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Ski Japan - where is best?

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Oblivia +

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Wa~! I want to go to Furano, apparently the snow it spektakular!

My friend made a vid of his first season, if anyone is interested it's here, but as it's mostly a beginner boarding, with a few shots of slightly less noob friends, it's not going to be that interesting. The photos at the end are nice though, and it made me feel much more excited about the season!

Also you can see me at about the 1 minute mark, flailing my arms around like elmo (word on the street is I got much better by the time my bro came to visit a month after that).
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Last edited by Oblivia: 11-Nov-09 at 02:07am

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The season opens tomorrow, exclamate!
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been watching the webcams. looks pretty good although forecasts show warm weather sun-wed inclusive. hope it sticks around! the snow that is, 5 degrees can gtfo.
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OK, you want to know where the best skiing in Japan is? Here is my vote for the top 3:

1. Niseko - 15 metres of powder, 100 metres vertical, great nightlife
2. Rusutsu - 14 metres snow, only 600 metres vertical, limited nightlife. Best tree skiing in Japan!
3. Furano - 9 metres snow, 1,000 metres vertical, very little nightlife, limited off-piste (legally!)
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orr! hai spammer desu ka
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I'm hoping to go in late February or maybe early march.

I'm thinking Hakuba, largely because I normally make it my mission to avoid Australians when overseas and apparently Niseko is full of them. I mean I'm sure there will be Australians there but I hear Niseko is overrun with them.

Anyone else been to Hakuba, I saw that there are a few resorts there and would appreciate advice about where to stay.
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Hi Spike,

We have been to Hakuba and have reviewed this area. There is some huge mountains here. The only problem we found was that they were very strick about not skiing trees and out of bounds. Here are a couple links that might help:
<p><a href="http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Honshu/Hakuba.aspx">Hakuba</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Honshu/Hakuba/Accommodation.aspx">Hakuba Accommodation</a></p>
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Powderhounds

Hi Spike,

We have been to Hakuba and have reviewed this area. There is some huge mountains here. The only problem we found was that they were very strick about not skiing trees and out of bounds. Here are a couple links that might help:
<p><a href="http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Honshu/Hakuba.aspx">Hakuba</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Honshu/Hakuba/Accommodation.aspx">Hakuba Accommodation</a></p>

Cheers for that, looks good.

I'm not too worried about the off piste stuff. I'm a pretty decent skier but I'll be going with my girlfriend who's only been skiing once in her life.
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If you're going to be boarding in Japan you can wear as much colour as you like.

This is where I was last week, but the photo is from two weeks ago. No snow on the ground in Sapporo yet, but a fair bit in the mountains.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by spiKe

Cheers for that, looks good.

I'm not too worried about the off piste stuff. I'm a pretty decent skier but I'll be going with my girlfriend who's only been skiing once in her life.

dump her in classes and ski.

fuck knows i would

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bracko

dump her in classes and ski.

fuck knows i would

haha my best mate tells a story of his parents honeymoon. Apparently they went to Aspen, when on the first day his mum revealed she never been skiing before to which his dad replied, fine see you in two weeks. hehe I imagine some of it is made up but knowing his father I bet there's some truth in it.
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if i ever have a girlfriend that isn't into skiing and wants to come, she's definitely taking lessons till she can snowplough and do basic turns. it's not just more fun for you, but seriously... they know how to get her moving and stopping... after that if you're half decent you'll be able to teach her parallel turns, weight distribution/balance/hip rotation.... the list goes on.

after the great guys down at ski school have her moving, I'm always happy to teach the rest




you want to snowboard you say? oh, no problem..... find your own way back to sydney and get your shit out of my house

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

Last edited by Bracko: 13-Dec-09 at 06:43pm

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Yeah I'm with you on the snowboarders comment. The bastards edge away all the powder and leave the slope icy, they waste time at the top of the chair lift strapping themselves in and can't get across flat parts.
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Yeah, while skiiers turn carve the course into mad bumps.

