1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Opinion Newby to japan in 2019. Where would you recommend to go?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by LilaGris, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    8,445
    Likes Received:
    5,483

    Www.booking.com
     
  2. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    190
    Goryu has Acc right on the the main slope, ski in ski out
     
    blowfin and skichanger like this.
  3. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    190
    Heaps of Acc near the happo /saka lifts
     
  4. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    If you don't have a car at Hakuba, but want to have least dramas getting around, it's important to find the right area to stay.
    Assuming you want easy access directly to some lifts nearby, restaurants, and easy shuttles for access to other mountains:

    IMO:
    Less favorable areas to stay:
    - Goryu(/47). Towards the southern part of the valley, it's furthest from the other mountains. Goryu/47 are the most susceptible to high winds, and if it's windy, they close the top lifts, so you have very little you can ride. There's a a number of restaurants in the area.
    - Cortina. It's a one trick pony: powder. However, on a powder day, there's a 30 minute wait in line at the bottom, and the whole place gets tracked out in a hurry. When there's no powder, it's boring. At the north end of the valley, access is more difficult, as it's furthest from the other mountains. Just the Green Hotel (with the red roof), and not much else.
    - Norikura. Very Japanese, a lot of smaller Japanese hotels and ryokans. Good on a powder day, but super boring when it's not. Linked to Cortina for an extra 500yen, worthwhile with Cortina on a windy day.
    - Central Hakuba, near the station, and most places more than 400-500m from Happo lifts. Too far from the lifts, need to catch shuttles everywhere. ## Includes Echoland, unless the hotel has drop off/pick up, in which case it's a game changer. Plenty of restaurants though.
    - Happo near the Nakiyama area. On weekends, there's 600m vertical of small moguls by 11am. On weekdays, it's about 2pm.

    Middle areas to stay.
    - Iwatake. Central part of the valley. More Japanese places, a few restaurants.
    - Tsugaike. North central part of the valley. Mostly Japanese places, quite a few restaurants.
    Both have a good mix of slopes, with shuttle to other mountains
    - If you're satisfied with shuttle buses, near the Happo Bus Terminal.

    Best areas to stay:
    - Happo. Kokusai or Sakka (Wadano area). Easy access to slopes, and at the Sakka end, it's the start of the shuttle buses, so you get a seat. Quiet a few restaurants. Around central Happo, near the gondola. Lots of restaurants.
    - Just about any area near restaurants, hotels with drop off/pick up.
     
    willsnow, Tanuki, blowfin and 3 others like this.
  5. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    There is an abundance of accommodation options near the lifts at Happo...
     
    Vermillion likes this.
  6. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Surely 6 months out there is still heaps of accommodation left?
     
  7. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,487
    Likes Received:
    25,926
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    DMZ I would probably just to go snowjapan and tell the nice man what you'd like, let them organise it for you, then hand over your credit card.
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  8. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    melbourne
    Done that - they have nothing. I said heres my budget find me something anywhere in Japan and they gave me one option in Furano.
     
  9. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    melbourne
    Tried that and theres nothing available near Happo-one (assuming thats the gondola).
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    16,520
    Location:
    Perth
    @Lucky Pete where are your new apartments, and any availability?

    Also @TJ (I’ve stayed with TJ twice, two different locations and was very happy).
     
  11. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    The resort is called Happo One, it has 1 gondola, called ADAM. Look at a trail map.
    You're budget is quite high ($1,000 AUD a night) so you will have no trouble finding accommodation, you might just have to spend an hour or so emailing some places.
    https://www.hakubaski.com.au/village/map.cfm
     
  12. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    Yeah shouldn't be an issue at that budget
     
  13. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    941
    $1000 per night? Did I read that correctly?
    Fu(king madness.
    I’ve stayed at Aspen over Christmas (family of 4) for aud$250 per night just 2 years ago. Jackson Hole $100 per night and Banff $100 per night. All nice accomodation.
     
    Froff Life and Born2ski like this.
  14. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    17,523
    Likes Received:
    4,865
    Location:
    Tamworth
    Yeah, I saw that and thought a typo... but of real, you could almost buy a pension for the week's allocation.
     
