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

Donza

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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?
Flow Elation Burton?
 

Donza

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Don't overthink your snowboard choices ..just ride something familiar and fun.
 

Maya A

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Don't overthink your snowboard choices ..just ride something familiar and fun.
Yeah its an old board. When I bought it I didnt know much about boards, got recommended it cos its good for beginners. It must've been a comined effort between flow and burton,its good for my skill level.

I just dont want to sink anywhere , or end up with legs being too sore from overworking due to wrong board choice. just want to enjoy the week without too many hassles.

But yeah i think I'll take just the boots as per recommendation here :)
 
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Donza

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Yeah its an old board. When I bought it I didnt know much about boards, got recommended it cos its good for beginners. It must've been a comined effort between flow and burton,its good for my skill level.

I just dont want to sink anywhere , or end up with legs being too sore from overworking due to wrong board choice. just want to enjoy the week without too many hassles.

But yeah i think I'll take just the boots as per recommendation here :)
Are you going to Tokyo beforehand? There is a whole ski shop area that sells cheap snowboards
I find snowboard hire in Japan very expensive.. ie around $250 for 5 days ...
 

Maya A

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Are you going to Tokyo beforehand? There is a whole ski shop area that sells cheap snowboards
I find snowboard hire in Japan very expensive.. ie around $250 for 5 days ...
Thats pretty decently priced to buy one! But unfortanetly no, I'm just going straight to hakuba. I'm comparing all the prices to Aussie prices haha, thats cheaper than here. Its just not appealing to me lugging around a massive board bag with all those transfers *sigh*. And then if i get there and it doesnt work well for me, I'll have to hire one...so many choicessss
 

Donza

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Thats pretty decently priced to buy one! But unfortanetly no, I'm just going straight to hakuba. I'm comparing all the prices to Aussie prices haha, thats cheaper than here. Its just not appealing to me lugging around a massive board bag with all those transfers *sigh*. And then if i get there and it doesnt work well for me, I'll have to hire one...so many choicessss
Do you like your snowboard?
Enjoy riding it?
Take it.
There is no such thing as a unsuitable snowboard IMO
*skiers way overcook their equipment choices....don't listen to them.
 
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LMB

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Do you like your snowboard?
Enjoy riding it?
Take it.
There is no such thing as a unsuitable snowboard IMO
*skiers way overcook their equipment choices....don't listen to them.
Absolutely agree (except for the skier bit)

If you are comfortable on your board take it.
A board isn't that much extra to lug when you've got all the other stuff!
And if you want to try a powder board, hire one for a day. No harm. Might save yourself a few bucks.

Yes a rockered board is going to be easier to keep afloat in powder. And a full on powder board easier still. But it's small increments. Boards are more forgiving than skis in powder. And don't be in a rush to blame the board if you struggle. You need to learn the technique to riding powder. Just take it and try it.
 

Tanuki

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Absolutely agree (except for the skier bit)

If you are comfortable on your board take it.
A board isn't that much extra to lug when you've got all the other stuff!
And if you want to try a powder board, hire one for a day. No harm. Might save yourself a few bucks.

Yes a rockered board is going to be easier to keep afloat in powder. And a full on powder board easier still. But it's small increments. Boards are more forgiving than skis in powder. And don't be in a rush to blame the board if you struggle. You need to learn the technique to riding powder. Just take it and try it.

Agree, it's more about technique than the tool itself. On my first trip to Hakuba in 2010 I tried to ride deeeeeeep powder (Cortina) for the first time and it wouldn't have mattered what board I had ridden as I stacked and dug myself out a few times due to lack of experience.

After that trip I upgraded my gear and bought a sweet all mountain board that has treated me well over the next three trips to Japan in everything from rain sludge (Myoko, Hakuba), waist deep powder (Nozawa, Hakuba), ice (everywhere) and groomers and powder up north.

In Tomamu and Rusutsu I rode with guys who were using fish tails and powder boards in great fresh snow, I seriously don't think it made a diff, but, I never rode one so I wouldn't know. Apparently the sensation is on fish tail is amazing.

