Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast
Results 101 to 125 of 219
  1. #101
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804
    ^^ thanks for that. Iím telling my friends currently we can do one big night out in Tokyo and then letís get on with the powder.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SF & the Ho
    Posts
    4,598
    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    Without a work visa you'll have a hard time buying a car, or if you can the process to take care of it was incredibly difficult even for a buddy who spoke japanese but you never know. I think there's a huge difference in their eyes between someone on a tourist visa and working visa. You will also have to try and sell it when you leave. You might be able to get a good deal on a long term rental though, but im thinking it would be more expensive than dorming in Niseko. http://www.japan-campervan.com/ looks good.

    To all the people who are talking about skiing 8 days and doing 6 days sightseeing, you guys are crazy. If you get out of Niseko you will see so much incredible culture on a day to day basis that Tokyo will be a horrible shit show by the time you get there. Spend a night or 2 in Otaru and/or Sapporo, still ski the day, but you can go out and find crazy ramen holes, the best nigiri, great izakayas, whiskey bars all over the place. The drive out to tokachidake thru furano is super cool, basically everywhere you stop no one speaks a word of english. For me that is a far better and authentic Japanese experience than seeing fatburger and all the chains that are everywhere thru tokyo.
    That's as absurd as saying enjoy the culture of Hunter Mtn and skip Manhatten. If the mission is powder, by all means say ma te ne to Tokyo, but don't pretend you've seen what Japan is culturally unless you spend some time there. Preferably drunk. Carry on

  3. #103
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    That's as absurd as saying enjoy the culture of Hunter Mtn and skip Manhatten. If the mission is powder, by all means say ma te ne to Tokyo, but don't pretend you've seen what Japan is culturally unless you spend some time there. Preferably drunk. Carry on
    I think itís more of a city vs mountains (country) thing. I will have people visit Nor Cal and say spend a day or two in SF and then move on to where itís honestly way better to spend your time. I can be in downtown San Francisco in 55 minutes from my house and almost never go there, cause fuck that shit.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    no, it's whether you give a fuck about culture or not. you aren't a "mountain person" you are an internet person.
    That doesnít even make sense... so if Iím an internet person shouldnít I love SF? I grew up right there.... I mean, if people shitting on the sidewalk is so great, shouldnít SF be a dreamland? Iím open to criticism but at least make a little fucking sense. Iíve been to big cities all over the world, at some point theyíre all the same. (And yeah, Iíve already been to Tokyo too). Far more interested in whatís beyond...

    Which, I should add, is why so many assholes go to SF and LA and then trash California like theyíve been here at all.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    371
    Thereís more gaijin than Japanese in Niseko (and Hakuba). If thatís hyperbole itís not by much. I strongly disagree that you will get a particularly Japanese cultural experience in the resort towns. Thatís like saying you can experience the culture of Colorado by staying in Aspen.

    Thatís not to say itís dumb to ski every day on a ski trip, and thereís no way Iíd want to do non-skiing japan group tourism for a week with my ski partners, but I totally donít agree that itís a waste to do 8 days of skiing with six days of other stuff. Thereís a shit ton of amazing stuff to see in Japan.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SF & the Ho
    Posts
    4,598

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    This reminds me that I saw a dude drop a deuce on gough and market on my way out of town last week. He didnt even bother to squat, just a slight bend at the waist. It was as as if he were performing Ojigi

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    don't be modest, this shit matters to you. how many places "beyond" have you been?

    If you've got a one week or two week vacation by all means prioritize pow if that's what you want. That just means you don't have enough time to see the rest of the world.
    Sure, maybe Iíve already seen enough. Have had a job for the last 10-15 years that I can travel with. So yeah, chasing powder.

    Tokyo is a fun city, though. And like I said, still going there for a day or so before hopping a flight to Sapporo.

    This was a great thread before the usual TGR bullshit.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804
    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    no, it's whether you give a fuck about culture or not. if you were so in too mountains you wouldn't jerk yourself off online all the time. look this is a bunch of suburbanites who want to ski and jerk themselves off online after skiing (paraphrasing a finn tgr member) own it. there's tons of awesome shit in Japan, SF, whole worlds to explore. but you are a middle aged dude with 3 kids who thinks he's still cool.

