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  1. #1
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    Japow! and Japan traveling

    Have a trip planned for this winter in Japan. Thereís some good threads on here already and Iíll reread through those. Weíll be going with the epic pass and flying into Tokyo. Looks like thereís 9 resorts all in one valley thatís closeish to Tokyo thatíll be our move, any recs on certain ones? Places to stay? Will be going with a decent sized group, like 6

    Planning on skiing 3 days out of a 2 week trip. Spending most of the time traveling in Tokyo, Kyoto, and hakuba. Is it worth it to bring our own skis? Seems like itíll be a pain to travel with. Easier to find a place to store the skis or decent rentals?

    Any general travel recs? Like I said, main stops are Tokyo, Kyoto, and hakuba


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  2. #2
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    Thereís an active thread already

  3. #3
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    just 3 days skiing on a 14 day trip? that ain't right... i would recommend more skiing. much more.



    fact.

  4. #4
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    Personally I wouldn't bother bringing skis, but I can't give you any information on how good or bad the local rentals might be. You should probably plan on bringing your boots unless you have a smaller shoe size, like smaller than US 10 - you can't count on finding rental boots in larger sizes.

    Japan has a useful domestic package shipping service called takkyubin. Here's one of the bigger companies: https://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/ytc...ces/takkyubin/ . You could definitely takkyubin your gear from the airport (the companies have service desks at the airport) to wherever you're staying in Hakuba, and then back to the airport when you leave Hakuba; they'll hold them at the airport until your flight. Looks like they'll take both skis and boots.

    In Kyoto, visit the Shisendo. It's the private residence of a member of the nobility who in his later life became a monk. There's an amazing garden and it's off the tourist path so if you get there at opening or in the afternoon you have a good shot at having it to yourself.

    You should probably go to Kinkakuji even though it will probably be crowded like Disneyland. This is a great place for lunch before/after Kinkakuji: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ure_Kinki.html. They most likely won't speak any English, but they really only serve one thing, so it's hard to go too far wrong. It's in a well-preserved old Kyoto house and the food is excellent.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    just 3 days skiing on a 14 day trip? that ain't right... i would recommend more skiing. much more.



    fact.
    QFT.
    WTF are you thinking?
    ďI tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.Ē
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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  6. #6
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    every 7-11 had sushi and an international cash machine most important

    yeah people would courier their skis and they always show up on time where they are sposed to, quite amazing
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
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    Hakuba is a blast. I took skis and every lodging has storage for you. Plenty of rentals available too. Stay in the old (IIRC) part of town and you can easily walk to the lift base. Easy busses to all the other areas in the valley.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  8. #8
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    Any particular restaurant and onsen recommendations in Hakuba? Or is it just a situation of you canít lose - you just win in different ways depending on where you go.

  9. #9
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    Little Alaska Burger hut in Hakuba. The vending machine at Hakuba Powder lodge for a beer. Bring skis or you maybe end up on blades for rentals. 3 days is pretty brief to figure out all the nuances of skiing off piste in Japan.

  10. #10
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    Iím not the 3 day guy. Going for a week of guided touring based out of Hakuba.

    Last time I skied there we spent one day doing beers from the vending machine at the top of the lift every inbounds lap. I think my eyes were closed the whole way down the last run.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    Or is it just a situation of you can’t lose - you just win in different ways depending on where you go.
    This was my recollection. Yakitorias (places where you get yakitori) are amazing. Every one we hit in hakuba. Night riding under the lights in waste deep pow was surreal, try to do it if you can.
    ďI tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.Ē
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

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  12. #12
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    Wish I could remember names. Been a few years. There was one tiny izakaya that was nearly impossible to get into where I had one of the most memorable bites of food in my life. Thing 2 and I still talk about it. It was gyoza, except the wrap was chicken skin. They deep fried the whole thing.

    Another night I ran into Rodney and his dad and they shared with us tuna sashimi which we scraped off the bone between the ribs of the carcass with a clam shell. So yeah, plenty of win.

    Only onsen I visited was on the top floor of my hotel.

    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    Any particular restaurant and onsen recommendations in Hakuba? Or is it just a situation of you canít lose - you just win in different ways depending on where you go.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  13. #13
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    Japow! and Japan traveling







    Maybe this place?

  14. #14
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    Great stuff, thanks everyone for posting


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  15. #15
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    Souffle pancakes ftw. Loved these in Tokyo.

    https://www.instagram.com/benizuru_pancake/

  16. #16
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    In Tokyo, if you are near Harajuku, pop in here for lunch or a snack. Piles of delicious dumplings and beer for cheap. Always a favorite stop when I'm there.

    Any stall outside the Tsukiji fish market is worth eating sushi at 6am as well. And find a coin op ramen place for lunch. I've done all 3 before 2pm. Don't need to eat for the rest of the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  17. #17
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    Yuppers. Great spot. Separate menu for gaijin and Japanese. I also ate raw monkfish liver there shared by a Japanese neighbor at the sushi bar. I like the gyoza better.


    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post






    Maybe this place?
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  18. #18
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    Anyone gone to the hot springs? Ive seen pics with monkeys? Pretty cool or tourist hub?

    Any recs on which resorts in hakuba valley? Hereís the full list: Jiigatake Snow Resort, Kashimayari Ski Resort, Hakuba Sanosaka White Resort, ABLE Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park, Hakuba Happo-one Snow Resort, Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, Tsugaike Mountain Resort, Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort, and Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort.


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  19. #19
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    I haven't spent much time on Honshu, but on Hokkaido I went to an onsen nearly every day on 2 separate trips totaling about 7 weeks. Nearly every one of them was fantastic, and some were super memorable. At worst you get clean and warm (but bring your own soap for the •300 ones, bc they may not have any). At best you're in an Alpine environment surrounded by snow and in a 31C pool.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeachesNCream View Post
    Any general travel recs? Like I said, main stops are Tokyo, Kyoto, and hakuba
    You can take a short train ride to hike up a Mount Kurama that's a Shinto Shrine and much more.

    Choo Choo!
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    About 500 vert of beautiful stairs
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    Each fence post says...something
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    800 year old sacred cedar tree in the middle.
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    There was a sculpture garden on the way up.
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    More stairs and impressive stonework
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    Little viewing place near the top
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    You can ring the bell with the big log, which you can see in front of the bell, to clear the air, then clap twice, then pray for snow.
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    Lightning bolts signify this is a sacred space.
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    At near the top is this temple. Not shown is a museum and many other things on the way up.
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    Then you hike down the backside of the mountain on a rooty dirt trail to a small town on the other side, that's on a river. There's a few restaurants here that built dining platforms on the river, I wasn't expecting this, and thought it was super cool.
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    I ate here where you get assigned a bamboo tube that is flowing with water. Noodles occasionally come out of the bamboo and float towards you. Either you grab the noods or they flow past you into the river.
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    After eating you hike a mile or so down the road to a train stop and go back to Kyoto.

  21. #21
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    Another Kyoto hike north of town starts on a bigger river you hike with. The hike was kinda long to get to the stream I need to follow to a shrine in the hills, next time I'll take a cab there.

    Looking down from the train stop.
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    Upstream the river turned deep and green in pools
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    Miles later there was a turn off from a dirt road and a few singletracks above the main river, with many steps going up.
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    Going up.
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    The trail dead ended at this shrine and waterfall. There was nobody there. Nobody was on this entire trail. I did see a few fisherman on the main river and a couple hikers down low. Fun hike.
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    Fischer Ski logo
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    Then down back the trail to a long walk on roads to another shrine on the edge of town to see Marlon Brando.
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  22. #22
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    A long walk from the river on paved roads was the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple. Well know but not visited as much as the other temples/shrines. The other popular temples/shrines are crowded but not overrated IMO. Endless things to see in Kyoto!

    The start of the road (no sidewalks so not a great walk) to the temple.

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    The temple is know for hundreds and hundreds of mini statues. They were pretty funny and cool - one clearly looks like to me Marlon in Apocalypse Now.

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    Some more stuff I saw that day. You can see a ton of stuff if you are motivated in just one day.

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    I recommend buying a guidebook to bring over, looking online can be tedious.

  23. #23
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    Thank you for posting all that information! Those strolls look amazing and right up our alley. Currently planning an April trip for our family of five and trying to wrap my head around locations and priorities. Probably a 12 day trip. Tokyo and Kyoto as they both feel necessary, but also looking elsewhere as well.

  24. #24
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    Go see the hot tub snow monkeys. Go in as many onsens as you can. Ski. Eat
    ďI tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.Ē
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yonder_River View Post
    Thank you for posting all that information! Those strolls look amazing and right up our alley. Currently planning an April trip for our family of five and trying to wrap my head around locations and priorities. Probably a 12 day trip. Tokyo and Kyoto as they both feel necessary, but also looking elsewhere as well.
    There's too many choices for sure. I'm no Kyoto expert, but if you like hiking, there are trails in the foothills of Kyoto too. I'd start at a temple or shrine and then keep going up, finding little shrines in the woods and viewpoints up top. Like at the Nanzen-ji Temple, there is a nice trail going up to the main Kyoto Trail. I then went down a different way so I could see the cave shrine (shown below), which is in the woods and looks like a manmade hut. If I had more time I'd hike to Bishamon-dō Temple from there and that would be an epic ending. I think.

    I started at Nanzen-ji and spent some time there before hiking
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    Going up and exploring. Mainly all dirt trails though.
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    Looking east into Kusatsu area
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    The 'cave'
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    End of my trail looking up, it spits you into a neighborhood with cool buildings and a formal exit with a gate.
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    I'm going back with kids in late May and it's hard to pick where to go besides Kyoto. I'm leaning towards Kanazawa which I really liked before and then some small mountain town between there and Tokyo. Where are you thinking of going?

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