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Question Niseko 2020

Discussion in 'Japan' started by jakes47, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    For @Any

    So you know I’m the anti-rulebreaker right, and PB is “the rules don’t apply to me” kinda guy...
    Well driving down this track to spy on developments I said to PB “If we get deported for trespassing on a building site I’m blaming @Any LOL


    The digger are here to do something here - if they were for Hanazono they’d be around the corner at Hanazono with the other half a dozen!


    Cleared trails in the middle of nowhere, look like they’ve been there for a while though.
     
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  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    The electrical upgrades going in are most definitely underground power. And the paths are not heated. Had that confirmed by Niseko Central

    (This is new underground works coming up my street)


    (These are the power boxes, I noticed they had them all down the main drag in Kutchan and all the overhead power has gone)


    (And it seems there has been power run to all the businesses/buildings along the Main Street too)


    (Interesting power connections, looks like they’re getting ready to start dismantling)


    They also confirmed that the build next to the Gondola centre is an extension to that centre. Go Snow will have offices in there as will Hirafu Rentals.
     
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  3. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Cruel. I can’t wait to take you down my secret run again.
    So it’s basically a swamp, eh.
     
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  4. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Basically.
    LOL

    Check out the Green Season thread for pics up the Ace lift line.

    And woohoo! More coral reef riding! Yipppeee. :p
     
    #54 LMB, Aug 27, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  5. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm

    So the G20 Tourism meeting is at the Hyatt Hanazono next month.



    But it’s not open until January..

    Let’s hope the meeting rooms and bathrooms and necessary facilities are up and running. And maybe a section with rooms for the participants.



    Right now it looks like this...

     

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  6. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Looking very summer like in Niseko by those shots. Understandable given August just finished. I imagine it’s a relatively quick tradition to Autumn/winter in that part of the world.
    Typically is October the month that sees the big temperature change? Or is it usually November?
     
  7. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ll take pics in October to compare.
    @Any can do it in November
     
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  8. Any

    Any One of Us

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    i was surprised how quickly Aya came together. It was all cranes and bulldozers, then next day all gone, day after soft opening ceremony.
    Late Jan is a long way away from October tho. Maybe all the G20 members will get gassed with that fresh paint smell ;P
    The weather that time is usually nice tho. Just have it outside with some sun umbrellas.
     
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  9. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Sounds fun.
    I'm counting down the days to December so those little milestones will be interesting.
     
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  10. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are you in Hirafu into Jan?
    If so, should catch up.
     
  11. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    @LMB
    No unfortunately.
    It's a quick trip at the end of December mainly as a test to see if we (myself, wife and two kids too) like the Japan thing. We have a longer trip to US in February (sans kids) so can't be away from work too long.
    I can't fathom how a skiing holiday could be any better than the ones we've had to Canada, US and Europe but if it works for our family I suspect this will not be the only time we head that way. I get that we'll not be there in prime powder time but I'm sure we'll get a decent feel for it anyway.
    Thanks for the offer anyway.
     
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  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I sure hope the snow comes for you guys then. It can be awesome then as a bit quieter than new year on if the snow is in.
    Sadly I am arriving later than usual (1/1) because I didn’t want to have to do a visa hop mid course, just in case I got denied entry due to all the trips I’ve done to Japan in the last 12 months. Unlikely but the eternal worst case scenario worrier.
     
  13. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m just glad it’s not open for most of my next trip. The extra beds will be a nightmare if they haven’t lifted Weiss yet
     
  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Some hotels are already under construction around Weiss now. Natural Resort Niseko Weiss Hotel got closed last year even though the building wasn't old at all and it was popular because its reasonable priced onsen and lunch(local people used it just for lunch and onsen, rather than staying), but a Hong Kong based company(not Hanazono's company) bought it to build a new luxury hotel at the site.The Hong Kong based company is constructing a hotel at Jozankei onsen as well now(the onsen village near Sapporo Kokusai) and they recently opened a luxury hotel at Hirafu too.
     
  15. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely will increase the numbers at Hana1
    But there is a new lift under construction there at the moment. I’m keen to see how it is actually operating and what the crowds are like.
    It’s easy to catastrophise the impact, and it may be an ongoing issue that changes our experience, but I’m not gonna hit the panic button just yet.
     
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  16. Any

    Any One of Us

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    Last I checked Park Hyatt were advertising upwards of $1000/night per person.
    Im expecting that sort of clientele to be sipping coffee apre ski after their 2 runs, rather than slashing gnar epic japow dude ski all day.
     
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  17. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    “Slashing gnar epic japow dude ski all day”
    ROFLROFL



    We might have a few more Strawberry Fields rescue’s - “I followed the happy people but now I’m lost in the trees and scared”
     
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  18. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bad news for Niseko lovers.

