The big Hakuba thread 2017/2018 - trip planning, trip reports, general musings about fried chicken

smackies

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Can't have Hakuba being left out!

Who is going this season?

TJ - Hakuba resident
alexmok +1 - season
smackies - end December to mid Feb
Dave6 - early January
Froff life +1 - mid January for 1 week
Crispy013 - 20-26 January
2Eski +1 - 24-29 January
buckcompton +3 - 1-7 March

IMG_3225.JPG



Previous years' threads (was there a 16/17?) for lots of info:
Hakuba thread 15/16
Hakuba thread 13/14
Hakuba thread 12/13


Info:
Wikiski
Hakuba Tourism
Snow-forecast.com for Tsugaike (mid station)
Snow-forecast.com for Happo (mid station)
Snownavi
Webcams
Avalanche bulletin
 
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smackies

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Actually, that's a good idea. I can personally recommend:

For broken bones:
Shintani Clinic (near Goryu) (T: 0261-75-4177). Doc there speaks great English and they have an X-Ray machine.
Nishimori Orthopedic Clinic. (T: 0261-61-1700). Orthopedic ninja.

For broken bones, MRIs and CT scans:
Azumi Hospital (T: 0261-62-3166)

For not quite broken bones:
Hakuba Physio
 

Hunter

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Interesting, given the very bad season 2 years ago has Hakaba seen a drop off in interest given it suffered quite badly compared to some other resorts ?
All resorts struggled but Hakaba in particular. Was in Nozawa during the lean times and had a number of people who had sacrificed accom and shifted to Nozawa as they had better snow, somewhat...............
 

Donza

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Interesting, given the very bad season 2 years ago has Hakaba seen a drop off in interest given it suffered quite badly compared to some other resorts ?
All resorts struggled but Hakaba in particular. Was in Nozawa during the lean times and had a number of people who had sacrificed accom and shifted to Nozawa as they had better snow, somewhat...............
Psr says resounding No.
 

Annabuzzy

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Interesting, given the very bad season 2 years ago has Hakaba seen a drop off in interest given it suffered quite badly compared to some other resorts ?
All resorts struggled but Hakaba in particular. Was in Nozawa during the lean times and had a number of people who had sacrificed accom and shifted to Nozawa as they had better snow, somewhat...............
They got amazing snow last season. I was there 16 days and it snowed maybe 14 of those days. Most snowfall over a sustained period I have ever seen.

My wife absolutely loves Hakuba.
 
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Tanuki

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They got amazing snow last season. I was there 16 days and it snowed maybe 14 of those days. Most snowfall over a sustained period I have ever seen.

My wife absolutely loves Hakuba.
Yep, so do we. We've had it all over three visits, sustained snow for a week, big dumps then blue sky and even a couple of rainy days.
 
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TJ

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Pumped for this coming season already. Looking at every sign of a big year. Saw a preying mantis today climbing high on a wall. Apparently a good sign. Cicada's everywhere. Apparently another good sign :) There's a good vibe - that's got to be a good sign.

Shintani Clinic - enter at own risk. I'd drive to Omachi before stepping foot in there again. If you are injured or sick and need to see a doctor you should always go through your accommodation to get the best options. I'm glad smackies experience was different to mine and others.

Not sure where you got that info Hunter. I think we faired better than most places around actually. The problem was at the beginning of the season as Hakuba was one of the only places in the region that was open bringing more people to the valley and not top to bottom meant big queues up and down the resorts that were open. They were bringing in bus loads of people who had booked for other resorts. Crazy times. It was a lean year generally throughout Nagano.

Last season was epic from about the 12 of Jan. It just kept puking down. Tsugaike ski patrol said 4 meters in 10 days up top. I played in a lot of that :)

Big new bus station in Echoland called Base Camp.(where the old gym was) That should ease the pain over at Happo info center.
 

Zimboo

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Pumped for this coming season already. Looking at every sign of a big year. Saw a preying mantis today climbing high on a wall. Apparently a good sign. Cicada's everywhere. Apparently another good sign :) There's a good vibe - that's got to be a good sign.

Shintani Clinic - enter at own risk. I'd drive to Omachi before stepping foot in there again. If you are injured or sick and need to see a doctor you should always go through your accommodation to get the best options. I'm glad smackies experience was different to mine and others.

Not sure where you got that info Hunter. I think we faired better than most places around actually. The problem was at the beginning of the season as Hakuba was one of the only places in the region that was open bringing more people to the valley and not top to bottom meant big queues up and down the resorts that were open. They were bringing in bus loads of people who had booked for other resorts. Crazy times. It was a lean year generally throughout Nagano.

Last season was epic from about the 12 of Jan. It just kept puking down. Tsugaike ski patrol said 4 meters in 10 days up top. I played in a lot of that :)

Big new bus station in Echoland called Base Camp.(where the old gym was) That should ease the pain over at Happo info center.
What's the story on the new Echoland bus station?
What is the plan?
All new shuttle routes?
 
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Hunter

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Not sure where you got that info Hunter.

From the friends who cancelled Hakaba and people who I spoke to in Nozawa

Nozawa was underwhelming as well, make no mistake but early jan two seasons ago Hakaba was worse as far as I remember

Last season was epic everywhere
 

Crispy013

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Jun 6, 2010
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Pumped for this coming season already. Looking at every sign of a big year. Saw a preying mantis today climbing high on a wall. Apparently a good sign. Cicada's everywhere. Apparently another good sign :) There's a good vibe - that's got to be a good sign.

