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  1. #26
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    Oct 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERIOR View Post
    One resort? Rusutsu, if sidecountry and BC options are in play.
    Teine Highland otherwise
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    100% Teine is sick. Shiribetsu/Yotei the options are endless at rusutsu.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BREz2O3jcKc

    I guess that comes from nothing but shredding standpoint. If you are looking for family stuff/English speaking restaurants mid mountain/chance to meet lots of tourists and talk about how sick you are, then maybe those 2 places arent the best.

  2. #27
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    Oct 2013
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    Thanks for the continued great feedback. Now anybody got any valid air Canada coupon codes that didn't expire in 2014?
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey

    Associate Editor, TGR

  3. #28
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    Dec 2014
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    Skiing during your summer
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERIOR View Post
    One resort? Rusutsu, if sidecountry and BC options are in play.

    Teine Highland otherwise


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Thanks for the tip! Looks like staying in Rusutsu with day trips to Teine will be the go! That highlands section looks the goods.

  4. #29
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus George View Post
    Thanks for the tip! Looks like staying in Rusutsu with day trips to Teine will be the go! That highlands section looks the goods.
    I'm headed to Niseko January 13 for a week. Staying at a lodge in annupuri, group is half Quebecois the other red neck western Canadian. Stoked to check this off the bucket list.



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  5. #30
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by pano-dude View Post
    I'm headed to Niseko January 13 for a week. Staying at a lodge in annupuri, group is half Quebecois the other red neck western Canadian. Stoked to check this off the bucket list.


    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk
    Annupuri was my first choice and I may still end up there as everything reasonably priced at Rusutsu is basically booked out already. I'm late to the circus I know...

  6. #31
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    Sep 2014
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    40°39'32.94"N 111°35'45.68"W
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    Any beta on Asahikawa as a lodging base?

  7. #32
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    Jan 2010
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    Jackson Hole
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    241
    Sorry to hijack but I’m also headed to Japan from Jan 12-26. Looking to do 4 ski days in Hakuba area and 4 in Hokkaido. Current plan is 2 days at Rusutsu and maybe 2 at Kiroro or elsewhere. I’ve heard staying at Kiroro is like a cruise ship, anywhere close by to stay with more culture and food options? We’ll have a van and don’t mind driving a little in the morning to ski.


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  8. #33
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    Oct 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by dFiddler View Post
    Sorry to hijack but I’m also headed to Japan from Jan 12-26. Looking to do 4 ski days in Hakuba area and 4 in Hokkaido. Current plan is 2 days at Rusutsu and maybe 2 at Kiroro or elsewhere. I’ve heard staying at Kiroro is like a cruise ship, anywhere close by to stay with more culture and food options? We’ll have a van and don’t mind driving a little in the morning to ski.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Otaru is about 35-40 mins from kiroro down by the coast, twenty mins from Sapporo. Suppose to have awesome sushi and not really a ski town
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey

    Associate Editor, TGR

  9. #34
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    Dec 2010
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    23
    Plan to get Kiroro early so you can get your ticket and register with ski patrol before the buses arrive.

  10. #35
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    May 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boof Head View Post
    Plan to get Kiroro early so you can get your ticket and register with ski patrol before the buses arrive.
    How is the protocol here? Do they speak english? Is the registration mandatory? Is this common in all Japanese resorts? Thanks for pointing this out anyways.
    I'll be up in Hokkaido from 3rd of January to roundabout the 13th.

  11. #36
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Dunfee View Post
    Otaru is about 35-40 mins from kiroro down by the coast, twenty mins from Sapporo. Suppose to have awesome sushi and not really a ski town
    Sounds great. Anyone here have any additional beta on this place?
    www.mymountaincoop.ca

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  12. #37
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    Feb 2007
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    Idaho
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    871
    Stayed at Kiroro last year and drove in to Otaru twice for dinner. Neat little town with lots of restaurants. If I go back I’d stay there. Sushi joint upstairs of building on Main Street. Tiny little bar about a block away, might be called Whisky Bar.

  13. #38
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    Dec 2010
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    [
    Quote Originally Posted by LeoK View Post
    How is the protocol here? Do they speak english? Is the registration mandatory? Is this common in all Japanese resorts? Thanks for pointing this out anyways.
    I'll be up in Hokkaido from 3rd of January to roundabout the 13th.
    At Kiroro there will be lots of Gaijin (foreigners). Aussies, Yanks, Brits, Scandos, etc. as well as Asian visitors ie China, Korea. Some of the workers will have basic English but language isn't really a problem at Kiroro and other westernised resorts as they will have English signs and instructions.
    At that time, there will most likely be lots of foreigners staying on the mountain for conferences. When I was there this year there were 3 medical conferences being held at the same time.

