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Advice needed Niseko tips

Discussion in 'Japan' started by dmz, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This depends on the onsen I guess, i've seen plenty of instances where the towel is dipped in the water then put on the head.
     
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  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah well you are in Niseko after all, not normal Japan. In the old style pensions, ryokans you used to only get the small towel supplied. You would use that to mostly dry yourself, then put on your supplied yukata and dry in that while you relaxed with a drink afterwards.

    With soft westerners now and modern japanese you will now normally get a big towel.
     
  3. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    So much niseko hate.
     
  4. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Heinz hates Niseko almost as much as he hates T20 cricket.
     
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  5. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    uh ok what am i gonna do without red wine???:cry::( i am definitely not a beer drinker although my husband will be rapt he loves beer. not a fan or sake either, although i have enjoyed the odd shotchu (sorry if thats not how you spell it)-japanese equivalent of vodka right? anyway i am a red wine drinker in the cold, grey goose in the hot weather and i certainly am not game enough to stash it in my luggage
    a question on this onset business. obviously hubby and i are there for his bday etc etc i don't really see the enjoyment of going ur separate ways for a bit(although he does do my head in at times and i love my space). i assume there is no such thing as mixed onsens obviously-although i read somewhere that niseko grand hotel was mixed. how long are you in an onsen for?i imagine I'm going to get bored without company etc.

    also I've locked in pro powder tours for a 2hr powder lesson.should be interesting
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't actually hate it. I very much enjoyed my times there in the 90's. Have just accepted that it has changed, moved on and have no desire to return. Just pointing out that it doesn't truly reflect Japan.
     
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  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Red wine - just go to the supermarkets for that and Shochu (straight) or Chu-hai's (pre-mixed).

    Mixed Onsens do exist but rare. There was the old one around the back side of Annupuri - can't remember the name and don't know if it has gone like many other things.
     
    #457 Heinz, Jan 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  8. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    No red wine ? Um what ?.
    Ive drunk bucket loads of red wine in restaurants in japan. Also at lodges. Selection at co.op in kutchan is pretty good.
    Obviously no byo.
     
  9. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Re mixed onsens. Look for a private one .
    You'll have a car. The best onsens are towards Annapuri etc
    There is one at moiwa just down the road from the ski hill.
    think its 2200 yen for 45 mins.
     
  10. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    But I have such a great time there...
    So what is better? Someone we met on the gondola who has a car drives to an onsen about an hour away which is actually on the coast.
     
  11. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    Near Hirafu intersection there is a wine cellar. And you can get wine at all the supermarkets.
     
  12. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    At Yukoro you can stay as long as you like. At others I think you pay for a certain time.
     
  13. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    What an awesome and disastrous second last day. I have to mention Boyoso for lunch again. Go there every day. It is the cheapest and best food on the mountain. Having discovered it we will not go anywhere else.
    The awesome part of the day was the sun and the visibility. It was so good that my son took me through my first "gate". Number 5 at the top of Hanazono 3. Very nice. It was amazing to see the incredibly long line of people hiking to the top to get the best powder.
    The disaster was my wife straining her calf bringing the end of skiing for her. At least it was at the end of the second last day - and it's not broken - always trying to look on the bright side of life. Also lucky that we are just down the road from Niseko Physio.
    I must say that I can't see myself spending much time in Annapuri again. Its such a pain to get there and back. You have to take the wonderland single chair and then the first bit of the slope down from that was almost like australian slush. And coming back it was the same. Thats where the injury occurred. And apparently the shuttle bus to Annapuri takes ages. That's one thing that really needs fixing here and that's the shuttle bus system. They need big regular buses like Hotham with racks for skis.
     
  14. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Hence car.

    You don't need the top chair to traverse to annapuri. You can make it with the 2/3 chairs.
    Annapuri is my favorite bit of Niseko.. Some nice spots that don't appear so.
     
