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Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, etc

Discussion in 'Japan' started by skiflat, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. loklok

    loklok One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Don't forget to check out the nightly specials at 'The Fridge Door' - 50m up the hill from Blue Bell. And don't forget to buy a beer as you enter the Yukoro Onsen each night...
     
  2. gsuttor

    gsuttor Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Agreed! Yesterday was the best (and last) day of my trip, too bad I'm now sitting at Narita waiting for my flight home. [​IMG]

    Will be posting a link to a youtube video once I get home (and get it edited) with a full report.

    BTW.. about a thousand Chinese (new year) tourists turned up on Thursday and clogged all the main lifts, luckily they only seem to ski groomers and only at hirafu (why? with all that lovely pow?), anyway... I reckon this weekend and next week will be annoying as you head up in the morning, just head to Annupuri... (hmmm maybe I'm just p***** off cause Im leaving.)

    Anyway... have fun all those yet to go.
     
    #302 gsuttor, Feb 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  3. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    A thousand Chinese eh? Is this a result of the new (Chinese) owner of Hanazono I wonder??
     
  4. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    i didnt see any
     
  5. timmyhugecans

    timmyhugecans One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Its Chinese new year, its there travel time.
     
    #305 timmyhugecans, Feb 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  6. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Yep, I understand that....but is Hirafu a new holiday destination for Chinese travellers or has it always been like that??
     
    #306 Tonester, Feb 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  7. Sandy

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

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    I think you'll find that Niseko in general is a big destination for Chinese tourists.... Probably more Chinese there than Aussies.
     
  8. loklok

    loklok One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Yes, hence the direct flights from Hong Kong to Sapporo
    No. I know they're small, but there couldn't possibly be that many of them hiding in Niseko. Us Aussies are everywhere up there.
     
    #308 loklok, Feb 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  9. gsuttor

    gsuttor Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    You didn't see large groups of individually numbered chinese riding on mass? Look in the background of this video one lunchtime. (31st Jan) (Try to ignore the fat guy in the middle of the frame)
     
    #309 gsuttor, Feb 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  10. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    they just look like regular skischool to me...not chinese.]however we have a couple from canada staying in our lodge, the husband could be chinese and they have been living in hongkong for 6 years and they did say a lot of chinese travel over the chinese new year period, that may have something to do with it!
    oh yeah that guy was pretty damned hard to ignore!
     
  11. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Just back from 3 weeks in Hokkaido. 3 days in Asahikawa. (If you're ever there go to the zoo, but rug up!!) 4 days Rusutsu (loved it, but thought the Nth/Sth wing must have been designed by Michael Jackson!
    Last 2 weeks in Niseko.

    I have been to Niseko now 3 years in a row, same time.
    Observations when compared to 06 and 07.

    Snow quality..always reliable, spot on and the reason we go. But...fresh tracks much harder to find, particularly places like Annapuri bowl, Miharashi. Strawberry fields was like a freeway at times!

    Way more families in town. Hey no problem, just an observation.
    Many more first timers particularly from W.A. Again just an observation.
    Lunch places way too crowded until 1.30 -2.00 pm. A-Frame ran out of food on several days by 1.15 ish.
    Many restaurants were booked out up to 7 days in advance.

    And plenty more for-sale signs on vacant lots!

    Maybe Im being too cynical, maybe 3 years is enough and its time to move on...I just question and wonder 'how BIG' can Niseko get if there is no accompanying infastructure to go with it?
    And BTW have you seen what is in store for Hanazono.
    http://www.harmonyresorts.com/harmony_resorts_villagedev.cfm
    Strawberry fields of jam!
    Enough from me.
     
    #311 stumpy308, Feb 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  12. 10legs

    10legs One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    interesting stumpy.

    There was an article in yesterdays Financial Review about real estate, demand, occupancy, Niseko and investing in Japan generally.

    Sounds like I need to get some bookings in? A-Frame worth a visit then?