    I reached out to Grand Hirafu regarding the Grand Hirafu Club membership. I buy it every year. Few small discounts (but get them via other means also), but the biggest win was the 3 weeks of Earlybird Access on the Ace Quad in January. It was only 2 runs before the hoardes but man those two runs were freaking glorious.

    Everyone doing earlybird is usually “a local” of some description. A staff member getting a few runs in before work, instructors getting a few in before work, the local Gentem guys are ALWAYS there, guides and people like @Any and myself who are always there in Jan and avoiding the crowds. A few runs before the madness, in for breakfast, then off to hike Iwaonupuri for some earned turns sounds like a fabulous day to me! No gumbies, out of control people, or nervous skiers - just people who can really ski/board. It’s the only time before 4pm when you can really open it up and bomb the piste at that time of year.

    The rules are it needs to be bought on it before 31/12. We’ll I arrive this year on 1/1. My course coordinator told me it was going to be made available for purchase online this year, but so far it hadn’t been updated. As I’m in Niseko next week I thought I’d check and also ask if I could buy it next week.

    This, sadly, was the response.



    Sad.

    The locals are gonna be spewing!
    They’re really going mega-resort rape the public purse this season.

    From what I can work out Niseko United has also removed the open transferable 50hr pass and replaced it with an online pass non transferable. Still a good deal, but without the ability to share a pass or pass on your leftover hours to someone else. Devo!
     
  19. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rhythm build is coming along nicely


    According to local intel the current store will also continue to operate this season. That surprised me, but I think it’s also good news as the location is primo. The space they’ll have in the new shop is amazing - it’ll be like the Cooma one!




    There is a nice new build in Midtown with a Diner and Sports bar - lots of space. AND a new Lawson’s in the building.

    Location is on the opposite side of the road to the Niseko International Clinic, but a little bit closer to Hirafu.



    The removal of powerlines in the upper village is complete and what a difference it makes!

    Standing near where old Green Farm used to be - photo uphill. No powerlines.



    Same location, same powerline, looking down the hill. Powerlines everywhere.



    And finally,
    A pic of the new mountain centre growing since last months visit.



    Last bits of intel:
    Splash Bar will reopen this season with a new name and new look - I think it’ll be awesome! Saw the pics of the renovations to date last night and it looks schmicko! The food menu looks deluxe also.

    And last season for Bigfoot Bunker this year - so if you’re a fan of their burgers here’s your pre-season warning to enjoy now.
     

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  20. Any

    Any One of Us

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    they don't own the new building. but i heard that it was built specifically for them, they had input on the design for whatever they wanted.
    hope its done on time. need that 50% store opening discount :p
     
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  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    New skis?
     
  22. Any

    Any One of Us

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    yeah. give them the chance, but they likely dont stock pescados.
    im more interested in boots actually. mine will survive, but so much touring has worn out the heel inside. boot solutions probably have a big discount anyway.
     
  23. Omega18

    Omega18 First Runs

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    Hi guys, thanks for the helpful information in this forum. Some friends and I will be at Niseko between 24 and 28 Dec - I understand that NY will be very busy but wanted to get a sense of how packed it will be over that Christmas period? Thanks
     
  24. Any

    Any One of Us

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    Its only really CNY that gets crazy (that's Jan 25-30 this year I think), or those super windy days that close all the lifts.

    When the lifts close on 100kph wind days its chaos. The whole mountain 10x the size of most resorts, compressed into just one or two chairlifts. With literally busloads of people coming in from other nearby completely closed resorts. It's just too much.
    This is where Niseko gets the bad reputation from. Ironically I think if they completely closed like other resorts I think that people wouldn't complain as much, because they cant even attempt to queue up. I appreciate that they keep running tho. You cant argue using logic with a cranky tourist.
    I just go home, or take a 45 minute hot chocolate break for everyone else to disperse, or just queue up for the whole torturous 10-15 minutes that it takes and just remind myself of the 45 minute queue for every run at perisher/vail/whistler/val d'isere.

    CNY isn't really that bad either, because the Chinese aren't really interested in skiing. It's more about being seen there, get a few instaface shots, and then continue touristing.
    Its the restaurants n stuff that get super packed tho, cause they have nothing else to do but shop and eat. Doesn't bother me much because I eat at home most nights.

