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

Medicine_Shoes

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Just doing a bit of planning for 2021 and looking at going to Myoko for 6 nights in January. There will be 5 adults, so we are looking for a triple and a double room. We will be on foot and will need to hire gear, so wondering if it makes sense to stay in Akakura? The places a bit out of town (1.5km) seem much better value but will we get sick of hiking into town and back for dinner each night? Anyway, can anyone recommend places to stay in Akakura that won't break the bank? but they don't need to be dirt cheap either. Thanks!
 

M_G

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I know someone you can talk to. Me! Here's a few places I recommend. PM me if any of interest.

The Akakura Wakui Hotel is a good choice. It's a local family-owned and run hotel in a great location. He is quoting me 7,900 -10,500 pp/pn with a choice of western, mixed/family or Japanese rooms. Rates depend on if breakfast is needed, the room has an ensuite and whether the room is ski side or regular. (see reviews)

Hunter Lodge has a great central location with Japanese rooms and western beds. Rates are 6,500 per adult/teen, per night. (see reviews)

Senke Hotel is located right on the main street. It's a basic minshuku style with shared toilets and bathrooms. It's 5,800 pp/pn with no breakfast and 7,000 with breakfast. (see reviews)

Hotel Takeda (https://joetsu-myoko.com/joetsu-myoko-accommodation/myoko-accommodation/akakura-hotel-takeda/) also has a great location (ski-in). Quite basic but clean and cheap. It will be 8,900 pp/pn inc. breakfast and all taxes for Japanese style rooms with shared bathroom. Kids U/12 are 6,900 (see reviews)

There will be at least a couple of other hotels who have asked me to help with bookings for next season but we haven't yet finalised arrangements yet.

Further out:

If you want something out of left field have a think about Park Lodge Sekine (reviews) or Resort Project Myoko (reviews) in Ikenotaira. Park Lodge is a unique old brewery building. Both run by the same lovely local couple. It's around 6,000 pp/pn with no breakfast and 6,800 with breakfast. Ikenotaira is a great place for families and there's now an English language ski school based there.

Guest House Bunk (aka Bonku or Bonk) is a bright and clean pension style guesthouse located near the Akakan (Akakura Kanko) Resort ski lifts. Great atmosphere and nice owner. It will be 7,200 pp/pn inc. breakfast and all taxes

Myoko House might be a good option. There is an English speaking owner who is happy to shuttle guests around to different resorts and there is a gyoza restaurant/bar onsite as well as guest kitchen/lounge. Well priced rates starting as low as 6,500 pp/pn inc. breakfast.
 

M_G

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Of course I do, and people here are well aware of that as it's been discussed a few times.

But if you want to be particular it's a very minimal rate for local owners compared to the online engines and agents who can charge extortionately - up to 30%. It's a win for the local hotels as they get exposure, confirmed bookings that won't cancel at the last minute, somebody who will answer the guest's questions for them and only a small shave off the top of their rates. It's a win for the guests as they can get good advice and a good fit for their needs from someone with excellent familiarity with the local scene.
 

Medicine_Shoes

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I think I'm going to wait a bit longer until I book. This virus thing is changing things every day now. It's not as if things will book out as everyone is in the same boat.
 
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M_G

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Meanwhile, this morning in Akakura Kanko

90165396_3099714790047754_8407777968050405376_o.jpg
 

M_G

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And a few local resorts done, or just about done for the season.


Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Seki Onsen, Arai and Charmant Hiuchi still pressing on.
 

Shanef

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Sep 9, 2017
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I know someone you can talk to. Me! Here's a few places I recommend. PM me if any of interest.

The Akakura Wakui Hotel is a good choice. It's a local family-owned and run hotel in a great location. He is quoting me 7,900 -10,500 pp/pn with a choice of western, mixed/family or Japanese rooms. Rates depend on if breakfast is needed, the room has an ensuite and whether the room is ski side or regular. (see reviews)

Hunter Lodge has a great central location with Japanese rooms and western beds. Rates are 6,500 per adult/teen, per night. (see reviews)

Senke Hotel is located right on the main street. It's a basic minshuku style with shared toilets and bathrooms. It's 5,800 pp/pn with no breakfast and 7,000 with breakfast. (see reviews)

Hotel Takeda (https://joetsu-myoko.com/joetsu-myoko-accommodation/myoko-accommodation/akakura-hotel-takeda/) also has a great location (ski-in). Quite basic but clean and cheap. It will be 8,900 pp/pn inc. breakfast and all taxes for Japanese style rooms with shared bathroom. Kids U/12 are 6,900 (see reviews)

There will be at least a couple of other hotels who have asked me to help with bookings for next season but we haven't yet finalised arrangements yet.

Further out:

If you want something out of left field have a think about Park Lodge Sekine (reviews) or Resort Project Myoko (reviews) in Ikenotaira. Park Lodge is a unique old brewery building. Both run by the same lovely local couple. It's around 6,000 pp/pn with no breakfast and 6,800 with breakfast. Ikenotaira is a great place for families and there's now an English language ski school based there.

Guest House Bunk (aka Bonku or Bonk) is a bright and clean pension style guesthouse located near the Akakan (Akakura Kanko) Resort ski lifts. Great atmosphere and nice owner. It will be 7,200 pp/pn inc. breakfast and all taxes

Myoko House might be a good option. There is an English speaking owner who is happy to shuttle guests around to different resorts and there is a gyoza restaurant/bar onsite as well as guest kitchen/lounge. Well priced rates starting as low as 6,500 pp/pn inc. breakfast.


Hi there, we are planning a trip for Jan 22. Do you know of any self contained apartments or houses (ski in) that would accommodate 7 x 45yo guys?
 

skichanger

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Apparently yesterday was 28 degrees in Joetsu. Eek! Apart from the last 2 days that is hotter than where I am in Aus. Today it is forecast it will only be 13.

I find it kind of funny that there was snow here and there last week. Only snow left there is on the peak of Mt Myoko.
 

M_G

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Very warm in Myoko too - 22 degrees yesterday. Was expecting some decent falls by now. Looks like nothing until next weekend at least. Even then I don't expect much.

126901090_3410811002373944_8678721119748940179_n.jpg


 

Jacksong

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I know Lotte is an empire, but how do you think they will be feeling about their investment in Arai?

I have been once, the ski resort was relatively busy but the other facilities were like a ghost town. I imagine they will stick it out after such huge investment, I hope so.
 

M_G

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I know Lotte is an empire, but how do you think they will be feeling about their investment in Arai?

I have been once, the ski resort was relatively busy but the other facilities were like a ghost town. I imagine they will stick it out after such huge investment, I hope so.

Right from the outset they've had to spend a LOT more money on it than they budgeted for. Even before they re-opened rumours were rife that they were going to write off their losses and walk away. Also had huge problems recruiting and retaining staff. Massive turnover. I have no doubt they'd be massively bleeding red ink but it's a matter of how long they're prepared to sustain that in the hope that it will come good. 2020 will not have done it any favours.
 

Jacksong

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Right from the outset they've had to spend a LOT more money on it than they budgeted for. Even before they re-opened rumours were rife that they were going to write off their losses and walk away. Also had huge problems recruiting and retaining staff. Massive turnover. I have no doubt they'd be massively bleeding red ink but it's a matter of how long they're prepared to sustain that in the hope that it will come good. 2020 will not have done it any favours.

Nice insight. I was surprised the staff member at the front desk of the hotel was a young, good looking caucasian guy and spoke fluent English, Japanese and Korean. I can't imagine staff like this is easy to find. It's such a backwater, what is the real attraction of working full time in a place like that (not much time to ski when full-time) What would they do in summer? Sit there and rot?

Someone like that could work pretty much anywhere in Japan or Korea. Wage would have to be huge you would imagine to draw staff.
 

M_G

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Nice insight. I was surprised the staff member at the front desk of the hotel was a young, good looking caucasian guy and spoke fluent English, Japanese and Korean. I can't imagine staff like this is easy to find. It's such a backwater, what is the real attraction of working full time in a place like that (not much time to ski when full-time) What would they do in summer? Sit there and rot?

Someone like that could work pretty much anywhere in Japan or Korea. Wage would have to be huge you would imagine to draw staff.

No, they don't pay well actually. Or at least well enough for people to grit their teeth and bear it. I know a local bilingual American guy who worked there one year. He only stayed that long so that he could pick up his yearly bonus. When he started working there he thought it would be his 'forever' job but, yeah, bit of a disaster. Known others working there as well but nobody has stayed more than a few months.

The marketing guy they employed from Niseko was a know it all numbnut and that didn't help them at all. I went there once to try and help them but almost ended up having a stand up argument in his office. He was given the flick a few months afterwards.
 
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Jacksong

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No, they don't pay well actually. Or at least well enough for people to grit their teeth and bear it.

Even me, I love to ski, love Japan, experienced in hospitality, I would not be caught dead sitting behind that front desk in summer or winter, maybe if it was the evening only shift in winter only. Can't imagine they like goggle tan workers showing up exhausted to work.

At least a place like Akakura has a town to wander around and people to talk to.
 
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Lucky Pete

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Lotte is a trip. Spent a fortune on the refurb then didn't even provide toilet paper in their ski patrol staff housing. Nearest combini is miles away. Just another way to lose quality staff... Still its an awesome place to ride so stoked they spent the coin and made it happen.
 
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M_G

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I can't work out why they didn't include at least a small combini within the complex somewhere. Maybe they think it doesn't fit with the image. That said, it could also be that it would only be profitable for two months of the year. A few local restaurants moved in and they quickly tried to break leases.
 

Jacksong

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Friend of a friend from Togari Onsen has been out checking on stuck drivers, taking supplies and doing the odd rescue.


Here he has some sage advice (in Japanese)


Interesting reading about the "Folding scoop to cover the snow around the muffler of the car when it snows". This winter shows you always need to be prepared. Couldn't imagine driving far in current conditions.
 
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Ramenman

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Friend of a friend from Togari Onsen has been out checking on stuck drivers, taking supplies and doing the odd rescue.


Here he has some sage advice (in Japanese)


The same guy. Somehow, one of nationwide media was reporting it today (24th). So, a friend of your friend has become big in Japan;)

Edit: In the video above, he is introduced as "a person from Joko-Ji temple (浄光寺)", so it seems he is a temple master / Buddhist monk.
20190807191327.jpg
 
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Jacksong

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Conditions at Madarao were very good today. The snow was a little heavier than usual. Yesterday it was not very cold but it snowed all day (wet) before temps dropped overnight and it snowed around 30cm of good quality snow but on top of the wet layer. Less people than on a usual weekend.
 
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skichanger

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Alibaba have flame throwers on special
No! Just No! One of my kids has always wanted an excuse, i.e. to much snow, to buy one.
Body is already sore just thinking how much snow clearance will need to be done. Looks like there will be rain first with freezing level around 1300, hopefully that helps to melt the last of the previous snow around the place. Never thought I would worship rain (as long as there is snow straight after).
My place today. If you caught the chair up to the hotel when you were there you would have seen it. I am quite pleased that the snow has come of the roof. IMO rain would be excellent as then there would be less snow on the cars. And less snow for the poor person who has to dig their way to the front door, soon I hope. There is a snow blower under a tarp in the "shed" so once you get the stairs easy peasy!
132937971_309617327090798_7909259482808392682_n.png
 
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