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Niseko 2015

Discussion in 'Japan' started by jakes47, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Most of the locals wear little bells on their backpacks when hiking to give any bears plenty of warning of their approach. The bears usually only attack if you come upon them unawares. If they can hear you they'll generally keep well away.
     
  2. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    Do you mean "Amaru"? I heard it was started up the ex barman & co from The Barn.
     
  3. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    weather forecast for when i arrive predicts rain....shit rain in niseko?high of 5? Man i thought i was escaping australian conditions
     
  4. Tennex

    Tennex Hard Yards

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    I hope that will change as the week progresses it is still a week out. Their forecasts changes quite a bit that far out, so it seems to me.
     
  5. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't last unfortunately. Blizzard with high winds has shut most of the mountain. I got about three laps of Strawberry fields this morning before they shut Hanazono. Some lower lifts in Hirafu and Annapuri are still turning.
     
  6. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    ROFL

    2nd time this season PB is stuck at Sapporo Airport because of weather.
     
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  7. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    Hope CTS is back to schedule tomorrow, we head for Tokyo. I see the Jetstar 13:45 was cancelled today.
    Didn't bother going out today when I saw the NV gondi on hold this morning. It's been snowing for four days straight, & minus 8 at mid mountain.
     
    #457 blutek, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  8. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    never realised how heavy snowgear is..Boardbag jam packed 2 snowboards boots helmets some odds n ends smash bang on my limit 25kg....
     
  9. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    I saw a women wearing snowboard boots at arrivals at CTS (this month).
     
  10. scalymanfish

    scalymanfish A Local

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    The same ones that put chains on the rear wheels of their FWD? ;)
     
  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    PB got out but might have a detour on the way home apparently. I think flights will be ok tomorrow.
     
  12. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    you shouldn't criticise her enthusiasm LOL
     
  13. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    I'm on that flight in a week....hope it doesn't get cancelled. Was it due to weather?
     
  14. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    We where delayed out of cts.
    Nearly missed oueconnecting flight in HK friday night
     
  15. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still blowing a gale here this morning.
     
  16. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    In 8 years and probably 20+ trips in that time it had never happened to us. Slightly late yes, but never such that it impacted our plans.
    Last March I got a delay out of Perth that screwed up flights but it had nothing to do with weather.

    But this season! Twice out of Chitose.
    It'll probably never happen to you, but if it does be prepared you may miss connections. ... even if you'd planned an overnight in hk!
     
  17. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    We are on 13:40 today. At T-2hrs, JQ queuing is small compared to the the AirDo checkin. Don't know what happened to the 300 pax left at CTS yesterday.
     
  18. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Planes flying out from late afternoon, backlog would have been cleared already.
     
  19. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    i might try that if they tell me my bag is too heavy. i hope they don't open it because there is no way they will close it again, i practically had two adults sitting on it to close the zips
     
  20. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've gone with several companies over the years, but this year NAC were the only guides available for the day we wanted.
    They were great - all local, and took us up a different way to what I'm used such that we pretty much had the volcano to ourselves.
    Pix:
    http://boodoir.blogspot.com.au
     
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  21. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow One of Us

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    Fabulous pics
     
  22. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    In fact we had one guide and 2 aspirant guides, 1 of which was a Canadian. With guides outnumbering clients, my wife felt pretty safe.
     
  23. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks Boodwah. In the end we went with Shinshetsu mountain guides. Weather meant all the guiding was low elevation lift-serviced backcountry from Hanazono in Niseko, and a day in Rusutsu. We had two great days, footage coming soon.

    Wind blown and heavy snow in Niseko today. Currently mizzling in Hirafu.
     
  24. jakes47

    jakes47 Hard Yards

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    Wild Bills was very popular when we were there last and we loved the cocktails. Cant believed it has moved and I presume it is no longer in the cosy wooden house - unless they moved that as well.

    Thanks for the Rin tip - Love Japanese, Love Tapas - the perfect combination for us.
    3 more sleeps -:woohoo::woohoo:
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wild Bills is still there and operating. Its just the Mexican restaurant within that ceased a few years ago, but the new restaurant is run by those who ran Bills Mexican.
     
  26. jakes47

    jakes47 Hard Yards

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    So - is Wild bills just a bar now? No restaurant?
     
  27. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's still a bar and restaurant. Just with an Asian menu. We had Chicken wings and hot pot.

    Bluebird today in Niseko, I'm about to catch the bus back to the airport.
     
  28. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's looking more and more like M8 and I will be in Niseko from April 8-13, staying at Hirafu for access to the ski school (Hanazono - the other ski school location - would be closed that late in the season). It seems that the easiest way from New Chitose airport to Hirafu is by train and I have a couple of questions :

    1 - Is there a better way to get there than the train for 2 of us? Renting a car is a lot more expensive and I can't read Japanese road signs. The scheduled buses don't seem to run that late in the season but they do offer charters for about the price of a working pair of kidneys..
    2 - What's the easiest way to get to and from the local station, and is Hirafu the best station for us?
    3 - Hyperdia says the train from the airport goes through Sapporo and we don't have to get off - it's the same train number so that makes sense. However it says that we have to change trains at Otaru, and it only gives us 4 minutes between arriving and departing, so I'm wondering if we are supposed to stay on the same train and it just carries on with a different designation?
    4 - Any suggestions for a good place to stay within a short walk of the ski school? I've looked at Inn Niseko, Owashi and Ace Niseko and they seem passable.

    Thanks
     
  29. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    1. Chuo or Resort Liner aren't running ??
    2. no - Kutchan has infrastructure, Hirafu is a backwoods platform only.
    3. No, different line, but easy transfer.
     
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bus would have been the easiest option but if you say they are not ruuning, then train should be ok. For Hirafu you want to get off at Kutchan. Catch a taxi from there or maybe there is a shuttle.

    Hyperdia will indicate if there is a change of trains. They all go via Sapporo & Otaru, There may be one that uses the same train, others you will need to change in Sapporo and/or Otaru. If you need to change in Otaru it should be just a matter of crossing the platform. Pretty sure the train will wait and in any case they are almost always on time, so shouldn't be an issue.
     
  31. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Why would you goto niseko In april ?.. hakuba and shiga way better
     
  32. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    We have 4 days skiing and the plan is M8 does 2 days with me, and 2 days in class while I go shred the spring slop. Niseko seems to be the only place that does English-friendly lessons in April - everywhere I've enquired in Honshu is either closed, not doing group lessons in English for kids in April, or doesn't reply to emails in the case of Shiga Kogen.

    The price difference is minimal between going to Honshu and Hokkaido - it's about $50 pp more to get to Niseko than Myoko, for example. With luck the extra latitude will help with the snow quality.

    But I'm open to suggestions - Japan in April is a whole new thing for me and I imagine a massive lucky dip.
     
  33. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Tokyo or Kyoto in cherry blossom time, that is, April, is a must, if only to see the collective bliss of the Japanese people.
     
  34. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks all.

    The only bus that's running after the end of March is Hokkaido Access Network, and they don't meet our likely plane flights without us staying overnight at the airport. So it's the train (a tad over $100 for the 2 of us) or a car ($350-400 plus fuel).

    There's no change of trains in Sapporo but there is in Otaru. The 4-minute transfer time has me a bit concerned, but I guess if it's the same platform (Hyperdia doesn't give a platform number for this change) it shouldn't be too stressful.
     
  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Chicken wings and hot pot. I'm not sure if Niseko 2015 can be summed up better than this.
     
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  36. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL all washed down with a VB
     
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  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wouldn't be too concerned with that transfer in Otaru. It is Japan and the train system just works (if it was Australia I would be concerned). I haven't actually done that transfer myself but Otaru is not a big station and if they have programmed a 4 minute change over it will almost certainly just involve walking across the platform.
     
  38. ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Hard Yards

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    The train station is in the airport and if you are unsure head to the info desk and the girls will direct you, The trip is a few hours and at one stage skirts the coast line as you approach Otaru, love watching the guys out in the surf with the snow covered beaches

    As other have said it's just a matter of walking across the platform and your good to go. The Hirafu station is closer to town if you have arranged for your accommodation provider to collect you other wise the kutchan Station is the go as there are taxi's just out the front as well as a supermarket to grab some supplies. the actual Niseko train station is closerif you were staying around the Annapuri area.

    Its pretty stright forward if you deciced to drive, hire cars have english speaking GPS if you ask and the majority of major road signs are in english also.
     
  39. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    I've never been but friends of mine say Japanese train stations are like airports and can be busy and huge-I hate the transfer times hyperdia give me so for my trip I've been allowing more for transfers purely to get from one platform to another
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure stations like Tokyo & Shinjuku are crazy big and Sapporo is fairly big, so you need to allow plenty for transfers. But Otaru is a country station - should be no dramas at all.
     
  41. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snap Heinz!

    Certainly Shinjuku and Tokyo are huge. Two years ago we went to Myoko and we went to Tokyo the day before our departure so we could scout out where the right platform is. Then it was easy.

    Luckily it looks like the train from Chitose goes straight through Sapporo with no change required. One less thing to worry about!
     
  42. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    With only 4 days I would just hire a car for the hole trip. Should only be $300 or so max for 4-5 days.
     
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  43. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    This times a million.
     
  44. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    The train to Kutchan is easy and you get a decent view on your journey. The Otaru change over works. I'm not 100% on this but from memory you do need to be in either the front half or back half of the train from Chitose. Whilst the same train continues on to Otaru, I do believe it splits. I may be wrong it's been a while since I trained it because I normally drive.

    As per travelislife, get a car. All signs are in both Japanese and English.
     
  45. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    On tap....
     
  46. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just re-read that. Why do you think those places would be better than Niseko in April?
     
  47. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    I just checked the SJ reports from Shiga last season and many areas are closed by the start of April and plemty of lifts on the remaining open areas close after 6 April or are only open on weekends after 6 April. Not sure if it would be the best choice for a 2nd week of April trip.
     
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  48. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep.
    I've been in the first two weeks of April before (a while ago) and while lots of stuff was shut (restaurants etc) and the run down to the Ace Quad went from full coverage to the white ribbon of death from first to last day, it was good. English lessons were on a shoestring because many instructors had gone home. IIRC there wasn't much going on down south at the same time.
     
  49. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This, or at most you'll need to go up and down an escalator to the next platform.
     
  50. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you cant read the road signs in Japan then you cant read the road signs in Australia either and shouldnt be driving anywhere.