    I have a couple of bookings at Bang Bang, but hadn't thought much beyond that. Better get on it!
     
  13. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    If all else fails Legs, head down to the traffic lights and cross roads, great japanese food and it always seemed to have space when we resorted to it [​IMG]
     
    #313 Podlet, Feb 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  14. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    10 legs...the A-frame is a snug little lunch spot about half way up the hill under the Hirafu gondola. Its purely ski in/out. The food is good and quite cheap. They have free hot genmaicha tea (a browned version of green tea) which is nice. The only problem is that's its small and (obviously in Jan anyway) too crowded. This was the point of my post...I dont believe that you can keep 'expanding' the village (including Hanozono)without the accompanying infrastructure such as restaurants, better lifts etc.

    I agree with Podlette in that you can find food if needed, you just have to stay one step ahead of the pack, something that we never have had to do in the past!
    (BTW Podlette I never made it to Abashiri this year, had too much fun in Asahikawa)!
     
  15. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    By A-frameyou mean Boyoso right? it can be easily found by keeping an ear out for the most filthy gangsta rap music you can hear and following it till it gets louder and you hear eminem more clearly followed by gun shots and screaming. yea it's a neat little joint and has a cosy coal fire inside....they had plenty of food at 330 this afternoon and the place was deserted.
    And i dont really think they need a better lift system...this place runs incredibly well!
     
  16. 10legs

    10legs One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    sounds like a lovely cafe with three wee kids then???
     
  17. loklok

    loklok One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    [sarcasm filter: off]No, but the 'Paradise Hut' coffee shop 2/3rds the way down at Annupuri would be fine. Plenty of safe runs in and out of the trees, to say nothing of the fox trail down at the bottom of Marchen. Lots of fun for the 'wee kids'.
     
  18. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    actually yes....you cant hear the music from inside! it must be a L.I.T thing...we thought originally it would be a teen hangout or something...but the joint is run by really old people.
     
    #318 foxpuppet, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  19. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Can we get back on track and get some on the ground reports please.....
    .....14 dtg!
     
  20. malibu

    malibu Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Hey Stumpy - well put. You forgot to mention some of the uglier recent developments such as.....
    - drunken teenagers wandering the village at night making eggs of themselves (swearing, littering, urinating in the street etc)
    - developers giving long term Japanese residents a permanent Yotei eclipse with their condo developments
    - obnoxious pushy Aussies arguing in the afternoon pension shuttle bunfight between 3.30 and 5.30
    - other Aussies refusing to take their trays to the collection stations in the mountain restaurants
    - NISS gouging with their exorbitant lesson pricing (in comparison with NBS and others)
    - disputes over snow clearing caused by developers building too close to the boundary and leaving their rooftop snow for others or the Kutchan council to clear
    - skiers and boarders ignoring the numerous signs and skiing/boarding home down the roads and laneways

    Just a little respect is all it takes to make things better. Remember, all of us get judged by the bad behaviour of the minority.
    The mountain is still everything it always was - only tracked out a little quicker. Sadly my family and I have all agreed that we'll be going elsewhere in Japan next year.
     
  21. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Malibu...yes I have to agree with the gist of your post, particularly the use of the word 'minority'. (and I 110% agree with the quote above) As one other Aussie said on the bus back to CTS...I never really felt as though I left Australia!
    Every time I have visited Japan to ski Niseko I also visit somewhere else in Hokkaido. This year it was Asahikawa. Amazing place, .00001% westerners and true Japanese culture. You HAD to make some effort with language to get by.
    I found out that Niseko is now coined 'Aussiekawa'.
    I have many fond memories of Niseko, but sadly I cant forsee any more. The call of other resorts either on Hokkaido or Central Japan will be on my cards for Jan 2009.
    The big question Im now trying to work out is where?
     