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  15. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    And it's quiet. And the bowls.
     
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  16. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I'm tempted to post my secret spots just cause I'll never go again ;)..
    Nah
     
  17. brett gordon

    brett gordon Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    i assume there is no such thing as mixed onsens obviously-although i read somewhere that niseko grand hotel was mixed. how long are you in an onsen for?i imagine I'm going to get bored without company etc.

    my recollection is that the outside onsen at the Green Leaf (Niseko village) is mixed
     
  18. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Wtf would you want a mixed onsen for ?
    Oh heres some random old Japanese dude perving at my mrs.
    Um no
     
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  19. surfarthur

    surfarthur Early Days

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    Or worse, some bogan trying to chat her up
     
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  20. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    The only mixed onsens I know require bathers so it's not different to going to the beach or public pool in terms of pervs.
     
  21. Mercyrx3

    Mercyrx3 Hard Yards

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    The one in Niseko I have been to ( past moiwa turnoff) The women had the choice to were an outfit, men naked. I went with two Japanese female friends who both wore the outfits. the only naked woman was a 50 yo. The onsen was not warm enough so I would never go back.
     
  22. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    No different to the pub.

    No different to the beach,
    Onsens are just onsens, you dont look at other dudes junk etc
     
  23. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Except youre not nude at the Pub LOL.
    Ive never seen a mixed onsen in Japan. Thats in a bunch of places i've onsened in.
    Ive also never seen a beer in a onsen.
     
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  24. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    this^
    the only 'mixed' onsen I have been in is a private onsen with the missus.
     
  25. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    You havent been to the pub with me :cheers:ROFL
     
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  26. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Ie something like this.
    [​IMG]
     
  27. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You get washed, get in, relax for a bit, take in the views, relax for a bit more, if you're getting hot get out and sit on a rock or something, get back in, finish up, go wash yourself down, get dressed. 45mins-1 hour is pretty standard.
     
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The ones I have been to were the old one on the back side of Annupuri that I mentioned earlier that we skied down to, plus Fukiage in the Tokachi region. ie. more remote and wild rather than as part of a hotel.
     
  29. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Private onsen it is
     
  30. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    Niseko - Day 7 - The sounds of Niseko:

    The bing-bong to let people know its time to move forward to board the chairlift.
    The buzz of metal on metal vibration above you on the Ace 2 chair.
    The low pitch hum of a hooded chairlift.
    The amazing echoes. When an announcement comes through the speakers on the chairlift poles, the echo, particularly on Ace #1, is something to behold. It goes on and on and on....
    The Crows.
    The aussie accents - alot of them!
    The Hanazono bells. Here's a tip - Record the bells on your phone and use it for a notification sound or ringtone. That's what I did. Then you get reminders several times a day of an exquisite experience!
    The lovely accent of the phrase "the hood will open automatically" at the top of the Hanazono #1 chair.
    The incredible silence at night (at least it was where we stayed).
    The squeak of the snow as you walk on it.

    Today Australia day came early to Niseko. There was sludge and ice out there today. It must be a combination of above average temperatures and little snow. Some might say this is one of the worst season. For us it was the perfect introduction. We got a few sunny days and plenty of visibility to get to know the mountain. And there was just enough snowfall to enjoy many a powder experience.
    So that's it for my first ski overseas and I'm hooked. Is the quality of snow or the amount of terrain any better in Europe or North America? Probably not. Is it more expensive overall to ski in Europe or North America? probably yes. I'd like to get to Europe one day but I think Japan will be the first choice every time. You also get the luxury of a similar timezone. Might have to try some different resorts...but we'll definitely be back to Niseko.
    I hope you've enjoyed the tips...
     
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  31. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    An Onsen is not a hot tub.

    Small important point for the boganostracy
     
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice reports dmz. :thumbs:

    While much of it is nothing new to Niseko/Japan regulars you have put it together nicely for those that aren't.