  15. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    I pay Forty bucks a night in hakuba.. Per pax
     
    Tanuki likes this.
  16. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    16,520
    Location:
    Perth
    That’s the budget.
    So it’ll allow him a broad spectrum of options.
     
    Lifes2good likes this.
  17. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    190
    Try travel plan they should be able to sort you out, offices in Syd and Melb :thumbs:
     
  18. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    If I had that money I'd stay at sierra.
    Endless wine cellar!
     
  19. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    2,468
  20. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    I will say. That if ski in out is a thing. Hakuba is a terrible choice IMO.
    Hakuba has variety. Every resort has its good points. @dmz
     
  21. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    17,523
    Likes Received:
    4,865
    Location:
    Tamworth
    And ... the answer to most questions is - research!
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  22. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    Hakuba valley is a motley collection of proper Alpine terrain resorts.
    Alas. The one with the most lift access accommodation is the worst resort IMO for most Australians
     
  23. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    Likes Received:
    1,903
    Location:
    Port Macquarie, NSW
    Japan in general is not a ski-in ski-out type of place. Bar parts of Niseko, there just isn’t the infrastructure on mass that you would find in NA or Europe. People’s expectations just need to adjust.
     
  24. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    70
    Good to know - I am trying to get my head around Japan as I moved back from Europe. So far it feels a lot more DIY than Alps, and when I first searched for like for like (operator package, the works) the result was a sticker shock. I just have to convince the missus the 5km hotel shuttle is the way things work around here. :)
     
  25. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    1,204
    I cant really speak for Honshu, but there plenty of ski in ski out accommodations in Hokkaido. There are also many many accomms not strictly ski in ski out, but a 2 minute walk across a street for example, or around a block. Niseko, Rusustu, Kiroro, Furano and of course Tomamu to name a few have heaps of ski in ski out or places with very short walks to the accommodation (no vehicle required).
     
  26. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    17,523
    Likes Received:
    4,865
    Location:
    Tamworth
    Add to that Myoko on Honshu ... Several SISO places in Akakura Onsen, and the Akakura Hotel is definitely SISO - but if you have to ask, you cannot afford to stay there! :whistle:
     
    Marty_McSly likes this.
  27. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    There's ski in/ski out. Maybe >50% of Shiga Kogen is SISO, or SISO & within 2 min, 80%.
     
  28. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    70
    Thanks! Good to know more depth. I think to expand on that I should really mean SISO on a moderate budget. But I've learnt some good tips on this forum - now aiming for mid-late Feb (post school hol/CNY/snow festival) Niseko - it looks like it's doable for around $3K for 2ppl for 1wk. (Flight+accomm.) is that roughly on par?
     
  29. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Depends on where you're flying from, and what accommodation you want? Niseko has an enormous range and can suit lots budgets.
     
    LMB likes this.
  30. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    16,520
    Location:
    Perth
    It’s certianly off the peak and you can get some bargains (for Niseko). There is a massive increase in accomodation this year which makes me wonder if the people who would normally come in mid Feb because everything was booked out in January might now come in January... who knows...

    Mid Feb is when I’ll be there this season. It’s usually excellent conditions wise.

    Flights can blow out a lot and quickly.
    One day you can get return flights under $700, the next you’re paying $1500 or more. If you have decided then LOCK those cheap flights in!
     
  31. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Not sure if that's doable at Niseko. LMB will know, but accommodation is not cheap. So, $3K for 2ppl = $1500 each. If it's $700 for flights it's doable, but if it's $1000 it's probably not, because you won't get moderate accom for only $500 each, unless it's not within walking distance. (e.g. Niseko OAC Lodge, where I stayed season before last, is nowhere near the slopes, but I had a car. Price for your dates, two people, 7 nights is 98,000yen = $1215 AUD)
    Add lift tickets: 7 days = 44,600yen = $550 ($78/day)

    If you go central Japan, the accom and lift tickets are cheaper. For example, the Hakuba Valley pass is 37,200yen ($460), BUT if you buy individual day tickets with coupons at Hakuba (see the coupon thread), you can end up paying less than 30,000 for 7 days ($370, or about $53/day). Other places can be cheaper.
     
