Trip Report Arai Mountain and Spa

Discussion in 'Japan' started by webberchoked, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. webberchoked

    webberchoked Active Member

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    This place has been on my radar for a few seasons now. Checked it out in January. Conditions meant skiing any serious lines were out of the question so I just went to poke around.
    The terrain here is obviously quite impressive but I was surprised at the state of the buildings.
    In Japanese fashion, there really was no sign of vandalism and lots of valuable items could be seen through the windows.
    It was quite an eerie experience walking around by myself in such a well developed ghost town. Every once in a while the silence would be shattered by a bunch of snow sliding off the roofs.


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  2. webberchoked

    webberchoked Active Member

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  3. webberchoked

    webberchoked Active Member

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  4. Pat42

    Pat42 Dedicated Member

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  5. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Thanks for the pics.
     
  6. kaegee

    kaegee Dedicated Member
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    Spooky ..Great pics.
     
  7. Bluebird

    Bluebird Old And Crusty
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    Great pics, what a fascinating place!
     
  8. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Its a crime that place isn't running ... it could
    be the next niseko.
     
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  9. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture
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    Awesome photos.. Thanks for sharing :thumbs:
     
  10. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Will it reopen ?

    Abandoned ski resort in Niigata sold for 1.3 billion Yen

    The overgrown and abandoned former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture has been purchased by Tokyo-based A. C Holdings for 1.3 billion Yen. The company, which is involved in construction and golf course development, plans to re-open the ski resort and target wealthy tourists from China and across Asia.
    -

    http://japanpropertycentral.com/201...old-for-1-3-billion-yen/#sthash.sZiFql6n.dpuf
     
  11. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Apparently so B2S.

    Doesn't look too bad in these pics but I took a trip there in summer and it was defintely looking worse for wear in some spots. Still it's only 20 minutes or so from the new shink stop and if the new owner has deep pockets it might just go well.

    Thanks for sharing @webberchoked
     
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  12. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Active Member

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    nice one Wc !

    ... curious old stuck-in-the-bubble thinking ... "target wealthy tourists from China and across Asia. -"

    be easier to up a 1000mV slow old twin chair on an ungroomed mtn, and target the ever-increasing no. of wealthy western b.c skiiers
     
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  13. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    One big lift.

    Proper ski patrol.

    Onsen, Beer & Ramen/Katsu Curry.

    Done.
     
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    And an Aussieskier retail shop..... ;)
     
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  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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  16. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Had a very interesting talk with an ex-Arai staff member the other night.

    Basically the manager (son of Sony boss) was indulged as a pet project and didn't run the place that well. They chose the mountain for the view rather than for the quality of snow or runs. They only flew over the mountain in their helicopter and never walked it out before starting to build. On some days they'd have to bus people to Akakura because of high winds or crap snow.

    Also, presumably because the runs were not that well thought out, they had several deaths each year. Apparently the mountain god (kami-sama) there is an unfriendly goddess and some staff blamed the deaths on her. Staff also used to report instances of seemingly paranormal activity in the hotels.

    Still, with good new management, a good priest and deep pockets they might be able to make it work. I certainly hope so anyway.
     
  17. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    LOL

    Sounds like they need their own Tottoro to fix things up!!
     
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  18. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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    its the wrong aspect for starters
     
  19. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I've heard similar from a mate that worked there in the late 90s.
     
  20. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    #20 Born2ski, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  21. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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  22. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    I didn't find the Myoko resorts that bad except for Suginohara which faces a little south east.
    I've looked around for north facing resorts in Japan, doesn't seem to be that many, most face east or west. Although there is that little resort near you. ;)
     
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  23. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    I'll ring up Ghost Adventurers now and get them to do an episode there.
     
  24. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Make sure i can come when you pass me in the street and ask me where it is next time hahah!

    I reckon it could be epic for storm riding. Like Charmant with better terrain. BC terrain around it looks sick. you could actually tour off the back of it and head down to charmant... epic.
     
