Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Japan DIY

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Kon'nichiwa

I think its time we went to Japan but don't want to spend too much on this 10 day trip. We're looking at 15 - 25th March 2018. TO prices are just ridiculous so I'm looking at DIY but flights are mental coming in at 1000. Is this correct? I was looking at 7 days in Niseko then 3 days in Hakuba but wanted to ask if it is worth the travelling to go to hakuba. We're really after the deep stuff and perhaps a heli or cat day. I emailed BDL but no reply yet but was thinking we may need something more comfortable, though it does look good. Any other recommendations or is BDL the place to go?

We are 4 boarders, like a few beers after a long day and some decent food in the evening. We ride all day and probably have 1 day off while travelling to another resort. Any advice greatly appreciated.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Gainz, there are tons of Japan threads if you search. Even one not far down below this. Plus this thread on searching for cheap flights http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132314#3077721.
snow conditions     
 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?
I did search dude but not specific enough. I'm not a noob!
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I did it DIY last winter. I went through many of the Japan threads from the last couple winters as part of my research. I agree with @Themasterpiece, many of your questions had been answered in multiple variations.

Quote:

TO prices are just ridiculous so I'm looking at DIY but flights are mental coming in at 1000. Is this correct?

Flight prices fluctuate wildly. There may be other factors affecting the pricing for that particular week. But since you've checked those threads, you already know there're more than one way to get there, and the prices can be very different depending on which way you choose. You didn't say (w/r your price quote) where you're flying from, or for that matter, to (Sapporo vs. Tokyo)

Quote:

I was looking at 7 days in Niseko then 3 days in Hakuba but wanted to ask if it is worth the travelling to go to hakuba.

That question had definitely been answered many times over.

My requirements were different from yours so my apology for not able to add anything better than already been posted in existing threads.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 4-07-17 17:45; edited 1 time in total
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gainz wrote:
I did search dude but not specific enough. I'm not a noob!


Really?

Flying where to where?

London - New Chitose (CTS) coming in between 550 - 650 depending on carrier and number of stops / route on skyscanner

London - Tokyo is even cheaper.

On the ground you'll be looking at a minimum 100-150 per person per day all in depending on standard of accommodation and where you ski.

For your dates you'll have more chance of skiing powder if you

1. stick to Hokkaido
2. are prepared to hike / tour above the resorts in Hakuba Valley

If you do stick with Hokkaido, then your cheapest bet would be to base yourself off-snow in the port town of Otaru and make use of public transport to hit

Otaru Tenguyama
Asari
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Teine
Kiroro

All of the above are within 1hr from Otaru

You can get the train from Otaru to Kutchan then a bus or taxi to Niseko United resorts or bus from Otaru to Niseko Hirafu. That would be about 90 mins each way.

More specifics, fire away.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hakuba has an average of 11m of snow and Cortina just up the road has an ave of 13 I think. Mid - late March is pretty spring like, (stepson and then a friend have worked a season each there and we've been twice-once late Jan/early Feb and once late Feb, so the issue may be fresh powder, but if it does snow the powder and the tree skiing is AMAZING. Dead easy to get there from Tokyo. I've not skied in Hokkaido which has even more snow, but FWIW we chatted with Kiwi in Hakuba Cortina one day, and he had skied a lot in Hokkaido-the usual resorts, and said he preferred the Hakuba area as it was so much quieter. If you head to Hakuba, Happo One is the best option for nightlife, but bear in mind, it's very different....the resort isn't alpine pretty,and lifts are a bit clunky, but the people are charming. Off piste is not really permitted in the ski area that might best be called "in bounds" at Happo one, but it is in Cortina. I have never grinned so much whumping down 18 inches-2 feet of fresh snow on and off piste in the trees at Cortina. You can book English speaking back country guides through Evergreen Outdoor centre.

Not sure if I would make the diversion for 3 days if I was basing myself in Hokkaido though. Flights home from Tokyo tend to mean you need to be in Tokyo the night before. So you can ski till about lunchtime, take bus to Nagano, and bullet train into the middle of Tokyo. Stay in downtown Tokyo for the night (an experience in its own right) and then it's about an hour to the airport in the morning.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Perty, thanks thats what I was looking for.
@Mike Pow, thanks too but not the sarcy bit!

Any thoughts on Black Diamond Lodge?
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gainz wrote:
@Perty, thanks thats what I was looking for.
@Mike Pow, thanks too but not the sarcy bit!

Any thoughts on Black Diamond Lodge?


Pleasure. Your flight prices were off the chart to be fair Smile

Black Diamond are great. They'll find you the goods. Comes with a cost though.

And they're based in Higashiyama near Niseko Village. Which is a bus ride or expensive taxi to Niseko Hirafu where all the action is.

Budget?
latest report     
 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.
@Gainz, i booked with BA direct from their website - Shannon (Ireland) to Chitose return for 730 (around 630 or so) I went with BA for the baggage allowance two 23kg hold bags one being snowboard size. Worth a look?
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Gainz wrote:


Any thoughts on Black Diamond Lodge?


You mean in terms of accommodation standard?

Been a while since I was there now (Jan 2014), but...