    My advice is;
    In the morning, get your ticket as soon as the office opens. At this point you can pay extra (approx.1200yen) and have exclusive access to an area that doesn't open for general use until about 10 or 11 am. Worth the extra few bucks if you are pow starved. We didn't bother as we were still finding fresh in bounds 4 days post storm.

    After you get your ticket, head upstairs to the mountain club office and register your "climbing" plan. I just indicated that I would be accessing all gates. You will receive a pass that will allow you out the gates. The gates are manned and they check your pass. Its a little bit confusing the first time, particularly if you do it after the day buses arrive. Hence my recommendation to go early, at least on your first day.
    will try and dig up a Kiroro pic.
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    Inbounds a couple of days post storm.
    Last edited by Boof Head; 11-09-2017 at 06:33 PM. Reason: image

  14. #39
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    Oct 2010
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    218
    We spent time at the Smile hotel in Otaru. Its a decent little place. There was a VW van parked out front selling takoyaki cheap which was sweet. The town is like a much smaller version of Sapporo.
    Kiroro was probably the lease favorite of all our resorts. The hype around it made us think it was gonna be sick, but it was disjointed, runs just didnt seem to link up properly. Lots of people (euro's with go pros), lots of snow, just better terrain at other hills. This was the first place i contemplated poaching under the gondola because i didnt care if they pulled my pass, and the only place i remember where they made you sign a sheet to get a band to be out of bounds. I would choose to go back to Kokusai rather than Kiroro

  15. #40
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    Oct 2015
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    38
    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    We spent time at the Smile hotel in Otaru. Its a decent little place. There was a VW van parked out front selling takoyaki cheap which was sweet. The town is like a much smaller version of Sapporo.
    Kiroro was probably the lease favorite of all our resorts. The hype around it made us think it was gonna be sick, but it was disjointed, runs just didnt seem to link up properly. Lots of people (euro's with go pros), lots of snow, just better terrain at other hills. This was the first place i contemplated poaching under the gondola because i didnt care if they pulled my pass, and the only place i remember where they made you sign a sheet to get a band to be out of bounds. I would choose to go back to Kokusai rather than Kiroro
    +1 and the same sentiment.
    they even block off whole chunks of the mountain until 11am for people that have paid for a premium membership ($12 a day).

    all the restricted stuff is because you must register for "safety" with the mountain club.
    they dont check your avi gear, maps, communications, or knowledge. its just bureaucracy bs they seem to be half forced to do to keep the national parks happy. its because something like 5 people died off piste in 14-15 (or was it 13-14?). stupid beginner tourists with no off piste experience following locals ducking ropes, and get themselves into big trouble. so i don't blame them for implementing the mountain club really.
    my record is 65minutes to checkin right at the peak of the season. was not a happy camper at all. ive checked in within 5-15 minutes most other times tho.
    you need to pay for premium membership to register before 9am, so unless you pay $12 extra you cant make that first chair. which effectively makes it $50 a day for a 3 lift resort :/
    the whole idea of checkin and checkout suggests that they'd come looking for you if you go missing, but based on the two times ive witnessed (talking to people in the carpark who suddenly realize they didnt checkout), it seems they do absolutely nothing if you don't checkout either.
    so its more of an 'i think i know what im doing club'. maybe they should call it that (cause i dont claim to actually know what im doing ;P)

    kiroro has short hits & flat runouts. i get so tired of pushing snowboarders on the flat.
    its mega busy on weekends with locals from sapporo and otaru. they seem to have events every weekend, bands and races and stuff, that bring even more people.
    7-8 yeas ago id almost be the only westerner there on weekdays, but its getting quite busy at peak times of the year with westerners too, especially the euros as you mentioned (i grudgingly admit, good for them, the new management has put them on the map).

    but ....
    even with so many negatives, if i had only one day to ski in the south-of-sapporo-region, and had to choose a resort, kiroro would be a contender. those short hits are mega fun. i ski it fast and know it off by heart, so any more than one day and i'd go batshit bored crazy with the lack of variety tho.
    the mountain means they get completely different weather patterns to the niseko/rusutsu region, so sometimes they get mega dumped on whereas everyone else nearby got nothing (eg, last year they got record amounts). so its a nice option if theres no snow elsewhere.
    its certainly a must for any tourist doing a ski trip in the region. is worth a day or two, but if you don't know it well you could spend several days there and not find any of the best stuff and might not enjoy it so much.
    when friends come to hokkaido to visit me, its near the top of the todo list too.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
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    5,235
    Quote Originally Posted by Boof Head View Post
    [
    After you get your ticket, head upstairs to the mountain club office and register your "climbing" plan. I just indicated that I would be accessing all gates. You will receive a pass that will allow you out the gates. The gates are manned and they check your pass. Its a little bit confusing the first time,
    good advice- forgot about having to get the pass to access the bc gates
    We ended up having to go back down to the base to get them. we thought we might be able to language barrier our way through for at least one run back to the base but they are strict
    skid luxury

  17. #42
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    Oct 2013
    Location
    Jackson, WY
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    Folks have experience at Kokusai and Teine? Kind of wondering if we should come back to Otaru for the last few days of the trip or spend a little money to be in rusutsu or niseko area
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey

    Associate Editor, TGR

  18. #43
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    Oct 2009
    Location
    invermere
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    320
    Quote Originally Posted by Aus George View Post
    Annupuri was my first choice and I may still end up there as everything reasonably priced at Rusutsu is basically booked out already. I'm late to the circus I know...
    We had planned on rusutsu also but accommodation cost changed that.

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  19. #44
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    Oct 2010
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    218
    Quote Originally Posted by pano-dude View Post
    We had planned on rusutsu also but accommodation cost changed that.

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    If you have a car you can easily stay in Kutchan/ Lake Tooya for rusutsu. Loads of great food options and makes you feel like you are actually in Japan, rather than another tourist town...
    Dunfee
    Teine is great. Steepest inbounds on hokkaido i would say. Mid week was great, lots of school kids, so occasional lines, but they didn't ski the fun stuff. theres an old gondola that doesn't run and all the good shit is over that way. You can also take a bus there, and ski all the way back along roads/golf course to sapporo.
    Kokusai is not as steep, less busy, we had fun, but not as good or big as some of the other resorts. Its a good, 'we got nothing better to do and want to check out a new resort' resort
    Niseko is a great way to send the trip off though, aussie ho's everywhere

  20. #45
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    Dec 2014
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    Skiing during your summer
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    This thread is a wealth of information, thanks everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    If you have a car you can easily stay in Kutchan/ Lake Tooya for rusutsu. Loads of great food options and makes you feel like you are actually in Japan, rather than another tourist town...
    Kutchan looks good for a base, driving to nearby resorts. However for Rusutsu, how about Toyako? It looks to be closer however might be a pretty small town? Accommodation is cheaper too.

  21. #46
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus George View Post
    This thread is a wealth of information, thanks everyone.



    Kutchan looks good for a base, driving to nearby resorts. However for Rusutsu, how about Toyako? It looks to be closer however might be a pretty small town? Accommodation is cheaper too.
    Small town, no grocery store in the winter, nothing but a Seico Mart really. We stayed in an Airbnb above the lake, was super pretty, cool spot. Apparently there is a "ski run" in the backyard. Downside was no running water because someone before us turned the hose off and it froze.
    Was about an 45-60 minute drive to Rusutsu
    Colorado seems like a sweet place except for the people that go there because it seems like a sweet place making it no longer a sweet place...

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  22. #47
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by sklar View Post
    Small town, no grocery store in the winter, nothing but a Seico Mart really. We stayed in an Airbnb above the lake, was super pretty, cool spot. Apparently there is a "ski run" in the backyard. Downside was no running water because someone before us turned the hose off and it froze.
    Was about an 45-60 minute drive to Rusutsu
    I gave up on that idea it seemed a bit off the beaten (ski) track, your comment confirms. Booked today Jan 29 - Feb 18. Im staying in Kutchan for 2 weeks, then to Otaru for the final week. Assuming travelling round in a small 2WD will be *mostly* fine, can anyone confrim how snowed in the roads can get? Any mags around that time I'll be solo if you would be keen to add one more to your jerry brigade.

  23. #48
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    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus George View Post
    If you had a choice of one resort, where would you most enjoy?
    Depends what you're looking for and there have been many great suggestions.

    Niseko Hirafu has the best combination of lift infrastrcture, terrain, snow, nightlife, restaurants, shopping within walking / short bus ride or drive from your accommodation.

    If you're prepared to drive a bit more - approx 20-30 mins - then Kutchan is the spot.

    All the other resorts mentioned have their pluses and minuses.

    Personally I'd base myself in Otaru and hit up Otaru Tenguyama, Asari, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai and Sapporo Teine.

  24. #49
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus George View Post
    Thanks for the tip! Looks like staying in Rusutsu with day trips to Teine will be the go! That highlands section looks the goods.
    That's a very long day trip. Not recommended.
    Last edited by Mike Pow; 11-11-2017 at 05:31 AM.

  25. #50
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    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coño Frío View Post
    Any beta on Asahikawa as a lodging base?
    Plenty of cheap, business hotels in the heart of the city.

    All within walking distance to restaurants and bars. Think a smaller version of Sapporo.

    Short bus ride / drive to Kamui Ski Links.

    Doable day trips to Furano, Asahidake and Kurodake.

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