    * of course people on TGR still rec all kinds of hip food.
    Ha, I actually missed this before. Cute. I mean, kind of stalkerish, but whatever.

    If you think having kids or not has anything to do with your little notion of cool, youíre an even bigger douchebag than I could have imagined. Wow.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SF & the Ho
    Posts
    4,598
    I saw lots of salarymen barf in public in Japan but I never saw one poo

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    642
    For big city I recommend Osaka, easy to make a day trip to Kyoto from it too. I spent three days there after spending two weeks on Hokaiddo. Highlight of my trip in all honesty,

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,641
    OK you lot, fuck right off with all your shit.

    It snowed down to 1900m and settled at Asahidake and Kurodake in central Hokkaido yesterday (17 August).

    Earliest snowfall on record. Previous record was 21 August 1974.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    No longer Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    658
    ^^^ Iím not even going to Japan this winter and got excited about this.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    OK you lot, fuck right off with all your shit.

    It snowed down to 1900m and settled at Asahidake and Kurodake in central Hokkaido yesterday (17 August).

    Earliest snowfall on record. Previous record was 21 August 1974.
    Sorry, not even sure why I'm engaging with the Hugh Conway impersonator. Deleted some of my posts to muck it up a bit less.

    Anyway - it seems like the general consensus for a home base on Hokkaido is Otaru? Any notable pros / cons of doing it that way and just day tripping elsewhere?

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,321
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Sorry, not even sure why I'm engaging with the Hugh Conway impersonator.
    because you are an internet drama bitch, same reason you posted this.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NIseko Japan, or Gold Coast Australia
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Sorry, not even sure why I'm engaging with the Hugh Conway impersonator. Deleted some of my posts to muck it up a bit less.

    Anyway - it seems like the general consensus for a home base on Hokkaido is Otaru? Any notable pros / cons of doing it that way and just day tripping elsewhere?
    youd have 4 (more?) ski resorts within 30 minutes drive. the small ones are big enough to 1 day there each, and you can get 2-3 days out of kiroro.
    1 hour away is niseko's 4 resorts and moiwa.
    2 hours away is rusutsu. 2 days worth there too.
    a lot of diy backcountry available.
    cheaper accom. food.
    more culture.

    it depends on how much you want to travel. driving every morning?
    if a big storm comes in the roads might be difficult or closed, especially the otaru pass.
    at the end of a big day a 1-2 hour drive really sucks.
    otaru goes to bed by 9pm.
    and you might run out of nearby variety depending on how long your stay is.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    369
    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    There’s more gaijin than Japanese in Niseko (and Hakuba). If that’s hyperbole it’s not by much. I strongly disagree that you will get a particularly Japanese cultural experience in the resort towns. That’s like saying you can experience the culture of Colorado by staying in Aspen.
    I would absolutely agree with this. I've done two trips (I know this isn't much compared to a lot of people) to japan and spent a total of 2 days in Niseko as it wasn't my thing. We booked trips so late that we didnt even try and find accomm in the resorts. Stayed in places like Kutchan (still pretty white), Lake Toya outside Rusutsu, sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, tokachidake etc. Most of those places were very Japanese and we made serious efforts to try and always eat at places full of japanese people without english menus, trying to get out of our comfort zones.

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    369
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Sorry, not even sure why I'm engaging with the Hugh Conway impersonator. Deleted some of my posts to muck it up a bit less.

    Anyway - it seems like the general consensus for a home base on Hokkaido is Otaru? Any notable pros / cons of doing it that way and just day tripping elsewhere?
    Honestly if you're driving just storm chase. Its so easy there. Storm hitting the coast, stay in Sapporo and hit Teine if its a weekday, backcountry if its a weekend. Few days between storms stay in Rusutsu or Toya and hit Yotei/Shiribetsu. Storm hitting Central, Go hit furano or Kamui, then once you are done there if theres a break head to tokachidake. Flexibility is the key.

  18. #118
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804
    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    Honestly if you're driving just storm chase. Its so easy there. Storm hitting the coast, stay in Sapporo and hit Teine if its a weekday, backcountry if its a weekend. Few days between storms stay in Rusutsu or Toya and hit Yotei/Shiribetsu. Storm hitting Central, Go hit furano or Kamui, then once you are done there if theres a break head to tokachidake. Flexibility is the key.
    Sounds like itís generally pretty easy to find lodging at the last second... as long as youíre not expecting to stay slope side or too picky?