    #321 stumpy308, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  22. malibu

    malibu Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Good one Stumpy. Great to hear Asahikawa was the business. Rusutsu turned on the magic too this year - met some fantastic Japanese people who put their livers and ours on the line, skied incredible powder (on West mountain too!)and got lots of opportunities to practice a few Japanese phrases.

    When you figure it out for next year pm me [​IMG]
     
    #322 malibu, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  23. gsuttor

    gsuttor Hard Yards

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    #323 gsuttor, Feb 7, 2008
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  24. Sandy

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

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Just check the current highest snow depths!!!!! That should give you some ideas!!!

    Charmant Hiuchi
    Niigata
    370 cm +10 cm

    Myoko Kogen Seki Onsen
    Niigata
    350 cm +10 cm

    Hakkoda
    Aomori
    320 cm -10 cm

    Tengendai Kogen
    Yamagata
    320 cm -30 cm

    Yudonosan
    Yamagata
    320 cm +0 cm

    Getou Kogen
    Iwate
    309 cm +1 cm

    Hakuba Goryu
    Nagano
    305 cm -5 cm

    Cupid Valley
    Niigata
    300 cm +0 cm

    Kagura
    Niigata
    300 cm +0 cm

    Nozawa Onsen
    Nagano
    285 cm +5 cm

    Niseko Annupuri Kokusai
    Hokkaido
    280 cm +0 cm

    Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
    Nagano
    279 cm +0 cm

    Myoko Ski Park
    Niigata
    275 cm +5 cm

    Niseko Higashiyama
    Hokkaido
    275 cm +0 cm

    Mount Racey
    Hokkaido
    270 cm -5 cm

    Niseko Grand Hirafu
    Hokkaido
    270 cm -5 cm
     
    #324 Sandy, Feb 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  25. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Alright Sandy, you've sold me!
    Next year for at least half of my time (10/20 days)I will ski Happo and Hakuba 47.
    Im still mad keen to also ski the resorts out of Asahikawa, which I'll give my other 50% of time to. Im sure I'll be able to JAL or AirDO Tokyo to Asahikawa direct.

    But I do need to know one thing...please break it to me gently if the answer is yes.
    Please tell me that there are NO 7/11's, Lawsons or Seico Mart's in Hakuba that sell VB??
     
  26. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    All good things must come to an end.

    Got back from our 3 week trip in Japan. Our last week was spent in Niseko Hirafu. We had already spent 7 days in Hakuba and 4 day's sightseeing around Japan and finally arrived in Niseko. Good sign that it was snowing pretty hard when we flew into Chitose. Caught a bus direct to Niseko and was not surprised to see that it was coming down pretty hard.

    First thoughts driving into village and looking out of lodge window onto main drag....could not get over the amount of Aussies in this place. I felt like I was at Mt Buller on a Saturday. It was bit of a guttering feeling. I knew this place was popular for aussies but man we have raped this place. I would say 98% aussie population! Anything that was Japanese about this place is now non existent. One of my joy's of travelling the world for boarding is experiencing the culture of the region. Whistler is not even this bad!....that is saying something! Whistler at least has people from all over the world.

    Anyway's...what lacked in the culture experience made up for it in the skiing. It was fantastic. The snow was some of the driest I remember ever skiing. That is the first thing I noticed skiing the knee to waist deep in area's. The terrain was better than I expected. Like all trail maps in Japan, none give a true indication on the size and pitch of each area. Nothing super super steep, but steep enough to have heaps of fun on a powder day. Lots of off piste area's and "out of management area's" (BC) via gates. Niseko seem to be the complete opposite with regards to rules of skiing in trees etc. You can pretty much ski anywhere at this place. This can have it's pros and cons though. If it was not to snow here after a couple of days the place would be tracked out in no time. However if it is consistently snowing like it was when we were there, there is plenty of fresh to be had.