If you enjoy your board I'd take it. Hiring always involves....hiring i.e. going to the shop, waiting in line etc etc. BTW, I'm jealous, I hope you score big in Hakuba and have a great time.
 
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Maya A

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Absolutely agree (except for the skier bit)

If you are comfortable on your board take it.
A board isn't that much extra to lug when you've got all the other stuff!
And if you want to try a powder board, hire one for a day. No harm. Might save yourself a few bucks.

Yes a rockered board is going to be easier to keep afloat in powder. And a full on powder board easier still. But it's small increments. Boards are more forgiving than skis in powder. And don't be in a rush to blame the board if you struggle. You need to learn the technique to riding powder. Just take it and try it.
Awesome thanks for the explanation! Since you're mentioning technique, what changes would you recommend? I read that the stance coule be narrower? I dunno lol havent had to alter my technique yet :,)
 

Maya A

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Agree, it's more about technique than the tool itself. On my first trip to Hakuba in 2010 I tried to ride deeeeeeep powder (Cortina) for the first time and it wouldn't have mattered what board I had ridden as I stacked and dug myself out a few times due to lack of experience.

After that trip I upgraded my gear and bought a sweet all mountain board that has treated me well over the next three trips to Japan in everything from rain sludge (Myoko, Hakuba), waist deep powder (Nozawa, Hakuba), ice (everywhere) and groomers and powder up north.

In Tomamu and Rusutsu I rode with guys who were using fish tails and powder boards in great fresh snow, I seriously don't think it made a diff, but, I never rode one so I wouldn't know. Apparently the sensation is on fish tail is amazing.

If you enjoy your board I'd take it. Hiring always involves....hiring i.e. going to the shop, waiting in line etc etc. BTW, I'm jealous, I hope you score big in Hakuba and have a great time.

Yeah, you're right, I'll probs take my board then. Once i buy a luggage bag for it.... Also need to do a bit of research on changing the technique. I'm gonna try and avoid deep powder lol dont want to have the snow patrol digging me out lol
Thank you peeps, i hope it'll be a memorable trip for all the good reasons lol I'm a bit nervous since:
a) first time boarding overseas
b) alone in Japan (wahhhhh)
 

Crispy013

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Yeah, you're right, I'll probs take my board then. Once i buy a luggage bag for it.... Also need to do a bit of research on changing the technique. I'm gonna try and avoid deep powder lol dont want to have the snow patrol digging me out lol
Thank you peeps, i hope it'll be a memorable trip for all the good reasons lol I'm a bit nervous since:
a) first time boarding overseas
b) alone in Japan (wahhhhh)
Don't overthink it. Riding powder is a little bit different to normal groomed runs. It's more about leaning back to keep the nose of your board up and trying to minimise your back leg trying to cut turns, because this tends to drag you down into the snow. Best way is to just dabble with powder next to groomed trails. Start on the run and then pop into the powder and then back out. When you build up confidence you'll be able to go longer into the powder. Unless the snow is pumping (say 30cm+), then you don't really need to change your bindings too much. But setting them further back on your board will help with keeping the nose up. Not sure about making them narrower...
 

LMB

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What Crispy said.

There are plenty of groomed runs so it's a progression into powder. You'll be fine.

Watch your turns.
The deeper you take an edge the harder it'll be to keep the float.

Get a lesson from a professional. And do it early in the trip so you get the full benefit of that knowledge.
 

Donza

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First trip to Hakuba... You won't see crazy deep snow.. Unless it pukes ridiculously. You may even see sun.
 

Maya A

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Thanks everyone, will take all the advice on board and maybe even get one a bit more advanced lesson first day there. Re pow or no pow, I'll probs be super stoked to be Japan either way, I'm sure its better snow either way than at aus alps :) and if i get bluebird days, sure why not lol
 

Crispy013

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Don't overthink it. Riding powder is a little bit different to normal groomed runs. It's more about leaning back to keep the nose of your board up and trying to minimise your back leg trying to cut turns, because this tends to drag you down into the snow. Best way is to just dabble with powder next to groomed trails. Start on the run and then pop into the powder and then back out. When you build up confidence you'll be able to go longer into the powder. Unless the snow is pumping (say 30cm+), then you don't really need to change your bindings too much. But setting them further back on your board will help with keeping the nose up. Not sure about making them narrower...

Saw this and thought it sorta gives a good visualisation as to how you need to ride in powder. You see him leaning back, pumping on the back of the board to keep the nose up.
 

Donza

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Saw this and thought it sorta gives a good visualisation as to how you need to ride in powder. You see him leaning back, pumping on the back of the board to keep the nose up.
Yeah weighting and unweighting... Getting it to porpoise. Mind you Marcus does rip
 
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Maya A

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Saw this and thought it sorta gives a good visualisation as to how you need to ride in powder. You see him leaning back, pumping on the back of the board to keep the nose up.

Wahh so fluffy! Hmm judging from forums I panicked early anyway, unlikely I'll be seeing that kinda snow anyway :S thanks for sharing it though, im nowhere that good lol but I'll start to employ some of those methods...and probs fail but hey at least i tried!

I booked a tentative accomodation at Shiga Kogen incase the weather turns to poops at Hakuba in the days coming up to my trip. Fingers crossed cos besides boarding it doesnt look like theres much else to do there lol
 

crackson

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Aussies in 10cm.


Snowboarder-scorpion-slam.gif
 

Donza

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Wahh so fluffy! Hmm judging from forums I panicked early anyway, unlikely I'll be seeing that kinda snow anyway :S thanks for sharing it though, im nowhere that good lol but I'll start to employ some of those methods...and probs fail but hey at least i tried!

I booked a tentative accomodation at Shiga Kogen incase the weather turns to poops at Hakuba in the days coming up to my trip. Fingers crossed cos besides boarding it doesnt look like theres much else to do there lol
Oh no... Don't be that worried.
Hakuba gets great snow in Feb March... Best time of the season in a lot of respects.
I'm just at odds with the marketing of Japan. More so nowadays. Ie the marketing is more effusive now. It will be fantastic. You'll have a ball. Honestly. If you haven't ridden fresh snow often.... You'll be toast after a few days of constant snow.
 

2ESki

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Out of interest what time are first and last lifts at Hakuba and Happo? and what time do people book a place to eat, want to work out how much time we can spend in the onsen [ for me actually, 15yo daughter not so keen] :rolleyes:
 

Donza

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Still doing research. 98 days until touchdown :)
Has anyone got recommendations for some nice onsens in the Happo/Wadano area?
Obinata no yu is my favorite. However is usually closed until Feb at the earliest. Buried.
Highlands is nice. Great view. Though it's not really in happo area. Requires a car.
 
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2ESki

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I guess you mean first and last lifts at Happo and all other resorts at Hakuba?
Yeah , the plan is to ski Happo, Hakuba47/Gorya and maybe Tsugaike for a day each [depending on weather ] and then spend the second half of the week skiing whichever hill we liked the most :thumbs: , also going off any other recommendations people have
 

Crispy013

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Yeah , the plan is to ski Happo, Hakuba47/Gorya and maybe Tsugaike for a day each [depending on weather ] and then spend the second half of the week skiing whichever hill we liked the most :thumbs: , also going off any other recommendations people have
You're forgetting Iwatake, Norikura, Cortina for starters ;)
 

Sandy

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Yeah , the plan is to ski Happo, Hakuba47/Gorya and maybe Tsugaike for a day each [depending on weather ] and then spend the second half of the week skiing whichever hill we liked the most :thumbs: , also going off any other recommendations people have

You're forgetting Iwatake, Norikura, Cortina for starters ;)
^^ This
Probably the best powder spots in the valley...
:out:
 

Tanuki

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Still doing research. 98 days until touchdown :)
Has anyone got recommendations for some nice onsens in the Happo/Wadano area?
There's a good one at Hotel Highmount that's open to the public, it has a lovely view of the forest (and the bars nice too), there's a private one further up the road in Wadano which you need to book, however my fave is the Hexagonal one in Happo; really nice water, never saw another tourist in it and you get to have beeru and foot massage (machine) when you've finished.
 
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2ESki

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You're forgetting Iwatake, Norikura, Cortina for starters ;)
The trouble is we've only got 6 days of skiing and don't want to spread ourselves too thin, and since its our first trip overseas were basically dipping our toe in the water so to speak, were both happy to ski the "blue runs" and hopefully start skiing a bit through "the trees" as we go :D and it's not like we've had a lot of experience with powder in Aus :whistle:,
 
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Sandy

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The trouble is we've only got 6 days of skiing and don't want to spread ourselves too thin, and since its our first trip overseas were basically dipping our toe in the water so to speak, were both happy to ski the "blue runs" and hopefully start skiing a bit through "the trees" as we go :D and it's not like we've had a lot of experience with powder in Aus :whistle:,
Well, the point is, why do you need to ski through the trees? If you are after powder, and pick the right place, you don't have to.

6 Days of skiing:
- Happo
- Goryu/47
- Iwatake
- Tsugaike
- Cortina/Norikura
 

2ESki

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Well, the point is, why do you need to ski through the trees? If you are after powder, and pick the right place, you don't have to.

6 Days of skiing:
- Happo
- Goryu/47
- Iwatake
- Tsugaike
- Cortina/Norikura
Trouble is we'll be relying on the free shuttle bus as we don't have a car, I don't know how long the bus takes from Wando to the resorts further away and don't want to spend half the day sitting on a bus getting there and back instead of skiing.
 

Tanuki

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Trouble is we'll be relying on the free shuttle bus as we don't have a car, I don't know how long the bus takes from Wando to the resorts further away and don't want to spend half the day sitting on a bus getting there and back instead of skiing.
We've stayed In Wadano twice, easy access to Happo and the Skyline bowl, Iwatake (edit) is not far by bus. Cortina approx 40 minutes from memory, maybe 20 mins to Goryu / 47 depending on how busy it is. Good restaurants and onsen as well
 
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2ESki

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We've stayed In Wadano twice, easy access to Happo and the Skyline bowl, I was keen is not far by bus. Cortina approx 40 minutes from memory, maybe 20 to 47 depending on how busy it is. Good restaurants and onsen as well
Thanks Tanuki, I was afraid Cortina might have been 60 to 90 minutes away, 40mins isn't so bad just catch an earlier bus :thumbs:
 

Sandy

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Well, the point is, why do you need to ski through the trees? If you are after powder, and pick the right place, you don't have to.

6 Days of skiing:
- Happo
- Goryu/47
- Iwatake
- Tsugaike
- Cortina/Norikura

Trouble is we'll be relying on the free shuttle bus as we don't have a car, I don't know how long the bus takes from Wando to the resorts further away and don't want to spend half the day sitting on a bus getting there and back instead of skiing.

If you're staying in Wadano near the Sakka lifts of Happo, then shuttle buses start there and you are first on the bus! The easiest is Iwatake, and Tsugaike bus runs from there:
http://www.happo-one.jp/english/new...7-Shuttle-Bus-Route-Maps--Timeta_7928/1_2.jpg

They used to run a bus to 47 from there, but that now runs from the Highmount Hotel, further up(but stops at La Niege):
https://www.hakuba47.co.jp/media/001/201612/2017Hakuba47shuttleEN.pdf

You can catch the bus to the bus terminal, and get other buses from there.
 

2ESki

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If you're staying in Wadano near the Sakka lifts of Happo, then shuttle buses start there and you are first on the bus! The easiest is Iwatake, and Tsugaike bus runs from there:
http://www.happo-one.jp/english/new...7-Shuttle-Bus-Route-Maps--Timeta_7928/1_2.jpg

They used to run a bus to 47 from there, but that now runs from the Highmount Hotel, further up(but stops at La Niege):
https://www.hakuba47.co.jp/media/001/201612/2017Hakuba47shuttleEN.pdf

You can catch the bus to the bus terminal, and get other buses from there.
Thanks Sandy, that doesn't seem so bad and Im sure the hotel staff will help us muddle though the timetable
 
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