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Thread: Japan Jongified

  1. #1
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    Japan Jongified

    I was trying to do a little research on my "planned" trip to Japan this February. Just took a peek at airfare, and it is pretty steep, around $1200. anyways, i was wondering which 1 area i should go to? was briefly looking at Hakuba and it appears lift tickets are only like $30? from what ive read/heard it sounds like Japan is super expensive, is this true?
    i was wondering how cheap one could possibly do a month over in that region?
    i looked through some previous posts, but there is just soo much info. thought itd be easier just to ask around to see if anyone can help a brother out?
    thanks
    b

  2. #2
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    I went to Okinowa last summer and scored a ticket for eight bills because I just kept checking on prices for airfair. Kind of expensive cost of living but no worse than where I live. Can't help with winter rec. costs though.

  3. #3
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    What kind of riding? Hakuba is famous for bigger lines. Many of which are OB. Niseko in the north is famous for pukings. but fairly flat. Hakuba is also close to Tokyo, so that will cut traveling expenses down.

    fattwins on this board, as well as snowjapan.com, can give you more detailed info on housing in hakuba.

    If you plan it, it shouldn't be any more expensive than a trip anywhere else. Tickets, like you said, can be as low as 30 bucks. Don't fall victim to the stereotype that Japan is expensive. Traveling anywhere is more expensive than riding at home.

  4. #4
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    Lets keep this thread going.

    I, as well, have dreams/plans to go to Japan this next Winter.

    Would like to spend about 2 weeks there.
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  5. #5
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    I'll be in Nozawa from 21st Dec to the 16th Jan if any maggots are visiting that town.

  6. #6
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    im trying to do the whole month of feb. do some traveling for a week or two, and then some skiing for 2 or 3.
    looking for the steepest stuff they got, knowing that it isnt very steep over there. i really want some snow too, since i got burned this winter in St Anton. im trying to get an idea of prices now, so i dont spend all my money on my roadtrip in september.
    i looked at the japan tourism site and couldnt find train fares either, so if you know where to look for that, let me know. otherwise ill google it when i get outta the water.
    season pass prices would be nice too?

  7. #7
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    The resorts are lame and not steep, true. But Japan's Kita Alps have as much steep as you want, if you go out and get it. And if resort services are your thing then Hakuba is by far your best choice for the Kita Alps. The resorts themselves aren't so good, but the surrounding mountains are steep and deep. Nozawa Onsen also has a lot of steep trees, but no real alpine. Still awesome though. The concept of off-piste doesn't exist in Japan like it does in the Alps. People ski on groomed runs like they are the only way down the mountain.

    In the north of the big island there is a resort called hachimantai forest which has no such rules. Some people refer to it as the Fernie of Japan in terms of bum culture and basic infrastructure. I have been to neither so cant comment on that.

    In Hakuba you often have to duck ropes and dive for cover to evade the patrol waiting for you at the exit of your tree line. In Europe I would be scared and ashamed of myself if I did something that made patrol hunt me down, likewise north America, that's because they have rules for a fucking good reason. In Japan, not so. You have to get some rope burn on the head to get the pow.

    About 7000 yen will get you one way from Tokyo to Nagano city via bullet train. Then it is a cheap local bus service. You can do the trip on a slow train for much less, and it will take you all the way to Hakuba. An even cheaper option is the overnight bus from Tokyo. It would be like, 10 bucks?

    Accom in Hakuba can be very inexpensive, last I checked it was available at $20 a night.

    Lifts are cheap. Food can be very cheap. Japan can be as expensive or as cheap as you want: the uber expense image is totally overdone, especially since the 80's boom went bust. Way cheaper than skiing is Switzerland, probably on par with St Anton (that's a pretty sketchy guess of mine!)

    You can eat a triangle ball of cold rice wrapped in seaweed for one buck a pop. Coupla them each day should see you through a cheap (and fucking awful) month.

    You can buy beer from vending machines on every corner.

    Niseko in Hokkaido is these days regarded as being tracked out by a lot of visiting Australians. It is also lacking in any meaningful terrain or scale. After Stanton, forget it! Although the pow is mind blowing, but only slightly more so than in Hakuba down south. The quantity of powder across Japan is ridiculous stupid. Its just not normal what happens each winter on that island.

    For more info you might want to sniff out a new Japan back country/freeride steep and deep forum that has started up. Its a bit empty right now, but significantly less gaper than the other one and is aimed squarely at all the 'alternative' crowd of all terrain riders, rather than trail cruising ski holiday makers. Look for it as the season approaches.
    Last edited by neck beard; 06-15-2007 at 03:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    nice info, thanks
    .
    .
    .