    One thing to note..this place gets baked by the sun if it comes out due to it's facing aspect. Out of the 6 days we had only 1.5 days of sun and within that period even though it was -12 mid mountain, any fresh did get heavier and a slight crust on top. Particularly the annupuri side. Hanazono side seems a little more protected from the sun's rays. It also seems to get more snow on that face as well. I certainly preferred it when it was socked in and snowing hard. Plenty of vis in the trees.

    Already mentioned the loss of the Japanese culture due to the amount of Aussies sucks and to really top it off the night scene REALLY sucks. To simply get a meal for dinner in the place is a pain in the a@se. Pretty much every place needs a booking and some were booked out for our entire stay! This was sooo annoying getting turned away from place after place that are filled with aussies to the rafters. We got to the point that my wife and I simply hated this which resulted in arguments between us due to the tension in trying to pick a place and try and get in. I think what made it feel worse for us was that we came from these other regions in Japan where the culture was true Japanese and so easy to just walk into a place and eat grouse food. It was a real downer for us.

    We ran out of cash on our last couple of day's. This turned into a blessing in disguise. No where you can get cash out in Niseko. We had to catch the free shuttle bus one night to Kutchan (15mins) to get cash out, so we decided to try and find a place down there and eat, to get out the S!!T hole.(sorry...u may not understand the pain ;-) ). This turned into an awesome night and really prepped my wife and I up. There seemed plenty of places to eat and drink and way less aussies here. We walked into one restaurant and thought we just give it a go. The food was awesome, the Japanese people were so friendly, we felt like we were back in Japan!

    Last day was a cracker...snowed a decent amount overnight....but the day turned insane around luch time when it just puked it's guts out. It was coming down that hard and fast tracks where filling in very quickly. By 5pm that day it had accumulated around 40cm just from that day. It was the only time I tried night skiing and it was insane. To be skiing knee deep in the trees at night is really something. It's hard to believe they let you ski the entire face of hirafu at night on a white out. I logged 12 hours straight that day. My knees are paying for it now!

    To sum it up...without regular fresh snow....Niseko would suck mainly due to the culture. Luckily we were blessed with regular deep fresh amount's of fuzz. This seemed to make us quickly forget about the loss of culture and I Imagine that is why more and more Aussie's keep coming here.

    [​IMG]
     
    #326 Cham, Feb 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  27. Soft_Landings

    Soft_Landings First Runs

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    I always have trouble with Aussies complaining about how many Aussies there are at a certain place.......

    I stop short of doing it myself because I am one of them and you Cham, are one too.
     
  28. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    I understand your point and thought about that before posting, to re quote what I said in paragraph two, "I knew this place was popular for aussies but man WE have raped this place".

    I used the word "WE"....you and I......meaning me and my wife included.

    Just stating the facts....the good and the bad. Some people coming from Aus may not give a crap about experiencing a culture. Well for them this place would totally rock.

    Coming from another region in Japan to Niseko the culture change is certainly a downer.....but as I said it has some kick a@se powder. Not taking that away from it. I wish I visted here 10 years ago.

    Would I still consider coming back? For the snow....yes.
     
    #328 Cham, Feb 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  29. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Hmm.. You mean instead of me learning a little Japanese I should have been learning Oi Oi Oi?

    Kekkou desu

    Will make the most of the snow though in Niseko and enjoy the culture elsewhere. Though from your post Cham, I will visit Kutchan more often.
     
  30. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Thats pretty much it. Most bars you go into the only Japanese will be behind the bar itself serving.

    But hey I don't want to pee on anyones parade....anyone about to head over you still will have an ace time. Places that are good to eat at lunch are the one at the base of Hanazono (not bad selection) and one we found on the 2nd last day if your skiing Annupuri, right at the base on your skiers right....100m just before the gondala loading station. Walk in and the restuarant directly on your right. You pre pay for meals via vending machine. Pretty easy....has big glass window with meals presented in bowls with corresponding numbers. Some good stuff here. Dumplings are always a winner as a side.

