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

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

  1. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mid-week, anywhere on Honshu, what crowds? (unless is't a public holiday)
    Edit... most resorts on Honshu
    Not sure if the same applies to Niseko these days as the only time I've visited was nearly 15 years ago
     
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  2. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes I agree Niseko is one of the busiest resorts in Japan. Although Annupuri side would be si
    Yup that's what I'm saying. In terms of crowds Annupuri side of Niseko would probably be the quietest. Good news for Shoey!
     
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  3. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    School holidays and early Feb the start points (Ace Quad and Gondola) are nuts. If most of the hill is open then that lasts about 20 minutes and then it’s just a 5 minute ish wait to get on one of those lifts. Ocassionally one of the higher lifts gets hammered - just move elsewhere. Niseko Village Gondola slightly less busy than Hirafu. Annupuri usually much quieter. But all will have a queue for first tracks in peak season. Weekends are busier. Big powder days are busier. CNY is nuts. But most of the CNY skiers stay on the lower lifts and don’t head into the trees or out the gates. Get up and out ASAP and it’s no drama. Moiwa still pretty sleepy unless the army are there training, and you can ski over from Annupuri.

    One particular crazy busy day we went into Kutchan 10 minutes away and lapped out Asahigaoka local hill - tiny, 3 runs off one chairlift, but we shared it with two other people. 11 run ticket for about $10. Bit of fun, no crowds, then off to do the shopping.
     
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  4. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ya good tip LMB, I always forget about the ski trail access to Moiwa!
     
  5. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely still a love hotel methinks. Probably trying to tap into foreigner market for 'long stay'. Maybe Shoey was quoted a per hour rate. LOL Maybe that's why he thought it was so cheap!
     
  6. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, we were probably more likely drunk! ;)LOL
     
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  7. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    They're there. Usually prefaced with "Adults Only".
     
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  8. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    In the last 10 years Myoko has seen a large increase in overseas visitation. Give it another 10............then when people are waiting 30 minutes in a queue in the main street for a crepe, the sh@t will really hit the fan! LOL
     
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  9. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If it gets to 30 mins waiting for a kebab we will have to ban gaijin.
     
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  10. D64133

    D64133 Guest

    When i first researched skiing in Japan, the internet basically indicated Japan was only Niseko, so i went there, no language issue had a great few trips. Then found this site and read with interest what people said, so this year I went to Myoko staying with @skichanger san, and what a different experience!! skiing Akakan in the middle of CNY and straight onto the lifts, Sugi was a bit busier and of course a great day in Madarao Tangram with @hotsaki (read as shattered).
    I am happy if every one goes to Niseko leaves the rest of Japan for us and if they feel the need to explore? they will be pleasantly surprised.
     
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  11. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you check out the onsen and manga library at Ikenotaira?
     
  12. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    I know, we're going Nth Honshu this Feb. No English for a few weeks will be like a good colon clean! LOL
     
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  13. D64133

    D64133 Guest

    would you believe i didn't make there :(
     
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  14. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    We caught a local single carriage train up in Tohuku last season and the school kids on it couldn't stop staring at us. Some of them finally built up the courage and came and had a chat, they were perplexed about why we were there.
     
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  15. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Next time!
     
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  16. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    I hope you didn't tell them you came for a good colon clean? LOL
     
  17. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sake brewery, same thing really.
     
  18. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    LOL
     
  19. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

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    I've paid $1045 with Qantas this year and $885 for next year going JAL :thumbs:
     
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  20. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    IMO many posts had become Niseko bashing (again), even after the guy booked his holiday. IMO you don't need to educate people that Honshu exists. They already know. Plenty of great threads and information on this site and plenty of objective information and comments in this thread with good data on many areas. Just look at all the threads in the Japan section. I'd call it out if it was Myoko bashing or Hakuba bashing or Furano bashing as well. I have no dog in the Niseko fight, I haven't skied in Niseko for a good 15 years but it, like other popular places in Japan (ie Myoko) are great places to start your Japan skiing adventure.
     
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  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    These two statements seem contradictory.
    I understand the motivation in keeping your secret spot hush hush, but it’s not to help them survive.

    10 minutes from Hirafu.
    Ok, no more than a single chairlift, but nonetheless. We were the only Gaijin there, made to feel very welcome and quite the novelty with the group of school kids that were just finishing up.
    Drive a bit further than that and you find obscure resorts similar to what you describe. It used to be Rusutsu and Kiroro that were the secret unknowns to branch off to, and look how they’ve exploded. There will be new names added to the gaijin hitlist slowly and progressively as more and more go and spread the word. We are not so different up North.

    I think the point is you’re preaching to the choir.

    It’s not this forum that is unaware of the beauty that is on offer across the whole of Japan. The people you’re annoyed with are the travel agents and promoters.

    And people shouldn’t be made to feel less than because they choose the biggest (by volume of international visitors) ski destinations in the country.
     
  22. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    When I went to Ryuoo last year, from the top of the ropeway you overlook a small mountain called Mt Kosha that is flanked by three separate resorts... one day I will head back and check out all three
     
  23. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rather than have a paradox, here's a list of the nearby resorts.

    - Kita Shinshu Kijimadaira
    - Makinoiri Snow Park
    - X-JAM Takaifuji
    - Yomase Onsen
    - Yamabiko no oka
    - Togari Onsen
    - Cupid Valley
    - Sakae Club
    - Iizuna Kogen
    - Iizuna Resort
    - Ryuoo
    - Kurohime Kogen
     
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  24. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    And Charmant H.
     
