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Shiga Kogen 2019/2020

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Hyst, Oct 13, 2019.

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  1. Sandy

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

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    To tell you the truth, I was waiting for you to arrive, as we'd arranged to meet up, and I wondering where you'd gotten to!!
    It was only when I was looking in another thread that I'd realised you'd never left Hakuba.

    I felt a bit like I'd expended time and energy for nothing!!
    Anyway, you've gotten a taste of Japan :D
     
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  2. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am genuinely very sorry to let you down Sandy - its a thing I usually take care / pride not to do.

    I should have PM’d not dropped it in a page like a footnote...

    Do you ski Vic at all? I still owe you several beers and if not in perpetual dog house would appreciate a chance to return the hospitality some time.

    ...
     
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  3. Sandy

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

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    No worries!! :D
     
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  4. Sandy

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

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    On the Shinkansen right now heading to Shiga Kogen!! :D
     
  5. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Looking forward to your updates and very jelly!
     
  6. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Jealous. Staying at the same place as last time?
     
  7. Sandy

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

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    Villa Ichinose. Mixing it up a bit!
     
  8. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice. Make sure you post pics for people!
     
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  9. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen reporting 24cm at Maruike, and 30cm at Yakebitai. Still snowing
     
  10. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Hi Sandy, If you do decide to go up again for the weekend 21st and 22nd feel free to drop me a line. I am staying at Villa Ichinose but will be eating in (dinner, bed and breakfast) But would happily wander somewhere for a drink.

    That is of course if you can bear to be seen with a non smelly and no facial hair telemarker....
     
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  11. nanami_JS

    nanami_JS Hard Yards

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    Same request :)
     
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  12. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Great fireplace at the Villa.
     
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  13. Sandy

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

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    Sounds like that could work!!
     
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  14. Sandy

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

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    Quiet on the slopes today. No minions, and not many people about.
    I'm in Kamoshika (Nepalese restaurant), and normally you need to book.... I came in at 5.30pm, and I was the only person until 6pm, when two couples came in!!
     
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  15. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    It would want to be.......after walking all those steps up to Heaven! LOL
     
  16. Sandy

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

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    Yes.... bloody steps with all your gear to reception...... and then more to the rooms!!
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    It was cold all day today, and only got sunny later in the day. It means that the chopped powder is still squeaky, and the groomed tomorrow should be creamy early in the day.
     
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  18. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Oh great, stairs is just what I don't need after a good dose of tele jelly legs. Oh well lucky I pack lightish.
     
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  19. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Lift/elevator not working from reception?
     
  20. Sandy

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

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    No lift. Or if there is, not working.
     
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  21. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    There is a lift, not good if it isn't working.The front stairs are long enough.
     
  22. Sandy

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

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    OK, I found the lift. The guy originally said "no elevator"
     
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  23. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    But does it work?
     
  24. Sandy

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

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    Works
     
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  25. Sandy

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

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    The two Yakebitai gondolas were busy this morning. The restriction of 4 people in the 8 seater No. 1 probably caused most of the crowd. Okushiga gondola was ok.
    They may also have done a special weekend deal on Prince West.

    Oh, and saw the cosplay girl again today. She must be a local, seems to ride mainly No 1, and the Olympic course.
     
  26. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    For some reason I thought you had stayed there before?
    Good bath!!
     
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  27. Sandy

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

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    Stayed at Prince West, Shiga Highland Hotel, a place down at Kumanoyu, and lately the Diamond Shiga. The bath at the Diamond Shiga is fabulous!!
     
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  28. Sandy

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

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    Hmmm..... Snowing here at Shiga Kogen!!
     
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  29. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    One good thing about Villa is you can ski to the back door, pick up your bags at reception, change cloths and be down on the street and on the bus in a flash.
     
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  30. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Can you get across to the back door off the family main run? I assume you just duck off somewhere skiers left through the trees and head over or is there a trail?
     
  31. Sandy

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

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    It's at the bottom of Tanne no Mori, just near the middle ticket box.
    Or you can walk along the road from Family.
     
