Resource The big Myoko/Madarao/Arai thread - 2019/20 & 2020/21

blueandwhite

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I'm staying near Myoko Kogen on a trip with my six year old daughter. We got into Tokyo late on Sunday night and made it to Nagano by midnight. 5 hours sleep at the hotel by the station then hopped the little red train to Myoko Kogen arriving at 707am. Straight to breakfast and onto the slopes for first lifts!

It snowed on and off all day but no real accumulation during the day from what we could see. We skied Akakura. Looked like there had been a few cm overnight up top. Vis wasn't great and snow conditions were variable but almost all of the runs were open. It was winter at the top and spring at the bottom. But we had a fun day cruising the two resorts and then smashing out the little terrain park on repeat for the afternoon.

Also had a great meal in a local restaurant which was delicious and really great value.

Screenshot_20200121_064357.jpg


IMG_20200121_065706.jpg


IMG_20200120_131346.jpg
 

blueandwhite

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Woke up with a raging hangover after a night out with friends to find about 15cm had fallen outside overnight. Muddled my way through breakfast and the van ride to Suginohara whilst it puked snow like there was no tomorrow the entire time.
IMG_20200121_070023.jpg

Unsurprisingly there was a solid queue for the gondola first up and armed with our lift tickets and my raging headache we hit the back of the queue. To add to my woes I lost my phone between the lodge and the lift which did nothing to help my mood - luckily we found it in the van later and we had a mate lend us a phone for the day. Anyhow, at the top of the gondola it became apparent that there was about 40cm of light fluffy goodness waiting for us. So we charged straight into it.
Screenshot_20200121-201551_Video Player.jpg

With the exception of a stop for pork curry and hot chocolate we pretty much looped the top lift for the rest of the day, trying to improve our powder riding skills. I looked on in envy at the snowboarders - I snowboarded for 20 years but started skiing a couple of years back. I love skiing now but just occasionally on these optimal days I yearn for the board again! Daughter loves skiing and boarding but she's considerably better at skiing and I can't imagine the parental pain of taking her out on a board in such deep snow! She's self-sufficient in powder on skis which makes a big difference.
Screenshot_20200121-201324_Video Player.jpg

We were having a blast. After my next bad for the day (leaving my backpack in the lunch venue and having to return later to get it) the good news filtered through about my phone being found which lifted spirits even more. Despite the main trails being tracked the snow was still skiing brilliantly and forming ramps we could launch off everywhere. There were still plenty of stashes to be found to the sides of the runs too.
Screenshot_20200121-201042_Video Player.jpg

Exhausted, we returned home. Legs burning so much we didn't leave the lodge and we got an early dinner a celebratory chu-hi (sprite-based for the 6 year old! ) and collapsed in bed.

Comfortably our best day's skiing in Japan ever. Praise be!
 

Sandy

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Woke up with a raging hangover after a night out with friends to find about 15cm had fallen outside overnight. Muddled my way through breakfast and the van ride to Suginohara whilst it puked snow like there was no tomorrow the entire time.
IMG_20200121_070023.jpg

Unsurprisingly there was a solid queue for the gondola first up and armed with our lift tickets and my raging headache we hit the back of the queue. To add to my woes I lost my phone between the lodge and the lift which did nothing to help my mood - luckily we found it in the van later and we had a mate lend us a phone for the day. Anyhow, at the top of the gondola it became apparent that there was about 40cm of light fluffy goodness waiting for us. So we charged straight into it.
Screenshot_20200121-201551_Video Player.jpg

With the exception of a stop for pork curry and hot chocolate we pretty much looped the top lift for the rest of the day, trying to improve our powder riding skills. I looked on in envy at the snowboarders - I snowboarder for 20 years but started skiing a couple of years back. I love skiing now but just occasionally on these optimal days I yearn for the board again! Daughter loves skiing and boarding but she's considerably better at skiing and I can't imagine the parental pain of taking her out on a board in such deep snow! She's self-sufficient in powder on skis which makes a big difference.
Screenshot_20200121-201324_Video Player.jpg

We were having a blast. After my next bad for the day (leaving my backpack in the lunch venue and having to return later to get it) the good news filtered through about my phone being found which lifted spirits even more. Despite the main trails being tracked the snow was still skiing brilliantly and forming ramps we could launch off everywhere. There were still plenty of stashes to be found to the sides of the runs too.
Screenshot_20200121-201042_Video Player.jpg

Exhausted, we returned home. Legs burning so much we didn't leave the lodge and we got an early dinner a celebratory chu-hi (sprite-based for the 6 year old! ) abd collapsed in bed.

Comfortably our best day's skiing in Japan ever. Praise be!

This is why you don't give yourself a hangover when there's snow falling (or will fall) ;)
 

blueandwhite

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We went to Ikenotaira today. We'd been keen to try this out despite suggestions that it wasn't that steep and was a bit limited. However we got it on a good day with bluebird skies and snow still in great condition. We had a great time with a bit of everything.

There were still heaps of powder stashes everywhere although interestingly we were riding on top of the powder rather than through it today.
Screenshot_20200122_162029.jpg

There are some decent tree runs at Ikenotaira and very little competition for them the day we were there. Definitely still needs more snow in the trees though. It's very skiable but those damn bamboo shoots swatting you all the time!
Screenshot_20200123_064153.jpg

The groomers were fun and as a bonus had heaps of rollers and ramps you could hit off. They stayed in pretty good condition all day.
Screenshot_20200122_141532.jpg

And whilst the park was disappointingly small it still provided some fun for my daughter. The park was dominated by rails with only one box (which you had to hike up to!) and a small jump. We'd read good things about the park and halfpipe but I guess, at least for the latter, there presumably hadn't been enough snow.
Screenshot_20200122_211334.jpg

Overall we liked the resort. The top runs were steep enough and the tree skiing was fun. The views were great too. It was cash only everywhere and signs were almost all in Japanese only but this just added to the charm. It was free for my daughter to ski as well (as was Suginohara), with only Akakura charging for her to ski so far - more than 4,000 yen so quite a big difference. Hats off to Suginohara and Ikenotaira in this regard!

We finished the day with a delicious udon dinner and a visit to the crepe place with the most ridiculously extensive menu in the history of crepe shops. I was particularly taken by the 'crepe of the extreme popularity' . It was delicious and I could see why it was so popular.
IMG_20200122_195843.jpg

Rain tomorrow so the party may be over. But we've certainly enjoyed the party so far.
 
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elSpike

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We went to Iketenaira today. We'd been keen to try this out despite suggestions that it wasn't that steep and was a bit limited. However we got it on a good day with bluebird skies and snow still in great condition. We had a great time with a bit of everything.

There were still heaps of powder stashes everywhere although interestingly we were riding on top of the powder rather than through it today.
Screenshot_20200122_162029.jpg

There are some decent tree runs at Iketenaira and very little competition for them the day we were there. Definitely still needs more snow in the trees though. It's very skiable but those damn bamboo shoots swatting you all the time!
Screenshot_20200123_064153.jpg

The groomers were fun and as a bonus had heaps of rollers and ramps you could hit off. They stayed in pretty good condition all day.
Screenshot_20200122_141532.jpg

And whilst the park was disappointingly small it still provided some fun for my daughter. The park was dominated by rails with only one box (which you had to hike up to!) and a small jump. We'd read good things about the park and halfpipe but I guess, at least for the latter, there presumably hadn't been enough snow.
Screenshot_20200122_211334.jpg

Overall we liked the resort. The top runs were steep enough and the tree skiing was fun. The views were great too. It was cash only everywhere and signs were almost all in Japanese only but this just added to the charm. It was free for my daughter to ski as well (as was Suginohara), with only Akakura charging for her to ski so far - more than 4,000 yen so quite a big difference. Hats off to Suginohara and Iketenaira in this regard!

We finished the day with a delicious udon dinner and a visit to the crepe place with the most ridiculously extensive menu in the history of crepe shops. I was particularly taken by the 'crepe of the extreme popularity' . It was delicious and I could see why it was so popular.
IMG_20200122_195843.jpg

Rain tomorrow so the party may be over. But we've certainly enjoyed the party so far.
He’s expensive because he is the best crepes in the village. We have not tried the gelatine cheese that is good for women. Please try and revert back to us. :D
 
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blueandwhite

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He’s expensive because he is the best crepes in the village. We have not tried the gelatine cheese that is good for women. Please try and revert back to us. :D
Yes, we estimated there was 500 yen changing hands over his counter every 60 seconds. Works out to a decent hourly rate! They were delicious mind. Except the tuna salad crepe maybe...
 
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M_G

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Outside of winter you get three restaurants sometimes open - the curry place, the Italian and maybe the noodle place (Miyoshi). Often only the curry place. Akakura is a dead zone for 9 months of the year.
 

M_G

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The crepe guy was thinking of setting up in Falls or Thredbo each winter. Helped him do some leg work but it came to nought. Not sure how serious he was.
 

blueandwhite

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Suginohara in the rain. Doesn't sound that appealing off the bat but was actually another fun day. The rain that had threatened our trip from several weeks out finally hit. With a light drizzle falling outside we agreed to try out Suginohara for a half day and scurry home early if it was too wet.

As it happened we needn't have worried. The rain was relatively light and it was snowing from about 1700m. As a Buller season ticket holder this was like a regular day in the office! There was even 5cm of that creamy, slightly soggy BullerPow waiting for us at the top of the Mitahara quad.

Before we were to be allowed access to that bounty at 930am we lapped the groomers from top to bottom of the gondola. Soft, fresh groomed tracks, what's not to like...
Screenshot_20200123_221324.jpg

When the top area opened we piled up and skied the three courses off the top. Fun for the most part but turning very grabby near the transition between snow and rain.
Screenshot_20200123_221559.jpg

That done we focused on the terrain park for a while which had appeared like magic from beneath the 50cm of pow that had concealed it on our last visit. Crazy high number of rails again but at least a few boxes as well. Have banned daughter from rails for now but she was uber keen to try the big rainbow box. Probably want to put in an extra speed check next time cupcake.
With the track softening and the quad lift by the terrain park blown up and out of action we retreated to the yellow cafe for lunch and then high-tailed it home for onsen and packing. Tomorrow we plan a half day, probably Ikenotaira, and then the bus to Madarao.

All in all a pretty decent day considering I'd written it off as a non-ski-day originally. We're certainly not out of the woods yet for rain but we can but hope that it holds off.
 

blueandwhite

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The crepe guy was thinking of setting up in Falls or Thredbo each winter. Helped him do some leg work but it came to nought. Not sure how serious he was.
He would bloody rake it in at Buller. Donut man at Buller needs the competition to keep him honest!
 
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ponyrider

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Well, first trip to Myoko and loved the place. In a 'low snow' year it still skied amazingly well. Well, up until the last day, anyway. ACL/MCL tear combo on Hotel A Kanko course, and a shed load of problems now cascade on my immediate future. Colorado trip cancelled, O/S work relocation delayed, and moving house just got a whole lot harder. We will leave the D.I.V.O.R.C.E out of it I guess. Lots of phone calls to insurers and airlines negotiating seats that fit this brace. I got extremely lucky with some expert help on hand in my lodge, but yep that's the way it goes. Well, pop, anyway. Moguls, I'm done with you.

But Myoko I will be back.

Leg.jpg
 

2ESki

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Well, first trip to Myoko and loved the place. In a 'low snow' year it still skied amazingly well. Well, up until the last day, anyway. ACL/MCL tear combo on Hotel A Kanko course, and a shed load of problems now cascade on my immediate future. Colorado trip cancelled, O/S work relocation delayed, and moving house just got a whole lot harder. We will leave the D.I.V.O.R.C.E out of it I guess. Lots of phone calls to insurers and airlines negotiating seats that fit this brace. I got extremely lucky with some expert help on hand in my lodge, but yep that's the way it goes. Well, pop, anyway. Moguls, I'm done with you.

But Myoko I will be back.

Leg.jpg
Good luck with all that , I snapped the acl and tore the miniscus at Myoko :( , that reminds me I should do my exercises :whistle:
 
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elSpike

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Good luck with all that , I snapped the acl and tore the miniscus at Myoko :( , that reminds me I should do my exercises :whistle:
Much like referring to the wet stuff as clear snow, I hear by suggest we start calling these things as “I extended my knee articulation” or something equally euphemistic.

no snapping and tearing and breaking needed!
 
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blueandwhite

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And this afternoon, equally packed on the pistes...
Screenshot_20200127_170401.jpg

I mean the snow was pretty ordinary, but still, it wasn't THAT bad!
 

Paradox

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8 degrees in Akakan when we came back in after lunch. Not even any snow melt, just baking asphalt and confused looking people wandering around...you could almost see the snow that is there slowly collapsing...:cry::cry:
 

ratherb@thesnow

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Arrived home today after 10 fundays in Myoko and a short look around at Nozawa Onsen, tried out the GoproMax this trip, pretty happy with the results
 

cchang1110

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Hello
Long time reader (which has helped me planned 3 Japan trips - so many thanks to many of you)

But is anyone out at Madarao? I'm hoping to day trip over from Myoko tomorrow (30/01) but I heard only 2 runs were open today? Is that right? I'm happy to snowboard some decent runs even if it's patchy down low. Any run is a good run.

Got some pre-purchased passes that I need to use before I head to Shiga.
 

Sandy

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Sorry, but this evaluation is not quite right.
Deep lows DO NOT fuel the lake/sea effect.
Rob's vid on sea effect snow.
Yes, you've posted one of his videos before maybe 4-5 years ago, but the main point in that video, is that Rob DOES NOT mention this: "If you don’t have deep jet streams to fuel deep lows then you don’t get the big sea effect snow makers in to the mountains of Japan" because it's not correct.
 

Lucky Pete

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For the guys going to Myoko looking for a relaxed bevy, a friend of mine Kevin, from the very popular Kevin's Bar in Karuizawa, has opened up a nice place in the Lime Resort. He is a super friendly guy and one of the best bar men I have met. Pop in and say hi, grab a drink and settle in for a good time.

84233043_10157445130558962_9157031469489586176_o.jpg
83595174_10157445130603962_6197711741695033344_o.jpg
 

usedtacould

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Pretty well as Argento said.Had a fantastic time after lunch.Just so much better on fresh as we all know.Even my mate Lepersan who is normally very laid back was raving.

Communication going OK? I heard you had a none English speaker with you this trip...........
 

Brendan Shanahan

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I normally wouldn't post something like this in a general forum as I worry it comes off as a bit condescending, but here goes.

A warning to anyone in the Madarao area (Nagano resorts) about the backcountry snowpack at the moment. We dug a few snow pits on the backside of Madarao / Tangram today after seeing some movement yesterday and had some pretty concerning results on the NW aspect which I suspect is a result of the wind loading in the last storm. More detail on my blog below for those who are interested.

Note: I am far from an expert on this subject, I am just sharing my observations as they were significant enough to prevent me and my group from riding this face.

https://professionaljerry.com/snow-report-10th-feb-2020/
 
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Lucky Pete

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I normally wouldn't post something like this in a general forum as I worry it comes off as a bit condescending, but here goes.

A warning to anyone in the Madarao area (Nagano resorts) about the backcountry snowpack at the moment. We dug a few snow pits on the backside of Madarao / Tangram today after seeing some movement yesterday and had some pretty concerning results on the NW aspect which I suspect is a result of the wind loading in the last storm. More detail on my blog below for those who are interested.

Note: I am far from an expert on this subject, I am just sharing my observations as they were significant enough to prevent me and my group from riding this face.

https://professionaljerry.com/snow-report-10th-feb-2020/

Thanks! All info is useful. Appeared to be a snowed over small crown on one of Togari runs up top today (It was closed).
 
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Brendan Shanahan

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I have 2 x single day Madarao Area lift ticket coupons for sale. ¥3100 each (about $42 AUD)

These tickets cost ¥5000 at the ticket window, so a decent ¥1900 discount. I can email them to the purchaser, just send me DM if interested. You just take the voucher to the ticket window and exchange it for a day pass.
 

Donza

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What's happening in Myoko? Spate of equipment thefts from inside hotels. Suss people about! Bogans doing bogan stuff I've heard.
 
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M_G

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Thefts, fights, glassings, grafitti and the usual disorderly bogan behaviour.

Proverbs 6:27

Saw this eventuality coming years back but no-one wanted to listen. All kinds of hand wringing going on now. Reap what you sow. I've said all the bars need to voluntarily put RAS into place.
 

M_G

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Well Akakura Onsen not most of Myoko.

But I hear you have speeding in your street. ;)

Lots of new Aussie owners, lots of bars, lots of events, no RSA because the dollar in your pocket is more important.

Yep!

We had somewhere sell a guest alcohol till they were unconscious and then turf them out into the street. Lucky he came to and found his way into somewhere else. I am aware of at least 3 places that do this. 2 western owned and 1 Japanese.

This is why people die in Japanese resorts. Zero care.
 
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