But, if you're having fun, I don't much mind. I would like some kinda sherper carrying a pair of XC skis for when I need to do some traversing though.

And I agree with sticking your girlfriend in some lessons. If I was a beginner and going skiing or boarding with a bunch of people way better than me I would want them to go and do hard stuff while I learnt at least some of the time, otherwise I would feel guilty. Also I would prefer to learn from a stranger.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by spiKe

I'm hoping to go in late February or maybe early march.

I'm thinking Hakuba, largely because I normally make it my mission to avoid Australians when overseas and apparently Niseko is full of them. I mean I'm sure there will be Australians there but I hear Niseko is overrun with them.

Anyone else been to Hakuba, I saw that there are a few resorts there and would appreciate advice about where to stay.


Hakuba is awesome Went there in Jan of 08. Powder was terrific, hardly anyone on the mountains (perhaps this is because it is spread out over seven mountains?).

We stayed at the Viola. Staff were the most pleasant, friendliest, warmly, charming, helpful EVER. (I still keep in contact with the staff ). There is a very nice girl who works at the reception area who speaks very good English (hard to find) rooms were spacious, clean and CHEAP. We got 12 day lift pass, 14 nights accommo, breakfast every morning, transfers etc for $2,000.

I am going to Japan in Mar but only Tokyo, wish i could hit the mountain... Ah well cant have it all!

Have fun!
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Regarding the teaching someone how to ski or snowboard I find the best workable solution to this is to dump them in lessons in the morning and go off and have some fun.

Meet up with them for lunch then head out with them for the afternoon. Repeat each day.

You still get to go off and do some real riding but at the same time the beginner doesn't feel too left out.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblivia

Yeah, while skiiers turn carve the course into mad bumps.

if you can't handle bumps, go back to the park

yeah, 2 hr lessons in the morning, then meet for lunch and ski the afternoon... that's what I did with all my beginner mates. as soon as they could kinda keep up with me, they ditched the lessons and i took them to some of the better spots in perisher.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

Last edited by Bracko: 15-Dec-09 at 06:52pm

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I think I might have to investigate some advanced lessons. I did a fair bit of skiing in Colorado in bowls with double blacks but I really don't do it with any style. Would like to learn how to do moguls properly as well. Although maybe that just requires more practice
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no. moguls requires a shitload of training as well (as being a f...king good skier)... aussies are usually terrible at it because of the conditions we face here, which require aggressive edge driven skiing... moguls isn't supposed to be like that at all. hand on heart, i completely suck at them and have all but given up unless i spend a season in Canada/Europe.

I would 100% urge you to get lessons. it's ridicules how many bad habits you pick up when you don't have someone watching you.

make sure you get an instructor that has at least level 3 coach. level 2 coach and level 3 instructor isn't going to cut it. when I'm in Whistler I go to the dave murray courses which assures me of the mountain's best instructors.... yes it's a little race focused, but running gates is fun, and you do a bucketload of free skiing as well. where you get great coaching.

lt;dr version: get lessons.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bracko

if you can't handle bumps, go back to the park

I can handle them (mostly ), I just don't like them.
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Anyone know any good companies that do back country tours in Hokkaido?
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Evergreen are in Hakuba, they may be able to suggest someone up there for you.

Or try Snowjapan.com
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of my experience hokkaido has the better snow than niigata.
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Rusutsu today.
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that looks quite flat? are all the wankers right when they say japan is awesome snow, but the mountains aren't steep enough?

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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These photo's are taken on flatish runs, they aren't really representative. I don't know though, maybe there are people who want really steep runs all the time, I'm not one of them. I am happy for people to hate on Japan. A mate of mine was talking about how much he didn't dig France, full of the French, quite often no new snow for a whole week, crowded as fuck, shit expensive food on the mountians.

I couldn't help thinking "Stay home Europe, don't come over here".
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Bracko it's not mega steep, but there are plenty of steep runs... But I don't want super steep mountiains, i prefer something a bit easier to pull of some fully hektik sick m00ves!

