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Japan?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Currently stuck at the airport with a 4 hour delay and seeing too many adverts for Japan...

Any recommendations/tips for a potential first timer.

Just me and the other half. Steeper and deeper the better for me, but she who must be obeyed probably not so into anything too crazy but comfortable on anything groomed and not much experience of deep powder.

Keen to avoid crowds of Australian bogans because we get to laugh at them at home all the time, beyond that up for anything really. Cheap would be better than expensive Happy

Flights are fairly easy via oz from NZ I think. Don’t know a thing about japan snow beyond that and looking to do the trip independently.

Can go any time but guessing early feb outside of oz/Nz school summer holidays would be a good plan ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tons of threads if you search, especially advice from Mike Pow on independent trips, where to base yourself etc
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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?
As you've already alluded to, your trip will be about compromise.

For that reason, I would choose the Hakuba Valley.

Plenty of reasonably priced accommodation, restaurants & bars.

Massive variety of skiing on one ticket.

Some great areas to transition from piste to powder.

True expert terrain if your missus has a day off.

Still Aussies around but in fairness Westerners are everywhere a first timer is likely to visit.

Close to Japanese cultural attractions.

Snow monkeys not too far.

You can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano.

Easy to tag Tokyo and/or Kyoto on at the start/end of your trip.
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Awesome thanks! Just what I needed to know.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
hang11 wrote:
Awesome thanks! Just what I needed to know.


Pleasure.
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@Mike Pow, is the guru on Japan. also if poss avoid major aussie holiday weeks if poss.


an altyernative of course is west coast of Canada, met a guys a couple years ago who was doing some prime ski arease (revi and similar), as a change from for japan
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
1. Hakuba.
2. Niseko.
3. Nozawa.
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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!
That's mad I was wanting to post pretty much the exact same question except I could not come up with a nice way to say I am allergic to Australians and is there a Japanese resort they don't go to in any significant numbers! oops I've gone and said it Shocked
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billybob wrote:
That's mad I was wanting to post pretty much the exact same question except I could not come up with a nice way to say I am allergic to Australians and is there a Japanese resort they don't go to in any significant numbers! oops I've gone and said it Shocked


Now you have to tell where you will be going so we could all avoid unpleasant people on a hill
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billybob wrote:
That's mad I was wanting to post pretty much the exact same question except I could not come up with a nice way to say I am allergic to Australians and is there a Japanese resort they don't go to in any significant numbers! oops I've gone and said it Shocked


Certainly rules out Niseko, They own it all.
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Bob wrote:
@Mike Pow, is the guru on Japan. also if poss avoid major aussie holiday weeks if poss.


an altyernative of course is west coast of Canada, met a guys a couple years ago who was doing some prime ski arease (revi and similar), as a change from for japan


Too kind. Thanks.

Agreed. Avoid Australian school holidays and Chinese New Year if possible.

A road trip around Interior BC would be a great alternative.

Starting & finishing in Calgary (YYC)

Castle Mountain (Alberta); Golden & Kicking Horse; Revelstoke; Whitewater; Fernie
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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:
billybob wrote:
That's mad I was wanting to post pretty much the exact same question except I could not come up with a nice way to say I am allergic to Australians and is there a Japanese resort they don't go to in any significant numbers! oops I've gone and said it Shocked


Now you have to tell where you will be going so we could all avoid unpleasant people on a hill


Aww and I was so looking forward to us skiing together! But ok- if you could avoid most of BC for January/February and the occasional December Tignes trip you should be good
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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
Also check out Otaru in Hokkaido as a base to ski Sapporo Teine, Kokusai, Asari, Kiroro, Tenguyama and others - ticks the 'cheap' and 'no bogans' boxes, but a bit of a compromise on expert terrain (and snow monkeys).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Like @Mike Pow, says Hakuba a pretty good option if you are sticking to Honshu (main island). If you’ve not been to Japan worth thinking about spending some time in Tokyo too. I quite like Nozawa for the baths and general traditional feel, Shiga quite good too if you fancy a Prince Hotel ski in ski out experience.

Snow Search Japan is quite a handy guide book.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We did Shiga Kogen this year (late March) chosen for easy access from Tokyo and relative height. Really enjoyed it, most of the villages in the area are linked on a single area pass. Not hard core but on the two days we got fresh snow it was deep enough for me to make a fool of myself. Trip report somewhere if I can find it.

Edit to add trip report link: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=142632
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thank you all for your responses much appreciated.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A question after looking at Japan options for a few years but not yet taking the plunge...

Is Hokkaido not a MUST for a first visit? Or can Honshu also be relied on for powder Puzzled
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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?
From my research for last year I would have said 'probably'. If it's regular light dry dumps you want then it appears Niseko/SW Hokkaido is the go.
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I think it’s the “relied on” part that gets you!

No place can be absolutely relied on. But it seems Hokkaido comes closest than other places.

So, if you’re flying half way around the world to ski in Japan, you want to maximize your chances.

But the OP isn’t flying half way around the world to get there. Japan is only a short hop and skip from NZ. He’ll probably go back again in 2021 if he likes what he experiences in 2020. Then, he can go to some out of way mountain in Hokkaido where no Aussies go.

Also, the OP wants steep as much as deep, with a partner who hasn’t got much powder experience. Different requirements.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks all. Canada sounds interesting. So many places to go and not enough time or money Happy. Planning another trip to Europe next year too.

I’ll probably have to go without the steep bit to keep harmony but not a problem for me if there’s good snow and good times to be had.

Also I don’t have a problem with strayans in general - just bogans Happy
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@mountainaddict, if you want to see marketing free snowfall figures, you can look at the historical daily reports on SnowJapan.com - they report for a load of resorts on Honshu and a few in Hokkaido. The impression I got when poring over them before booking last year was that the average snowfall totals are similar for the snowiest big resorts in Hokkaido and Honshu. However, Hokkaido gets more regular snowfalls and less rain/melt, whereas Honshu can get bigger dumps, but is more prone to rain and freeze/thaw. Id guess it's because Honshu gets a slightly bigger 'lake effect' as the siberian wind crosses a wider stretch of the sea of Japan and has more time to pick up moisture, but it's also significantly warmer as its more southerly. It probably matters more at the start and the end of the season though, late Jan/early Feb is a coin toss. Its probably also a different pattern again for the less well known northern Honshu ski areas.

I've been to Hokkaido twice now - once over xmas/new year and once in mid Jan. The Jan trip was apparently the worst season in Niseko in a very long time, but we still had a couple of classic deep days, and top ups almost every night.

The xmas/new year trip was unreal - I think from memory we had 8 full blown powder days, and top ups or a dusting on the other 3 or 4 ski days.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@billybob, Zao and Shiga Kogen very Japanese, very few Australians.
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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!
As an Aussie I have to defend myself and my fellow Aussies a bit.
Undeniably there are a portion of my fellow countrymen that can be culturally insensitive and ignorant and rude but we're not all like that.
I've traveled extensively on ski holidays and no matter what country I go to the locals have always been enthusiastic about hosting Australians.
Don't all nations have their share of ignorant people? (I think they're called 'lager louts' in your neck of the woods).
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@sbooker, Very true, I'm sure that there are many who like to avoid resorts with too many Brits!
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Quote:
... the locals have always been enthusiastic about hosting Australians.


Do they just smile and give you a vegemite sandwich? Madeye-Smiley
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