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  1. #1
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    Post Coronacation: Japan W20, W21, W22

    I went to Tohoku December 2019 for a 90-day vacay and ended up staying until July 2022. During that run I was hired; the working visa allowed me to slip away and return during summer 2021, so I went to Panama and El Salvador. I return to Japan in November and hope I never return.

    Now we know that borders will be wide open to tourists before first chairs in December, but most domestics have greatly enjoyed the serenity and many are deeply ambivalent about the return of foreign skiers & riders.

    While in Tohoku I visited Geto Kogen, Appi Kogen, Hyakuzawa, Owani, Hachimantai, Hakkoda, Kamafuseyama, and my local hill.

    I spent 90 days from end of February '22 driving a kei truck around Hokkaido and visited (in order): Rusutsu, Niseko, Iwanai, Otaru, Kiroro, Onze, Kokusai, Fu's, Teine, Asahidake, Pippu, Kamui, Furano, and Kurodake. Unless you have time and fortitude I would not go to Asahidake in January or February because the weather closes that gondola way too often.

    I have some video and photos to share and I will start posting that up ASAP. Video below from Asahidake, first week of April 2022.



    #grillmount
    @theprostandard
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 11-21-2022 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Additional boasting

  2. #2
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    W20 JAPAN

    Nihon e yokoso!
    Enter by Haneda (HND) if you are able to do so. Its proximity to the city and ease of transfers for domestic flights, plus the ultra-convenient Royal Park Haneda Hotel make this a much better choice than Narita (NRT). Some of the best advice I got about logistics was domestic shipping with Yamato Transport, aka "Black Cat". If you are going anywhere from HND via train or air it is far easier and cheaper to ship your gear to your final destination. It will be waiting for you, clearly marked, in the hotel baggage depot.

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    My destination is Aomori Prefecture. Why? Because I had never heard of it. None of the ski resorts in the region were on my radar, and no one I knew had been there. It has the lowest percentage of foreign residents in all of the prefectures, so I reasoned that was a good place to settle in. I had never been to Japan and wanted to avoid being dropped into "Little Hotham" or some other over-priced, Aussie-overrun destination, like Niseko.

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    My first glimpse of the terrain looks promising, and access does not appear to be an issue.

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    Entering the dining hall this origami gives me a pretty good idea who the main clientele is at the resort. But, I am surprised to learn that the largest in-bound group are the Taiwanese. Not well-known as a skiing nation, but Taiwan's proximity makes Japan a popular destination. Most speak excellent English, are incredibly well socialized and good-humored. I am pretty stoked to see few ANZUS customers, since these would be the main competition for whatever good snow stash is out there. No surprise that the few times there were outbursts, scuffles, drunkenness, and poor behavior it was always some bogans fromunda. Management actually had to call the police once to have guests removed from the property. Owner gave them a full refund just to get them gone. Feral children were eating directly out of the buffet and parents would not supervise them during the drink.

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    Not well known as a healthy eater this was my chance for redemption. I had never eaten salad for breakfast in my life but it's not too late to learn good habits. It does me right to get that roughage in there early. Combined with coffee, it is an effective scrubber.

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    My first ride up the gondola gives me a notion of good things to come, and despite it being a low-snow year (for Japan) everything looks right for a boy coming from Vermont. It's the last week of December and I can forget about ptex. No need. What I liked most about this climate was its stability. No roller coaster freeze/thaw conditions to deal with weekly. The "cold" weather is laughable. Not even close to the sub-arctic conditions and high-humidity that I was used to. There were a couple of days where the humidity levels were under 5%. I did not think it was possible.

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    INSTA
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-05-2022 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Punc

  3. #3
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    W20 JAPAN

    From the room a commanding view of the inbounds lapgarden and OOB playgrounds inspires. Even with a full house (pre-COVID) finding room to move was undifficult.

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    This is an andesitic stratovolcano with its most prominent lava dome (one of three) easily visible from most places in the prefecture. It is similar to, or is, a monadnock, not a part of any range but standing quite alone. According to Wiki it boasts a "summit elevation of 1,625 meters (5,331 ft) and a prominence of 1,322 meters (4,337 ft)."

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    The gondola with a view north to the Sea of Japan and the many energy farms that take advantage of the prevailing NW winds delivering the cold and moist from Siberia on the other side of the pond. On clear days Hokkaido is easily seen to the north, as well as its uninhabited islands of Oshima and Kojima. IIRC, an American woman did an epic ski trip there but I cannae find it now.

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    Pole position. Most days this was my slot, but it's not a fair game since my pillow is only 100 meters east and early queues are not a thing here (hope it stays that way). One of my "chores" was to do course inspections for quality control and feedback to the groomer operators. In addition, if any VIP's were in-house I was to invite them for an early lap up the gondola before it opened to public. Easy assignment. On days when only regs were in house I would often do the same, dropping the Willy Wonka on a crew that was up early at breakfast. I earned a few apres Sapporo's by doing so. That made me happy but I was secretly working on my own customer retention program.

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    INSTA
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-06-2022 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Clarity

  4. #4
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    W22 JAPAN

    Asahidake, first week of April 2022:



    #grillmount
    @theprostandard
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-04-2022 at 03:34 PM.
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  5. #5
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    Diggin the stoke here man!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #6
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    Smooth turns on the board, I dig it!

  7. #7
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    W22 JAPAN

    Please be sure to tick HD for enhanced viewing pleasure. Lemmy in your ears

    One heckuva day in Aomori - 24 February 2022. Check out those empty chairs!



    #grillmount
    @theprostandard
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-04-2022 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Attribution to Lemmy
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  8. #8
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    W20 JAPAN

    You'll mainly be wanting to see pictures of Japanese food and culture but hold on - let me first add some photos from a day tour in February 2020. W20 was purported to be a low-snow year for Japan but conditions were very good by my standards, and this region was faring better than parts north or south. I had no reason to complain, it all looked bueno to me. Plenty of the white stuff, and plenty dry.

    In this area the devil is the wind, which can be a nuisance but IIRC during the entire W20 season the upper lift was closed for only two days. (In W22 there were two days when all lifts were shut down, but that is still less than a typical season at my home hill in VT).

    All photos in this post are courtesy of WM, owner of TowPro Portable Lifts.

    Terrain choices on this day since visibility above tree line would be marginal.

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    Guide/Sensei Kenji Nodaka shows the way

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    Yours truly blowin' smoke

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    I like trees. These are some of the best glades I have ever seen in Japan. If I am correct these are Japanese beech trees, aka inubuna, aka fagus japonica, and what makes them special is wide spacing, and no f*cking lower branches!

    Nodakasan gettin' some.

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    Vanity sequence:

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    Transition time. Climb up the ridge to our SE and drop more lines in sheltered glade.

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    After a great day a quick bite at the slopeside ramen house, and then off to the onsen for soak rinse repeat.

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    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-05-2022 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Link
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  9. #9
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    Heading to Tohoku in Janaury. This is great.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    Heading to Tohoku in Janaury. This is great.
    Iím hearing Japan is still COVID closed for tourism. Outside of a package trip with an approved tour company.

    How are you getting there in Jan or just expecting things to open up?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by powholic View Post
    I’m hearing Japan is still COVID closed for tourism. Outside of a package trip with an approved tour company.

    How are you getting there in Jan or just expecting things to open up?
    opening october 11th

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by powholic View Post
    I’m hearing Japan is still COVID closed for tourism. Outside of a package trip with an approved tour company.
    Time to get the wax out yer ears and on yer sticks. Japan announced last month that borders will be open to all maggots on 11 October

    EDIT: I see jtran10 already answered your question
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-03-2022 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Redundancy
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    Heading to Tohoku in Janaury. This is great.
    If you will be nearby I would be happy to meet you and show you stash
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  14. #14
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    W22 JAPAN

    Enough with the photos, you guys need video from 31 January 2022 to elevate that tingly feeling in your muscle memory



    #grillmount
    @theprostandard
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 11-21-2022 at 01:58 PM.
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  15. #15
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    Accommodations: Aomori & Hokkaido

    Bonus post for readers. TL/DR people

    You can use Bookingdotcom for all your accommodation needs while in Japan. It is recommended since some websites are hard to find, some websites do not have English translations (most do), and some websites are not secure. Every time I needed to change or cancel a reservation, I was able to do so free of charge. Agoda, and Rakuten seem to be the most popular reservationists for Japanese travelers.

    PSA: Put everything you can on your US credit card while in Japan and save 30% due to weak yen/strong dollar.