  25. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Looks like it might be all systems go. Last sale fell though due to some irregularity on the first bid.

    http://www.joetsutj.com/articles/60982962

    Sold to a new bidder (Hotel & Resort Joetsu Myoko) on 16 June for 18 billion yen (around A$18.8 million). Has to come up with the cash by June 26.
     
  26. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    But will it ever open ?
     
  27. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Well, if the sale goes ahead it wouldn't be next season. Would have to be in 2016/17.
     
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  28. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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  29. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    I saw that post on Tak's Facebook Draizuh. Not a happy chappy (understandably I think).
     
  30. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Would be fantastic to see it go ahead as a club field. What an amazing site for such a thing. That place could be the real "killer app" for the area. Its good everything that you think of when you think of skiing in Japan.
     
  31. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    what did the article say?
     
  32. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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  33. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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    too much bubble
     
  34. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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  35. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Wtf?! This is awesome! Thanks for sharing weberc. Reminds me a bit of Spirited Away. Wonder if it provided inspiration for the movie
     
  36. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    The hotel they used as inspiration for Spirited Away (Kanaguya) is located in Shibu Onsen near the snow monkeys.
     
    #36 M_G, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
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  37. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Looks like game on. Money was meant to be handed over yesterday by successful bidder - Hotel & Resort Joetsu Myoko Corporation

    The news is not absolutely definitive http://www.j-times.jp/news.php?seq=10499 but I guess it would say if it had fallen through.
     
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  38. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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  39. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    The plot thickens. Apparently this place has been bought by Lotte, not Chinese money.

    Looks like renovations have started too. Going to be very interesting to see what unfolds.
     
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  40. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper Active Member

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    As mentioned elsewhere, Lotte like to go Big!
    From my limited understanding and time in South Korea Lotte is synonymous with Big and crazy!
    Biggest Cinema screen in the world is @ Lotte world in Seoul, they have an Giant indoor water park!

    Anyway, my actual Q. Why is it that Arai seems to be so much less tree'd than Myoko or Nozawa? It's elevation is similar to Noz, and even below Sugi's top (lifted) elevation, but from the pics Arai appears to have way less tree's than other area's?

    Anyone know why?
     
  41. Pat42

    Pat42 Dedicated Member

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    Snowfall and wind?
     
  42. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yep, I'd say. Big accumulation of snow, covered for a longer time of the year with snow, snow weight breaking trees, etc.
     
  43. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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  44. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    Yeah I reckon it is snowfall and avies as well. Drive past there regularly and it is very exposed.
     
  45. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Its not the avalanches, its just way too much snow at that elevation. if you look at the terrain all around that area there isnt much in the way of trees, like over at charmant, its mostly because its the first part of the mountains when the winds blow over the sea of japan and they get extremely heavy precip.

    I imagine cornice collapse would contribute to the less trees but i think its just a hell of a lot of snowfall.
     
  46. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman Well-Known Member

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    Any new news?. This was taken more than 10 years ago. Mt.Okenashi = 1429m, the lowest lift is 321m. So about 1,100m vertical powder run:cool:


    A Korean company bought ex-Arai. Seoul to Toyama Airport = about 2 hours, Toyama to Juetsu-Myoko station = about 40 mins by Shikansen. Juetsu-Myoko to Arai = less than 30mins by bus. There are international flights between Toyama Aiport and other Asian countries (China and Taiwan). It has a good access to East Asia. I hope it'll become even better than ex-Arai.
     
  48. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Anyone heard anymore??? Im keeeeeeeeen!
     
  49. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    There was work happening there when we dropped around in June. Also Lotte have been buying up other properties around the resort. And from what I have been told from some locals it will be very expensive to stay there.
     
  50. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    I went in to have a look around last month. Lots of work going on. Spoke to a guy who looked like the overseer and he said they were intending to have it fully open from this season. Time will tell.

    I agree with skichanger, it has to be expensive. Right from the get go they said they were targeting wealthy skiers from East Asia.

    Will update here as I get more news: http://myokokogen.net/resorts/arai-ski-resort/