

Haha, you mean, this hotel?. I heard even the Crown Prince also stayed there a very long time ago.
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Actually, a lot of events and festivals are held in Minowa during the green season. The neighbouring prefecture Ibaraki precture is the most mountain-less and Onsen-less prefecture of Japan along with Osaka, and Minowa is relatively accessible from Ibaraki, so they attract hikers from Ibaraki too. Mountain marathon race is held there too. Minowa + 5 other ski resorts in Fukushima host mountain marathon races jointly.
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Tonester

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So I am thinking that Minowa may be a good hill to start my Japow trip from.
I arrive the night before and stay in Ueno. Then an early Shinkansen to Koriyama, pick up a car and off to Minowa to get my ski legs. Probably finish up early and make my way to Aizuwakamatsu. I imagine I'll be pretty exhausted by then, Especially since it'll be a late one for me the night before my flight out to Japow.
Then the next few days hit up the other hills near Aizuwakamatsu.
Edit......Head to Tsuchiyu Onsen village after Minowa for a well deserved onsen!:D
 
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Ramenman

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I had enough racing up Tsukuba-san in Ibaraki! :cry_ubb:

Why you visited Mt.Tsukuba?. Even Tokyo has better mountains. I thought Tsukuba-san is only for Ibarakinese because Ibaraki prefecture is the least mountainous prefecture of one of the most mountainous countries in the world = Japan:p
 
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Hyst

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Ramenman

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Sugoi, Takamagahara Hot Spring, one of the least accessible hot spring in Japan and you need a few days of hike to get there and come back:eek:. Did you visit there? Sugoi cool:cool:. There is my favorite "hidden" onsen lodge near Minowa Ski resort. It's Kurogane onsen lodge.This is the lodge. The mountain behind the lodge is Mt.Tetsuzan = about 1700m above sea level. Mt.Minowa to Mt.Tetsuzan is roughly one hour hike. There isn't a road to the onsen lodge, so you need to hike on a snowy mountain, which makes the lodge something more special for you:thumbs:
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The only dinner menu the onsen lodge has is this curry, very yummy:cool:
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In Autumn
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The onsen lodge is somewhere in the red area.
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