Place is great, and ideal to meet up with good skiers and get info on where to go. Short walk to nearest lifts, onsen isn't far away either. Bar and evening food is nice. I was in a bunk dorm room room, which was fine for what I was looking for at the time. There are double rooms available too, didn't see them but the impression I got was that they are also fairly basic.

I would definitely stay there again, but it's definitely not luxury.

If I was going back to Hokkaido, I would probably base myself in Niseko/BDL for at least a part of a trip, but I wouldn't intend to ski Niseko the majority of the time. The secret was out when I was there, and I hear it's only got busier since. If you want the real blower untracked pow Japan snowpocalypse experience, I'd suggest you need to hit the smaller/quieter resorts (plenty of 'em on Hokkaido).
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
+1

March or Jarch as we affectionately call it on Hokkaido can deliver 2-3 fresh powder days per week of January proportions.

With less people skiing it off and longer days it's a great time of the season to visit.

And you could get skunked and see no new snowfall for the duration of your trip.

If deep powder is your primary concern then change your dates to January and /or February.

If you're looking for an exotic ski holiday which may offer up the best powder you've ridden then go for it.

Had a thought overnight about the two centre idea. If you had 7 days in each place then I'd say go for it. But with a 7-3 split I'd choose one or the other.

Realistically would you fly to Denver and ski Colorado for 6-7 days and then fly to Tahoe for 2-3 days?
snow report     
 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.
Thanks guys this is really helping.

Budget 2k all in.
Scrapped the 2 centre idea.
Best to stay in Hokkaido I think as i don't fancy long bus rides. May make an exception for a day or 2.
Where would be good to stay?
We like comfortable but not necessarily luxe but not dorms either. BDL does tick most of our boxes, the price according to the website is approx 99 bed only in a twin per room. Seems reasonable but if we can't get a good nights kip (due to rowdy aussies, uncomfortable beds etc) then its pointless. May also be a bit far from the action?
ski holidays     
 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
@Gainz, no need to worry about being kept awake in BD in my experience. IIRC correctly the bar closed around 10/11 every evening, and everyone there was a hardcore skier (only one Aussie in the place wink, lots of Scandies) getting up early and sleeping early. Jet lag will help you sleep early anyway!

It wouldn't be ideal if you wanted to apres ski/eat out/etc in Hirafu, though there are busses (I couldn't work them out in Japanese, though that's probably better now) and the one taxi I took wasn't too expensive (I think!). No problem for skiing though.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Gainz, have you looked at http://www.snowjapan.com, we found it very useful when planning our trip, though they don't have a forum anymore
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Gainz wrote:
Thanks guys this is really helping.

Budget 2k all in.
Scrapped the 2 centre idea.
Best to stay in Hokkaido I think as i don't fancy long bus rides. May make an exception for a day or 2.
Where would be good to stay?
We like comfortable but not necessarily luxe but not dorms either. BDL does tick most of our boxes, the price according to the website is approx 99 bed only in a twin per room. Seems reasonable but if we can't get a good nights kip (due to rowdy aussies, uncomfortable beds etc) then its pointless. May also be a bit far from the action?


Black Diamond is great if you're solo, or in a couple / group with wide range of ability.

I'm assuming that the 4 of you will ride together. And socialise together.

To that end

http://niseko.cc/niseko/accommodation/about.jsf

Put in 10 nights for 4 people from 15 March

Silver Birch - right in the heart of Niseko Hirafu - and a short walk to the lifts came up as JP6000 per person per night. That's 41 accommodation only.

Breakfast - JP1000 per person per day = JP10,000 = 68.10
Lunch - JP2000 per person per day = JP20,000 = 136.20
Dinner - JP3000 per person per day = JP30,000 = 204.30

So far that's

650 max for the flight
410 for accommodation
409 for 3 squares a day (with a drink at lunch and two at dinner)
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is probably not on most peoples radar but one of the things I really like about Japan is the electronic bidet toilet seats on nearly every toilet (I even had one installed in my London flat a couple of years ago). BD Lodge in Niseko is one of the only places i've stayed which doesn't have any! Plus the woman on reception looked at me like I was a weirdo when I asked her if they did. Confused
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@musehead, haha that's a very good point! Have to say getting one for home is on my to do list too - heated toilet seats in winter FTW!
snow report     
 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?
Why do you think it doesn't catch on?

I like it. Not to the point of going through the hassle of getting one for my house. But I wouldn't mind having it if it's more readily available.

I thought it's a pretty good idea. Just for some reason doesn't seem to catch on outside of Japan.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Mike Pow, have you done much on the big island? Waddaya think of it?
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mosha Marc wrote:
@Mike Pow, have you done much on the big island? Waddaya think of it?


Did my first trip last season.

Flew Chitose to Haneda.

Shinkansen from airport to Tokyo then on to Nagano. Wonderful.

Picked up a rental car in Nagano and then drove to Hakuba.

Stayed at the White Horse in Hakuba. Excellent.

Skied Happo-One the first day with White Horse owner Tony.

