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Japan 2018 - when to go?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mike Pow, thanks for all that.

Now there will be Japan's biggest ever snow drought next Jan and France will have a record busting powder month rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
^ I hope not, but at least we'll have someone to blame for it if it does happen. Laughing
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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?
@Mike Pow, What skies are you using in those videos? I think mine may be too big to get those kind of face shots (184cm / 112mm and i'm about 70kg). I might try taking narrower skies next time.
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Weathercam wrote:
@Mike Pow, thanks for all that.

Now there will be Japan's biggest ever snow drought next Jan and France will have a record busting powder month rolling eyes


That happened this winter apparently, well in the Niseko Resort Area Wink
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
musehead wrote:
@Mike Pow, What skies are you using in those videos? I think mine may be too big to get those kind of face shots (184cm / 112mm and i'm about 70kg). I might try taking narrower skies next time.


176cm Majesty Local Hero skis (116-82-111)

Twin tip, centre mounted.

I'm 188cm in height and weigh 95kg. Closer to 105kg with all my kit.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 30-03-17 10:59; edited 1 time in total
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How does 10 days/ 2 weeks to Japan compare cost wise to Canada in terms of getting there, accommodation and lift passes? Is it harder adjusting when there with the time difference going the other way?

Is it worth it for intermediate skiers? (ski single blacks and we were loving the powder at Sunshine Village in Feb) Was planning on returning to Canada next year but then started reading this post! Toofy Grin
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mike Pow wrote:
musehead wrote:
@Mike Pow, What skies are you using in those videos? I think mine may be too big to get those kind of face shots (184cm / 112mm and i'm about 70kg). I might try taking narrower skies next time.


176cm Majesty Local Hero skis (116-82-111)

I'm 188cm in height and weigh 95kg. Closer to 105kg with all my kit.


wow - quite short no? although who am I to talk about it as I have only skied (well tried to) off-piste for a couple of days in St Foy (Fr). I am too 188cm and getting closer to 95 kg. Was thinking of snapping some summer bargains on ekosport.fr as I am afraid I might not find suitable sized skis in Jap (and I could sell it after JPN trip afterwards if I decide that I did not like it Smile) However I was looking at something with 105-110 under foot ... now have to scratch my head again. Rossi Soul 7HD, Head Collection 105 or something similar. Have not really skied powder was kind of leaning towards Rossi as they would also work on piste. Still some time to decide or maybe take a risk and hope that Kiroro hire places will have something suitable on spot.

Other issue though - plan to stay in Otaru in a hotel/hostel - what should I do with my skiing boots? I have not seen any info about boot drying in hotels/hostels on-line and I have a small portable device that I could use (Alpenheat). What do you guys do?
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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!
@Mike Pow, Thanks, no wonder the powder keeps going over your head!

@mooney058, It really depends on the place. In Otaru staying in a normal hotel you could just take your ski boots to your room and use the portable heater. Japanese style pensions (especially if it's the kind of place with Tatami mats on the floor) may not be too keen on you taking your boots away from the shoe racks at the entrance.

If you stay anywhere that's a skiing town like Niseko or Furano they will probably have a boot/ski room.
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@mooney058, As mentioned any skiing related hotel will have a ski/boot room, but the drying facilities may vary. I took my Hotronics boot dryer, as it is 100-240V switchable.

http://www.skiequipmentuk.co.uk/shop/products/Hotronic_Snapdry_Ski_Boot_and_Glove_Dryer.htm
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just take your liners up to your room - and make sure your shells are upside down, not exactly rocket science rolling eyes
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Weathercam wrote:
Just take your liners up to your room - and make sure your shells are upside down, not exactly rocket science rolling eyes


Did not study rocket science so would not know Smile If I can take liners to a room, I can take shells as well... this is not what I was asking. I understand accomodation closer to resorts will have boot rooms etc. My intention is to stay in a town/city where 'regular' hotels/hostels also exist. I know Japanese accomodation is ussualy very small and there are rules about shoes inside premises, thus just asking of what is the etiquete and acceptable in local hotels.
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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.
MCL wrote:
How does 10 days/ 2 weeks to Japan compare cost wise to Canada in terms of getting there, accommodation and lift passes? Is it harder adjusting when there with the time difference going the other way?

Is it worth it for intermediate skiers? (ski single blacks and we were loving the powder at Sunshine Village in Feb) Was planning on returning to Canada next year but then started reading this post! Toofy Grin


Very comparable.

When I've represented Hokkaido ski resorts at ski shows the number we've quoted is £150-200 per person per day all in.

A little tougher losing half a day on the way there, but if you can sleep on the plane and then hold out until around 9pm on the day of your arrival then you should be good to go.

