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Question Skiing Honshu and the non-skier

Discussion in 'Japan' started by MrT, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Aspen Snowmass can have some very good deals for Aussies. Cheaper to stay in Snowmass.
    Lots of Argies there this year as well. Bit of a hike from Honshu though.
     
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  2. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    You can get some pretty good deals flying via Fiji ....... what was that guys name ?
     
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  3. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    OMG LOLLOLLOLLOLLOL NADeals - The Darwin man
     
  4. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    This probably sums it up.
     
  5. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    With the post box in Brisbane .
     
  6. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    David ????? at one stage, but went under a number of different names. Would open new account, post a question asking for info for a upcoming trip, then would reply to his own question under another name providing dates, pricing etc etc.
     
  7. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've done Nozawa with a non-skiing partner, and it went well enough that we've been back (a week there both times).

    Having said that, my partner's got a pretty high-stress job, so it's enough for her to simply be away from that with not much to do. Her time in Nozawa was spent: sussing out the cafes to find one she really liked (Cafe Nappa!); going back to that cafe regularly; walking the town, usually with the goal of trying a new onsen (or two); reading (in cafes or the hotel); raiding the art supply store, then finding somewhere with an interesting view and drawing it; checking out restaurants at lunch; and booking them for the family if they were the sort of thing we'd like; more onsens; ducking out for oyaki from the main street, or onsen eggs from around the Ogama cooking onsen; coming up the Yu-road to meet up with the rest of us for lunch in Hikage, and checking out the temple area near the base of the moving walkway; and spending pre-and-post-ski time with the family.

    Nozawa's a pretty village and even after a total of two weeks there, my wife still didn't get around to daytripping to Iiyama, or doing a cooking lesson, or a bunch of other activities/day trips on her "maybe" list. But everyone's different, I guess. One of the reasons that we ended up in Nozawa, though, was that my wife thought coming with us skiing in Australian resort would be hell on earth for her, as beyond the skiing the culture is just what she has at home, but colder and more expensive. Just being in Japan, the ability to explore a new culture/language/etc was enough to keep her interested. I've never been to Niseko, but I wonder if the level of westernisation takes something away for non-skiers?
     
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  8. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks for the tips!

    Yes that's the reason we go to Nozawa. I've checked out Niseko a bit online but decided to skip it for that reason.
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don’t really think so.

    We had my parents and hubbys Mum come to stay with us for our last 2 and a bit weeks in Japan. They were first time Japan visitors.

    They had 10 days staying in Hirafu (and visiting surrounds in driving distance including Noboribetsu, Rusutsu, Kutchan) before flying to Hiroshima, then onto Tokyo by train. They didn’t feel that Hirafu was un-Japanese compared to the other destinations, just that English was spoken in a few more places.
     
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  10. Pink

    Pink One of Us

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    To the OP, @MrT, book a ryokan in Nozawaonsen with cooked Japanese breakfasts included to start the day off properly. As others have said, Nozawa is a wonderful town to walk around and explore. Do the half day tour to the snow monkeys and Shibu onsen. Nozawa is near enough to the Shinkansen station that she can do day trips anywhere between Tokyo and Kanazawa, if she is independent and motivated enough. Nozawa has great beginners runs if she is tempted to hit the slopes. Fly via SE Asia and stop somewhere warm for a few days. If she’s not happy with Nozawa then give up on taking her to Japan in winter. Alternatively, basing yourselves in a urban centre and daytripping to the snow might work in theory, but then she’s not going to get any family time during the day, which makes for a frowny face. Best to stay somewhere you can meet up for lunch, and if the kids aren’t in ski school all day they might be keen to spend some time exploring the town with mum while you hit the slopes at your own pace.
     
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  11. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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  12. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Fair enough. As I said, I've never been, but I know that the closer a ski resort would be in feel to an Australian one, the closer my wife's reaction would be to MrsT's at Falls Creek (although I think she'd be fine at Niseko also, especially with some Japan experience under her belt, she'd just get out and do her own thing). Nozawa at least is not just a ski resort, even if that dominates things in winter, and is visually gorgeous.

    Next winter we'll be in Europe for family reasons, and will be driving across Austria in early January. It's still a struggle for the 4 of us to twist her arm into stopping to ski for a few days, as she reckons that every day skiing is one less day in somewhere like Florence, but I think we'll manage a short stop somewhere. Any recommendations of places in Austria/Northeast Italy with Nozawa-like charm (Zell am See currently heads our list) welcome ;)
     
    #62 john_kr, Oct 25, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  13. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    we stayed in Ortisei and my kids at Cortina in the Dolomites - anyone would be happy with them
     
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  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wrong thread for this. Should post in a Europe thread. But just quickly, yes Zell am See would be a good option. If she wanted a spa resort then Badgastein. Otherwise consider Innsbruck, Schladming or Cortina.
     
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  15. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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  16. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    I like this idea too. It seems there are a lot of resorts within an hour or so drive ? I don't mind snow driving in a 4wd, have done it heaps, but i'm wondering if this would be doable on snowy days ?
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    My main issue with Nagano City would be that it's just a big city. If the missus doesn't want to go on a big day trip to a destination, and has already done the sights of Nagano, it could also get pretty boring .
    Better to be in a resort with lots of snow around, than a big city with not much else to do.
    Just to qualify that..... A big city like Tokyo has a lot to do within easy reach by train. Not so easy in Nagano city
     
  18. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    We drive every day of winter. 4WD and snow tires, take your time and you can go anywhere.
     
  19. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    Even worse news today - apparently there are very few hotels/inns with drying rooms in Nagano itself. I can feel a solo coming on..
     
  20. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Nobody has really mentioned it much, but get yourself some decent Ryokan style accommodation if you want points with the partner. Opt for western bedding if you're not comfortable with the concept of sleeping on Tatami floor mats.

    Yuzawa might also be a good option for you. It's a fully fledged town, but there are a bunch of resorts within close range. Certainly closer than resorts are compared to Nagano. 80 Minutes from Tokyo on the Shinkansen too.
     
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  21. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wouldn't stay in Nagano as skier. Too far to travel to get to decent resorts. Yuzawa is a great suggestion though.
     
  22. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It's almost like I've been researching the place with intent LOL
     
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  23. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The fastest Shinkansen from Tokyo station to Gala Yuzawa station is 75 mins. Gala Yuzawa ski resort has its Shinkansen station, so if you stay at Tokyo Station Hotel or a hotel very near Tokyo station, it doesn't take 90 mins between your hotel and Gala Yuzawa. You can use JR rail pass to travel between Tokyo station and Gala Yuzawa station everyday very economically. It's the only way that I can come up with to make both your wife and you happy at the same time:p
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    JR East Pass = 17000 Yen for adults and 8500 Yen for kids. You can use JR East Pass for 5 days. 17000 / 5 = 3400 Yen per day for you and 1700 Yen per day for your kids. I think it's very cheap.
    https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_n/index.html
     
  25. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Less than an hour to Hakuba, Shiga, Nozawa etc. Pretty convenient. But its definitely a compromise. As would be anywhere from either side.

    Why do you need a drying room? Stayed in plenty of places over the years with all your gear in the room. I reckon an AirBnB small house/apartment would be the go rather than a hotel though.

    Im starting to think the chorus is right - leave her at home :)
     
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  26. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah good luck with airbnb in Japan at the moment. 4 + months on and I finally got my places back on there. And mine were always legal and should never have been removed.
     
  27. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like that: walking around Tokyo Station with skiboots and ski: :whistle:

    Have seen it at Sapporo thought.:thumbs:
     
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  28. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    How about this for a strategy. This trip just make it as bad as you can for her, short of a divorce. That should stop her wanting to go next year, in fact it will become her idea not to go ;)
     
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  29. Sandy

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

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    The easiest strategy is for her to bring a friend.
     
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  30. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
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  31. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    Done.... Booking for Madarao tomorrow.
     
  32. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    I hope without the wife or your f@arked!!!!
     
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  33. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    yep.... :)
     
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  34. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    With 2 boys??? (just for the record)
     
  35. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    hehe - yep. my two sons are 12 & 14. They are over the moon.
     
  36. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    What accom?
    How long?
     
  37. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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    Aiming for Active Life Madarao, for 7 days skiing only. Have you been there by any chance ?
     
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  38. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Know the people who run it. It's a pretty good set up. Take your bathers for their onsen - it's mixed.

    We stayed for a weekend there years ago before Active Life took it over. Pretty major difference!
     
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  39. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    All jokes aside , you will have a blast with the kids .
     
  40. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    A few posters on here stayed there last season. You should ask them for a review.

    Drop around for dinner one night or drop in for lunch.
     
  41. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Have been to Madarao a number of times..........stayed in Japanese owned pensions.
    @nfip @Fozzie Bear stayed at Active Life last season. Review please gents?
    P.S. You'll have a great time in Madarao. You can also take a bus from out the front of Madarao Kogen Hotel to (Myoko) so you can ski Akakura Onsen/Kanko for a day. Pretty sure Active Life also does a run (for their guests) in their own shuttle bus to Nozawa Onsen for another day on a new mountain.
     
  42. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not quite Bates Hotel....
     
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  43. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not just Nozawa - also Arai, Akakan, etc.
     
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  44. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was great. would return.
    some parts where bit olde, part of the charm, but the rooms and bathrooms where all brand new and modern.
    Was very clean. food was good too. No need to venture out at night if not inclined to.
    Great location opposite the top carpark so 100m opposite the lifts.
    We parked our car there for the week. did a couple runs into Iiyama.....
    Enjoy.
     
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  45. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Toilet in a cupboard was weird though......
     
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  46. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Geez, Just looked at their website. They're really going after it aren't they!!! 3 properties now, free lessons for guests (promotion during a certain period). Multiple resort free transport. Room rate must be $$$ to pay for those services?
    Also ........ Bergland lodge must have been sold?
     
  47. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lol.
    Fogot about that.
    Character.
    We are typically larger bodies.
    Not a deal breaker tho.
     
  48. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, they are. Hope they've got their margins worked out. They've bought the bankrupt Hillside Hotel (which also housed one of the Yamazaki stores and a popular local bar) and renovating that as xPlore Madarao. Massive place - 75 rooms.

    Bergland sold to a bunch of Aussie tradies. Will now be called Yamada-san Lodge in a nod to the previous owner. If they're going to do that why not just keep the name?

    With the saturation going on in Madarao I do worry that it might end badly for some.
     
  49. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    At the end of the day you get maybe 12 weeks business :eek::eek::eek:
     
  50. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep. I've had people tell me, "Oh yeah, we're gonna stay all year round". Well, unless they have some great connections to plug into, they'll need to switch to Japanese mode for 9 months of the year (many locally-owned lodges get more business in the green season than winter). But otherwise if they live outside of Niseko or Hakuba they'll very likely get bugger all in the way of foreign visitors. So if they can't get the figures to add up over 12 weeks (and sometimes less!) they're doing it for love. And keeping the lights on for the occasional stray foreigner is an expensive proposition.
     
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