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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Thanks for the info. Did you pre-arrange your Black Cat service or can you just do that at the airport?
    I haven't arranged anything yet. From what I can tell, it's doable on site at the airport. The forms are in Japanese but I found sites online showing what to fill in and where, in English. I need to find that again and print it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  2. #202
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    Oct 2004
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    Seattle
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    Agree with the Jetstar recommendation. That's who I flew on as well and the ski bag was not a big deal.

    On cell phone, Tmobile also offers free data internationally. Both them and Fi are not on contracts, so you can just sign up for the time you are going to be there. Fi only works with a limited number of Android phones, so iPhone users can't plan on that.

  3. #203
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Boulder
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    892
    Fi works with iPhone now FYI.

    Winter seems to be off to a slow start on Hokkaido thus far. Am I nuts/overthinking it to be considering booking something else for the first 2wks of Jan?

  4. #204
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    Oct 2009
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    invermere
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    There is wifi everywhere in Japan, buses, trains, cafeterias.
    Also for canadians cell providers like rogers have a international plan and cost me $50 for the month.


    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  5. #205
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    455
    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Fi works with iPhone now FYI.

    Winter seems to be off to a slow start on Hokkaido thus far. Am I nuts/overthinking it to be considering booking something else for the first 2wks of Jan?
    always a slow start there. would be worried if it was xmas and looking like that. maybe...

  6. #206
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    Oct 2015
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    NIseko Japan, or Gold Coast Australia
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    96
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    I haven't arranged anything yet. From what I can tell, it's doable on site at the airport. The forms are in Japanese but I found sites online showing what to fill in and where, in English. I need to find that again and print it out.
    yeah you just rock up at the airport and do it.
    i get the form backwards every time, but my luggage still arrives

    Quote Originally Posted by phatty View Post
    Agree with the Jetstar recommendation. That's who I flew on as well and the ski bag was not a big deal.

    On cell phone, Tmobile also offers free data internationally. Both them and Fi are not on contracts, so you can just sign up for the time you are going to be there. Fi only works with a limited number of Android phones, so iPhone users can't plan on that.
    you can rent a phone or rent a wifi pocket router and carry it around everywhere with you, but they seem expensive in comparison to a sim card.
    $20-40 for a prepaid japanese sim card, available at things like Lawson and Seicomart convenience stores inside the airport. Takes about 15 minutes to set it up if its your first time.
    recommend one using NTT's network for better coverage in the mountains, not Softbank. I use iijmio.

    Quote Originally Posted by pano-dude View Post
    There is wifi everywhere in Japan, buses, trains, cafeterias.
    Also for canadians cell providers like rogers have a international plan and cost me $50 for the month.
    I can't think of any wifi on any bus or train out here, maybe in central Sapporo tho.
    nor at any ski resort other than a few spots in Niseko. and the wifi on the hill in Niseko runs at dialup speed.
    did you buy a wifi router and forget you had it with you? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by nortonwhis View Post
    always a slow start there. would be worried if it was xmas and looking like that. maybe...
    +1
    half the stores and restaurants arent even open yet its soo early.
    raining yesterday and today, it sucks, feels like we're almost back to grass! however two days ago i was lapping foot deep untouched pow until i couldn't stand up anymore, need to build up my ski legs.

  7. #207
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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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    Last season was exceptional not only for the quantity and quality of snow, but also for the lack of rain events at village level.

    Most seasons there is rain top to bottom sometime in December after snow is lying on the ground and the lifts are spinning.

    It's a bummer but it's VERY shortlived.

    I wouldn't worry about January. There will be powder on Hokkaido. It may not be where you are if you're not prepared to travel.

    But it will be there. And it will be lift served.

  8. #208
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    Apr 2006
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    Tahoe City
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    573
    Jetstar Customers - prepay for luggage in both directions! I fucked it up and only paid for one way, baggage on the way back was more than the roundtrip ticket from Tokyo.

    i skied Niseko last year and it was damn fun, a few days of storm skiing in deep powder then three days of clear, that was lift assisted touring off the back side of the volcano (annapurna) that the four Niskeo resorts is on and was a lot of fun, nothing steep but fun. I grabbed a few trail maps for the purpose of sending them to anyone heading that way, assuming i can still find them :-) I'm happy to stick them in the mail.
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  9. #209
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    Mar 2006
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    Will be doing a whiteroom tour in central hokkaido 1/16-26..after I was thinking of going solo I ended up getting my parents and some family friends interested, and they chose the guided route as opposed to me "guiding" them (based on info in this thread). We'll have 6, so will get our own guide for skiing. Should be good!