On a positive note, altitude isn't an issue. The mountains on Honshu top out well below 2000m, below 1500m on Hokkaido.

Defnitely worth it for intermediate skiers. Great soft pistes and no better place to transition to off-piste.
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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
mooney058 wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
musehead wrote:
@Mike Pow, What skies are you using in those videos? I think mine may be too big to get those kind of face shots (184cm / 112mm and i'm about 70kg). I might try taking narrower skies next time.


176cm Majesty Local Hero skis (116-82-111)

I'm 188cm in height and weigh 95kg. Closer to 105kg with all my kit.


wow - quite short no? although who am I to talk about it as I have only skied (well tried to) off-piste for a couple of days in St Foy (Fr). I am too 188cm and getting closer to 95 kg. Was thinking of snapping some summer bargains on ekosport.fr as I am afraid I might not find suitable sized skis in Jap (and I could sell it after JPN trip afterwards if I decide that I did not like it Smile) However I was looking at something with 105-110 under foot ... now have to scratch my head again. Rossi Soul 7HD, Head Collection 105 or something similar. Have not really skied powder was kind of leaning towards Rossi as they would also work on piste. Still some time to decide or maybe take a risk and hope that Kiroro hire places will have something suitable on spot.


Shorter and narrower than most people our size ski, but works as my quiver of one for me.

Won't go wrong with the Rossignol Soul 7 Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
musehead wrote:
@Mike Pow, Thanks, no wonder the powder keeps going over your head!


Got to be in it to win it Wink Smile

Work in Europe too Smile


http://youtube.com/v/h9r2q518bdg




http://youtube.com/v/GjnHUzOHGbo
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@mooney058,Japanese hotel etiquette? In 'regular' town/city hotels keep your boots in their bag until you reach your room. As long as they are covered, no problem. I hope you will enjoy your visit to Japan.
@musehead, Today I was sitting in Maguse Onsen's outdoor bath looking over at Kijimadaira and thought of your report. Thank you. And also thank you for not ducking the ropes in Nozawa.....makes life easier for those of us who live in Japan.
@Weathercam, My fellow bathers in the onsen were remarking on the amount of snow still on Kijimadaira...."this season's snowfall has almost broken the record established 60yrs ago." OK that's Nagano, not Hokkaido wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mike Pow, thanks for your reply.

Definitely a good option for us by the sound of things. Very Happy

Will look into the specifics in a few months when we are able to get something booked
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
MCL wrote:
@Mike Pow, thanks for your reply.

Definitely a good option for us by the sound of things. Very Happy

Will look into the specifics in a few months when we are able to get something booked


My pleasure.

Any questions, fire away.
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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?
Well just in the process of comparing prices for my trip to Hakuba in Jan/Feb 2018 Very Happy Looks like I'll be there for a couple of weeks.
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@Mac46, Sounds lovely, we had been meaning to head to Maguse Onsen for a couple of hours after skiing Kijimadaira but ran out of time.

Interesting observations on the current snow depth in the Nagano area. Despite there having been (a bit) less snowfall than the bumper 14-15 winter, the current measured snow depths at Nozawa and Madarao for 30/03 are greater (by 5cm and 60cm respectively) than they were on 30/03/15.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mike Pow, can I ask, whats the thinking behind the centre mount if not skiing switch/park stuff? Ive a pair of old Rossi Scratch traditional mounted which are 84mm in the waist and a pair of old Rossi S5 which are the same ski but 98mm waist, mounted near centre. If anything, the 84mm ski with traditional mount wants to dive less than the centred 98mm.

Is it about getting deeper in the pow? Does it make skinning up easier? Curious as Im tempted to buy a pair of touring bindings and not sure where to mount them.

One final question - presumably if you're deeper in the pow, you hit the bottom more? So you get fewer bottomless days but more face shots?

These are definitely 'off season' questions - getting close to overthinking territory.
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@musehead, Have you looked at Shiga's stats for this season? big difference from the last two seasons! Currently snowing here in Yudanaka Onsen so there should be a few more cm in Shiga snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
element wrote:
@Mike Pow, can I ask, whats the thinking behind the centre mount if not skiing switch/park stuff? Ive a pair of old Rossi Scratch traditional mounted which are 84mm in the waist and a pair of old Rossi S5 which are the same ski but 98mm waist, mounted near centre. If anything, the 84mm ski with traditional mount wants to dive less than the centred 98mm.

Is it about getting deeper in the pow? Does it make skinning up easier? Curious as Im tempted to buy a pair of touring bindings and not sure where to mount them.

One final question - presumably if you're deeper in the pow, you hit the bottom more? So you get fewer bottomless days but more face shots?

These are definitely 'off season' questions - getting close to overthinking territory.


Initially it felt a bit awkward having less ski in front - with plenty of tomohawks over the handlebars - but as I practice and preach two footed foot steering / pivotting it's a far more natural feeling. For every degree the tips go left for example, the tails go the corresponding number of degrees right.

It does feel a lot easier skinning, especially in steeper terrain. And especially kick-turning.

It's one factor in sinking deeper into the snow, in combination with a narrower profile all round.

The bottomless feeling is good, but I prefer immersion.

It takes more patience and precise balancing.

I tried a wider platform ski in Hokkaido powder and it was fun, but as not much fun as being enveloped.


http://youtube.com/v/-IGa5Yo3Ydk
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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!
@Mike Pow, thanks - that vid is so helpful. Nothing like a proper demonstration to cut through the ski marketing fluff.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
element wrote:
@Mike Pow, thanks - that vid is so helpful. Nothing like a proper demonstration to cut through the ski marketing fluff.


My pleasure. It's not for everyone, but it's certainly a different feeling in powder 👍
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Mike Pow wrote:
element wrote:
@Mike Pow, thanks - that vid is so helpful. Nothing like a proper demonstration to cut through the ski marketing fluff.


My pleasure. It's not for everyone, but it's certainly a different feeling in powder 👍


You do not need skis, rather a diving suit Smile
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@Mike Pow, I am now looking for a set of Soul 7 HD in 188 for my trip to Japan. What would be the preferred mounting position for a deeper snow?
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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.
mooney058 wrote:
@Mike Pow, I am now looking for a set of Soul 7 HD in 188 for my trip to Japan. What would be the preferred mounting position for a deeper snow?


Mount the Soul 7 on manufacturer's recommended setting.
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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
@Mike Pow, a small logistical challenge. If staying in Otaru and using a bus to get to say Kiroro, I would take my skis and ski boot bag on a bus, but I assume I would be changing from my regular winter shoes to ski boots at the resort only. Any idea, advice whether there is a place where I could leave safely my skiboot bag with my regular shoes while I go skiing?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
When taking the bus from Niseko to other resorts we just wore our ski boots and pretty everyone else did the same. It was no problem at all.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sarge McSarge wrote:
When taking the bus from Niseko to other resorts we just wore our ski boots and pretty everyone else did the same. It was no problem at all.


Strolling through a town in ski boots and then 20-45 min in ski boots on a bus does not sound nice.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well town is pretty small so its not exactly far
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mooney058 wrote:
@Mike Pow, a small logistical challenge. If staying in Otaru and using a bus to get to say Kiroro, I would take my skis and ski boot bag on a bus, but I assume I would be changing from my regular winter shoes to ski boots at the resort only. Any idea, advice whether there is a place where I could leave safely my skiboot bag with my regular shoes while I go skiing?


Lockers and changing room in the Mountain Center, Kiroro.

Same for other resorts.

Don't travel from your hotel in Otaru to the ski resorts in your ski boots.
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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?
@Mike Pow, thanks a lot! it would also solve my other concern of leaving/coming back with regular shoes to a hotel that is not per se a skiing hotel. All the advice is much appreciated!
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Regarding the social aspect. I will be staying with some other guys and in the evening we would naturally gravitate to a resto/bar. As Otaru is not a skiing resort and there will be a language barrier (of all my 4 languages English would be the one I can rely most as I can imagine), how is the social life in places like Otaru - I mean chatting to locals, girls etc. Nothing sinister Smile just would love to talk to locals, possibly finding a ski/sport oriented bar in the town, both for meeting locals and for some intel regarding best conditions for the coming days or places to avoid, etc. Any hints for Otaru and possibly Sapporo would be much appreciated.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
TK6 in Sapporo. Western bar much visited by English speaking Japanese.

Otaru, start at the Otaru Brewery and work from there.

Will ask around.
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So that's me on Hokaido from 13th Jan to 6th Feb. Accommodation in Niseko to follow - the places I've priced don't take bookings until July and October, so if anyone comes up with some handy budget spots in the meantime maybe you could pm me?

Really looking forward to it.

272 days 17hours 21minutes 29 seconds till lift off.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 14-04-17 10:31; edited 1 time in total
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
.. manage to quote myself?


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 14-04-17 10:31; edited 1 time in total
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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!
Our 3 trips to Japan have been early March, Niseko & Hakuba. Better accommodation rates & selections, always experienced powder and no lift lines. Personally I stay away from peak season January, too many young boisterous Australians and larger lift lines.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As our first trip we've decided on Feb 17th for 2 weeks. All we've got to do now is wait for the flight prices to fall again then we'll book it.
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OK what do folks do for insurance ?

As don't think our CAF insurance will be much good, and we'll need the usual cancellation / health etc as well as off piste etc etc
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