    One night place at Hirafu we eat at that was good but pretty expensive was Dragon. Was a really top notch meal with some good wines, however the wines were extremly expensive. A good place if you want a nice night.

    Wild Bills is a good western place with good food...but is obviously filled to the rafters with aussies. Still good eating non the less.

    Buses to Kutchan leave from the main st near Seicomart. The night bus is free and leave every hour or so from 5 onwards. Its all on the back on the trail map. It's dead easy....just listen for the automated speaker system that say's bars and restaurants stop.

    If you plan to eat on the hill in Hirafu try and get orgaised and book a selection on places in advance as soon as you get there. This may save you the pain of walking around everywhere and having no joy.
     
    #330 Cham, Feb 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  31. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Thank you for the info Cham. I will be in Niseko on the 13th though I am juggling my weight at the moment. I still do not understand how people bring their gear over if they come via Tokyo. 20 kg Qantas then it drops to 15 via the domestic.
     
  32. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    we never had a problem with domestic 15kg. never even heard of that! what airline?
     
  33. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    I seem to be confusing myself. From this I am now assuming that carry on is Free Baggage allowance and checked baggage is the big stuff. Hmm, my bad, though saying that... Yay !

    Leaving for Niseko this Tuesday.

    JAL

    RULE 35-FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
    The free allowance for Checked Baggage, excluding a wheelchair for the physically disabled passenger's own use, will be 15 kilograms for each passenger except first class passengers. A first class passenger will receive a free Checked Baggage allowance of 40 kilograms. The free allowance for Unchecked Baggage will be 10 kilograms for each passenger.

    RULE 36-CHECKED BAGGAGE
    Checked Baggage is limited to 3 pieces and to the total weight of 45 kilograms for each passenger, with the maximum dimensions of 50 x 60 x 120 cm for each Baggage piece unless otherwise stipulated by Carrier. Carrier will not accept Baggage in excess of these limits as Checked Baggage.
     
  34. kasto

    kasto First Runs

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Just got home this morning from Tokyo and Niseko.. We had no issues with weight even tho our group of 4 weighed in at a total of 111kgs! Picked up some great bargains in Tokyo [​IMG] We were told to take all our boots out of our checked luggage and take them on board (I had 2 pairs of boots - 1 new pair from tokyo + my back pack just for carry on, as did the other 3 in the group)! This only happened in Sapporo on our way home, but avoided any excess charges. Was a real pain lugging all that carry on luggage around sapporo and then tokyo, but better than paying the excess.

    It is really hard to eat at the popular places in Hirafu, but we got around this by booking in advance by at least a night, just be flexible with where and when you want to eat out.

    We meet heaps of japanese who loved to party! I did not expect to go out as much as we did but the night life was really good (im only 23 y/o, so don't mind few cold ones and a dance)! The 'Red Bar' (i think it is called) turned into a little night club on Friday with a mix of people from all over the world.. had the best night out ive have had in ages!!

    The snow does get tracked out very quickly, but the early bird always gets the worm! We had 2 powder days where we skiied knee to waist deep, thru the trees in the 'slack country', very very nice.. We will be back next year but will try out some of the other hokkaido and honshu resorts. I will post a photo report and comment on the skiing, night life and Tokyo later.
     
    #334 kasto, Feb 10, 2008
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  35. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    We were in the exact same situation. 15kg for JAL internal flights. I thought we would get caught out but didn't in the end. Just pack as light as you can, you will appreciate it when you have to lug it all around anyhow on the trains and buses etc. We brought our own boards over as well. I got my main check in bag down to 16kg + snowboard on top with the boots in the board bag. Just needed to wash our gear half way through the trip. We always checked in early so that may help as well? Put as much as you can into your carry on as well.

    We had 4 day's off in between our 2 skiing weeks so got our boards forwarded onto Niseko. It was only $20 each or something. Priceless...saved lugging it around and was delivered to our accomodation ready waiting for us. On the way back from Sapporo - Tokyo was where I thought we would have to pay excess. We had no prob.
     
    #335 Cham, Feb 11, 2008
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  36. Snowbeard

    Snowbeard Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Cham, I agree entirely with your remarks about Niseko. I got back yesterday, and my experience was almost identical, even down to the Kutchan meal. We were lucky and got the best snow I have ever skied, and the locals (that is expats living in Niseko) said there is no luck about it, the snow is always great.

    As for weight limits, we got hit for $120 (5 kilos, but can't rememeber exactly) excess in Melbourne for the MEL SYD Narita (Tokyo) leg, but the bags were not even weighed in both directions between Haneda & Sapporro. Qantas tried to charge excess of $146 (3 Kilos) at Narita for the return to Sydney, but we escaped by putting our boots in our carry on packs, and arguing about the scales - they showed 1.2 kilos even when nothing was on them, and initially showed a lower weight than when we left Melbourne. My apologies to those in the queue behind us who were held up while we repacked our bags at the check in! The bags were checked through to Melbourne, and were not weighed again in Sydney, although we had to collect them to go through customs and them take them to the Qantas domestic transfer lounge.

    Another issue was that even although our tickets and boarding passes showed our return flight as Tokyo - Sydney, we discovered (on the aircraft) that the flight was via Cairns. Our duty free gin was thus confiscated by security in Cairns. Watch out for that - I have complained to Qantas and it will be the subject of a seperate post.
     
  37. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    'Raped Niseko'...yes I agree to some extent we all have.
    But I don't put myself into the same league as:
    1. People who dont give a sh1t about the local rules and ski 'wherever' they damn well please.
    2. People who dont even bother to absorb 'some' of the culture, the language and the customs eg: drinking on the street.
    3. Property developers.

    Still if Niseko gives people happy healthy ski holidays then who am I to complain!
    As Peter Garrett once said 'Some say that's progress'!!
     
  38. Wannabe

    Wannabe Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Been reading this & other Japan threads with interest. Our family just got back from 3 weeks in Canada. We skied at Whistler & Big White, and had a ball. However the big powder days didn't come through for me during that time.
    Now I don't want to ignite any Canada vs Japan debates. But I would like to put out the question: (having not yet been to Japan)
    Is the Niseko area kid friendly? What I mean by that is, do they have the same style of ski schools as Canada & Australia?
    The kids are 12 & 9 and ski quite well, in fact we may only put them in ski school to have some time to ourselves, say a couple of half days.
    This leads to the next question, will all this much talked about powder be a hassle for the kids, and put me in the bad books with the +1?
    PS may need to change my avatar!
     
  39. ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Well its 9 days until i fly to Niseko and i'm a little nervous about the snow fall. Reading the daily reports there seems to be a bit of a lull in the fresh stuff, i don't think there has been a decent fall (in their terms)since early last week. Is this normal? I guess it is best for me if thay have a flat spell now prior to us getting over there.

    Is late Feb usually a time when you can expect decent falls.

    From every thing i read i'm sure it will be all good (fingers crossed)
     
  40. stumpy308

    stumpy308 Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    There is often a discrepency between what is 'official' and what is observed. In January a number of official 0cm days were quite snowy!
    How they work this out I'll never know...a good look out the window would probably do.

    Don't stress a LOT can happen in 24 hours little lone 9 days!
     
  41. Dippo

    Dippo Addicted

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Wannabe, I spent 12 days in Niseko in Jan with my 9 year old daughter. She went to Niseko Base Sports(NBS)ski school. She had about 5 days with them and she said it was the best ski school she has been to. She has been with Perisher, Telluride and Steamboat before as a comparison.
    They spent lots of time in the powder(hard to avoid over there) and in the trees learning heaps but also having fun. She was so pumped after everyday and was very keen to go back.
     
