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Japan is only 3 weeks away

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
just wanted to share my excitement about my upcoming trip to Japan. We're booked in with Whiteroom Tours on the Central Hokkaido tour - then after that we're off to Niseko for a week to do a little more skiing. Now just got to work out how to get 2 sets of skis, boots and bindings and all my gear under 23kg plus hand luggage....

So excited!

Any tips for Niseko and surrounding resorts - skiing and apres skiing tips welcome!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BenAS, I was on the Hokkaido Explorer Tour the last two years with Whiteroom. In terms of luggage reduction , the North Country Inn where you will be staying has coin fed laundry machines, making washing clothing easy, so you can minimise the additional clothing you take. They also have a very good heated boot / ski room, so no need to take any boot dryers. The other tip for the North Country is that you need to get down to breakfast before 07:00 when it opens, otherwise you may be stuck behind a queue of 20 elderly Japanese skiers, who very politely queue and carefully select each item of food.

Niseko has a completely different feel to Furano, as somewhere to stay, feeling way more European. In terms of Apres just follow the trail of drunk Aussies.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
And from Niseko make a trip out to Rusutsu and Kiroro. There are buses or the taxis are excellent.The off-piste there is better IMO if you are prepared to commit.
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I share you packing problems. First time I've flown in years to ski, there's a big clothes cull going on. One day I will do Japan, sounds awesome, enjoy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We're going BA and have a lot of allowance according to my OH maybe I should check?
Still have to work out logistics of when to travel back to UK for flight ex HTW 19th and snow forecast every day for here next week 😠
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I've previously flown to Japan with BA to Tokyo and than JAL to Sapporo, on a single ticket booked through BA as they are both OneWorld Alliance carriers. The BA checked baggage allowance was 1 x 23kg, but the JAL was (for reasons I didn't understand) 2 x 23kg (or possibly 2 x 20kg). As a result the BA luggage allowance was bumped up to match the JAL allowance. Worth checking if this is the case for your flight plans, although if Japan is three weeks away you might be travelling by train...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@rob@rar, pretty sure that's what the OH said in that we have 2 x 23 kg which I though was pretty cool. But there again I'm use to packing for week long hut to hut tours so I can live in the same clothes all week long Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Weathercam, Laughing first time I visited Niseko I got everything in to a coffin-style bag, including two pairs of skis, which was just about 23kg. By the time I got back to Tokyo after a couple of weeks of skiing I was wishing that I'd taken more clothes for my three days of sightseeing...

One thing to possibly bear in mind is that BA have a maximum length for any piece of luggage of 190cm (IIRC). Tokyo has been the only airport where I've seen this being enforced, with the local staff measuring my ski bag to see if it was within size (it was). Not sure what happens if your luggage is over size - pay a fee perhaps?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@rob@rar, I've flown BA for the last few years, and Japan the last two years with my 197cm x 37cm x 20cm ski bag without issue. JAL took it as well even though it was about 3 times the size of the tiny lady at checkin Very Happy

The main issue I faced in my journey to Hokkaido was the Terminal transfer between International and Domestic. The first time was rushed but ok, the second time all the ski bags took 1 hour to arrive in reclaim and there was only a one and a half hour arrival/departure window. So half an hour to exist reclaim, check bags onto domestic flight, transfer to other terminal (which involves an airport train), go through security, run the length of the terminal and board the plane with 5 mins to spare.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@PowderAdict, The six times I've flown out of Tokyo (Narita) my ski bag was only measured once.

I had a tight transfer once (booked by BA rather than my decision), and was escorted by a member of JAL staff from the door of the BA plane to the door of the JAL plane. Not a great experience after a long flight from Heathrow. Next time I made sure I had more time between flights, not least to have enough time for a nice meal at Narita before the domestic leg of the journey.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I will be doing my first trip to Japan and I was wondering how much does the food cost. I will be spending 40 days there - 20 days snowy fun in Hokkaido and 20 days with friends from Kyoto as a tourist.
I have already sorted out accommodation, transport and lift passes, but I have a hard time figuring out how much does food cost there on a daily basis.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
BA increased the standard allowance for their standalone direct flights to Japan to 2 * 23kg for flights booked from summer 2016 onwards (was 1 * 23kg before that).
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@moridinbg, as always it depends on whether you want to just fuel yourself or eat well, but overall not too bad:

- Most of the resorts have one or two restaurants at the bottom rather than all over the mountain. They're basic canteen food but not too bad and seemed to come in at about £5-10 for ramen or tonkatsu.
- Likewise you can usually find a decent ramen place in the evening for £5-10. One of the (many) great things about Japan is that everyone seems to take pride in doing a good job, so even fairly basic places will usually serve good food
- If you want to spend a bit more, izakayas (Japanese pub) are a good option as you can get a mix of different things. Probably about £20-30 for a decent meal and a couple of beers

Of course there are some very expensive places, but even lots of the higher end places are pretty good value e.g. there is a 1 Michelin star sushi restaurant in Asahikawa, where I had the set menu and a couple of drinks for under £50, so well worth it if you're into Japanese food!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
thanks everyone - I've only got 1 x23kg bag. Flying from New Zealand on Korean Air.

