Resource The big Myoko/Madarao/Arai thread - 2018/19

offshore

Hard Yards
Nov 29, 2018
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Have the ski passes at Myoko gone electronic or are they still using the paper ones you wear in a holder around your arm?

Wondering if I’ll need to search for our ski pass holders or not.
 

Piste Again

Part of the Furniture
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Jul 27, 2000
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^^^ This ^^^

Also for Madarao and the other surrounding places. And Hakuba while we're at it!

Anywhere else you'd expect to have a card that you can top up online. It's one of the things that makes Japan interesting though - expect nothing to work like it does back home LOL.
 

skichanger

A Local
Jan 1, 2012
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Snow this morning at Madarao.
 

Lucky Pete

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Nov 14, 2014
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Hakuba and Shiga have definitely been on a chip system for years. Not sure about Madarao though.

All but a couple places in the Hakuba Valley have Ski Data electronic ticekts, there is talk even Sanosaka has joined in this year. Whilst not having all the features of other places with Ski Data cards, it negates the need to go to a ticket office if you get them through your accommodation. This is gold if your 1st day is a weekend etc.
 
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M_G

M_G_ = Make skiing great again
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We have to organise and pay direct for our house as that is a private street. The public street where the lodge is is done by contractors and paid for by Myoko City. Our tax dollars at work.
 
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skichanger

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Jan 1, 2012
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For the street.
mmm at both my places the street is cleared by the local govt plus a component from my neighbourhood association. I assume it is heavily subsidised. We clear the car park at both lodges. It is just easier than relying on someone else, especially when we are at the bottom of other people's priorities.
 

Ramenman

A Local
Mar 3, 2014
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We have to organise and pay direct for our house as that is a private street. The public street where the lodge is is done by contractors and paid for by Myoko City. Our tax dollars at work.
mmm at both my places the street is cleared by the local govt plus a component from my neighbourhood association. I assume it is heavily subsidised. We clear the car park at both lodges. It is just easier than relying on someone else, especially when we are at the bottom of other people's priorities.

Hmm, the streets around our lodge are private ones, so no subsidy or less subsidy, and there are not many lodge owners around our lodge, so each lodge owner needs to pay a lot, I guess. I mean, a major homebuilder developed about 60 lots for lodges on the highland, but there are less than 10 lodges on the 60 lots now. This one is not ours, but like that picture, there isn't another lodge nearby, so each lodge owner needs to pay a lot for cleaning snow on the street, I guess.
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GabMcDonald

First Runs
Dec 27, 2018
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Hi there, we'll be first time visitors end of Jan and staying at the Lotte Arai resort. Felt like a good deal at the time but can't cancel it now anyway. Seems there are limited restaurants, etc at the resort so I'm thinking of renting a car so we can get around a bit more for food & skiing options. We drive on left here in Oz so not too concerned about that but is there anything else I should worry about (I know to make sure the car has winter tyres or AWD). Thanks in advance ;)
 

blowfin

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Nov 3, 2012
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Hi there, we'll be first time visitors end of Jan and staying at the Lotte Arai resort. Felt like a good deal at the time but can't cancel it now anyway. Seems there are limited restaurants, etc at the resort so I'm thinking of renting a car so we can get around a bit more for food & skiing options. We drive on left here in Oz so not too concerned about that but is there anything else I should worry about (I know to make sure the car has winter tyres or AWD). Thanks in advance ;)

You'll need an international driving permit to hire one. Make sure you get snow tyres.

There's probably hire outlets near the Joetsu/Myoko Shinkansen station.

Much more info in this thread:
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/j...ernal-flights-car-hire-discounts.63893/unread
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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I’d get the license @GabMcDonald but don’t be too fussed. If you want to go out for dinner beyond the resort look for buses and use taxis.

Bus stuff is cheap.

Taxi means no dealing with snow roads or drink drive. Treated very very seriously in Japan.

And what’s dinner without sake?
 

M_G

M_G_ = Make skiing great again
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Jun 2, 2009
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It's less than 10 minutes by taxi to Arai Road Station which has a few great restaurants like sushi and Italian. Maybe 1500 yen each way.

If you do hire a car the nearest place is JoetsuMyoko Station.
 

Zimbooo

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Nov 20, 2017
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@M_G have you heard anything about Pension Woody Hill in Madarao? Their Japanese website is no longer online and it's also no longer taking bookings on any of the booking engines? My son was looking at staying there again in Feb with a few of his friends. Maybe the old couple who ran it have retired? Any info?
 

M_G

M_G_ = Make skiing great again
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Thanks @M_G. Hope you can shed some light. Wonderful old couple. Their kids where living in Kobe so no kids to help them out.

Many of the local owners came up to Madarao (many from Kansai) 25-30 years ago to open lodges. Now mostly in their 60's and 70's and with many of them not having kids who wish to carry on. So if a foreigner drops a bag of money in front of them it's hard to say no, particularly when that bag is 2-3 times bigger than they would've hoped for even 5 years ago.

Will let you know if I hear of anything.
 
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GSea

Addicted
Aug 7, 2010
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Been a good week in Myoko.
Will be there Jan 12 for 7days then on to Madarao for another 7 days.:)

This report
Thursday 3rd January 2019, 9:57am41cmWednesday 2nd January 2019, 10:43am34cmTuesday 1st January 2019, 9:38am1cmMonday 31st December 2018, 9:10am51cmSunday 30th December 2018, 10:27am56cmSaturday 29th December 2018, 9:45am45cmFriday 28th December 2018, 9:46am80cmLast 7 reports (total):308cmLast 14 reports (total):357cmCurrent month (January 2019) total:76cm2018/2019 season so far total:556cm
 

Piste Again

Part of the Furniture
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Just finishing the first part of my holiday. I've been at Madarao for the last 5 days, the next 5 are at Hakuba.

Madarao (excluding Tangram) is a nice resort, but small. I reckon if you went for it you could ski every piste in the resort in a day. At my more leisurely pace this didn't happen of course, and after 4 days there's a lot I didn't cover (ie the black bump runs and a few beginner runs) but a lot that I did numerous times. There's a lot of areas where the trees have been thinned out as well, but skiing solo I didn't want to go diving off on my own. These would add a few days of fun if you're so inclined. The runs aren't particularly long, and top-to-bottom wouldn't be any more than about 400 metres.

Their concept of a blue run is interesting. A blue is anything from a wide gentle cruiser to a fairly steep mogul field. Some of their blues would be black anywhere else in the world. The "never groomed" pistes are good fun if hard work.

And being Japan, the snow is top shelf, although I got enough flat light that I had to give it up early today and didn't go out at all another thanks to the lack of definition.

Definitely a fun resort and I chose well, but I think if you don't do the tree runs most people would find it a bit repetitive after 4 or 5 days.

I stayed at Skichanger's place (Chalet Madarao). It's very comfortable, the ski-in-ski-out (if you're a decent skier) is very handy, the staff are great and the food is excellent. It's still a work in progress but all the important stuff works, and once it's sorted it'll be great.
 

Ramenman

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Mar 3, 2014
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It seems new bus will start running on January 10th. Akakura Onsen - Lotte Arai ski resort - Road Station Arai - Joetsu Myoko station - Takada station - Naoetsu station on Thursday and + Umigatari (Aquarium) on Saturday. The new bus is mainly targeting tourists from abroad. It's Niigata Prefecture's new trial and if it turns out tourists from abroad highly rate the new bus service, Niigata Prefecture will keep operating the bus next year as well.

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PeterM

Hard Yards
Aug 7, 2017
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It seems new bus will start running on January 10th. Akakura Onsen - Lotte Arai ski resort - Road Station Arai - Joetsu Myoko station - Takada station - Naoetsu station on Thursday and + Umigatari (Aquarium) on Saturday. The new bus is mainly targeting tourists from abroad. It's Niigata Prefecture's new trial and if it turns out tourists from abroad highly rate the new bus service, Niigata Prefecture will keep operating the bus next year as well.

0057810700372540s.jpg
I thought there was already a bus from Akakura to Lotte Arai..?
 

Ramenman

A Local
Mar 3, 2014
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It seems another new restaurant & bar targeting mainly tourists from abroad opened in Akakura Onsen last month.
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LDJ

One of Us
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Apr 23, 2017
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Looking to do around 5 days of powder chasing in Mid-Late February. I know we may hit none but wanted to see if Arai fitted the bill. Within reason money isn’t limiting factor. We have crazy jobs and ski hard so just want to collapse at end of day and not drive.

We absolutely loved Okushiga Kogen resort and Rusutsu basically hitting gates and slack country all day, onsen, Japanese feed, vending machine beer, bed, rinse and repeat. My preference isn’t the resort style restaurants but nice room, onsen and access to close ski lift for missus is more important. arai seems to fit the bill? Thoughts?
 

M_G

M_G_ = Make skiing great again
Ski Pass
Jun 2, 2009
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You're limiting yourself at Arai IMO. You have more choice of resorts being based up in Myoko Kogen. FWIW we had a guest last week who did Arai one day, Madarao the next, Suginohara after that. Said he simply wouldn't go back to Arai compared to the other two.
 

LDJ

One of Us
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Apr 23, 2017
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FWIW we had a guest last week who did Arai one day, Madarao the next, Suginohara after that. Said he simply wouldn't go back to Arai compared to the other two.
thanks useful info. how easy it is to get between the different resorts without a car?
 

fenrir

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Jul 23, 2010
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Bus is easy enough from akakura. Just the time and crowd factor makes it a bit painful.
To be honest I didn't notice crowds on any of the 8am busses, going home could get a little squeezy though.

From Akakura you can get to any of the Myoko resorts as well as Madarao/Tangram/Arai. From outside Akakura you will have limited options to getting to Arai unless you catch a train followed by a shuttle bus. Even from Akakura I found the Arai bus to be less reliable than the others - make sure you have a plan B to make your way home.
 
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