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  1. #151
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    Gman is online now Mack Master William Large
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    Assuming coming from the east coast, how much time should someone budget for time in order for a trip to be worth it? If I left Boston on a friday and returned saturday the following week, would that be enough to get some quality days in? Also trying to gauge the overall costs of a japan trip.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman View Post
    Assuming coming from the east coast, how much time should someone budget for time in order for a trip to be worth it? If I left Boston on a friday and returned saturday the following week, would that be enough to get some quality days in? Also trying to gauge the overall costs of a japan trip.
    so one week? not enough time. give yourself at least 2 minimum. I went to Japan last spring with my girlfriend from australia, we had two weeks and it was just enough to do all the main cities and stuff. Definitely not long enough if you add skiing into that

  3. #153
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    Gman is online now Mack Master William Large
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    Mainly looking to do skiing and not so much tourist stuff

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by pow_pow~ View Post
    so one week? not enough time. give yourself at least 2 minimum. I went to Japan last spring with my girlfriend from australia, we had two weeks and it was just enough to do all the main cities and stuff. Definitely not long enough if you add skiing into that
    I'll disagree with this. 1 week is better than not going. Is it optimal? , of course not. I would love to have spent more time but the short times I have had have been some of the best of my life. Japan is one of the cheaper ski vacations once you get there.

  5. #155
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    We had 6 full ski days in Hokkaido + 4 tourist days split between Tokyo/Kyoto. Do I wish I had more ski days, for sure. That being said the trip was definitely worth it from a purely skiing POV and I would do it again.

  6. #156
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    I would certainly recommend more than 1 week.
    Especially if you're coming peak snow season in jan or feb.
    We often get huge blizzards that come through that close out everything for a day or two, and then it can take another day for the snow to recover or avalanche risk to subside.

    It also sucks to travel so far and spend so much on flights/etc, and not make the most of it.

    Reminder that the police won't arrest you if you take unpaid leave. You're not chained to your cubicle.

  7. #157
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    We went from the east coast to japan. 2 nights in Tokyo (1 full day), 1/2 travel day to Niseko and checking out town, 8 or 9 ski days, 1 day in Sapporo, then home. Could always do 3x more days skiing. Could leave out Tokyo and Sapporo if you are on a tight schedule, but those cities are wild and so much different...

    5-7 days of skiing would be solid and make the trip worthwhile. Pull the trigger and donít regret it, but I highly recommend addingon extra days if you can!

  8. #158
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    Gman is online now Mack Master William Large
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    thanks for the advice on here. Is it worth spending any time in the hakuba valley skiing or better off going straight north to niseko/hokkaido area? The other hard part about taking more than 7 or 8 days is that the wife and I have a newborn so being away for an extended period of time isn't easy yet.

  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman View Post
    thanks for the advice on here. Is it worth spending any time in the hakuba valley skiing or better off going straight north to niseko/hokkaido area? The other hard part about taking more than 7 or 8 days is that the wife and I have a newborn so being away for an extended period of time isn't easy yet.
    With your timefame it may be better do to the Hakuba Valley resorts.

    Flight to Tokyo airport, train to Tokyo central station, change to shinkansen train to Nagano.

    Bus from Nagano to Hakuba Valley.

    If you time it right you can get Hokkaido quality snow with slightly steeper inbounds terrain, and considerably steeper and more technical sidecountry and backcountry terrain.

    The views and vibe are very different.

  10. #160
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    Hokkaido Japan; Central Hokkaido or Niseko

    Iím going for 2 nights in Tokyo, 6 1/2 days skiing on Hokkaido. When youíve got kids thatís absolutely worth the flight! Those who donít may not understand this perspective.

    If you have a newborn and your wife is letting you go, donít hesitate! Book that shit immediately. Family life will only make it more difficult to pull off as time goes on (speaking as a father of three), both from your schedule and trying to lineup friends to go at the same time. Honestly, the latter part is the harder part once everyone has families- I donít mind a solo ski trip but didnít want to do Japan without some friends to share the experience.

  11. #161
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    I'll second what Mike Pow said...

    If I were you, Gman, I'd just go directly to Hakuba and skip all the tourism stuff as well as Hokkaido. Take a few days to get settled in one place and learn something... line up the snow.

    Hakuba is steeper, anyway. Take all side-country & forests off the table for a moment. You're a rookie to a ski resort. Where are you skiing? Right under the lifts. Hakuba's "groomers" are steep, legit storm day fun fun fun. Cortina is a tree mecca.

    Stay at Fattwins' lodge. http://www.hakubapowderlodging.com The crew that is there in January is there in January every year. (that said, don't expect to just show up and be taken under their wings to big lines. They're a VERY careful crew.) But they're also very friendly, informative, and will point you in the right direction based on your skillset and goals.

    If you get a bluebird day and can see the surrounding peaks-- you'll instantly be realizing why this is a pilgrimage for people.

    For a bit of day-to-day resort freedom, rent a 4wd car.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman View Post
    Assuming coming from the east coast, how much time should someone budget for time in order for a trip to be worth it? If I left Boston on a friday and returned saturday the following week, would that be enough to get some quality days in? Also trying to gauge the overall costs of a japan trip.
    I'd say a week would definitely be worth it. My wife and I went on our honeymoon last year and spent about 10 days - pretty evenly split between Hokkaido and touristy stuff in Kyoto and Tokyo.