  9. #9
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    Japan is not expensive, it is cheap. Far cheaper than say Yurp or the US. When you get there hookups will appear. For terrain watch the 1st 1/2 of my lame video on my webpage. I can't be bothered linking but I'm sure the url is on my user profle here.

  10. #10
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    Here is the link to Fattwins lodge. It is the centre for internationally skibummery in Japan. http://www.hakubapowderlodging.com/live/index.cgi
    Cheap and a great place to hook up with other serious skiers.
    Days on snow this season: 54 Last Season: 83

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  11. #11
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    Only skied in Hokkaido, so can't do the compare and contrast thing.

    If steep is your thing, stay on Honshu from what I've read, heard and seen pictures of.

    If deep is your thing, then book a ticket to Hokkaido.

    I've had bumper snow seasons at Big Mountain, Kicking Horse, Park City & Keystone and the areas that surround these resorts; and got the goods on trips to Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy, Argentina, Chile & NZ, and they don't come close to the quality and quantity of powder I skied last winter in the Niseko area.

    And last winter was touted as the worst in 35-40 years. We only got 11.5m (450"). The 'normal' average is 14m (550").

    To put things in perspective, Kicking Horse boasted legendary snow conditions this past winter with 10 m (396") of snowfall. And yes KH's terrain shits all over the Niseko area.

    And contrary to opinions/experiences posted in this thread there's always pow to be skied. The area is definitely getting busier, but most people ski & ride where most people ski and ride. So it's easy to find untracked all day, and then it just snows again.

    I've stuck around for the summer and I'll be skiing the area next winter because it's got exactly what I want. Namely

    feather light, deep powder
    great glade skiing
    no 'Oklahoma land rush' to get to the pow
    easy 'slackcountry' access
    some superb touring - one of the 'projects' for this coming winter is to ski from Hirafu to Iwanai, from the mountains to the ocean (35km)
    laid back pace of life
    cheap living

    The only thing that's missing is the female of the species. Worse than any other ski town I've lived in.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Mike Pow; 06-15-2007 at 09:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    japan...yeah great if you like to be alienated and starved.

    fuck that...come to bellingham and ride your fucking brains out at a place that rules over all of japanese.

    oh yeah.... .02

  13. #13
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    ill be in japan from August until january 1st or so. anyone want to meet up somewhere and ski?
    planing ahead. just a bit

  14. #14
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    Presumably you mean Mt Baker.

    If so, Baker is magnificent. So too Alpental and Crystal.

    Don't know about the 'lack of food' in Japan though. The grub is top notch, plentiful and cheap.

    If you make it up to Hokkaido drop me a line workinforturns

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by workinforturns View Post
    ill be in japan from August until january 1st or so. anyone want to meet up somewhere and ski?
    planing ahead. just a bit
    ha!
    stunt cok - get his boot beta. he'll be stylin some 192s you might be able to try. wft - we just knocked a full lb. off that model using glass/carbon fiber.
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  16. #16
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    1 lb? in order for my back to carry those up a mountain itll have to be at least 5, or send me some steroids it is a sign of reliability. those skis dwarf all others in my quiver.

    ya, ill be in Japan this fall with some 192's and Praxis if anyone wants to try them.
    bsl 224 i think

  17. #17
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    That's 1 lb. per ski. They dropped from 6 to 5 each. You can really tell the dif when you lift them.
    We don't make the snow. We just make it more enjoyable.


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  18. #18
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    StuntCok, you looking at the 192s? I'll have mine in Nozawa as well if we happen to hook up. 305mm sole. Original non-carbon fibre models.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntCok View Post
    Here is the link to Fattwins lodge. It is the centre for internationally skibummery in Japan. http://www.hakubapowderlodging.com/live/index.cgi
    Cheap and a great place to hook up with other serious skiers.
    Def. go to Hakuba and stay with Fattwins!
    A short skin/booter from anyone of the local resorts gets you this.....




    Or you can get off the lift duck a rope (no hiking) and get 3-4k of untouched pow and cliffs.... car shuttle back to lift and repeat...
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  20. #20
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    ^^^^^^^^HOLY SHIT! i cant wait

  21. #21
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    Im thinking I need to go to Japan...like yesterday.

  22. #22
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    I'll be in Hakuba for a week from 20th January.
    "Nothing is funnier than Hitler." - Smokey McPole

  23. #23
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    Me too! booking flights today. Bilko's also interested.

  24. #24
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    Right, so you're both driving out again a Q7 are you.
    Not around much these days.

  25. #25
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    Hahahahaha - he is surely the Oberleutnant who will crack the whip at our 'Sunday Slacker' antics.
    "Nothing is funnier than Hitler." - Smokey McPole

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