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  1. #1
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    Japan 23/24 Season

    As mentioned in the 22/23 thread, it's time for a new one for this upcoming season. All things Japan, both Hokkaido and Honshu.

    For newbies here's some basic info if you don't know anything.

    A good overview of Japan skiing and most of the areas are covered here.
    https://www.powderhounds.com/Japan.aspx

    The best search engine for lodging is booking.com, it's not perfect but it has more properties than any other engine I've seen.

    Rather than lug gear across Japan on aircraft or trains, consider using Yamato transport, aka Black Cat, to do it for you. In Japan, this is the way. Here's a link but in reality just find the giant counter full of gear at the airport when you exit customs that has a picture of a black cat holding a black kitten in its mouth. Give them the address you want it dropped off and you'll see it again at the first hotel you're staying at.
    https://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/en/

    A couple cell phone captures of an average day last season for some stoke.
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    Adding a link to last season's 22/23 thread
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...23-Japan-scene
    Last edited by CascadeCrudSkier; 10-21-2023 at 04:21 PM. Reason: added link to last season's thread
    God created skis and surfboards to keep the truly gifted from ruling the world.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2005
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    Gentleman (and Ladies)

    Start your engines

    For retrospective info, images, and vids take a look at this thread

    Adding to it when I re-edit my stuff

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...006-to-Present

  3. #3
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    My faithful steed Rocinante ready for another winter in Hokkaido

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    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 07-12-2023 at 06:57 AM.

  4. #4
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    Going full Japanese and rolling it

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    Going full Japanese and rolling it
    Heck yeah. Love this kei truck

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CascadeCrudSkier View Post
    All things Japan, both Hokkaido and Honshu...
    A couple cell phone captures of an average day last season for some stoke.

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    Sick. Those look like mature north facing beech trees. Tohoku?
    Similar glades, looking downhill:


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Heck yeah. Love this kei truck

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heh. I think I remember that face. Rusutu backside Tour to the road? The ski is from the other side?
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Heck yeah. Love this kei truck

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heh. I think I remember that face. Rusutu backside Tour to the road? The skin is from the other side?
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by subtle plague View Post
    Heh. I think I remember that face. Rusutu backside Tour to the road? The ski is from the other side?
    Negative, Captain. Hakkoda from the east

  10. #10
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    Shiribetsu is eerily similar. Well I guess those volcanos all look similar
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Sick. Those look like mature north facing beech trees. Tohoku?
    North end of the Hakuba Valley. I still haven't made it up to Tohoku yet. I wish there were more beech forests; they're definitely the gold standard for Japan tree skiing.
    God created skis and surfboards to keep the truly gifted from ruling the world.

  12. #12
    Is it realistic to book last minute accommodations and storm chase in mid January in Hokkaido? Looking to keep accommodations somewhat budget friendly. Searching hasn’t really yielded a post Covid closures answer. Probably will avoid Niseko unless that is where things are really firing. Is this possible in the Otaru and Furano region?


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ver iz ze money LePowski? View Post
    Is it realistic to book last minute accommodations and storm chase in mid January in Hokkaido? Looking to keep accommodations somewhat budget friendly. Searching hasn’t really yielded a post Covid closures answer. Probably will avoid Niseko unless that is where things are really firing. Is this possible in the Otaru and Furano region?
    Sounds like risky business this year, or be prepared to spill some yen.

    1. Will you have a rented car?
    2. This winter promises to be the busiest season on record; some areas have been sold out since April.

    If I were in your boots and committed to this plan I would book all my nights at one spot and double pay if I found myself in a different spot (and found a bed).

    3. Stay in Asahikawa City at Hotel Tiffany (local bang-bang) and drive, or
    4. Stay in Furano at Hostal Tomar or Pension Ressha and drive, or
    5. Stay in Otaru at Wanokaze, and drive.

    Longish drives from Asahikawa to Furano but great access to Kamui, and not too far from Pippu, Canmore, and Asahidake. Good luck.
    Last edited by boltonoutlaw; 10-21-2023 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Spelling

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Sounds like risky business this year, or be prepared to spill some yen.

    1. Will you have a rented car?
    2. This winter promises to be the busiest season on record; some areas have been sold out since April.

    If I were in your boots and committed to this plan I would book all my nights at one spot and double pay if I found myself in a different spot (and found a bed).

    3. Stay in Asahikawa City at Hotel Tiffany (local bang-bang) and drive, or
    4. Stay in Furano at Hostal Tomar of Pension Ressha and drive, or
    5. Stay in Otaru at Wanokaze, and drive.