    And while I have no intention of returning to Niseko myself, it was interesting to read what has changed and what bits are still the same.

    As for comparisons for Europe and North America there are several other threads that have discussed that.
    Snow quality wise you probably won't get too much better than in Japan. Terrain wise is a different story, for scope and difficulty you certainly need to get to Europe. Costs can vary quite a but but are comparable. Plenty of reasons to go to different places.

    Enjoy your future trips wherever they are.
     
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Indeed - that message seems not to have gotten through.
     
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  34. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I enjoyed your daily updates mate.
     
  35. Chondro

    Chondro One of Us

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    @dmz whats the locals thoughts on this season ? below average?
     
  36. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    The limited feedback I have received is that this is a pretty bad season. There is usually much more snow and far less good visibility and sunshine apparently. If this is a bad season, all I can say is it must be awesome when it's good because this was damn good for me!
     
  37. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks. My tips were indeed intended for Niseko virgins like myself. As you look through this thread you can see that I had many questions and I wanted to repay everyones patience with tips of my own through fresh eyes. Personally, I will be raving to our friends who have never skied Japan about Niseko. I will certainly come back but also I am now actively looking at other resorts. One couple we met first did a week in rusutsu then a week in Niseko which sounds OK as they are close.
     
  38. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    No disrespect intended to either yourself or dmz but he's a first time visitor who was in Niseko for 7 days - exactly how many "locals" do you think he met and discussed seasonal variations with?
     
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  39. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    The locals I discussed weather with (an Aussie that has been there for 10 seasons and lives in Kutchan and a Japanese local from our lodge) both said they we having more sunny days than usual, fewer big (30cm+) dumps and temperatures not as cold as usual.

    I guess even the worlds snowiest places aren't immune to global trends of increasing temperature,
     
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  40. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup, only 10m of snow this year. Woah is me the world is melting.
     
  41. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's the beauty of Japan it seems that even a below average season is outstanding. I've heard that marginal seasons in North America and Europe can be pretty dire.
     
  42. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah and it's only the last week of January, so plenty of time to pick up. It's nonsense to say the season is stuffed.
     
  43. Leroybrown238

    Leroybrown238 Hard Yards

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    We went to a very secluded local onsen out the back of Moiwa two days ago. Maybe that's the one you guys speak of. Apparently one of the only ones around with natural volcanic heating. Today we went to the onsen at Hotel Piano in Kiroro. A very nice onsen indeed!!!

    ......except for the obviously gay fat Japanese couple with their Go Pro.
     
  44. JosieJ

    JosieJ Early Days

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    Thanks for the reports Dmz :) You made me remember my first time and brought back those memories. Sometimes when we go so often you get a little complacent with things. NOT ME everytime I go I am like a little kid on their first overseas trip:D
    Safe journey home Dmz and family.
     
  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    What the......!!!!!!
    LOL
     
  46. warhol

    warhol Hard Yards

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    Snap
    Agree entirely.
    Loved the fresh observations DMZ. Have been going consistently over the last 10 years but still relate to your moments. Thank you.
     
  47. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

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    For the last night we went to what is considered one of the best restaurants in Hirafu, and for good reason. It's called Rin and the food is outstanding and the prices arent too steep. It's a bit like Japanese Tapas, you can get lots of little dishes. They had a seared salmon on special which was just sublime. You need to book at least two days ahead. They have two sittings, 6pm and 8.10pm. They also have a steep cancellation fee - I dont blame them. Next time we come back we will be there more often. In fact, I could easily do Boyoso for lunch and Rin for dinner every day :)
     
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  48. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Every ski resort I have been to in the world people you talk to on the chair lifts (locals and tourists) seem to always say, 'oh you should have been here last week', or 'last year was much better'. Very few tend to be just enjoying it for what it is, I have no idea why!
     
  49. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    One-upmanship.
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    true. Shoulda been here yesterday..