    I have only recommendations for Aomori Prefecture and central Hokkaido. Nothing for Ruseko because you won't find me staying there.

    Keep in mind I am a pet-free, spouse-free, dirt-bagging, solo traveler with few needs and high tolerance. YMMV

    Below are a list of my favorite places to stay and the ski areas nearby:

    Ajigasawa - (Aomori Spring) Rockwood Hotel & Spa
    Asahidake - (Asahidake) K's House
    Asahikawa - (Canmore, Kamui, Pippu) Tabist The Green
    Furano - (Furano, Kitanomine, Tokachidake) Hostel Tomar
    Geto Kogen - (Geto Kogen) Geto Camp 88
    Hakkoda - (Hakkoda) Hakkoda Sanso
    Hakodate - (Niyama, Yanagisawa) HakoBA
    Kamikawa - (Kurodake) Yukiyumi House
    Otaru - (Asari, Kiroro, Kokusai, Onze, Tenguyama) Guesthouse Otaru Wanokaze
    Sapporo - (Bankei, Fu's, Moiwa, Tiene) SappoLodge

    Aomori Spring Resort is an outlier. There is nothing near it so Rockwood is your only option unless you want to spring for The Grand Mer in town, which is spendy and requires hiring a car or taxi. The Rockwood has packages including all-you-can-eat dinner and breakfast buffets. Plus bottomless beers three hours each night for a mere 2000 yen. The resort itself has night skiing, and excellent BC access. I lived here three years so I can vouch. Their website is a joke. If you can crack the accomodations page it says the hotel is sold out for winter. If you try to make a reservation that page returns a "This page is not secure" message. Japanese speakers can book through Rakuten. Mags may contact me directly for an email address to management that will assist you. Free parking, and no restrictions on overnight camping.

    There are other places to stay in Asahidake but I think you're crazy if you don't stay at K's House (unless you must have a full-service restaurant). It used to be a Grand Hotel that since went belly up. It now has private and shared rooms, an outstanding onsen, common rooms, wax room, laundry, ping pong, pool table, and a share kitchen with three of everything (sink, stove, oven, fridge). If you go to Asahidake do all your shopping in Higashikawa town as there is nothing east of it but country road. Self-catering, ski storage, boot dryers, and free parking.

    Asahikawa seems not to be a favorite of Japanese but I really liked this city because its location is excellent, and it has a growing foodie scene. Also, the airport here is WAY more convenient than Chitose for visitors to Furano and points north. Visit Diamond Burger if you need that tasty meat fix. Spray is the best wintersport shop north of Niseko. Most hotels are near the station and suffer noise, but Tabist has a river and park for neighbors. Restaurant/coffee shop, and free parking.

    No shortage of places to stay in Furano. Many are good choices. Some might be swisher than Hostel Tomar but none have a better downtown location. This place was completely rebuilt from a retail store just before COVID-19. It is sparkly new and ultra clean. The Chamber of Commerce/Information Center is in its lobby, as well as the Baristart coffee shop playing ski videos. Killer bakeries on two sides of this joint. Western breakfasts, comfortable common areas, share kitchens, ski storage, and free parking. (La Vista is where I would take a fussy splittail - the breakfast is best in town, and the rooftop onsen is very, very nice.)

    What can I say about Geto Camp 88 except that it would not exist in the USA. 88 dorm beds right in the base lodge of the ski area, and the nightly rate includes dinner and breakfast, entry to the onsen, and discounts on lift tickets. If you don't stay here you have to stay in Morioka, which is not close enough for first chairs. Wax room, drying room, board lockers, free parking.

    Hakkoda Sanso is a bit of a legend. Access to the gondola requires walking 100 meters, and a double-chair is only 15 meters. Breakfast and dinner can be added to the room rate and since there are no other food options within 20 miles I suggest you sign up. In fact, the meals were delicious. Good whiskies at their bar as well. The Hakkoda Guiding Club is in the same building which gives this place a very genuine feel. Craig Kelly stayed here. Best parking lot scene in all of Tohoku. Free parking.

    I include Hakodate in this because it is my favorite city in northern Japan. Thanks to Commander Perry it has an amazing collection of western colonial architecture the like you will rarely see elsewhere in Japan. Hakodate saw very little destruction in WW2, so almost all of it is intact. What remains unpolished is being quickly, steadily gentrified. The HakoBA is a former bank that has private as well as shared rooms. It's location in Motomachi is fantastic. Trolley stops at the front door (and Lucky Pierrot is adjacent).

