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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    in the shadow of the white rocks
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    2,803

    22/23 Japan scene?

    First things first, can ya even get into Japan as a tourist at the moment?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    5,707
    Straight poop from the horses mouth….


    https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Encinitas CA
    Posts
    210

    The exchange rate is at a great spot. Most USD buying power in a long time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,975
    I just got back in.

    Arrived 02 May on a Skilled Labour Visa (valid for 1-year, so it covers me for next Winter).

    Japanese Government have announced that they will be letting tourists in from 01 June on organised package tours with recognised / approved companies.

    Locals here in Niseko Resort Area are confident that if that first wave goes well, then independent tourists should be allowed in sometime in August.

    From plane seat to clearing all immigation, customs and saliva Covid testing took me 90 minutes at Haneda, Tokyo.

    Smooth sailing.

    So if you're contemplating a 22/23 Japan trip lock in your wheels, bed, and money.

    It's going to be a shit show.

    If you can, avoid 20 December to 01 February if you're intending to spend time in places like Hakuba, Niseko, Asahidake.

    Outside of these dates and/or areas it'll be normal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    DownEast
    Posts
    2,282
    We got shut out for Ď22Ö just re-upped for Ď23. Exchange is favorable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    I just got back in.

    Arrived 02 May on a Skilled Labour Visa (valid for 1-year, so it covers me for next Winter).

    Japanese Government have announced that they will be letting tourists in from 01 June on organised package tours with recognised / approved companies.

    Locals here in Niseko Resort Area are confident that if that first wave goes well, then independent tourists should be allowed in sometime in August.

    From plane seat to clearing all immigation, customs and saliva Covid testing took me 90 minutes at Haneda, Tokyo.

    Smooth sailing.

    So if you're contemplating a 22/23 Japan trip lock in your wheels, bed, and money.

    It's going to be a shit show.

    If you can, avoid 20 December to 01 February if you're intending to spend time in places like Hakuba, Niseko, Asahidake.

    Outside of these dates and/or areas it'll be normal.
    thanks for the advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    2,975
    Quote Originally Posted by trueevan View Post
    thanks for the advice!
    My pleasure

    Any specifics on Hokkaido, fire away

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,225
    Got three weeks planned, peak season unfortunately but hey, someone else is footing the bill.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2022
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    My pleasure

    Any specifics on Hokkaido, fire away
    Thoughts on Rusutsu vs Furano vs Niseko vs somewhere else for 4 days in early February (wish I had more time).
    Renting a car and moving around or chasing storms is an option, but I don't want to waste too much of the limited time driving all over the place. I'm also skiing solo so I'll be stuck in bounds unless I grab a guide (which I could probably swing for 1 day).

    I was leaning Rusutsu because it seemed like the best mix of interesting (for Japan) terrain and trees, hopefully smaller crowds/lines than Niseko, and better odds of fresh snow than Furano. Plus I'll have Epic, but with Japanese lift ticket costs I'm fine buying tickets somewhere else.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,225
    There is a daily bus from Niseko to Rusutsu for day trips if you are without car.

  12. #12
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by FamousPotatoes View Post
    Thoughts on Rusutsu vs Furano vs Niseko vs somewhere else for 4 days in early February (wish I had more time).
    Renting a car and moving around or chasing storms is an option, but I don't want to waste too much of the limited time driving all over the place. I'm also skiing solo so I'll be stuck in bounds unless I grab a guide (which I could probably swing for 1 day).

    I was leaning Rusutsu because it seemed like the best mix of interesting (for Japan) terrain and trees, hopefully smaller crowds/lines than Niseko, and better odds of fresh snow than Furano. Plus I'll have Epic, but with Japanese lift ticket costs I'm fine buying tickets somewhere else.
    Overall in terms of cost, availability, terrain, lift lines, snow then Rusutsu is your best bet.

    Do a day trip to Niseko United or Niseko Moiwa if needs be.

    I've stayed here a couple of times when I've been solo.

    Great place, great location, lovely people.

    https://stayrusutsu.com/accommodation/hotel-romulus

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    308
    Agree w/Mike Pow on Romulus; stayed there many times, excellent choice for Rusutsu.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    2,425

    22/23 Japan scene?

    Donít sleep on Hokkoda, outside of Aomori killer tram with great guides to show you around. There is a road that you encircles there park for shuttling you back to the tram base.


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    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    11
    Lived in Nagano for a year in the mid 90s and Iíve been back several times since.