    It'll still be busy if you go out for dinner every night, theres not enough restaurants imo, tho late dec is probably plenty of tables spare. and theres always a 2 minute lift queue right on 8:30 because people like me want first tracks and have been waiting there 10 minutes for opening (reminder to do stretches). Otherwise the two chairs in front of you, and two chairs behind you, will usually be empty type of deal.
    Boxing day is one of my favorite days. Even less people out in the morning (hungover) its almost deserted, and excited kids (including big kids) testing out the new gear that Santa brought them. Met a kid in the gondola with 3 x gopros last year, because Santa's "elves" didn't communicate beforehand.
    ps, make sure Santa knows where to find you! Santa got me new ski poles last season.
     
    #74 Any, Oct 18, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  25. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    To those experienced at all things Niseko. We’re going very early season so I don’t expect max crowding but is there ample parking at the various bases? We are staying in Moiwa and will drive to one of the Niseko bases each day if parking won’t be a drama.
     
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  26. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    You'll be fine. I reckon the only days that may be tight would be Japanese public holidays. I would think the majority of international tourists that go to Niseko either walk to the lifts or get the bus each day.
     
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  27. Any

    Any One of Us

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    I don't know much about Annupuri parking, which is the Niseko United resort right next to Moiwa. Ive driven there many times at 9-10ish real early season or late season, and I'm one of only 10 cars in one of the carparks. Never driven there to ski mid season tho.
    Nor much about Niseko Village parking, I rarely drive there, i hate that gondola soo much, plus its faster to just ski there from Hirafu.

    Hirafu is the busiest of the resorts. But Hanazono's carparks probably fill the most often.
    But early season is no parking problems anywhere tho.
    mid season <830 easy, 830-11 tight but some parks still (just go to the third carpark thats above hirafu gondola), after 11 many spots opening up again.

    we'll see what all the construction at Hanazono has done. they had trucks and machinery parked there wasting space when I left.

    Ironically its late season that is actually the issue. Fair weather skiers up from Sapporo.
    blue sky late feb/march weekends with no wind and public holidays on monday. plus organized gs / race / style / park events almost every weekend around there too. you have everyone driving up.

    btw, you can ski from Moiwa to Annupuri and back, I believe there is a beginner trail now even.
    And then ski from Annupuri to everywhere.
    I'd probably just do that ;)
     
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  28. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    We walk through the Annupuri car park from our pension and I can't ever remember it being more that about 1/3 full, That's in the middle of January.
     
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  29. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Thanks all
     
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  30. Any

    Any One of Us

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    seems LMB got all the good weather, miserable here atm.
     
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  31. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don' worry - snow will come! :whistle: Just have to wait.
    Hirafu very quiet now, right? Humac entertain has to do.
    ( And no live streaming walking up Yoti-san please)
     
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  32. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    #blessed LOL

    Nah, I can see the forecast! You’re softening the blow. Snows a-coming my friend!
     
  33. Any

    Any One of Us

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    top of annupuri has some coverage now as well as yotei.
    have had a few sprinkles in the village today.
     
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  34. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not jealous at all....

    o_O
     
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  35. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Any recommendations for a Niseko area ski shop that demos Blizzard and Nordica skis?
     
  36. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Work has firmed up. I'll be in Niseko from 29/2 to 14/3.
     
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  37. Any

    Any One of Us

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    its back!
     
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  38. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    interesting reading LMB and others , i will be at Niseko in December for the first time in about 14 years . Wow the place looks to have changed a fair bit. We are staying at the Green Leaf in Niseko Village , looks like an awesome ski in ski out place
     
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  39. Any

    Any One of Us

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    its a tiny bit different now ;P
     
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  40. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh it sure is!!
    The change in 14years is ridiculous.

    I won’t be around until late on the 1st of Jan, so I’ll probably miss you. Greenleaf is great. I haven’t stayed there - but wasn’t that where you stayed @Ozgirl ? It’s a great spot.
     
  41. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    was that when we met up for a mini-mini sic? wow. That was a looong time ago
     
  42. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes Tonester that was it, I’ve been mainland around Hakuba since but the Niseko option opened up as part of a train tour of Honshu and Hokkaido
     
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  43. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bummer I’ll miss you LMB , but I’ll be back soon enough
     
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  44. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’d usually be there in Dec too, but with the summer trip and Rugby World Cup trip I was nervous that I wouldn’t be readmitted if I did a visa hop, and that could really screw me up.
    Devo!
     
  46. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes! Fab location.
     
  47. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I spy original a bu Cha!
     
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  48. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup.
    Behind the mound on the left is Kita no ryōshi
    Ie. Car park Yakitori
     
  49. Any

    Any One of Us

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    we're a bit late to the party, but 3 days of snow has filled in enough for at least one crazy dude to hike up and ski Hirafu.
    only 1 stylish somersault faceplant on the way down when my tips got caught in the sasa grass.
     
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  50. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    awesome , yes ive skied past it before Ozgirl, any tips on the place , eg restaurants ski hire or Onsens?