    Longish drives from Asahikawa to Furano but great access to Kamui, and not too far from Pippu, Canmore, and Asahidake. Good luck.
    Much appreciated on the info. We are planning on renting a car and have 8 days to ski in mid January.

    I know this has been covered ad nauseam and I have tried make my way through the old threads. First time to Japan, bringing touring gear. If the resorts are firing most of the touring would likely be side country. If we need to full on tour to find fresh snow we are more than willing and capable. Like everyone else we are ultimately looking to maximize the number of powder turns we can get.

    1) Is it realistic to split our time between Otaru or Kutchan and Furano or Asahikawa? 4 days more coastal and 4 days more central, chasing snow in that particular region.

    2) If that is a bad idea, is the coastal zone or central zone a better bet in an El Niño year?


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ver iz ze money LePowski? View Post
    Much appreciated on the info. We are planning on renting a car and have 8 days to ski in mid January.

    I know this has been covered ad nauseam and I have tried make my way through the old threads. First time to Japan, bringing touring gear. If the resorts are firing most of the touring would likely be side country. If we need to full on tour to find fresh snow we are more than willing and capable. Like everyone else we are ultimately looking to maximize the number of powder turns we can get.

    1) Is it realistic to split our time between Otaru or Kutchan and Furano or Asahikawa? 4 days more coastal and 4 days more central, chasing snow in that particular region.

    2) If that is a bad idea, is the coastal zone or central zone a better bet in an El Niño year?
    Otaru to Asahikawa is a 2 hour drive in summer on the highway, a 6 hour drive on the surface roads in a whiteout storm. Did that last winter and would not recommend. Highway shutdowns can ruin all your plans.

    Generally more snow in Niseko but absolutely more competition for it.

  16. #16
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    How come it's so busy? Besides amazing powder.....every year isn't like that busy is it?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuntmonkey View Post
    How come it's so busy? Besides amazing powder.....every year isn't like that busy is it?
    Pent-up, COVID-caused demand.

    Last year's opening of borders (22 October) occurred too late for most people to make vacation plans (or they had already made them elsewhere), and occurred too late for many businesses to hire a full staff. As a result (of the latter), some hotels could only open 50% of their rooms to the public as they did not have staff to turn over beds. Same problem with restaurants.

  18. #18
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    Great info! So Bolton, you are saying this is likely the first full year where everyone, who wanted Japow since the pandemic, can make plans to visit. Hence the reason for the predicted shit show?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Otaru to Asahikawa is a 2 hour drive in summer on the highway, a 6 hour drive on the surface roads in a whiteout storm. Did that last winter and would not recommend. Highway shutdowns can ruin all your plans.

    Generally more snow in Niseko but absolutely more competition for it.
    Really appreciate the info. Thanks!


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kootenai View Post
    Great info! So Bolton, you are saying this is likely the first full year where everyone, who wanted Japow since the pandemic, can make plans to visit. Hence the reason for the predicted shit show?
    Yes, and the weakness of the ¥ makes it incredible value for spenders of $

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  21. #21
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    Got my dates, last two weeks of Jan and 1st of February. Hope it’s half as good as last year!

  22. #22
    So in past threads, Nippon Rent a Car appears to be the consensus for car rental. For those of you who have gone this route which vehicle class or car did you go with? Two people and I am looking for the smallest class of vehicle I can still get 190 cm skis in. There is a huge price difference between a full on mini van (Nissan Serena, W-A class) and something in the mid size class (Toyota Corolla Fielder, S-W class). I tried reaching out directly but didn’t really get an answer.


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  23. #23
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    Sep 2001
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    upstate NY
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    Got a place in Rutsutsu 2/7. Do we need to get lift tickets now?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by half-fast View Post
    Got a place in Rutsutsu 2/7. Do we need to get lift tickets now?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ver iz ze money LePowski? View Post
    So in past threads, Nippon Rent a Car appears to be the consensus for car rental. For those of you who have gone this route which vehicle class or car did you go with? Two people and I am looking for the smallest class of vehicle I can still get 190 cm skis in. There is a huge price difference between a full on mini van (Nissan Serena, W-A class) and something in the mid size class (Toyota Corolla Fielder, S-W class). I tried reaching out directly but didn’t really get an answer.


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    We rented a Corolla wagon and were able to fit long skis in the car. (Hoji 195, and Super 7 188)

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