    Skied Hakuba, Nozawa, Shiga Kogen, Togakushi, Iizuna, Kijimidaira to name a few. When I lived there it snowed so much that winter they had to plow the snow underneath the ski lifts otherwise your skis would have been on top of the snow while riding the lift!

    I canít compare to Hokkaido as I have not been there. I will be going back to Hakuba this year as well. I think if you want a really authentic Japanese experience, I would do Nozawa. The have several public onsens that are free, plus that onsen water is piped into the small hotels (ryokans). Glorious.

    Good info on this site: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,225
    Any idea if restrictions will be lifted come winter?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer30 View Post
    Any idea if restrictions will be lifted come winter?
    Nothing concrete yet but the mood is positive

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    Nothing concrete yet but the mood is positive
    For what thatís worth 😉Ö..

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    My pleasure

    Any specifics on Hokkaido, fire away
    I've been waiting to go but obviously the C19 response killed everything off. I'm planning on seven weeks next season. Bearing in mind your advice about Niseko on this thread and that I don't want to spend huge amounts of time driving where do you think I should base myself?

    Would Rusutsu for five weeks then rent a car and go east towards Furano be sensible?

    Does the Rusutsu season pass offer discounts at Niseko/Moiwa in the same fashion as the Niseko All Mountain pass?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    My pleasure

    Any specifics on Hokkaido, fire away
    Mike, why do you think Niseko etc will be a nightmare? Because there'll be a stampeded from the Ozzies etc who haven't been allowed in for two seasons?

    I've got seven weeks planned for next year, late Dec to mid Feb. I'd prefer not to stay in a city as I'll be travelling alone and am more likely to meet people staying in a resort hostel/hotel I feel. I'm not too bothered about the size of the place I'm just keen on powder of any type that's not trashed within thirty seconds of the lifts opening.

    Would five weeks in Rusutsu then two weeks travelling around in a car (Furano area?) be a good idea?

    Any advice is much appreciated.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
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    2,362
    Quote Originally Posted by seemay View Post
    I'm just keen on powder of any type that's not trashed within thirty seconds of the lifts opening.
    .
    I've only been to Hokkaido twice for a total of about 9 weeks, but IME you get maybe an hour before the main stuff is tracked out at the popular places. Even the backcountry was pretty crowded within an hour hike from any known spots. Japan isn't a secret anymore folks.

    That said it's pretty amazing and with some creativity you can have a great experience. Onsens every day might even be the best part.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    That said it's pretty amazing and with some creativity you can have a great experience. Onsens every day might even be the best part.
    This, we spent a week in niseko area and 3 days Furano / asahidake. In niseko we went to onsen every day after coming off the mountain, trying out different ones. That more than made up for the lack of fresh snow we had.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    4,977
    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    I've only been to Hokkaido twice for a total of about 9 weeks, but IME you get maybe an hour before the main stuff is tracked out at the popular places. Even the backcountry was pretty crowded within an hour hike from any known spots. Japan isn't a secret anymore folks.

    That said it's pretty amazing and with some creativity you can have a great experience. Onsens every day might even be the best part.
    I went for the second time in Jan 2020 and would second this. Itís still a super fun ski experience but the known spots are much, much, more crowded than in years prior. I saw a pair of Aussie dickbags cut a long gondi line at Rusutsu on a crowded pow day. Go for the Onsen, food, natural beauty, amazing hospitality and likelihood of good snow, but be prepared to share it with others. For the record I still love traveling and skiing in Japan - just have realistic expectations, especially if you are going to the hotspots.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    In Full Compliance
    Posts
    1,442
    Objection! Asked & answered

    Quote Originally Posted by seemay View Post
    Mike, why do you think Niseko etc will be a nightmare? Because there'll be a stampeded from the Ozzies etc who haven't been allowed in for two seasons?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    I went for the second time in Jan 2020 and would second this. Itís still a super fun ski experience but the known spots are much, much, more crowded than in years prior. I saw a pair of Aussie dickbags cut a long gondi line at Rusutsu on a crowded pow day. Go for the Onsen, food, natural beauty, amazing hospitality and likelihood of good snow, but be prepared to share it with others. For the record I still love traveling and skiing in Japan - just have realistic expectations, especially if you are going to the hotspots.
    For hotspots I have: Niseko (obvs); Asahidake; Furano?; Rusutsu? Any other suggestions? I'm keen on staying in one place for a while then going about in a car but the way it's looking from my reading online/posts on forums doing half in a resort then half driving might be a better idea.

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