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Trying to decide between Myoko or Nozawa

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Gina Hill, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Gina Hill

    Gina Hill First Runs

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    Have been to Japan a few times. Niseko, Myoko Kogan x 2 and Furano. We all absolutely Love Myoko but feel like a maybe a change. Wondering if Nozawa might be just too small a village & not offer enough options for dinner. We will be 2 x families, with 2 x teenager girls. Intermediate & Advanced Skiers & Expert Snowboarder is Group.
     
  2. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    How long are you going for? Also, when....and what did you enjoy/not enjoy about the places you have been so far?
     
  3. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Your kidding yourself if you think there are not enough restaurants and Nozawa, the place has heaps of options, you would not exhaust your choices in 5 weeks.
    Many people will not look beyond their nose though.

    As with most places in Japan, they do not cater well for large groups, if you present as 2-3 groups of 3-4 people rather than 1 group of 10-12, you will have a lot more success getting in to the desired location.
     
  4. Gina Hill

    Gina Hill First Runs

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    Hi, probably going for 7-10 days skiing. Didn’t really like Niseko felt it was too busy with lots of Aussie, didn’t feel like that authentic Japan. With Furano felt it was a bit spread out with good eating options. What we love about Myoko Kogan is that you have loads of food choices in a small town feel. So trying to get a feeling if Nozawa is similar in size to Myoko or smaller.
     
  5. Gina Hill

    Gina Hill First Runs

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  6. Gina Hill

    Gina Hill First Runs

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    I’m only asking the question about food options for Nozawa not making any judgements as I haven’t been there. Just trying to find out if Nozawa is smaller then Myoko Kogan or around the same size and feel.
     
  7. silva

    silva One of Us

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    I have not been to Myoko (going in Jan 2020) but have been to Nozawa. We were there for 10 nights, did not go to the same place for dinner twice and barely scratched the surface of places to eat. There are lots of little restaurants which we would have loved to have tried. What we loved about Nozawa was wandering around the village in the afternoon/evenings and looking in all the little shops and eateries. Its an awesome village feel. We are hoping that Myoko will be similar village wise. We did not enjoy the mountain at Nozawa as much as other places we have been so are now looking for somewhere with the village feel and afternoon/evening options but a few more snowboarding options so are trying out Myoko this trip (as well as Shiga which we know does not have the village and eating options).
     
  8. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    7-10 days in Nozawa would be too much IMHO. It has a wonderful authentic village vibe. Heaps of restaurants. The mountain is good for about 5 days of exploring. Generally gets good snowfall. There is the option of trying out Madarao/Tangram across the valley if you want to stay put and need some other options. Or, give Hakuba a go. Heaps of variety for a week or more. Another option might be Yuzawa.
     
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  9. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    For my family of 4, 7-10 days in Nozawa is just fine. Great variety of skiing from expert - beginner. Cool town to explore by foot, has taken me 3 trips to fully appreciate the variety of stuff to experience in town. Great little town for non-skiing days. The only major downside is that if you go in January about 90% of the people staying in the village are Aussie families.

    Nozawa Scenario 1 - Aussie Dad to japanese guy in snowboard hire shop in Nozawa- "hey mate, do you know a bottle shop where I can buy some Jim Beam?" Japanese guy replies "errrr.......... we are a Snowboard shop"
    Nozawa Scenario 2 - Aussie Mum to me, walking out of a Soba Noodle restaurant in Nozawa- "excuse me, can you tell me, does this place have meals that are child friendly?"
     
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  10. andrew7

    andrew7 Hard Yards

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    Nozawa is a much larger village than Myoko (akukura/onsen) with many multiple times the number of restaurants.
    It is quite a lively and beautiful village, hilly and picturesque with as I recall 10 public onsen in towns (which I find very therapeutic and relaxing!). Good for non-skiiers too, nice place to wander around. I think the ski area is a tad limited maybe comparable with Myoko Akukura with some nice tree skiing up top and some nice long cruisers, fairly limited for expert skiiers (however both not really super steep/deep etc). I would combine 4-5 days at Nozawa with 4-5 days etc at Hakuba which is an easy bus transfer ?1-1.5hrs away. We did this trip 2 years ago and it really enjoyed it.
     
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  11. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hakuba would be closer to 4 hours transfer time once you take into account the multiple modes of transport. Bus or Taxi , Train and then another bus.
    Plus they don't align all the time.

    Nozawa has pretty meh Groomers IMO. However if you can ski. You're going there for the tree skiing .
     
  12. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nozawa hasn't got any steeps/deeps? o_O
     
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  13. andrew7

    andrew7 Hard Yards

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    ^ Donza we had a direct bus transfer in a mini bus with about 20 others, I cant recall the specifics but I don't remember it being a lengthy ride (it must have been a private transfer service). And agreed re Noz, trees are where its at, though they have a very nice long ridge run.
     
  14. andrew7

    andrew7 Hard Yards

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    Certainly no true steeps ie. no double blacks or chutes a la Whistler-Blackcomb, Snowbird, Jackson Hole, La Grave etc though if you're lucky it can be deep :)
     
  15. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah its around 2 hours in a mini bus.
     
  16. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If they are your benchmark then yes. But we're talking Japan. Looking where the OP has skied in Japan before that shouldn't be an issue.
     
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  17. Gregah

    Gregah One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Myoko has better:
    - Breadth of skiing / boarding options
    - Snow (more of it, not that Nozawa lacks it)
    - Onsens (Myoko's come with your accom and are generally well appointed, Nozawa's onsens are mainly public access, most are hot enough to boil you alive in 5 minutes, and most are very basic in their appointment)

    Nozawa has better:
    - Village vibe
    - Apre ski & dining options (BUT, you must follow Beerman's advice)
    - English language acceptance (less lost in translation risk)

    And then there is the Aussie factor - no shortage of us at Myoko but if you suffer from cultural cringe then know that Nozawa is absolutely crawling with overly-loud overly-entitled ex-convicts in January (can't vouch for the other months)
     
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  18. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    At the end of the day either Myoko or Nozawa are great choices, but OP has been to Myoko twice. Steeps is irrelevant, OP is asking about Japan, Noz in places is as steep as anywhere inbounds for Japan, and probably steeper than most steeps in Myoko.
    If you want great onsens, Myoko and Nozawa have plenty. Some onsens in Noz are rustic because they are thousands of years old. We stay in Nozawa with a pension with a beautiful onsen.
    Village in Nozawa is fantastic.
    Aussies in Nozawa are annoying and can take make you cringe. It's a bit of first world problem though, both options are great.
     
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  19. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    When people ask me this question (quite regularly) my answer is thus:
    If you are coming for the skiing then it's Myoko because of the greater variety of terrain.
    If you are coming for the experience it's hard to beat Nozawa for the vibe.
     
  20. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Nowhere in Japan has terrain like that , but none of those places you mentioned has consistent snow like this .....
     
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  21. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Cough.
    Snowbird.
     
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  22. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ummmm...... I've been to Snowbird.
    But you've never been to Japan, right?
    Then you can't compare unless you've been to both.
    Japan can regularly get 40cm + overnight, without a "system" or a storm, just a sniff of wind from the right direction.
     
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  23. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    I have also been to Snowbird and while the powder quality is probably better than Japan , I have never skied anywhere that snows as much as it does in Japan .
     
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  24. fennekeg

    fennekeg Hard Yards

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    For others reading along, we (two Europeans) went to Nozawa end of February (so not January), and at that time of year Nozawa was absolutely doable Ozzie-wise. We knew beforehand so we came prepared, and it was an odd experience to suddenly be surrounded by Australians after two weeks of almost no gaijin further up north, but at no point did it bother us. Everyone was friendly and behaving well. So if your schedule allows and you want to avoid the worst of your fellow countrypeople, come a month later. Nozawa is absolutely worth it.
     
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  25. Disaster

    Disaster Hard Yards

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    I have to disagree. Japan pow best I've had anywhere.
    I'd take Japan over north America any day. And I just did 4 days heli in Canada last January.
    Don't get me wrong, Canada was EPIC. I've just had better snow and deeper in Japan more often.
     
  26. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    IMO the absolute ground zero of Aussies being dicks in Japan is Fire festival in Nozawa to Australia day period
    15th jan to 26th Jan.
     
  27. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have been to Nozawa only once and Myoko 4 times. I enjoyed both and the village in Nozawa is fantastic for afternoon walks or when the wife wants a break and to go browsing. Finding places to eat in a large group in Nozawa will be a issue. But this depends on when your there,? Careful where you book acc, you may end up with a bit of a up hill walk through the streets to the snow. There is a good free bus system doing loops, during the week times were not as regular. I would go again but prefer Myoko.
     
  28. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can’t comment on Myoko, but can heartily endorse Nozawa having stayed there twice. 5 - 6 days is plenty of time to explore the snow fields (not exactly a huge resort, but something for everyone including some decent steeps). The picturesque village is fantastic, even when crowded with Aussies. If there, you need to try an onsen, steamed buns, and a stroll through the backstreets. It is a hike up the hill to either Hikage or Nagasaka gondolas, but there are lockers where you can leave your skis/boards and boots. Plan in advance by booking restaurants ahead of time. Otherwise you may find yourself wandering around aimlessly trying to get a seat. Our hosts were quite willing to book several for us for the first few days.
     
  29. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Nozawa is a beautiful village and plenty large enough with enough dining, onsen and other attractions to keep you occupied and happy for many a day. The skiing is kind of funny, it seems to be best for beginners or advanced skiers. Not so good for intermediates. The truly good stuff, and there is plenty of it, is tucked away and does take some hunting out which again comes with some risk and does require you being properly prepared and know what you're doing.
     
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  30. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nozawa and food is no problem. There are lots of places (maybe 40-50) so you can always find a place. You might not get into one of the better known ones at 6pm but keep walking and you will find a little gem that has the best food. Go for a couple of drinks and eat a little later. If you don't think you can last till 8ish, have some gyoza or something on the way off the mountain to tie you over.
    Remember, you are on holidays, you chose this place because it is different, so get out of routine and mix life up. let the kids explore, let them try things and give them some space, it will change them forever.
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love the steamed buns in the street as you wander...
     
  32. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    Nozawa has some very cool "wandering around" food options. Here are some of my favourites -
    The guy that cooks corn in the onsen water, with cigarette dangling out of mouth, while he rubs salt into your corn cob = tick.
    The elderly woman who serves you bean paste pastries, straight out of her oven, through her little window, for 80 yen =tick.
    The young guy who makes potato and cheese balls, and turns them with his chopsticks, over a gas flame = tick.
     
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  33. PerthBoarder

    PerthBoarder Hard Yards

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    I second this statement. Drunken dudes wanting to punch on in the street after the fire festival... stay classy Australia
     
  34. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Touche.
    I will be addressing that situation this coming (northern hemisphere) winter.
    Japan snow is legendary but Snowbird gets a lot of it consistently too. I understand the cycle in Little Cottonwood Canyon is more of a big dump followed by a few days of blue sky. I think LCC averages about 13 metres per year. Are there any accurate guides to how much the Japanese resorts get? I believe the Hokkaido hills get more than those around Nagano. But how much more?
     
  35. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They don't... The whole Hokkaido gets more snow than Nagano is a generalised myth.
    Its hard to explain how much snow and how hard it falls until you've actually been there and experienced it.
    Just consider the top of Nozawa is only a bit higher than the altitude of Salt Lake City.
    Then consider its roughly 40kms from the ocean.
    Add the fact its lattitude of 37 north is similar to Santa Cruz.
    Then imagine how hard it must snow to record 13 metres at Nozawa village at 565m above sea level
     
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  36. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  37. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  38. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cant get the image to load right
     
  39. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nowcast weather data over 11 years
     
  40. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's not necessarily true that Hokkaido gets more than central Japan. It depends on aspect and location, and the wind direction. The Japanese season is shorter than North America, so it gets more snow in a shorter time.
    e.g. Myoko (central Japan) got 1705cm last season. Myoko has averaged 15.15m over the last 3 years, which is more than Niseko (Hokkaido)
     
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  41. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A lot of variables though.

    IMO there's not much variety between the three central skijos at Myoko, with the best inbounds "Myoko" terrain at Suginohara and Seki Onsen. I'd argue that Nozowa gives you easier access to a wider variety of terrain, with it all being accessible from the village, no travel required.

    I find Nozowa a bit claustrophobic too, so I don't really enjoy the vibe that much, but that's just me.
     
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  42. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah its a graph of what was forecast to happen.
     
  43. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    What was going to happen or did happen?
     
  44. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was going to. Its a graphical representation of snow forecast forecasts .

    Not what occured. There are sweet FA observation plots for Japanese snow.
    The temperatures look about right though.
     
  45. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    as @Sandy says that''s not necessarily true.. from what I've experienced, Hokkiado gets more snowy days, but that doesn't mean, the snowfall amount per day is more than Honshu.
    On Honshu, you tend to get bigger dumps (30+ per day) over a shorter period than the consistent daily top up the resorts on Hokkaido see.
    But there can be days on end on where the snow doesn't stop on the Honshu resorts.
    I remember one year at Kagura/Naeba where for 4 days straight, there were 30+ fresh snow on the ground.
    And thats not really an accurate measure because I find that the Japanese resort don't usually report the snow fall amounts during the day, so you may see 30 cm overnight and another 20cm fall during the day.
     
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  46. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    For instance . It has a average of 31cm for the first week of Jan. For the village
    Using actual data , the village has a average of 71cm snowfall for the first week of jan.

    Data via snow japan and includes two horrible seasons in 16/17 and 15/16

    If i exclude those two years .
    The weekly average hovers around 80-100cm
    The average snowfall for Jan is 330cm
     
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  47. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thankyou for pointing out. Weather things like this do my head in
     
  48. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its all good. I just don't trust SF for Japan LOL

    *except the temps
     
  49. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Temps and freeze level
     
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  50. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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