    There are some swank joints at the foot of the gondola at Kurodake but you will pay as these are onsen resorts. Yukiyumi House is a small B&B/Ryokan-style owned by Gerard Martinez who is one of the best guides in this area, not to mention that his friends are the other best guides in this area. If you want to ski the best terrain in the Daisetsuzan NP (and you should) you can't do much better than this. Fluent in Spanish, English, Japanese. Free parking and gourmet meals.

    Not fancy but huge value. Guesthouse Otaru Wanokaze is family-owned and has a sento on the first floor as well as a ridiculously good location in this fantastic little city. This was my base for several weeks while I was storm-chasing central Hokkaido. The owner is the sweetest woman and you will feel good dropping yen here. (Avoid the first two rooms on the left as these get fumes from the sento boiler.) Discounted rates at the sento, a laundry, and free parking on-site.

    There are a jillion hotels in Sapporo but only one with a climbing wall in the bar that is on the first floor. The restaurant serves great homemade meals, and the bar is popular. The only downside is the bar allows smoking and stays open until the last customer passes out. There are two dorm rooms and one is above the bar. Avoid that one if you want to sleep. The back dorm room has four beds so if you and three mates can get that to yourselves you are gold. Toilets are on the first floor so if you wake up in the night for a slash put a few yen in your pocket - some of the girls in that bar are worth chatting up. Friendly place, snowboarder-owned (sick Gentemstick collection), and a super short walk from Susukino, which has a LOT more to offer than just titty bars.

    Happy trails
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-05-2022 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Add link
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    If you will be nearby I would be happy to meet you and show you stash
    we'll have a guide, but could be coerced to add a day to the front or back if it works out. we're starting with 4 nights in morioka then 4 nights in Kuroishi. We'll have about 17 days total in country, and was going to spend the rest of the time seeing the sights in Tokyo with the GF, but we could easily be convinced to spend another night or two skiing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    we'll have a guide, but could be coerced to add a day to the front or back if it works out. we're starting with 4 nights in morioka then 4 nights in Kuroishi. We'll have about 17 days total in country, and was going to spend the rest of the time seeing the sights in Tokyo with the GF, but we could easily be convinced to spend another night or two skiing.
    So stoked for you! Kuroishi (great little town) is 40 klicks from my house so maybe meet up if your time allows it.
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  18. #18
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    W20 JAPAN

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    As mentioned above one of my roles was gladhander and fixer for guests and VIP that rolled through town.
    Burton Team Rider Yuka Fujimori, and her partner Henry Jackson arrived in January and brought good snow and good cheer.

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    Matt Appleford of The Adventure Project and Grant Nakamura stopped by on the first day of February before going to Gulmarg later in the month.

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    On the same day Chris Davenport checked in with his group. I made Kenjisan stand in for this photo. He is so considerate and respectful (unlike me) that he would never have asked for a photograph with the HOF'r.

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    Late in March X-Games champion and future Olympic Gold medalist Ayumu Hirano and his brother Eiju visited and slayed the HP in some private sessions that were amazing to watch.

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    Our resort has been the site of the SAJ National Training Center for several seasons now and usually schedule 4-5 weeks during each winter for HP. It is always a delight not only to see these performances but especially the respect and communication between the coaches and athletes.

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    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-05-2022 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Links
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  19. #19
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    W22 JAPAN

    Private HP for Team Japan during its National Training Center - Road to Gold



    #grillmount
    @theprostandard
    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  20. #20
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    Yo. Let me know when you're back in Tohoku and I'll come meet you if possible. I'm based at Zao, but love roadtrips to Hakkoda, Appi, and Myoko. Have a bro in Hakkoda who can guide us around based on wind patterns. Hachimantai & Gassan are also fun for touring.

    Zao is mini golf tree lines with some side country.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Bonus post for readers. TL/DR people

    You can use Bookingdotcom for all your accommodation needs while in Japan. It is recommended since some websites are hard to find, some websites do not have English translations (most do), and some websites are not secure. Every time I needed to change or cancel a reservation, I was able to do so free of charge. Agoda, and Rakuten seem to be the most popular reservationists for Japanese travelers.