  25. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's a fair drive from those others posted.
     
  26. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    and Togakushi
     
  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd like to ride yamabiko ranch stage 3
     
  28. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    That does not happen here.

    Yes I’m aware.
    The point being we have seen them start out as the more traditional resorts where you can get untracked powder all day, and slowly move into being as busy as Niseko itself.

    It used to be every man and his dog went to Hakuba and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the only resort on Honshu if you only read the travel mags. But now Myoko, Nozawa and Shiga are just as well known among that crowd. Time changes everything.

    But this community are open to hearing about all the fabulous obscure resorts. And recommend them to others. My own brothers first snow experience this coming season is NOT in Niseko. And I think that is a good move. Nervous beginners in those crowds - nope!
     
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  29. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, just keeping it to the nearby 'secret resorts'.
    Agreed, it doesn't.
    I think this just happened. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
    #229 M_G, Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  30. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    What's the story with the Mt Kosha resorts these days?
    Linked? Not Linked?
     
  31. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seemed like a really good idea with a lot of potential. However, since the 'merger' a few seasons ago the status of the ‘Mt Kosha’ group has been somewhat confusing. Makinoiri Snow Park struggled to remain open and there were questions over the status of Yomase Onsen (I quite liked Yomase BTW). There somehow didn't seem to be a consistent group presence. I'd say there were/are a lot of internal politics despite the power of MacEarth. Bit like it's impossible getting the Myoko resorts to work together or have a common ticket.

    From before the 2017-2018 season, it looked like the group relationship had become further disjointed. A joint Mt Kosha ticket is/was no longer available. Yomase Onsen and X-JAM Takaifuji on the southern and eastern slopes offered a joint ticket, but Kita Shinshu Kijimadaira and Makinoiri Snow Park were only offering individual lift tickets (although there is a deal available for cheaper tickets between Yomase Onsen/X-JAM and Kijimadaira). And the small Yamabiko no oka area finally bit the dust last season.

    Pity, it had the potential to be a sort of mini-Shigakogen.

    Lot of the above gathered from SJ with some updates and research added.
     
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  32. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shhhhhhhhhhh......

    That was my favourite out of the five i hit up during the week
     
  33. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Not much love for Arai???
     
  34. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    We're talking 'secrets' here. You know, places we can take guests and not tell anybody about. ;)

    Or we get a bit drunk, print coupons and send guests there on their own. Plan @ojisan ? :thumbs:
     
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  35. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    To me its about snow. I started skiing at Buller in 1966. My first outside Australia experience was Japan in 2015 at Niseko. It was awesome. I got to speak Japanese and eat Japanese and ski Japanese. Are 'you' really saying that not sleeping on a futon means you dont get the full Japanese experience? What is the Japanese experience? Its about the snow stupid!
     
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  36. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Glad you enjoy Niseko, it is a great international ski destination. However it's also the most un-Japanese place I've ever been in Japan.

    You're not curious to try somewhere new after numerous times visiting the same place?
     
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  37. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wasn't open when i was last in the area
     
  38. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Only if you can remind me of the consequences of leaving the car window down during overnight dumpage
    :oops:
     
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  39. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Same here! Little gem that gets largely overlooked between Myoko and Hakuba.
     
  40. Sandy

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

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    Each to their own.... If it's what they are after, then you can't ask for much more. ;)
    You don't have to sleep on a futon to get the Japanese experience. I've lived in Japan almost 12 years(plus another 2 year stint in 2000-2001), stayed in various western and Japanese hotels, ryokan and minshuku. I've traveled, visited various cities and towns.
    If we're just talking just about skiing, the town and where I'm staying, I'd say that the closest to the "Japanese experience" would be at a small hotel at Madarao 8 years ago, before it was "discovered" by westerners. Or at Sugadaira, in 2001, which still hasn't been discovered. (and also Ishiuchi Maruyama in 2001)
    Back in 2009 when I first visited Niseko, it had elements of Japan there still, but when I went back in 2017, it felt like a North American resort (Around Hirafu & to a lesser extent, Niseko Village) rather than a Japanese resort. The further you got from Hirafu, the less it felt like that.

    On that 2017 trip(late Feb), I managed to find powder for about an hour at Niseko, before it was pretty much tracked out. However, when I went to Rusutsu & Kiroro, I could ski powder ALL DAY. To me it's about the snow stupid ;) , but it's also about the place! Get to the RIGHT places and you will find MORE snow that hasn't been touched by someone else.
     
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  41. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Well said Sandy,stupid not to find a place that is not tracked out in an hour.Although I was only king hit once in Niseko doubt that I would go back
     
  42. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    It's so true, I spent several weeks in Hokkaido outside of Niseko, then eventually on my last week I went there and it was quite a shock... very surprising. I was a little disappointed to be honest, felt my "Japan" experience was coming to an end a little early. But you can't argue the snow is great, and deep, you might have to fight for it though...
     
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  43. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unless hungover- then its no ski out
     
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  44. Mark*V

    Mark*V Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was born in 1966
     
  45. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Hey MB we are downtown - PM me on FB re availabilty as we are nearly 50% now.
     
  46. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not for me Lovely.
    Was a tag for the OP.
    But I will definitely come visit you and the bride before too long :thumbs:
     
  47. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Ah.... :) Looking forward to catching up mate!