Up the top of Niseko is VERY steep tho!

http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now.php

check out the reports! Crazy amounts of snow. 2 Weeks til i leave
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That is true. And you get to go on these cool scary chair lifts

They are actually worse with no visibility, you can just see the one in front of you and that's it. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have never fallen off a chair I was sitting on before, so there's no reason for it to happen now.
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i range from fast runs in hard packed to in nice knee deep pow, if i clip my pole, i want to at least 2m if I'm going A over T (specially if it's filmed).




nah... if you're in pow, the only thing that you don't want is to lose momentum.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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My friend said there was too much poweder today, she wanted to go through the trees but it was just impossible.
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Yay, perfect in the trees conditions this week.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblivia

That is true. And you get to go on these cool scary chair lifts

They are actually worse with no visibility, you can just see the one in front of you and that's it. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have never fallen off a chair I was sitting on before, so there's no reason for it to happen now.

mt youtei

are you there now?

where's the photo in the post above taken?

i'm off to niseko in early feb. can't wait
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblivia

Yay, perfect in the trees conditions this week.

grr... looks awesome. it's hot and muggy in sydney and I'm over it!

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dart

mt youtei

are you there now?

where's the photo in the post above taken?

i'm off to niseko in early feb. can't wait

I think if you look here and zoom in at the top, that its from king lift #4.

Yes I'm here now, I fuckin live ere.

The other one is at Sapporo Kokusai.
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I leave tomorrow morning
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18 days to go for me.

That chair lift above looks awful. I was commenting today on how i'm looking forward to the 100 person gondola in furano. No fucking about getting bumped by people coming off the chair.
Look at them, ordinary fucking people, I hate them.
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We are thinking of booking a week in Japan in March - what will Niseko be like around then? Still busy? I am a COMPLETE novice boarder (ie never been) and very keen to learn,... my bf is fairly experienced. Any recommendations on apartments / hotels? General tips
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what's your budget?

there's very cheap, cheap & expensive & very expensive . .

check out:

http://www.snowjapan.com/e/hotel/ind...0Accommodation

for details of places.

in previous years i've stayed in a lodge style thing but this year i'm staying in a 3 bedroom apartment, can give you a detailed report on it in. . . .. 3 weeks

there should still be some good snow in march and it might get a little less busy, though even at peak times there's still plenty of room on the mountain.

lots of good beginner areas as well.
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I think we will want an apartment. A friend told me Niseko is full of drunk Aussies and to try Nagano or Furano on the main island...

Budget about 3.5k for the week (for two of us).

What's the deal with a lodge? It is private rooms with own bathroom and shared common areas or more like a hotel?
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I boarded in April this year, my family was visiting and my parents were going to eat jingis kan (mongolian style lamb bbq popular in hokkaido) on the out door tables while I took my sibs boarding, but because of the half a foot of snow over night the barbecue tables couldn't be eaten at. Also the slow going through new powder was rough on my little bro. It was his second day and we got stuck on a flat bit and had to trudge and the poor little lad was exhausted.

I have to see the shin deep fresh and cloudless sky made the walk to the subway to go to work this morning pretty rough.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LLsparks

I think we will want an apartment. A friend told me Niseko is full of drunk Aussies and to try Nagano or Furano on the main island...

Budget about 3.5k for the week (for two of us).