    PSA: Put everything you can on your US credit card while in Japan and save 30% due to weak yen/strong dollar.

    I have only recommendations for Aomori Prefecture and central Hokkaido. Nothing for Ruseko because you won't find me staying there.

    Keep in mind I am a pet-free, spouse-free, dirt-bagging, solo traveler with few needs and high tolerance. YMMV

    Below are a list of my favorite places to stay and the ski areas nearby:

    Ajigasawa - (Aomori Spring) Rockwood Hotel & Spa
    Asahidake - (Asahidake) K's House
    Asahikawa - (Canmore, Kamui, Pippu) Tabist The Green
    Furano - (Furano, Kitanomine, Tokachidake) Hostel Tomar
    Geto Kogen - (Geto Kogen) Geto Camp 88
    Hakkoda - (Hakkoda) Hakkoda Sanso
    Hakodate - (Niyama, Yanagisawa) HakoBA
    Kamikawa - (Kurodake) Yukiyumi House
    Otaru - (Asari, Kiroro, Kokusai, Onze, Tenguyama) Guesthouse Otaru Wanokaze
    Sapporo - (Bankei, Fu's, Moiwa, Tiene) SappoLodge

    Aomori Spring Resort is an outlier. There is nothing near it so Rockwood is your only option unless you want to spring for The Grand Mer in town, which is spendy and requires hiring a car or taxi. The Rockwood has packages including all-you-can-eat dinner and breakfast buffets. Plus bottomless beers three hours each night for a mere 2000 yen. The resort itself has night skiing, and excellent BC access. I lived here three years so I can vouch. Their website is a joke. If you can crack the accomodations page it says the hotel is sold out for winter. If you try to make a reservation that page returns a "This page is not secure" message. Japanese speakers can book through Rakuten. Mags may contact me directly for an email address to management that will assist you. Free parking, and no restrictions on overnight camping.

    There are other places to stay in Asahidake but I think you're crazy if you don't stay at K's House (unless you must have a full-service restaurant). It used to be a Grand Hotel that since went belly up. It now has private and shared rooms, an outstanding onsen, common rooms, wax room, laundry, ping pong, pool table, and a share kitchen with three of everything (sink, stove, oven, fridge). If you go to Asahidake do all your shopping in Higashikawa town as there is nothing east of it but country road. Self-catering, ski storage, boot dryers, and free parking.

    Asahikawa seems not to be a favorite of Japanese but I really liked this city because its location is excellent, and it has a growing foodie scene. Also, the airport here is WAY more convenient than Chitose for visitors to Furano and points north. Visit Diamond Burger if you need that tasty meat fix. Spray is the best wintersport shop north of Niseko. Most hotels are near the station and suffer noise, but Tabist has a river and park for neighbors. Restaurant/coffee shop, and free parking.

    No shortage of places to stay in Furano. Many are good choices. Some might be swisher than Hostel Tomar but none have a better downtown location. This place was completely rebuilt from a retail store just before COVID-19. It is sparkly new and ultra clean. The Chamber of Commerce/Information Center is in its lobby, as well as the Baristart coffee shop playing ski videos. Killer bakeries on two sides of this joint. Western breakfasts, comfortable common areas, share kitchens, ski storage, and free parking. (La Vista is where I would take a fussy splittail - the breakfast is best in town, and the rooftop onsen is very, very nice.)

    What can I say about Geto Camp 88 except that it would not exist in the USA. 88 dorm beds right in the base lodge of the ski area, and the nightly rate includes dinner and breakfast, entry to the onsen, and discounts on lift tickets. If you don't stay here you have to stay in Morioka, which is not close enough for first chairs. Wax room, drying room, board lockers, free parking.

    Hakkoda Sanso is a bit of a legend. Access to the gondola requires walking 100 meters, and a double-chair is only 15 meters. Breakfast and dinner can be added to the room rate and since there are no other food options within 20 miles I suggest you sign up. In fact, the meals were delicious. Good whiskies at their bar as well. The Hakkoda Guiding Club is in the same building which gives this place a very genuine feel. Craig Kelly stayed here. Best parking lot scene in all of Tohoku. Free parking.