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    634
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Sounds like itís generally pretty easy to find lodging at the last second... as long as youíre not expecting to stay slope side or too picky?
    I warn you not to make this assumption. My experience after 2 long trips is that lodging in any of the popular places is nearly 100% booked far in advance. If you just rock up to Kutchan in mid Jan with no plans you will find yourself sleeping in your car. I've had an easier time finding places in Otaru, Sapporo, Asahikawa, etc. Of course my tolerance for spending a lot on hotels is very low. There were $300 rooms available in Hirafu, but nothing for less...

    Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    369
    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    I warn you not to make this assumption. My experience after 2 long trips is that lodging in any of the popular places is nearly 100% booked far in advance. If you just rock up to Kutchan in mid Jan with no plans you will find yourself sleeping in your car. I've had an easier time finding places in Otaru, Sapporo, Asahikawa, etc. Of course my tolerance for spending a lot on hotels is very low. There were $300 rooms available in Hirafu, but nothing for less...

    Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
    Yep you can pretty much rule out niseko, unless you stay at the hostel out by the station. Both trips we have found last minute accomm in dorms out there. But its a solid 15 minute drive to lifts. In all honesty, Niseko is the last place I would go. Its full of aussies who can't ride, sideslipping anything over 20 degrees, then going into the backcountry without gear and getting lost, then getting shitfaced and embarrasing themselves at bars after...

  21. #121
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    929

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sapporo Temple.jpg 
Views:	103 
Size:	1.93 MB 
ID:	244487
    A picture of the BDL crew in 2014 in Sapporo
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mt. Yotei with frosty trees in foreground.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	1.44 MB 
ID:	244500
    Mt. Yotei - a ski touring prize for those who come to Hokkaido

    A quick note: I've done two seasons based in Niseko, but powder chased all over the island. In my humble opinion, the biggest reason for staying in Niseko area is the access to the backcountry near Goshiki Onsen, Mt. Yotei, and Rusutsu. Other worthy places like Chisenuppuri (House of Powder cat skiing) , Niimi Onsen, the Karibayama area, and Iwanai ski resort area also located near here.

    When searching for accommodation, it’s definitely helpful to know basic Japanese phrases or have a good translation guide (or a local friend). Many small “pensions” or bed and breakfast style lodges exist in Hokkaido, but they often require booking via phone. These pensions are some of the most unique and cheap accommodations you can find in the ski world, period.

    I would definitely stay in Sapporo and powder chase when possible in an ideal Hokkaido ski trip. That's because Sapporo is badass, cheap, and centrally located. You could drive to the snowiest resort on Hokkaido every day from the red light district of Susukino. However, almost nobody speaks English there, and driving in metro Japan can be challenging for westerners/pussies. Tradeoffs are plenty.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Shin Mizuno-Sawa Log Ride.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.58 MB 
ID:	244488
    My buddy Shin scoring some pow in the Mizuno-No-Sawa gated area at Niseko Village
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	_1150090.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	756.1 KB 
ID:	244493
    Pow hungry hordes climbing for turns in the Annupuri sidecountry

    If you’re interested in Niseko United, there’s small pension villages in both Niseko Village and Annupuri that have open rooms throughout the winter. However, they won’t be fancy and will be 20 minutes from Hirafu. Speaking of Hirafu - I’d only go ski there in December or March. The crowds are just too pow hungry otherwise. You’ll chase chunder instead of pow.

    If hell bent on Niseko, your best bet is sticking to Niseko Village where many more Asian skiers congregate. There’s a few zones in the village that hold snow longer due to the lack of crowds that Hirafu sees.

    Annupuri has great access to the Niseko peak Gates and proximity to arguably the best sidecountry, but lines here can be massive, and the inbounds terrain is boring.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Charlie rips.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	1.52 MB 
ID:	244494
    The great Cornholio at the Goshiki booter
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pointing out a line.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	1.28 MB 
ID:	244489
    The guides from HBC and BDL checking out some early season turns in the alpine near Goshiki
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Goshiki Onsen.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.34 MB 
ID:	244490
    The hot springs at Goshiki are stinky and amazing

    Moiwa is a gem, and the Moiwa Lodge is really cool. So is nearby Goshiki Onsen, which has a hotel you must reserve in advance along with amazing hot springs.