Shintani Clinic - enter at own risk. I'd drive to Omachi before stepping foot in there again. If you are injured or sick and need to see a doctor you should always go through your accommodation to get the best options. I'm glad smackies experience was different to mine and others.

Not sure where you got that info Hunter. I think we faired better than most places around actually. The problem was at the beginning of the season as Hakuba was one of the only places in the region that was open bringing more people to the valley and not top to bottom meant big queues up and down the resorts that were open. They were bringing in bus loads of people who had booked for other resorts. Crazy times. It was a lean year generally throughout Nagano.

Last season was epic from about the 12 of Jan. It just kept puking down. Tsugaike ski patrol said 4 meters in 10 days up top. I played in a lot of that :)

Big new bus station in Echoland called Base Camp.(where the old gym was) That should ease the pain over at Happo info center.
Yes very very lean up until the 12th...also the day we left unfortunately. Next 6 days was a lazy 2m or so...

Oh well, next year we are there 20-26 Jan so hoping for some love. Or a better base as a minimum.
 
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smackies

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Shintani Clinic - enter at own risk. I'd drive to Omachi before stepping foot in there again. If you are injured or sick and need to see a doctor you should always go through your accommodation to get the best options. I'm glad smackies experience was different to mine and others.

Uh oh. No good? I went there for X-rays only.

I've only had good experiences in Japanese hospitals and clinics but I know that's the exception not the norm. Have spoken to many people who've had terrible experiences. I think I've been lucky in my unluckiness.

Definitely check with accom. Or go to the orthopedic ninja. ;)
 

TJ

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What's the story on the new Echoland bus station?
What is the plan?
All new shuttle routes?
It's the Nagano Snow Shuttles main depot who do the airport run. It will be a new resort shuttle stop taking over from Spicy and shakespeare stops which are effectively just across the road. It will be a much safer spot off the road and as far as I know you will have direct access to all the resorts from there. Some of the other big bus companies will use it also.
 
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TJ

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Uh oh. No good? I went there for X-rays only.

I've only had good experiences in Japanese hospitals and clinics but I know that's the exception not the norm. Have spoken to many people who've had terrible experiences. I think I've been lucky in my unluckiness.

Definitely check with accom. Or go to the orthopedic ninja. ;)
There's worlds best practice here in Japan too but unfortunately there is some shite. As I am an old fart now and will no doubt be requiring more services in the future I'm going to have to do some sifting.
 
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Ramenman

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Hakuba hosts FIS World Cup Nordic combined on February 3rd and 4th, only 5 days before Winter Olympic 2018 starts in South Korea on February 9th. There is no time difference between South Korea and Japan =some Olympic athletes will stay in Hakuba, Niseko, etc in late January to Early February to avoid jet lag.
 

Sandy

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Japanese health care is a strange mix of reasonable at times, bizarre at others, and sometimes downright inept as well.
I could tell you a story, but it's better told in person, to watch the squirming.
 

Donza

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I've heard stories.
Shudder.
Japan. A contradiction in So many respects.
 

2ESki

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Daughter and self will be skiing there from 24/1 till 29/1, first overseas trip, first time skiing overseas :D, to say were super pumped and looking forward to it would be an understatement :D hope there's go snow by then, otherwise :cry:
 
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MickM

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Looking seriously at my first Japan trip. Seems like a good place to start.

One question, would my own skis be ok for the terrain over there?(Atomic Vantage 90 CTI)
 

Annabuzzy

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Looking seriously at my first Japan trip. Seems like a good place to start.

One question, would my own skis be ok for the terrain over there?(Atomic Vantage 90 CTI)
Absolutely fine. If you felt you needed wider for a super deep day you can hire or buy over there.

Only on my last two trips have I used skis wider than 90mm and I had equal levels of fun each time.
 
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LMB

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@smackies you have a fair lot of weeks in Hakuba this season, ya reckon you could start nice n easy and see if you can build to the airborne stuff?! Maybe stay uninjured this trip? I've got my fingers and toes crossed for ya.
 
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smackies

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My problem is hard objects. ;)

I have two break-free years coming up if history is anything to go by.
 
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LMB

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Tickets on himself!! LOL

Maybe someone could go around tying cushions and pool noodles to hard objects where you'll ski? You know like that teenager driving insurance advert.

Best of luck (I won't say break a leg) - I'm a bit nervous myself doing the season, that I'll do something stupid early on.
 
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Maya A

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Hi first time here! I just booked a solo one week trip to Hakuba Feb 24th-March 3rd! Ive only skied in Aus, aka no serious powder, so anu advice would be welcome! My board is a Flow Elation Burton positive camber, which serves me fine since I'm just starting to get to the intermediate levels. I've read that with pow it might make it very tiring using this type of board.
What do you guys recon, go with a rental thats more appropriate for japanese snow and not have to lug my own board all the way there?
 

Froff Life

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Hi first time here! I just booked a solo one week trip to Hakuba Feb 24th-March 3rd! Ive only skied in Aus, aka no serious powder, so anu advice would be welcome! My board is a Flow Elation Burton positive camber, which serves me fine since I'm just starting to get to the intermediate levels. I've read that with pow it might make it very tiring using this type of board.
What do you guys recon, go with a rental thats more appropriate for japanese snow and not have to lug my own board all the way there?
I ski so I don't know the specs of your particular board, but if you can afford to rent a board whilst you are there then do that.
Take your boots with you and then you can just hire the right board for the right conditions. You might get a week of non stop snow and thus you need a wider board, or vice versa. And then if you are doing any non snow related site seeing either before or after you won't have to worry about lugging your boars around
 
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