    #341 Dippo, Feb 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  42. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Are you serious? Have a look at the forecast....looks sweet for the entire week on snowforecast.com They got 15cm at base and 25cm up top last night and it's going to get heavier this week. You can at least double or even triple the forecasted amounts. But you want it snowing when your there....not the week before...but odd's are you will get plenty.
     
    #342 Cham, Feb 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  43. malibu

    malibu Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Wannabe in my experience Niseko is kid friendly, although you need to go with a ski school that has good English speaking instructors. NBS would be my pick. Cheaper than NISS which seems to have ratcheted prices into the stratosphere this year compared with the rest. They all do the snow play stuff and generally make kids feel safe and happy. Not as large or as sophisticated as Whistler or Aussie kids ski schools, but I think you'll find them fine.
    Compared with my experiences of Whistler (3x) the pow is generally just so much drier that it makes things easier rather than harder for learners on the groomers - see a big lump of snow in front of you? No problem - just blast straight through it and have it explode like a puff of smoke around you.
    Getting the kids to take little tastes of it on the sides of the groomers over boot deep to ease them into it and get familiar with that floaty feeling is an every day option. Some days it buckets down so hard it'll be over your boots on the groomers by the early afternoon.
    An Intrawest resort Niseko isn't, but my opinion is that Hokkaido powder is going to put a smile on the entire family's face, not just Dad blasting through some open gladed deep stuff copping face shots every second turn.
     
  44. kasto

    kasto First Runs

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Ok i'll start posting some pics of my recent trip: Top of Konayuki course - Hirafu. Nice view of Yotei, Pic taken 3/2/08 [​IMG]

    Top of Konayuki course 3/2/08
    [​IMG]

    Looking up towards the peak 3/2/08
    [​IMG]

    Ace Family pair lift Hirafu 5/2/08
    [​IMG]

    Jumbo Pair lift Annupuri 8/2/08
    [​IMG]

    Niseko Backcountry 8/2/08
    [​IMG]

    Night skiing Hirafu - Around King Triple 8/2/08
    [​IMG]

    More to come 2moro [​IMG]
     
    #344 kasto, Feb 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  45. pandk

    pandk Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    They're great...look forward to the next lot!
     
  46. Wannabe

    Wannabe Hard Yards

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Thanks to Dippo & Malibu for your info. I know its being appreciated by more than just me.
    Cheers
    BTW, any info welcomed for us Japan virgins.
     
  47. kasto

    kasto First Runs

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    Another view of Yotei
    [​IMG]

    Around Higashiyama
    [​IMG]

    View from our room
    [​IMG]

    View out our window
    [​IMG]

    Annupuri area
    [​IMG]

    Hirafu gondola
    [​IMG]

    Hirafu traffic lights
    [​IMG]

    Walking up gondola-zaka st
    [​IMG]

    What to eat?
    [​IMG]

    Vending machines in the Alpen
    [​IMG]

    Crazy Japanese!
    [​IMG]

    Party at the Red Bar (has blue neon lights at the front)?!
    [​IMG]

    DJ from the Red Bar
    [​IMG]
     
    #347 kasto, Feb 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  48. Bato

    Bato One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    OK lastest news from rusutsu is that it is dumping a stupid amount of snow, today was knee deep epic and i think tomorrow could be neck deep.
     
  49. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    sounds good....is that first hand info? im headin over there on friday for possibly our last day of riding. want to end it on an epic note after the last few days of misery over here in niseko.
     
  50. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    Re: Niseko & Hokkaido 07/08 Trip Reports, Info, et

    i take it back...after hiking the main face above the king 2 lift line and running konayuki 4 times in waist deep untracked(almost) niseko delivered what i wanted just before we leave. then to top it off the quad opened around 2 ish and we got 2 runs down miharashi in close to shoulder deep drifts....fricken epic. rusutsu tomorrow then home by monday!