    My flight out of Haneda isn't until 1/31, so trying to figure out what to do with my last 4-5 days..either flight back to Honshu for more Tokyo and/or Osaka/Kyoto time, or stay on Hokkaido, base myself somewhere else (Otaru?) and ski solo for a few days. Don't really want to deal with renting a car.

    Anyone gonna be around to ski 27-30 of January and want to ski somewhere kind of close to Sapporo? Or should I just go and do some sightseeing...

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post

    Anyone gonna be around to ski 27-30 of January and want to ski somewhere kind of close to Sapporo? Or should I just go and do some sightseeing...
    We're going to be staying in Asahikawa from Jan 26-30, skiing inbounds somewhere nearby. (We'll be based out of Otaru for a few days prior, skiing over there then.)

    We'll be staying at the lovely Hotel Tiffany, which was the cheapest (by far) and had the largest rooms (by far), with only the slight possible drawback of being - as described in one of the comments - a "love hotel." The photos online look fine though.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    We're going to be staying in Asahikawa from Jan 26-30, skiing inbounds somewhere nearby. (We'll be based out of Otaru for a few days prior, skiing over there then.)

    We'll be staying at the lovely Hotel Tiffany, which was the cheapest (by far) and had the largest rooms (by far), with only the slight possible drawback of being - as described in one of the comments - a "love hotel." The photos online look fine though.
    On the 26th I do have free transfer from Furano (where we'll be based) to Sapporo, but I could always take the train north instead. I'm not planning on bringing touring gear, so inbounds/sidecountry skiing would be great. Let me take a look at those details and shoot you a PM.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    On the 26th I do have free transfer from Furano (where we'll be based) to Sapporo, but I could always take the train north instead. I'm not planning on bringing touring gear, so inbounds/sidecountry skiing would be great. Let me take a look at those details and shoot you a PM.
    Sounds good. There's a group of four of us, and we have a rental Subaru reserved (3 row wagon thing), so we'll have ground transportation.

    Furano is one of the areas we're likely to go ski while on that part of the island.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  13. #213
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    Dec 2010
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    I'll be there last week of January as well. I have nothing planned yet. No van, no room, just a flight. Planning on Hakuba but probably storm chasing as i usually do in the states.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    But it will be there. And it will be lift served.
    My touring partner bailed a day ago due to lack of funds . Bummed because she's great to ski and party with and my wife is cool with us traveling together... wife can't go this time . ... so I'm thinking of heading to hokkaido alone the first 2 weeks of February.

    A few questions for the japexperts:

    Thinking of dirtbagging it in a campervan that has a heater to storm chase. Is 4wd or awd necessary? If so, where to rent from? I can't find a 4wd camper van in my cursory search.

    Will likely bring backcountry gear to access side and slack. However, is that even necessary for getting the goods or is alpine gear (my preferred set up for resort pow skiing) enough? (I gave my touring skis away last year to a friends kids since we live in a non- touring locale and our kiddo is too big to be in my pack kinning anymore.)) I'll likely put shifts on my kye 120s.

    How helpful is it to hire a guide for side and slack country? Guides are expensive for just one person.

    Finally, and most importantly, anyone going to be skiing japan the first couple weeks of February? Corky, dibs, detrusor, and others can vouch that i am a complete asshole and should not be skiied with, ever.

    I've traveled overseas enough by myself including japan years ago that I'm not overly concerned with the travel logistics.

    Thx!



    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app
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  15. #215
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    Nov 2008
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    everyday sunshine
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    Iíll be there with a buddy from Jan 26 through feb 3. Havenít booked hotels yet, but likely basing out of Furano or somewhere in central Hokkaido.

    Thank you, btw, to el chup, for the info on the 30% off car rental deal. I cashed in on that one too!

  16. #216
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    Apr 2016
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    41
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Sounds good. There's a group of four of us, and we have a rental Subaru reserved (3 row wagon thing), so we'll have ground transportation.

    Furano is one of the areas we're likely to go ski while on that part of the island.
    Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
    I'll be there last week of January as well. I have nothing planned yet. No van, no room, just a flight. Planning on Hakuba but probably storm chasing as i usually do in the states.
    I'll be out somewhere in Hokkaido or Honshu in my van. There's a FWQ event I might enter, but it's only 1* so I might bail on it.