What's the deal with a lodge? It is private rooms with own bathroom and shared common areas or more like a hotel?

oh yeah nothing worse than encountering drunk australians when you're on holiday

especially if you're australian.

nagano & furano are meant to be wicked, same goes for nazowa (sp?) and hakuba.

you can't go wrong really & japan is an amazing experience anyway. make sure you have a few days set aside to go to tokyo (if you haven't been there already)

the 3.5K, is that for food, accomodation, ski pass, hire, booze but not airfare & wotnot?

if so that's a decent amount of cash i should think, best thing would be to find out how much a ski pass is for the place you're going, subtract that from the 3.5, same goes for hire.

then allow $100 per day for your food (covers both of you), or maybe a little more, which is a fair amount but always better to over budget, it will help cover those nights you go out drinking or do an allyoucandrinkkareoke thing or something, then figure out what's left to spend on accomodation.

save some cash to go shopping in tokyo though, or just burn the credit card, aussie dollar is going gangbusters at the moment & harajuku is full of awesome stuff to buy.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by dart

oh yeah nothing worse than encountering drunk australians when you're on holiday

especially if you're australian.

although you're being sarcastic, i can't think of anything worse that bumping into loud obnoxious ignorant australians while away.

These days idiot Australians give idiot Americans a run for their money interms of cringe worthy antics.

DNW.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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3.5k is for accom & skiing.. food, booze and shopping we have extra money for but I'd like to be able to sefl cater a bit in Japan as we are also going to Pilau where it will be resort food all the way.

We basically have a budget 5k each and are thinking of doing Syd - Japan - Pilau - Japan - Syd.The flight are 1800 and we need about 3k for a weeks accom & diving in Pilau.

So Japan we will have a couple of days in Tokyo, 5 or 6 days skiing, then fly to Pilau for a week then another night in Tokyo on the way back.

Packing for 2 seasons will be a bitch but we cant decide between a diving or a skiing holiday! Because I have never been skiiing I am always putting a ski trip off, I guess i dont know what I am missing out on yet.
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if you're staying in a self catering place it could be an idea to take some food with you (if you have luggage room leftover), specifically breakfast foods (like your favourite cereal) as finding the japanese equivalent could be tricky.

(i don't mean take a suitcase full of steak or anything).

last year i took a box of weetbix & had 8 each morning in addition to toast, bacon, fruit, juice (which was provided by the lodge) and found it really gave a good start to the day

and it meant i didn't suffer from 2pm fade which i had years before.

if you do find yourself suffering from a mid-afternoon bout of weak legs/lack of energy, i suggest getting your hands on one of these:

http://blog-imgs-30-origin.fc2.com/k...rana080904.jpg

from to in about 5 minutes.

found in various vending machines up on the mountain (but not in tokyo unfortunately)
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Your link doesnt work but one of the reason my bf wants to go to Japan is to eat all the weird stuff in the vending machines!
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Fuck cooking, meals are reasonably cheap, eat onigiri for snacks and spend you time and energy on the slopes.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LLsparks

Your link doesnt work but one of the reason my bf wants to go to Japan is to eat all the weird stuff in the vending machines!

kirin guarana drink. . seek it out.


and agree with oblivia, we're going in a couple of weeks and staying in an apartment with kitchen facilities but i'd say we'll only use those for breakfast and storing/pouring booze.

and will eat out for all other meals.
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Here's my suggestion to you....

Don't go to Neisko it will cost you too much for the internal flight.

Get a flight to Tokyo.
Stay here - http://www.sakura-hotel.co.jp/ it's right around the corner from all the snow shops in tokyo.
Get a 4 day flexible JR east rail pass - http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/
Get on train to Hakuba
Stay here - http://www.morinolodge.com/ ask to sleep in the dorm room, it will be cheaper (tell matt, craig and jen I say hai)
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^^ internal flights are under a$150.. by comparison, the shinkansen from tokyo to nagano is about a$120. so niseko is not much more expensive. http://www.jal.co.jp/yokosojapan/

also, hakuba is just as full of drunk aussies as niseko. if you want to avoid the cultural cringe the best thing you can do is to make sure you don't stay in a place that looks like it'll attract aussies... then you'll be mostly ok.

ps. it's not hard to find a half-decent selection of cereal in japan.. taking weetbix is pretty funny
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Oh I didn't realise flights were so cheap.

In that case go to Neisko. You'll have better snow.

And I totally agree on the aussie thing.

Will not be going anywhere near the well known resorts next time I go to Japan.
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