    Rough numbers:
    1 hr to airport
    1.5 hr security/check-in/etc.
    14 hr flight to Narita
    2 hr transfer
    2 hr flight to Sapporo
    1 hr transfer
    2.5 hr bus to Niseko
    Then whatever transfer time you need to your hotel

    Total: 24 hrs door to door depending on how far you are from Logan and how your transfers line up. Taking JAL flight 7 (direct from Logan to Narita) saves a lot of time. We got in around midnight on a Tuesday and were skiing Wednesday morning (albeit with a late start).

    I can't comment on skiing Hakuba but in theory you can save a few hours by going their instead of the extra leg up to Hokkaido.

    So all of this is to say, yes. You can and you should.

  13. #163
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    Any rental car options people would suggest other than Niseko Auto? Inquired about a rental at the beginning of the month (just got finalized quotes today) and all they have left are large SUVs/vans. Don't really need an 8 seat vehicle for two people. Were hoping to keep the cost down a little, might end up having to look into alternate transportation plans if its going to be almost $100 a day per person for a rental.

  14. #164
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    FYI - I used to work for Niseko Auto... if you can believe it. Keep bugging them as cancellations do happen, and they pick up leased cars from Toyota.

    On that topic, Toyota has a rental program that is competitive, but the challenge can be Japanese / English communication.

    Iíve heard good things about Peak Niseko car rentals: https://www.nisekocarrental.com


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  15. #165
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    I reserved our rental through rentalcars.com for ~$50/day, picked up at the airport. The only catch is, I can't figure out if the car is 2wd or 4wd. I'm hoping its 4wd of course as most vehicles in Hokkaido are. If it isn't, I'm hoping to just upgrade when we pick it up. Every rental car in Hokkaido will have winter tires on it, so that isn't a worry.

    http://www.toyotarentacar.net/english/# is easy enough to navigate, but reservations are only available 3 months in advance. They do provide the option of selecting 4wd, something rentalcars.com did not. It looks like an equivalent car that is for sure 4wd is closer to $100/day.
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr
    There are good men out there. Good men who are good looking, who ski hard, have their shit in order, know their priorities in life and will make you happy. I'm not one of them, but they are out there.

  16. #166
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    Apr 2014
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    Thanks for the tips.

    Just clicked through the Toyota site and it seems pretty easy to navigate/full of more reasonable options. Will give it a more thorough look when I'm not at work.

    We are planning on hooking up with a friend who is going to be there for the season who will have his own car. Tricky part is he's based in Niseko and we were hoping to be closer to Sapporo. Makes us think we might want to book a car for a portion of the time, or find something we could cancel as things get closer if we decide to just tag along with him.

  17. #167
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    "Japanese government to cover up to 70% of cost of tourist trips to quake-hit Hokkaido" linky

    Fine print doesn't look that good, but interesting nonetheless.

  18. #168
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    Oct 2015
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    NIseko Japan, or Gold Coast Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    "Japanese government to cover up to 70% of cost of tourist trips to quake-hit Hokkaido" linky

    Fine print doesn't look that good, but interesting nonetheless.
    where did you find the fine print?

  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by anything View Post
    where did you find the fine print?
    I couldn't find a whole lot of information on this, other then this announcement from the Japan National Tourism Organization and this sweet PDF outlining the campaign. From what I gather domestic flights to Hokkaido are discounted and the government is releasing subsidies to hotels and tour operators so they can offer sales / reduced rates.

  20. #170
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    May 2011
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    That makes sense. We got tickets from NRT to CTS for like $110 USD, round trip.

  21. #171
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    Dec 2008
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    Yeah it was cheaper for us to fly OSL - CTS than OSL - NRT

  22. #172
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    Jan 2004
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    Just booked my flights to Sapporo (CTS). $650 round trip from LAX. Not bad at all. Will be there Jan 25-Feb 6th. Spending the first night in a hotel around the airport as I get in late, 10 days in the Furano getting around to as many resorts as we can, and then back to Sapporo for the last night to check out the snow festival. 3 months and counting!

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    Just booked my flights to Sapporo (CTS). $650 round trip from LAX. Not bad at all. Will be there Jan 25-Feb 6th. Spending the first night in a hotel around the airport as I get in late, 10 days in the Furano getting around to as many resorts as we can, and then back to Sapporo for the last night to check out the snow festival. 3 months and counting!
    That's a great price. What airline?

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  24. #174
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfaust View Post
    That's a great price. What airline?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TGR Forums mobile app
    AA from LAX to Tokyo and Japan Air to Sapporo.

  25. #175
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    Mar 2004
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    287
    Nice...I booked SFO to CTS for $800. Feb 25 thru March 5. Heading up to Furano and hitting as many spots as possible too.



    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    Just booked my flights to Sapporo (CTS). $650 round trip from LAX. Not bad at all. Will be there Jan 25-Feb 6th. Spending the first night in a hotel around the airport as I get in late, 10 days in the Furano getting around to as many resorts as we can, and then back to Sapporo for the last night to check out the snow festival. 3 months and counting!

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