    Always looking for people to meet up and ride/tour. I'll be leaving for japan in just about 3 weeks. Have a mag crashing in my camper with me for the few days.

    Quote Originally Posted by skinipenem View Post
    My touring partner bailed a day ago due to lack of funds . Bummed because she's great to ski and party with and my wife is cool with us traveling together... wife can't go this time . ... so I'm thinking of heading to hokkaido alone the first 2 weeks of February.

    A few questions for the japexperts:

    Thinking of dirtbagging it in a campervan that has a heater to storm chase. Is 4wd or awd necessary? If so, where to rent from? I can't find a 4wd camper van in my cursory search.

    Will likely bring backcountry gear to access side and slack. However, is that even necessary for getting the goods or is alpine gear (my preferred set up for resort pow skiing) enough? (I gave my touring skis away last year to a friends kids since we live in a non- touring locale and our kiddo is too big to be in my pack kinning anymore.)) I'll likely put shifts on my kye 120s.

    How helpful is it to hire a guide for side and slack country? Guides are expensive for just one person.

    Finally, and most importantly, anyone going to be skiing japan the first couple weeks of February? Corky, dibs, detrusor, and others can vouch that i am a complete asshole and should not be skiied with, ever.

    I've traveled overseas enough by myself including japan years ago that I'm not overly concerned with the travel logistics.

    Thx!



    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app
    1. I will be there in your timeframe. Hit me up if you want to tour or ride a resort. Will have wheels to chase the snow.

    2. I can get you all the campervan info you need. I think I quite literally hit up every camper rental company in Japan on my quest for the best rate on a 90 day rental. I'm going with Smile Camper out of Sapporo. If I was flying into Tokyo initially, I would have gone with Japan Campers. Smile camper has great rates and their Grand Sarai van (my rental) seems great, has 4WD, snow tires, extended roof, etc etc. Slightly better long term rate than Japan Campers. Japan Campers are still great and about the same price. They actually speak english so communication is easier, and their vans come with WiFi. I chose Smile Camper for location and better van for my long term needs.

    In my experience, any company renting vans/campers would only rent something with Snow tires and 4WD. Japan Campers and Smile Campers, for example, would only rent me certain ones with those features, so if the company is solid, they should only be trying to rent you a winter worthy vehicle.

  17. #217
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    Oct 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by dongy View Post
    I'll be out somewhere in Hokkaido or Honshu in my van. There's a FWQ event I might enter, but it's only 1* so I might bail on it.

    Always looking for people to meet up and ride/tour. I'll be leaving for japan in just about 3 weeks. Have a mag crashing in my camper with me for the few days.



    1. I will be there in your timeframe. Hit me up if you want to tour or ride a resort. Will have wheels to chase the snow.

    2. I can get you all the campervan info you need. I think I quite literally hit up every camper rental company in Japan on my quest for the best rate on a 90 day rental. I'm going with Smile Camper out of Sapporo. If I was flying into Tokyo initially, I would have gone with Japan Campers. Smile camper has great rates and their Grand Sarai van (my rental) seems great, has 4WD, snow tires, extended roof, etc etc. Slightly better long term rate than Japan Campers. Japan Campers are still great and about the same price. They actually speak english so communication is easier, and their vans come with WiFi. I chose Smile Camper for location and better van for my long term needs.

    In my experience, any company renting vans/campers would only rent something with Snow tires and 4WD. Japan Campers and Smile Campers, for example, would only rent me certain ones with those features, so if the company is solid, they should only be trying to rent you a winter worthy vehicle.
    Thx dongy. I will definitely hit you up for a sesh if i actually make it.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  18. #218
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    Nov 2011
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    8
    I will be in Niseko from Jan 29 to Feb 4, sking solo. Would be interested in hitting some sidecountry, but not planning on bringing backcountry skis because Iím skiing by myself. Anyone who wants to ski Niseko, let me know.

  19. #219
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    Oct 2009
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    invermere
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    Quote Originally Posted by anything View Post
    yeah you just rock up at the airport and do it.
    i get the form backwards every time, but my luggage still arrives


    you can rent a phone or rent a wifi pocket router and carry it around everywhere with you, but they seem expensive in comparison to a sim card.
    $20-40 for a prepaid japanese sim card, available at things like Lawson and Seicomart convenience stores inside the airport. Takes about 15 minutes to set it up if its your first time.
    recommend one using NTT's network for better coverage in the mountains, not Softbank. I use iijmio.