  32. Sandy

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

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    The access to Diamond Shiga is also good. Walk across the road and the ski straight to the Diamond lift. Then, if the footpath is covered, you can ski straight to the door.
     
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  33. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's where I've stayed the last couple of times. It's a great location
     
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  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The trickiest part is taking care when it is icy just outside the door and in the carpark.
     
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  35. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    And not getting robbed by minkeys if you have any food!
     
  36. Sandy

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

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    Can be just as slippery walking to the slopes from Villa Ichinose.
     
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  37. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    No need to make it sound worse than it is (for those who have not been)....apart from a couple of steps from Villa to the street it's a flat walk of 50 metres.
     
  38. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins Hard Yards

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    Hi,

    Maybe wrong place to post this. Know Tohoku area well but looking to go to Shiga late Dec 2020 (23rd-29th) for a family holiday. Obviously choosing Shiga due to the elevation and hopefully improved chances of snow so early in the season. Never been to Shiga. Split family so 2 adults + 1 adult and 1 child (2 rooms). Happy to stay in Ichinose based on research. Looking for 2 rooms and prefer traditional accom style. Can anyone please recommend a good but reasonably well priced place to stay (ie. not something like Prince Hotel). If I should post this elsewhere please to let know.
    Thanks!
     
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  39. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    What do you mean by traditional accommodation style? I have only stayed in Tatami rooms with futons so can't offer any advice re western beds if that is what you mean.
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I stayed at Diamond Shiga in Ichinose. Many people choose Ichinose as it is central and has several eating out options although I was happy to take the option including dinners and the dinners there were very good. The location is excellent, about 50m up the road from the bus stop. You can walk across the road and ski down to the Diamond chairlift. At the end of the day you ski back to the front door if their is snow on the road, otherwise it is a short walk. It is a fairly old place (in my TR I posted a pic from 1986 where you can see it), so a bit dated. It has both Japanese and Western rooms and a very good public bath. It is a bit different in that the ski room has combination lockers. Staff were helpful and obviously used to people forgetting their combinations or indeed locker numbers. The time I was there I saw plenty of Japanese groups especially on the weekend and a few Australian family groups.
    @Sandy has also stayed there as well as several other locations so will have a good idea of the relative merits of different places.
     
  41. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins Hard Yards

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    Thanks! yup definitely tatami and half board. happy for shared bathroom.
    Just wanted to book something soon as we all know that it's going to be the busiest time in regards to Aussie school holidays. nothing much on booking.com or others and i know it's too far out for most of these places to list yet. happy to email and book direct with the hotel/pension as i know it's better for them too as they won't be paying a commission. will email diamond. any other recommendations welcome.
    thanks team
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A note on the dinners there. If you have the dinner plan there is a buffet, plus a hotpot of some description. When I booked the price including the dinner plan didn't seem that much more than without so seemed worthwhile, particularly when you consider that if you just booked on the day, the buffet is Y2300 and the buffet & hotpot is Y3300. One tip, get in early on weekends when it is busy and they hit the buffet, although they do restock.
     
  43. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have stayed at both Shiga ichii and Hotel Japan Shiga booked through Japanican. Both are in Ichinose and offered Tatami rooms with dinner and breakfast. I was there very late season last year and both had set menu rather than buffet due to the low numbers. Shiga Ichii was a bit cheaper but the food was fine and the in room wifi was great. Japan Shiga was a bit more pricey but the food was to die for. The in rom wifi sucked so I would sit in the lounge area when I needed to be online. I would happily stay at either again.
    This year I will be at Villa ichinose, booked direct. I'll give feedback in a few weeks time. TBH all the hotels are of an age and I doubt you can really go wrong as long as you don't expect modern decor.
    Try booking through Japanican, the Japanese Jalan site or the Japanese Rakuten site. (use chrome and google translate) they will all have heaps better deals than booking.com. Or as you say try contacting direct. They often don't open booking until 3-6 months before the date so good luck with bookings this early.
     
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  44. Sandy

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

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    Shiga Kogen will not be busy then.

    I've stayed at 5 different places at Shiga Kogen.
    Most recently, Diamond Shiga & just this past weekend Villa Ichinose. Diamond is located at Ichinose Ski Jo, opposite The Ichinose Diamond lift, while Villa is right in central Ichinose.

    Pros and cons of those two:
    Rooms:
    Tatami rooms at Diamond are nicer, and the mountain view rooms have 2 chairs & small table (as well as the low tatami table). They also have the seat backs when sitting on the floor. Rooms are slightly bigger. You have a view of the Diamond lift and slopes.

    Condition:
    Diamond and Villa are both old, but Villa is much more run down. Carpets are worn.

    Facilities:
    Facilities are similar (sitting room, locker/ski room, onsen/bath, dining room, small convenience store). The sitting room at Villa is more inviting and has more character, although the one at Diamond is nice enough. Phone reception is is better at Diamond. The locker/ski room is much better at Diamond & has a separate door out to the front. The one at Villa is chaotic!
    The onsen/bath at Diamond is very nice, large, and has lots of showers and space. The one at Villa is smaller(but not small), and doesn't have enough showers at busy times. The convenience store at Villa is bigger and better.

    Food:
    Breakfast at Diamond is better.

    Location:
    Villa is 45m from the bus stop, while Diamond is about 140m.
    IMO, Diamond is better for getting onto the slope. Cross the road & carpark (40m) and you can ski down to the lift. From Villa, you need to walk about 120m to the slope. Both places you can almost ski to the door. Diamond needs the footpath covered with snow, but you can ski right to the doorsteps. Villa you need to ski down from the slope at Tanne No Mori, then walk 10-20m, or walk back via the road(same as in the morning..... But you still need to walk up those stairs after you take your boots off after a hard day!!! You need to make sure you plan your return to Villa, and be uphill of the Tanne no Mori or Family lifts. For Diamond, you only need to be up the Diamond lift or bottom of Family to get back.

    Restaurant location:
    Diamond only has 2 restaurants close by (izakaya at Dairoku Hotel, or Teppa Room next door) otherwise you need to walk up into Ichinose (unless you've got the breakfast/dinner package). Villa is right in the thick of all the restaurants.

    Cost:
    Villa is cheaper. Diamond is more expensive, particularly on a Saturday night.
     
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  45. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins Hard Yards

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    Thanks Sandy! Appreciate your help and that of others
     
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  46. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Great write up.

    Next time I visit a Shiga I’m planning to stay on Ichinose so it’s nice to get detailed reviews :)

    Random question but is there a convenience store in or near Ichinose?
     
  47. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    some of the hotels have stores, I think the one at Villa Ichinose has the widest range but there is no 7/11 or Lawsons etc.
     
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  48. Sandy

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

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    The convenience stores are a bit like the old Aussie milk bar, but not a full convenience store.
     
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  49. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m late to the party, but we really like Chalet Shiga. The have a half board option, but we’ve only ever done breakfast as there are enough nice places in Ichinose village now to be able to eat your way around the village. CS has tatami rooms or western rooms (or mixed if you prefer), shared Onsen (most rooms have en-suite), and it’s immediately across the road from diamond or a 80m walk up the toad to family. It also has probably the best ski rental/ski tech in Ichinose in Head Station in the basement.

    They usually open booking.com/ratuken/Agoda bookings 3-4 months out, but I’ve managed to get a booking through Hisae at Japan Snow Accommodation In Brisbane around this time of year for a December arrival. I think she physically calls them to organise that.

    All of that said, I think you’d have a difficult time finding something terrible in Ichinose. I’ve pretty much visited the lobby of most of the hotels there now and they all feel pretty similar. Mostly locally owned and operated, decent English or a good sport at using google translate, basic but clean and warm rooms, universally good food.
     
  50. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins Hard Yards

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    Again thanks all! excellent and valuable info and yes, a great detailed write up from Sandy. Much obliged