    I include Hakodate in this because it is my favorite city in northern Japan. Thanks to Commander Perry it has an amazing collection of western colonial architecture the like you will rarely see elsewhere in Japan. Hakodate saw very little destruction in WW2, so almost all of it is intact. What remains unpolished is being quickly, steadily gentrified. The HakoBA is a former bank that has private as well as shared rooms. It's location in Motomachi is fantastic. Trolley stops at the front door (and Lucky Pierrot is adjacent).

    There are some swank joints at the foot of the gondola at Kurodake but you will pay as these are onsen resorts. Yukiyumi House is a small B&B/Ryokan-style owned by Gerard Martinez who is one of the best guides in this area, not to mention that his friends are the other best guides in this area. If you want to ski the best terrain in the Daisetsuzan NP (and you should) you can't do much better than this. Fluent in Spanish, English, Japanese. Free parking and gourmet meals.

    Not fancy but huge value. Guesthouse Otaru Wanokaze is family-owned and has a sento on the first floor as well as a ridiculously good location in this fantastic little city. This was my base for several weeks while I was storm-chasing central Hokkaido. The owner is the sweetest woman and you will feel good dropping yen here. (Avoid the first two rooms on the left as these get fumes from the sento boiler.) Discounted rates at the sento, a laundry, and free parking on-site.

    There are a jillion hotels in Sapporo but only one with a climbing wall in the bar that is on the first floor. The restaurant serves great homemade meals, and the bar is popular. The only downside is the bar allows smoking and stays open until the last customer passes out. There are two dorm rooms and one is above the bar. Avoid that one if you want to sleep. The back dorm room has four beds so if you and three mates can get that to yourselves you are gold. Toilets are on the first floor so if you wake up in the night for a slash put a few yen in your pocket - some of the girls in that bar are worth chatting up. Friendly place, snowboarder-owned (sick Gentemstick collection), and a super short walk from Susukino, which has a LOT more to offer than just titty bars.

    Happy trails
    Legendary post

    Props

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    you probably had the best COVID 'disruption' of anyone I know - so cool to see all the details in one place!

  23. #23
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    Sep 2007
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    Awesome source of beta. Definitely plan to be up there this winter.

  24. #24
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    Jul 2005
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    Gratitude

    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    Diggin the stoke here man!
    TY, SkiLyft

    Quote Originally Posted by hatchgreenchile View Post
    Smooth turns on the board, I dig it!
    TY, Hatch

    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    Heading to Tohoku in Janaury. This is great.
    TY, Jtran

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijin View Post
    Yo. Let me know when you're back in Tohoku and I'll come meet you if possible. I'm based at Zao, but love roadtrips to Hakkoda, Appi, and Myoko. Have a bro in Hakkoda who can guide us around based on wind patterns. Hachimantai & Gassan are also fun for touring.

    Zao is mini golf tree lines with some side country.
    Please do come to Ajigasawa and I will put you up. I had been looking at Zao Ropeway, and had I gone south instead of north I would have been there in March. Zao seems to be well-known for its "snow monsters". That is how it is marketed up in our neck of the woods. Almost went to Gassan Glacier for its spring sessions but I remained up in Hokkaido. And definitely: I will meet you at Hakkoda.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    Legendary post

    Props
    TY, Mike Pow

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ2 View Post
    Awesome source of beta. Definitely plan to be up there this winter.
    TY, DJ2. Please contact when you travel north.

    Quote Originally Posted by mc_roon View Post
    you probably had the best COVID 'disruption' of anyone I know - so cool to see all the details in one place!
    Thank you, friend. My disruption was so fortunate that I did not feel comfortable talking about it until now. By the way, my inspiration for any trip report is taken from your HOF TR from Gulmarg. Still one of the best posts I have ever read here at TGR, and best beta source for my eventual trip. Long live Green Heights!

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    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

  25. #25
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    W20 JAPAN

    Late February 2020 and conditions are pretty sweet. Snowpack is stable, winds are calm, and the days are getting longer.

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    Plenty for everyone.

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    So, if I remember correctly the furry part goes on the outside (that's what she said).

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    Previous photos from off my right shoulder, dropping to my immediate left brings us back inbounds, but on this occasion, we go further east to the next drainage and so a car is arranged to pick us up at Oishi Shrine.

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    Sir Kooksalot flying the flag for my southern neighbors who can't quite grasp what I do when I am not in the water.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tempus fugit ergo carpe diem

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