Thanks @Powderaddict for the info on the North Country Inn, that is where we staying - I have hear about Breakfast - good - but you need to be early! - I've never been a morning person, but I'll try my best. i also hear that the Whiteroom guys like to get up and go, so being on the bus at 7.30 is not unusual! so decent powder I can do early! Glad thay have lanudry - I think that's the answer - light as possible and wash when needed

Just trying to see what the rental options are for Telemark gear - That's the reason for two sets of skis. I need to take my alpine set up as I know I will be able to ski anything on those and the Whiteroom tour is marketed as "advanced" but with my telemark skiing I'm not sure I quite "advanced" - maybe advanced/ intermediate - I'm happy most places, steeps, bumps, ice (live in NZ) but not had much powder experience on them, so don't want to be "that guy" on tour holding everything up! I've got my Level 1 Tele instructor certificate - but really only means I can teach you to put your skis on and go down a green run!

My both skis are set up with to take both alpine and tele bindings using inserts, but it would be nice to take both my Whitedot Redeemers and Preachers if possible.

Best scenario: full Set up with both skis, both boots and both bindings
Mid: Powder Skis only but both tele & alpine boots and bindings
worse: Powder skis, alpine only - hire tele if possible...

I get that this is a "my wallets is too small for my 50's" type of problem... but that's the cards I've been dealt...

Only 2 weeks to go!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Only 24hrs to go and weather looks positively Arctic for next week !!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
T-15 for me.
All the preparations for my biggest trip ever were going smooth until yesterday when Belgian authorities issued me a Belgian version of an international drivers licence that is not accepted in Japan (despite all the assurance that it was valid) ... glad I checked in advance and of course it is not valid in Japan. I can however drive with my regular BE licence but it needs to be translated. Hotel agreed to help so fingers crossed. Understanding Japanese application forms in English is not easy even for me who are used to Belgian application forms Mad but it looks like I should be OK, fingers crossed.

T minus 15 Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We depart in 17 days Very Happy

Flying with Finnair. 2 x 23Kg is standard baggage allowance. Booked skis separately because of length, so total allowance is a whopping 69Kg.

I'm looking round for extra things to take Very Happy Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
24hrs for me. Going to Hakuba and they are forecasting getting colder and 70cm+ by Wednesday night. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Going to Furano,hakuba,Nasawonsen. 24 hrs for me so excited cos it's the first time for me
Flying with ba 2x23 kg bags + hand luggage ,
Packed touring skis,skins ,rope ,harness,ice axe,crampons,ski boots ,clothing,sorel snow boots,shovel probe and transceiver,powder ribbons,(hopefully I'll need em) helmet and goggles,managed to get it all in a double ski bag and my 25 Lt back pack no problems.
Have I forgot anything?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ooops, I lied.

Finnair gives you 2 x 23Kg bags as standard on economy to Japan, and one can be a ski bag. My ticket shows 3 hold bags because I booked the ABS on too.
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Usually on Euro trips I budget about £100 a day in local currency for lunch/tea/booze and eek it out by using the debit card for lift passes, restaurants and evening meals. I'll also pop to the ATM if the booze price is more then expected (OK, every trip)

I seem to remember that in Niseko that was fine; everywhere seemed to take cards and there was an ATM IIRC, but is this the case in Hakuba/Myoko too? One of my lot is saying it's mainly cash and to take loads!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Sarge McSarge, You will love it...and make sure you take a trip to Hakuba Cortina
. Pic is me "queueing" for the first lift on a snowy morning at Cortina. Arrive on the early bus, park your skis in the queue at the foot of the lift and go and get a vending machine canned coffee! At the top of the mountain, endless runs down through the trees and a backcountry gate to similar but steeper terrain.
@Mosha Marc, there is a cash machine in the Bus Terminal/main tourist office at Hakuba Happo One
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
will be there on 28th, first time and cant wait!!! rolling eyes
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Perty wrote:
@Sarge McSarge, You will love it...and make sure you take a trip to Hakuba Cortina
. Pic is me "queueing" for the first lift on a snowy morning at Cortina. Arrive on the early bus, park your skis in the queue at the foot of the lift and go and get a vending machine canned coffee! At the top of the mountain, endless runs down through the trees and a backcountry gate to similar but steeper terrain.
@Mosha Marc, there is a cash machine in the Bus Terminal/main tourist office at Hakuba Happo One


That queuing system shits me.

Thank god we don't have it up here on Hokkaido.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@MikePow Where are you based? We're looking for a guide, (ideally in group to keep costs down) for a day to show us the places to ski when we're in Niseko, just wondering if you knew of anyone, both advanced skier. Could go private if we needed to - it's our 40th birthday trip, so this is the time to push the boat out right!?

Any recommendations would be awesome.

thx.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Well guys n gals just checked in here in Hakuba and guess what? It's snowing!! The snowjapan website is forecasting over 150cm in the next few days. I'm not excited or anything but this big grin keeps scaring the locals. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy If anyone is interested I could do a mini blog thread about this trip. Let me know.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
BenAS wrote:
@MikePow Where are you based? We're looking for a guide, (ideally in group to keep costs down) for a day to show us the places to ski when we're in Niseko, just wondering if you knew of anyone, both advanced skier. Could go private if we needed to - it's our 40th birthday trip, so this is the time to push the boat out right!?

Any recommendations would be awesome.

thx.


Based in Hirafu, ski all over.

Contact Niseko WOW and ask for Jason Wright

http://www.niseko-wow.com/lessons
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