    I can't think of any wifi on any bus or train out here, maybe in central Sapporo tho.
    nor at any ski resort other than a few spots in Niseko. and the wifi on the hill in Niseko runs at dialup speed.
    did you buy a wifi router and forget you had it with you?


    +1
    half the stores and restaurants arent even open yet its soo early.
    raining yesterday and today, it sucks, feels like we're almost back to grass! however two days ago i was lapping foot deep untouched pow until i couldn't stand up anymore, need to build up my ski legs.
    Ha! The wifi at Annupuri daylodge was good enough that I could upload pics/ surf websites and the public buses from Hirafu that I rode had wifi.
    Hoping to go back, this time with touring gear.


    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  20. #220
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    THURSDAY 20 DECEMBER 2018

    First day on skis for the 2018/19 winter season.

    And great to be back in Kiroro with long-time ski buddy Ian, young ripping Australian Jaimi, and Kiroro Double Black Cafe's Cameron.

    Only 9cm overnight, but those who've skied Hokkaido will know that whatever is reported is more often than not underreported. And if you know where you're going there's always good turns to be found.

    With an average start to the season and not much snow in the past 72hrs my expectations were low.

    And then the sun came out and we got to ski a light dusting of powder on piste; knee deep dust on the fringes of the runs; and gut deep powder & face shots in the trees.

    A great start to the season.

    Ian









    Jaimi













    Cameron






  21. #221
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    Mar 2006
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    Less than a month 🤪🤪🤪

    Sent from my SM-G965U using TGR Forums mobile app

  22. #222
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    Sep 2004
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    Considering which skis to bring with... I assume I can rent groomer skis locally if we somehow get skunked with crap conditions, right?

    Bring the largest pow skis I have with, or bring one pair of large pow skis and one somewhat more versatile pair?

    Some combination of these will be coming with:
    200 Lotus 120
    192 or 200 Lotus 138
    192 RPC 115
    190 Spoon 150 (or is that just ridiculous to try to ski that all day at a resort?)
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  23. #223
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NIseko Japan, or Gold Coast Australia
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    96
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Considering which skis to bring with... I assume I can rent groomer skis locally if we somehow get skunked with crap conditions, right?

    Bring the largest pow skis I have with, or bring one pair of large pow skis and one somewhat more versatile pair?

    Some combination of these will be coming with:
    200 Lotus 120
    192 or 200 Lotus 138
    192 RPC 115
    190 Spoon 150 (or is that just ridiculous to try to ski that all day at a resort?)
    150 lol.

    im not a fan of the whole opposite sidecut shaped ski so my opinion is biased. plus with a collection of 200 and 190 skis i assume you're taller and heaver than me too, im 180ish cm tall, 80ish kg.
    will try to give you info to make your own decision instead.

    after selling some gear my setup is now down to a pescado 125, an opus 118 and a bacon 104. all 185-187 ish.
    i ski the 125's 99% of the time. but sometimes i find that they can be too wide on slightly wind compacted snow (which we very frequently get here) and i dont get as many face shots as i could have.
    my main reason to go fatter than my 118's was because i have to cut lines in and out of places very frequently. float/speed wasn't any issue on my 118's except for that 90cm day a few years ago. also early season you wanna stay above the crap, but mid season you dont care about getting a tiny bit deeper and more face shots because the sasa and branches are buried.

    reminder that you still need to get to & from the relatively short tree filled powder fields, you'll spend a bit of time on piste.
    maybe bring the 192 lotus 138's.

  24. #224
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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 El Chupacabra View Post
    Considering which skis to bring with... I assume I can rent groomer skis locally if we somehow get skunked with crap conditions, right?

    Bring the largest pow skis I have with, or bring one pair of large pow skis and one somewhat more versatile pair?

    Some combination of these will be coming with:
    200 Lotus 120
    192 or 200 Lotus 138
    192 RPC 115
    190 Spoon 150 (or is that just ridiculous to try to ski that all day at a resort?)
    Bring the most manouverable skis.

    It can get tight / it will get tight if there's no new snow.

  25. #225
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    Thanks - thinking I'll bring the 192 Lotus 138s and the 200 Lotus 120s. The 138 is super maneuverable - can turn it on a dime, anywhere, instantly. The only time I think the 200 138 is too big is if I have to wind it through something really tight, or stop sideways in a narrow section - so long as I can keep it moving I don't notice the length.

    I'll bring the 120s because they're almost as floaty but can actually ski on a little hard pack if needed, and are easier in chop due to less width.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

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