    Warning: Goshiki Onsen has many backcountry lines, but is definitely “on the map” now due to tour groups consistently using it as a local honey hole. However, some bigger alpine stuff is accessible from Goshiki, as well as the North side of the Niseko volcano, which is all BC access.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BD Lodge on Christmas.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	1.22 MB 
ID:	244491
    BDL has been one of the historic meetup points for westerners in Niseko.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clayton1.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.62 MB 
ID:	244496
    Clayton, the crazy owner of BDL, often organizes bus trips to Rusutsu if Niseko runs dry

    One place that's quite famous is the Black Diamond Lodge in Niseko Village. They've been catering to westerners longer than almost any other outfit. Many of the classic Japan movies that have come out in the past 10 years owe to Clayton and BDL. Another recommendation is Rising Sun Guides, as they are an offshoot of Black Diamond and have some of the most talented guides in the area. It's often advantageous to ski with a place like Black Diamond, Rising Sun, Whiteroom Tours, or Hokkaido Powder Guides, as they all powder chase depending on conditions.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Fin at Rusutsu 12.19.15.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	1.67 MB 
ID:	244497
    My kiwi bud Fin busting through the pow at Rusutsu
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Shiribetsu-Dake.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	244498
    Some big backcountry lines just outside the resort

    Rusutsu had been a very uncrowded, Japanese-focused resort until a few years ago when word got out about its tree skiing. Now, the freakish amusement park resort gets quite a bit of traffic, but is definitely not as overrun as Niseko. Although, I've heard lodging options are now harder to find here. However, the pristine Lake Toya area is a great alternative. Many incredible backcountry lines are located near Rusutsu, and it's pretty obvious to the casual observer how to get there if you sniff around.

    The point of this whole ramble is that Hokkaido has so many options and rewards for those who research and dig around. Don’t be afraid to put in the work.
    Last edited by SUPERIOR; 08-18-2018 at 07:47 PM.

  22. #122
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,804

    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Awesome. Appreciate all of the info.

  23. #123
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    907
    Spent a week at Kiroro January 2017. While I wouldn't do that again there was plenty of back and side country to keep us interested. Plus it snowed about every day.
    There is a sushi restaurant in Otaru I'll never forget. Main drag on a corner, upstairs, windows on two sides. If I go back I think I'll stay in Otaru.

  24. #124
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,641
    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERIOR View Post
    Speaking of Hirafu - I’d only go ski there in December or March. The crowds are just too pow hungry otherwise. You’ll chase chunder instead of pow.

    Moiwa is a gem...

    The point of this whole ramble is that Hokkaido has so many options and rewards for those who research and dig around. Don’t be afraid to put in the work.
    Awesome post.

    But even in the busy January and February period it's not hard to find plenty of untracked at Niseko United, Niseko Moiwa and Rusutsu.

    For example, Niseko Grand Hirafu has excellent night skiing. But if you're not doing it and it doesn't snow much overnight, then that part of the mountain will be tracked out already first thing next morning and you'll have to spend time lift sitting to get to the goods. Better to start at the fringes at Niseko Annupuri or Niseko Hanazono which has limited or no night skiing respectively.

    Niseko Moiwa offers up plenty of powder if you know your way around.

    Same with Rusutsu. Everyone heads as far as they can early when the best lines can be right under the East Mountain Gondola.

    For example

    Niseko Hanazono
    07 January 2018
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd120z6n...by=mikethesnow

    Niseko Moiwa (right under the chair)
    12 January 2018
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BeFYipjH...by=mikethesnow

    Rusutsu
    01 February 2018
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfRfCTTn...by=mikethesnow

    Niseko Moiwa
    26 February 2018
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BgEblxig...by=mikethesnow
    Last edited by Mike Pow; 09-24-2018 at 04:04 AM.

  25. #125
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,641
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Sounds like it’s generally pretty easy to find lodging at the last second... as long as you’re not expecting to stay slope side or too picky?
    Outside of the Niseko Resort Area and Rusutsu, yes.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •