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Advice needed Shiga Kogen, Nozawa or Tomamu late feb??

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Melskius, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Hi all, I would love input from those of you who have skiied these areas. I've avidly read the trip reports of those who visited Shiga kogan this year, and others visits to hokkaido. I've searched the forum and reread most of it. We are a family with young kids, now 6 and 9, so we like to ski together on green/blue groomers. We skied Shiga for 2 days only on our first japan trip 4 years ago. Since then we have skied Naeba and Kagura. Oh and Thredbo every year for a week.
    So if you had to choose one place to ski (public transport accessible) for a week, the last week of Feb, where would you choose - Shiga, Nozawa or Tomamu??
     
  2. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    For an easy one week holiday with kids, I'd say Tomamu.

    It's a bubble resort, nothing like Nozawa, but has so much for kids. Ski in/ski out accommodation, English ski lessons, bubble chairs (to keep the kids warm), lots of kids activities and special runs, an ice village and a great indoor wave pool in finish off the day. It really is a kids playground.
     
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  3. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    I'd just read a trip advisor review that kind of counted it out for us. They were pretty scathing about the place, too many chinese tourists, bad wifi, really expensive food. I'd read your reports about your trip there too. How did you find the food options ?
     
  4. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Lots of food options. Yes they are expensive when compared to Japanese city prices, more like Aussie prices. But we brought groceries up with us so had lots of meals in our room.
    Tourists there from China, Australia, Korea, France, many different nationalities. As for wifi, we rented our own pocket wifi.
     
  5. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tons of Chinese tourists when we were there too, however they are mostly sightseeing so while the base seems busy the mountain is really quiet.

    There are a lot of food options.

    Ice village is a lot of fun.
     
  6. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nozawa can be a pain depending on where you stay as most accomodation is downhill from the ski lift and it’s a walk up

    But... I much preferred the skiing there to tomamu.

    I think shiga probably your best bet for cruising lots of groomers with the family. I’ve only done a day there but you can clock a lot of miles.
     
  7. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    As a previous owner of a business that was listed on TripAdvisor I would not put too much weight in one review. Having said that how many of those Chinese would ski? I reckon very little if at all, particularly mid mountain etc.

    Having said that in late Feb your chances of rain start increasing so its either elevation (Shiga) or Latitude (Tomamu) from your choices to manage that risk.

    Out of those 3 personally I would stay at Ichinose at Shiga and spend a week getting to know the place. Please note I have not been to Tomamu though but based on the descriptions it wouldnt suit me off mountain.

    Have you considered other places as well?
     
  8. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The kids will love the pool at Tomamu.
    I would go back for the skiing. Chinese weren’t an issue on the mountain. Some big lines at the hotel elevator though.
     
  9. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Pretty open at this stage, have flights booked for last week of feb/ first week march. This is our 5th trip. We enjoyed Naeba for the last 2 years, but also travel during the week we are not skiing. We enjoyed the tohoku region last trip. Considered basing near aizuwakamatsu and trying surrounding hills, but hubby isn't keen on driving around, and being further away from accommodation with kids. Considering travelling around nagoya way after skiing. Every option is open to consideration at this stage. (We have visited tokyo, kyoto, himeji, hiroshima, nagoya, Osaka, kanazawa, takayama, shirakawago, matsumoto, yuzawa, sendai, aizu, and probably some other areas I've forgotten).
     
  10. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Melskius have you guys ridden in Hakuba yet?
     
  11. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Not yet. We have kind of steered away from the 2 places everyone seems to go Hakuba and Niseko. We have visited toyko and Kyoto as everyone does, now we like to travel further afield, I guess we are a bit like that with the snow too. Not sure of any valid reason why though.
     
  12. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Melskius , I think you read my trip report from January this year. Personally I loved Shiga Kogen and so did my boys (aged 12 and 9 at the time). My teenage daughter preferred Nozawa Onsen for the village - atmosphere, things to do, etc. Shiga, as you know, boasts some lovely intermediate terrain and has many options for exploring. In January we mainly encountered Japanese skiers (and the occasional boarder) - not too many Caucasians or Chinese, and never a wait to get on a lift. Obviously you won’t be going to Shiga for the nightlife! I can’t comment on Tomamu, but know Club Med now have a presence there, which could be a plus or a minus depending on your requirements (we have had a lot of fun in tropical Club Meds in years past; they certainly have a lot of activities for kids as well as adults).
     
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  13. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Avidly read it. We only had 2 days at Shiga on our first trip to japan. Think we are counting out tomamu at this stage. But interested in Nozawa as something different. Just seeing what accommodation is available, and being last week feb whether the higher elevation of Shiga would be better for snow conditions. Not after POW, just want to ski some groomers with the kids (6 and 9).
     
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  14. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Furano could be an option? Big enough resort to keep you happy for a week, with many day trip options to other nearby resorts too.
     
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  15. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Perfectly understand. I used to try and do a week somewhere new then the last week in Hakuba when I was traveling. The good thing about that time of year is you will be able to get last minute accomm with absolute ease anywhere. Maybe worth having a rough plan but staying flexible based on snow conditions and even having your non snow days mid trip if need be but as its only groomers you are chasing that wont be as big an issue as if the trip was about pow.

    For groomers Shiga would be awesome as its so huge! Dont completely discount Hakuba though, there is a reason its popular and with 10 resorts plenty of groomers to be had and town has quietened down a lot at that time of the season.
     
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  16. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Considered it previously, but think we'd need to do a sole hokkaido trip. Not try to do both, the travel times are what we found to be a killer.
     
  17. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    A fair bit of nozawa seems to be booked already for dates we are looking. That or I'm not looking in right spots, I know traditional places open bookings 3 months out and we are way early, but also been told nozawa books out way ahead
    I know, big selling point and for the elevation, in case spring appears early like it did this year.
    May be something to consider without all the crowds.
     
  18. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm confused about the Hokkaido comment, as isn't another option you're considering Tomamu?

    But yeah I agree, if you've already booked flights into Tokyo stay on Honshu and ski there. Zao Onsen is IMO an underrated resort with a beautiful traditional village. Appi Kogen could also be worth a look :)
     
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  19. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Yeah sorry about that. It was an option that we were considering. But looking at travel time by train, all good until hakodate, then everything takes longer of course. Alternative is to fly, but some hassle as an extra flight with kids/ski etc. I think a flight into sapporo is better for this. Unfortunately/ fortunately we keep buying the mega cheap flights GC to NRT.
     
  20. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Last week of Feb, flying into Tokyo, been to Japan previously, kids able to explore..............Shiga Kogen for me.
    Altitude wins. A week is great to find all those great lunch time options and so much terrain.
    Stay Ichinose for a variety of dinner options.
     
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