Epic
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQWKeQCgZeQ/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQYyz7BggwR/


Then Tsugaiake and Iwatake on the second day. Epic. Tsugaiake trees were amazing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQbWIKhAGQg/


Didn't get to see the winderful alpine views or do any slackcountry.

Going to try to get down there each season from here on in.

Highly ratef. Highly recommended.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mike Pow, wow:)

In the last link, there was a kind of wire hanging at a low hight? You just cleared it, but looked like a man made trap? Skullie
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Mike Pow, you're a star!

Choosing between snowbird (through holiday niseko) and silver birch now. Also booking a 2 night cat ski with black diamond tours. skisafari reckon they can match any quote I get (or make up) so we'll see what they come up with. This is looking bloody good bruvs!
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mooney058 wrote:
@Mike Pow, wow:)

In the last link, there was a kind of wire hanging at a low hight? You just cleared it, but looked like a man made trap? Skullie


Was higher than it looked. And more obvious 😀
ski holidays     
 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.
Gainz wrote:
@Mike Pow, you're a star!

Choosing between snowbird (through holiday niseko) and silver birch now. Also booking a 2 night cat ski with black diamond tours. skisafari reckon they can match any quote I get (or make up) so we'll see what they come up with. This is looking bloody good bruvs!


Excellent. My pleasure.

The 2-night catski trip is the best on Hokkaido. Shimamaki and Kariba Mountainous District is stunning.

I toured up there before they had a cat operation. Terrain is great, views to die for


http://youtube.com/v/NgD6OtkbA1I
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Mike Pow wrote:
mooney058 wrote:
@Mike Pow, wow:)

In the last link, there was a kind of wire hanging at a low hight? You just cleared it, but looked like a man made trap? Skullie


Was higher than it looked. And more obvious 😀


What is it? Electricity cable? Is this usual in Japan?
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Something to do witj an old lift I think.

No not usual.
ski holidays     
 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.
I did find that many of the resorts had lifts that ran at very low level. This may have been by design or due to the depth of the snow pack. A number of times when skiing or crossing the lift lines, you had to dodge the ascending and then remember to dodge the descending ones as well.

On some chairlifts you had to make sure you kept your tips up to avoid hooking the snow. Part of this is due to the smaller/lower chairs designed for the typically smaller Japanese person, rather than long legged lanky Europeans.
latest report     
 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
PowderAdict wrote:
I did find that many of the resorts had lifts that ran at very low level. This may have been by design or due to the depth of the snow pack. A number of times when skiing or crossing the lift lines, you had to dodge the ascending and then remember to dodge the descending ones as well.

On some chairlifts you had to make sure you kept your tips up to avoid hooking the snow. Part of this is due to the smaller/lower chairs designed for the typically smaller Japanese person, rather than long legged lanky Europeans.


Good to know, on some of the European older two seaters I was strugling with my limbs already
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.

If there has been a decent snowfall, it isn't that unusual to be able to "ski" as you go up a chair lift Very Happy. You may also find some of the really old pizza box or meat hook lifts. This is one of the top lifts at Niseko Shocked.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mike Pow, well you sold it!

Looks like we're off to the big island with Jerry from Goodguides. His is a touring setup in more ways than one; no fixed accommodation (just go wherever has the best snow) and a bit of "walking on skis" to get to the best stuff too. They have the whole of Niigata and Nagano to work with.

Our Viking has been with Jerry before and likes him.

Sadly we couldn't sync dates with Gamsbock and her crew Sad
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Excellent.

When?
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Easily doable. Went there end of Feb-beginning of March last season. Flights from memory were about 600 return direct. Had 4 days in Tokyo and 6 in the Hakuba valley, several resorts in that valley. You won't get the best snow late in March. Better in February. Even when we went it was deemed too late by the locals.
latest report     
 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, just checking the details. looks like we leave the UK on the 4th Feb. We should be skiing by the 6th at worst and we're there for nine days.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Mosha Marc wrote:
@Mike Pow, just checking the details. looks like we leave the UK on the 4th Feb. We should be skiing by the 6th at worst and we're there for nine days.


Should be primo 👍
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just working out how I break it to the Mrs now. Shocked Sad Confused Embarassed
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.

http://youtube.com/v/o0wNl66tT3Q
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
So all booked up!

Heading to Japan on 5th March and returning on 17th. Doing a night in Tokyo as it seemed rude not to. All in all its costing a small fortune but f**k it hey!

Should i pre-book lift passes or just get them on the day? They seem to be 50800yen for 8 out of 10 days pass. I shouldn't expect that to change closer we get to the season.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wait
ski holidays     
 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.
My QST 106 arrived on Monday, have the first 50K YPN in cash. First week accomodation booked, need to book accom for thevsecond week in Otaru. It is gettng closer by a week Smile roll-on 2nd Feb!

I hope the N Korea story subsides by then ... Shocked
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We have just booked return flights from Luxembourg to Sapporo and back from Tokyo for 2018 for 644. So maybe consider transiting through a European airport. We are using Lufthansa and prices still seem less than 1000...

For the rest of our trip we are using ski safari and the proposal seems reasonably well put together with internal transfer....
latest report     



Derived from phpBB 2001, 2002 phpBB Group & 2004-2013 snowHeads.com Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy