National Foundation Day 2018

Tonester

Lift Line Nazi
Ski Pass
Jul 6, 2001
5,706
3,626
563
60
Sydney
I'm starting to piece together Japow 2018. I note that there's a public holiday on Sunday 11th February (National Foundation Day) and it's observed the following day on the Monday. I also note the Chinese NY is on 16th February.

At this stage I'm planning on arriving into Tokyo (from Sydney) on Saturday 10th February and to overnight in Ueno. Then I'd like to be on an early train out of Tokyo then next morning. Given that I'll be in Tokyo in the middle of a three day long weekend is it likely that I might have trouble getting a spot on a train up to Sendai or Morioka?
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,621
12,778
1,063
Adelaide
Get a reserve seat ticket on the day you arrive. Just about all of the Shinkansens up to Morioka (Komachi/Hayabusa) are reserved seat only so you will need to reserve anyway. There are trains every hour so you should get on ok.

And if you are heading up to Morioka and coming back by train within 2 weeks then a JR east flexi pass will definitely pay off.
 

Tonester

Lift Line Nazi
Ski Pass
Jul 6, 2001
5,706
3,626
563
60
Sydney
Get a reserve seat ticket on the day you arrive. Just about all of the Shinkansens up to Morioka (Komachi/Hayabusa) are reserved seat only so you will need to reserve anyway. There are trains every hour so you should get on ok.

And if you are heading up to Morioka and coming back by train within 2 weeks then a JR east flexi pass will definitely pay off.
Thanks @Heinz
I went up to Morioka last season by train, so knew about reserved seats. My question, I suppose, was about expected crowds on the train on the Sunday morning of the long weekend. I get there Saturday night. I can't reserve seats online, can I?
 

Tonester

Lift Line Nazi
Ski Pass
Jul 6, 2001
5,706
3,626
563
60
Sydney
Cny will be from the 10th but you should be fine tp that way
I'm thinking Kiroro, Niseko and Tomamu will be the main CNY destinations. Last time I was there CNY time, our hotel in Otaru was host to many CNY celebrants.

Other places on the CNY radar?
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,621
12,778
1,063
Adelaide
I'm thinking Kiroro, Niseko and Tomamu will be the main CNY destinations. Last time I was there CNY time, our hotel in Otaru was host to many CNY celebrants.

Other places on the CNY radar?

I can't recall seeing any up in Tohoku region - still well off their radar for the moment. Though more recently I suspect a few have been heading to Zao. Otherwise maybe Appi. But really not much of an issue (yet) so I'd say you'll be fine on that front.
 

Ramenman

A Local
Mar 3, 2014
5,218
6,546
563
I can't recall seeing any up in Tohoku region - still well off their radar for the moment. Though more recently I suspect a few have been heading to Zao. Otherwise maybe Appi. But really not much of an issue (yet) so I'd say you'll be fine on that front.

Yep, I think so too, not much of an issue as long as you ski in Tohoku.

Appi is one of the biggest ski resorts in Japan but most tourists from Asia are beginners, and most of them only stay at a ski resort for a few days, so they only need several lower slopes for beginners. It means they don't appreciate or make the most of big ski resorts like Appi. Plus, Appi is in Northern Tohoku = far from Tokyo, so Appi will never get crowded during CNY in my opinion.

Zao is famous for Juhyo and Juhyo can be a reason for Asian tourists to choose Zao over many other Japanese ski resorts. I've seen a lot of Chinese tourists in Zao, but many of them weren't skiing, they just went to the peak of the mountain to see Juhyo. One specific gondola can be crowded because of Asian tourists, but you can avoid the gondola.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tonester

Ramenman

A Local
Mar 3, 2014
5,218
6,546
563
I'm thinking Kiroro, Niseko and Tomamu will be the main CNY destinations. Last time I was there CNY time, our hotel in Otaru was host to many CNY celebrants.

Other places on the CNY radar?


Maybe Hakuba valley too. The image below is the number of foreigners visiting Hakuba in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Taiwan accounted for 6%, Hong Kong for 5%, Singapore for 3% and the rest of Asia for 4%, so Asian tourists only accounted for 18% but in 2016, Taiwan for 16%, Hong Kong for 9%, Singapore for 6%, China for 1%, the rest of Asia for 6%, so Asian tourists accounted for 38%. 18% in 2015 and 38% in 2016, so Asian tourists, mainly Chinese speaking tourists to Hakuba have been increasing very rapidly.

6fab76d0bd8af05b7432aa0f88aad4eb.jpg


The scary thing is, the big wave of the mainland Chinese will come in the future. I mean, about 4.2 million Taiwanese visited Japan in 2016 and the number is likely to become nearly 5 million this year or next year. The population of Taiwan is about 20 millions. So roughly 20 - 25% Taiwanese are coming to Japan. And Hong Kong is the same, more than 20% people in Hong Kong visited Japan in 2016. On the other hand, only less than 0.4% of the mainland Chinese visited Japan last year. I think it's because the mainland Chinese people are not as rich as the people in Taiwan and Hong Kong on average and they can't afford to travel abroad, plus Japanese government require the mainland Chinese a tourist visa while people from Taiwan and Hong Kong don't need a visa to visit Japan. In 2030, the mainland Chinese will be a lot richer than now and they might be able to visit Japan without a visa by 2030, then 2.5% Chinese might come to Japan in 2030, if not 25%. 2.5% of the mainland Chinese means 30 million people. Having said that, I'm not worried that Japanese ski resorts will become too crowded. Most East Asian people can't take winter vacation freely so most of them come to Japan for skiing during CNY. So if we avoid skiing during CNY, no problem, I guess.
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass