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Opinion Why you should still travel to Japan this winter... snow or not.

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Rocky2.0, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Rocky2.0

    Rocky2.0 First Runs

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    Yes, it is one of the worst starts to the season for Japan snow in decades.

    Yes, it is almost February.

    Yes, many runs are closed due to insufficient snow.

    Yes, you will whine and check the snow forecasts daily and 'umm' and 'ahh' about cancelling your Japow lad tour or using your travel website free cancellation clause (there are other issues with this that I don't propose to address here).

    No, you should not cancel because of the lack of snow and FOMO. Why? Because economics comes into play... in a BIG way - it's the economy, stoopid (albeit in a rudimentary way for this opinion).

    Unless you were born under a rock (or with a silver spoon), you could appreciate that almost all local businesses (think small food vans, cafes, rental shops, family ryokans etc) rely on winter and the ski season as their main source of income for the year. This income will get them through to the next ski season (bills, winter resources, stock of Asahi for your apres).

    By cancelling your trip or changing to Europe or a large ski resort where capitalism prospers (I am not opposed to this... I love capitalism and mass consumerism, don't get me wrong) these local businesses will suffer. Often irreparably so.

    The issue here, let's say next year is a mammoth snow season, those businesses that could not survive will no longer be there, it not being feasible to continue trade. In practical terms, that food van where you wanted to get your cheese toastie (where you also complained about the cheese used) will not be there. You will be stuck elbowing others for that last onigiri or pizza man. The rental shop where you argued about boot size... gone. Soba restaurant... nope.

    Instead of complaining about the lack of snow, you'll be complaining about the lack of facilities and venues. Complain, it's what we do best (myself included).

    In sum, put up with the lack of snow (ski higher up... I know, lack of gnarly green runs...more insta ops tho). Spend money at the local businesses. Enjoy what the culture and people have to offer. Spend your monies so that next year, when you need a snorkel, you can easily find that cheese toastie van (or the American long potato fries).

    Discuss...
     
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  2. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    So pay $$$ dollars for a skiing holiday where you cant ski to make sure the local businesses still prosper.

    Whatever you reckon Greta Thunberg
     
  3. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fair point I guess.
    I think it's highly likely that Japan has benefited in previous years from punters who have cancelled their Europe trip due to poor snow conditions. So what goes around comes around I suppose.
     
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  4. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If they can't cope with one bad season, then are they too marginal to survive long term anyway?
     
  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or you can go to the bushfire affected areas of Australia.
     
  6. Sandy

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

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    I've seen a lot of places fold in the last 10 years in Japan.
    In the early 1990s, there were 16 million skiers/snowboarders in Japan, now there's 5-6 million.
     
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  7. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm pretty sure I saw all of them at the base of Gala during golden week last year...
     
  8. FatBob

    FatBob Hard Yards

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    I agree 100% with TOFF.

    If you can cancel and reschedule to the US do it! Season of seasons over there.

    Don’t worry, there will be another guy doing cheese toasties next year
     
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  9. Sandy

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

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    Heh, heh.....
    So you cancel and go somewhere else, and the switch flicks off there, and flicks on where you came from!!!! ;)
     
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  10. Gimped

    Gimped One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    No, they all went to Whistler!
     
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  11. Sandy

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

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    that's why you never go there on a weekend or holiday!! ;)
     
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  12. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    There are a lot of small local businesses struggling this year, particularly if they are on or near a resort. These guys dont have cash reserves etc as others above suggest, they live year to year and often month to month etc. A great example would be a small family ramen shop at the bottom of a resort where only the top lifts are open. Their business is near non existent this year :(

    Or farmers that count on being employed as lifties and their wives in the cafeterias at the local resort which hasnt opened so they are struggling to pay heat bills etc.

    Its a far tougher year for many local people than it is for guests that arent getting bottomless days.

    These are not transient people, these are our locals.

    If for no other reason than those above please do consider coming, spend your money in small local businesses and enjoy it for what it is.

    FWIW Im calling for significant and sustained snowfall from around Feb 10/12. This is based on absolutely nothing ;)
     
    fennekeg, elSpike, southpaw and 7 others like this.
  13. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    A million times this!
     
  14. FatBob

    FatBob Hard Yards

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    For the record I'm still going. 7 days and counting.

    I will definitely be supporting the local beer vending machines
     
  15. Sandy

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

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    Well, I've been "stuck" here for 13 years, so I'm still going..... ;)
     
  16. Rocky2.0

    Rocky2.0 First Runs

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    Lol - happy for you to nominate me for Nobel Peace Prize. I may need to radicalise a tad, and consider changing my philosophies, but worth a shot. References available upon request...
     
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  17. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    You get the Nobel Peace prize right after Trump ;)

    I hope all the business's survive the bad season.
     
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  18. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Still better than skiing in Australia by a long shot. If you can't find part of your riding to work on, or something to do when it's not shit hot conditions, then the season probably isn't the problem. I had a very slow start to my trip last year but still had a ball riding every day and working on things like riding switch, park, and my turns in general. You forget all that when you're just smashing powder, and the rewards come when you do put time into technique on average days. I wouldn't begrudge people who change their plans up, but I love so many aspects of Japan, I don't think I'd ever do it unless things got really catastrophic.
     
  19. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    People will go where there is snow. Last time I was in Hakuba, the Slovenians and Alaskans (yep Alaskans) from my digs were skiing up in the branches. There was that much snow. Plenny of Euros and Canucks there too. They weren't back home because it was a crap season there. Some years Japan gets it, some years it doesn't. Same elsewhere.
     
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  20. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Surely the same applies when Australian resorts have a bad year (which is a lot more often than Japanese resorts). Somehow, the businesses here survive somehow - yup, it's hard, but you do what you gotta do.
     
  21. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I say still go to Japan, not because of altruism for local businesses, but because absolutely no one knows what will happen in terms of snowfall in February. It could dump all month in Japan, and rain in NA. Or not. Who knows?

    PS I had nice turns in 4-6 inches of fresh in Niseko this morning, and it’s snowing now
     
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  22. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ummm helllloooo
    Are you gonna catch up with us?!
    @Any @Ozgirl and I are having dinner at 6 tonight. Care to catch up for a bevvie after at say 7.30 or 8?
     
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  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    So much this!

    We had some epic powder turns today but spending time working on your turns on marginal snow is only going to make you a better skier or boarder. Just ask me - spent the vast majority of the last 3 weeks on the family run. Now that tests your skillzzz
     
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  24. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’d absolutely love to but we have a “date” already with some friends in town! We leave tomorrow. So sorry I saw you were doing your course and didn’t want to disturb (assumed you were focused focused focused!!! :) ).

    we will be back next season though and maybe for 3 as opposed to 2 weeks
     
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  25. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah I leave tomorrow too! Might see you in transit!
    we will be back next season though and maybe for 3 as opposed to 2 weeks
     
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  26. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Ozgirl leaves tomorrow also, and @Any does his visa run. Lucky PB gets back or I’d be losing all my playmates.

    Exam concluded yesterday, last night was loose - surprised I could still snowboard today LOL
     
  27. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    As for spending your money in Japan.
    Yeah... if your plan was to go - go.
    Spend the dollars and support the industry we love. And don’t forget to spread that love back home in Australia this coming Southern Winter too! Holiday at home, support the recovery.
     
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  28. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    Are Niseko visitors down? They seem to attract the new Asian markets successfully.
     
  29. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not once have I considered pulling the pin or going elsewhere. I am off in a week and, whatever happens happens. I will at least be glad I'm not at work and doubly so enjoying Japan and all she has to offer, including shit snow...or not. As we know japow can be a surprising mistress.;)

    @blowfin echoes my approach to snow. If the conditions aren't great, then I'll just work with what I'm given. Hard pack? Work on my edging! Bumps? Crud? There will always be something to keep me busy, interested and engaged on snow. Waist deep pow? Well, that's a bonus. It's the privilege you earn not a right to demand or get sulky about.

    The 2006 Australian season was the worst season I, and many others, had ever experienced. I was committed to every weekend in winter for that season. It was a long drive there and back just to experience those poor conditions. But I learnt so much about appreciating good snow when it finally did arrive. As I kept asking people who were having a whinge.....would you rather be here or being behind a desk? What would you prefer?

    And as far as I understand it, staff at many resorts and hills are not transient backpackers, looking to "do a season". Why wouldn't I want to support them in some small way? I'd rather spend my money on a local Japanese skijo than at a massive corporate Vail resort in NA.
     
  30. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Many places in town have been surprisingly quiet for this time of year. I know instruction and guiding demand is down, there have been grumblings. On a powder day people seem to materialise from no where though LOL

    Definitely noticed an uptick in Americans this year, as well as Europeans. And many Asian visitors - Chinese, HK, Taiwanese in particular.
     
    Lucky Pete likes this.
  31. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think numbers are down however I have never been here in January.

    I have noticed A LOT more Americans. Made a few friends and they are majority. The Ikon pass has brought them in. They have been stoked with the snow this week too.
     
  32. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Not in August it ain’t....



    As a counter-argument to the “you must go to Japan even if it’s a shit season so far” logic, I am planning to go to Canada, if I decide not to go there due to bad snow, isn’t it the same argument?
     
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  33. expatgm

    expatgm Addicted

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    I go to Japan for more than just the snow the skiing the skiing just the icing on the cake. So I've cancelled this winters trip and changed flights to October November to check out Autumn. Then two months back at work and we'll see what 2021 brings. Hopefully the New Zealand winter will deliver in between.
     
  34. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    If you are coming up to Hakuba please let us know. October is my favorite month of the year aesthetically. The colour change is awesome!
     
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  35. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've been touring the main range in August for about 6 seasons now, and Hokkaido is most definitely way better than that at the moment ;)
     
  36. expatgm

    expatgm Addicted

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    Hi Pete thanks for your reply still very early to finalize plans.
     
  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Never any thought of changing my plans for February. Starting off by revisiting Osaka for the first time in 14 years, then checking out a few small ski areas in a region of Japan I have never been before, so not too concerned if the skiing is a bit limited there. Then revisiting Shiga Kogen for the first time in 33 years and the reports from there are sounding generally positive and I'll get to meet a few forum members there.
     
  38. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The people are nice, really nice & the food is bloody good.

    I really cannot imagine what has got inside a person’s head to start such a thread.


    shakes head
     
  39. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Be there Monday night... within 2 weeks Im sure we will have some great fresh snow.. excited, going some where different which is great...looking forward to what ever we get..
     
  40. skivet

    skivet Addicted

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    Our eighth trip to Japan and the first time the snow has been ordinary. Not bad odds I think! Even though we come once a year for only a few weeks Japan feels like our second home. What I will say though the poor aud/yen has significantly increased the cost compared to when we first came over.
     
  41. Rocky2.0

    Rocky2.0 First Runs

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    Meh - open discourse, really.
     
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  42. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Trip #15 for me. I can't get enough. And one day, I'll be there in the spring to see the sakura.
     
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  43. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    First trip for us and it’s been bloody marvellous. Toured around the country for the first couple of weeks and had a ball. Have been in Hakuba this week and disappointed that we didn’t yet get to experience the legendary Japow. In fact felt quite at home with wet heavy and icy Oz conditions. Hopefully we will try again next year.
     
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  44. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love the Sakura
     
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  45. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We've had some pow this week? I had a foot the other day?
     
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  46. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought real pow was like sand through the fingers, the snow that fell earlier this week didn’t seem like that, a bit heavier and sluggish. To be fair we hung round Happo most of the week so that could have been the problem. At least I understand why you hang so much shite on Happo.
     
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  47. Dave6

    Dave6 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yeah. Wednesday was pretty swesome actually at Madarao.
     
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  48. Sandy

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

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    The key to Hakuba is picking the RIGHT mountain on the right day... Finding powder where other people are not, is the key.
     
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  49. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ha.. yeah I have issues with Happo... but its more trying to encourage people to branch out.
    It wasn't fairy dust pow. Though thats rare at Happo regardless IMO.
     
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  50. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just arrived in Nagano
    There is snow
    It will snow
    I will enjoy catching up with friends and skiing
     
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