    LMB likes this.
  32. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    2,424
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
    This looks like true ski in / ski out LOLLOLLOLLOL

     
    chicski, Shoey, skivet and 3 others like this.
  33. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Bragger!!! :D ;)
     
    Hyst likes this.
  34. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,987
    Likes Received:
    2,369
    Location:
    In the woods
    But have to put up with Noz......
     
    Hyst likes this.
  35. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    2,424
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
    Happy Burfday !!!!!
     
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  36. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    70
    From Sydney. We are used to doing self catering in the Alps, so don't mind accomm being basic, but then enjoying the food is part of the Japan experience...

    I've indeed saw a JAL $957 rtn so thinking maybe just strike that. Although its skyscanner so perhaps once I click thru other costs might pop up. I also learnt about the foreigner domestic pass that can do most internal flights for 10,000 yen(?) so if there are cheap enough Tokyo flights that could work as well..

    Thanks this is super helpful and I'm having a much firmer idea now than a week ago! I saw a hotel called Niseko Yuraku for ~$1K that week, but its 5km away from lifts. But reading the forums here it seems hire care is popular or the hotels themselves operate shuttle which I can live with.

    In terms of powder how does central Japan shape up vs Hokkaido? It's the primary reason I'm looking at Japan given its a price premium.

    Finally I got a quote back from an operator whom I shall not name, but essentially they gave me an overall package price of AUD $10,120.50 !! Of which its a self catering studio acomm for AUD 4,364.64 and about 3K in flights...:emoji_anguished:
     
  37. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    70
    Thanks for all your help guys, we have locked ours in! So Niseko 12th - 22nd Feb.

    Managed to fly Cathay for $869pp, with an intentional long HK stopover on the way back to visit family.

    Accommodation wise we locked in a place called Niseko Youraku Hotel , double room, for $1,333 for 9 nights. No commitment booking (via booking.com) so if the late deals something better comes up, can always switch.

    Now the macro stuff is sorted I'll delve into the micro i.e. carhire, skipass.
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  38. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    2,424
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
    You have to love booking.com :cry::cry::cry:
     
  39. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Tip. Since it's some distance from the lifts, don't park at Hirafu, where it's the busiest.
     
  40. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    melbourne
    Yes - Thanks for all your help. After vigorous debate between the five of us going, we have ended back at Niseko.
     
  41. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    It seems that some people will always go back to Niseko. ;)

    Some questions: How many times have you been to Niseko? If quite a few times, have you noticed a big increase in people and cost?
     
  42. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    I've got a trail map from 2005 I'll scan today. It's interesting.
     
  43. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    I first went there in 2007, and then again in 2017.... BIG difference!!
     
    Donzah likes this.
  44. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    64,014
    Likes Received:
    11,303
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Central Hirafu, unrecogisable except for the Seicomart. Number of people there is huge and the demographic (quite a few British, some North Americans as well as even more Aussies), prices through the roof.
     
  45. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    You picked up the flights for a good price! I did the Cathay flight a few years ago, it's pretty stress free and they're a good airline. Plus their luggage allowance is awesome!

    Niseko Youraku Hotel looks like it's in the middle of no where, how will you get to the ski lifts and back each day? Will you have a car or do they provide a shuttle?
     
  46. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hah could totally see this happening! Enjoy :)
     
  47. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    3,190
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I visited in 2016 and saw less Aussie bogans and lot's of wealthy British and North American's that were living in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan.
     
  48. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    5,175
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Most Japanese accommodation, including the big hotels, had very relaxed cancellation policies with no deposit required long before Booking.com came along.
     
  49. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    70
    Unfortunately as we later found out, indeed Youraku is out in the sticks. And the reviews don't seem to suggest the owners are doing shuttle. So at the moment we are looking at either a closer place (A guest house called Milky something near Annupuri) , or car hire. If car hire ~= 2 persons Chitose coach + difference in cost of closer accommodation, then its worth it.
     
  50. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    Anna isn't close either. That's the sticks unless you have wheels.
    Hirafu or nothing IMO.
    That's the best thing about Niseko.
    The ability to either ski in ski out.
    Or a short walk to the lifts. Plus dining options.
    The terrain and mountain ain't special. At all.