Resource Japan 2018 thread

Discussion in 'Japan' started by M_G, Apr 23, 2017.

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  1. dbc33

    dbc33 Active Member

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    hey everyone, after doing Honshu this year think I will go back to Hokkaido but do want to give madarao a go, what's your thoughts on madarao as a mountain?
     
  2. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    When you say "doing Honshu", where did you go?
     
  3. dbc33

    dbc33 Active Member

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    Hakuba, nozawa, myoko. I know there is a lot more to ski but something about Hokkaido keeps bringing me back.
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    How long did you spend in each?
     
  5. dbc33

    dbc33 Active Member

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    Probably not enough, about a week at each.
     
  6. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Haneda Cutoms and airport clearance is a breeze, same as Narita. We did the Alpico bus to Hakuba rather than Shink on the way in. Pricing is good and timetable really suited us, better than Shink or Nagano Snow shuttle.
    On a clear day, which most of winter is in Tokyo, you can see Mt.Fuji from Haneda.
     
  7. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Had a day at Madarao early March this year. It's a little bit unusual because your first run of the day is straight down from the main hotel. Lifts peel off from the bottom and spread out. If you go, get the joint Madarao/Tangram ticket. Madarao has more steeps than Tangram and both resorts have a tendency for reasonably narrow pistes, although there are parts of both hills that do open out. I would not have any more than 4 days here, unless there is fresh snow keeping you there.
    There doesn't tend to be too many westerners especially on the Tangram side. Tangram is squarely aimed at Japanese families, which isn't a bad thing, Madarao has more dining options and a bit of a village to explore. Don't expect Nozawa type village, it's more spread out than that and a lot less to see than Noz, but still nice in it's own way.
    As you would expect, with less westerners there, lunch prices are good especially away from the larger places. A joint lift ticket cost us Y5000 for the day, from the ticket booth, with vouchers, probably cheaper. If your in the area it's worth a look.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    However, there are courses that most people don't know about on the Tangram side, that are definitely not aimed at Japanese families!! And this is good, because while the Aussies are tracking out the trees quickly at Madarao, the powder can last into the afternoon at Tangram.
     
  9. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    So a week at Hakuba would get you one day at each resort, plus on a big powder day, I dare say you went to Cortina?

    If at Myoko, you would tend to ski at Akakan, Ikenotaira & Suginohara, if you use the bus. You should try Madarao/Tangram when you're at Myoko, or at Nozawa. From Nozawa, you should also try Kijimadaira & Ryuo, and maybe Togari Onsen.

    On the right day(powder days) Madarao/Tangram is a great choice.
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    I really enjoyed our day at Tangram/Madarao, would go again.
     
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  11. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Jetstar have stopped their direct Melb - Tokyo service, so we will be looking at Cathy or another similar option for next year
     
  12. argento

    argento Active Member

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    I guess that might be me :whistle:

    Yep, after talking with @Born2ski and he putting me onto cheap flights ($759) I pulled the trigger on EVA (25 Jan departure) for a two week holiday in our first ever incursion to Hokkaido. No accommodations sorted yet but thinking of Asahikawa, Rusutsu, Furano and maybe even Niseko. Darwin mate who has a dog as a profile pic needs to pick up his game with planning.

    Don't know what got into me this time :D I so easy to purchase with a click of a mouse....
     
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  13. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    The zoo in Asahikawa is depressing. Polar bears look distressed, the tiger sitting out in the snow looks sad. The penguins seemed pretty relaxed though.

    You have been warned.
     
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  14. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    I never went to the zoo. Instead I had an ill-fated journey to Asahidake. Wife and daughter enjoyed the zoo. I figure couldn't be any worse than the snow monkeys.
     
  15. Crispy013

    Crispy013 Dedicated Member

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    Zoo is quite comical. They do a penguin parade at certain times throughout the day. But I do agree with smackies comments - felt bad for some of the attractions just lapping around doing a show for the spectators. Worth a side trip after say a morning at Kamui.
     
  16. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    Did this on a day when the snow was less than ideal.

    I haven't been to a zoo/aquarium in Japan where the enclosures seemed appropriate size. I guess that's just Japanese attitude towards animals. I'm sure the the keepers are taking good care of them, but enclosures are tiny. Just like their human houses :)
     
  17. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    I thought that about Ueno too.
     
  18. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Tokyo can feel like one big human Zoo !!!
     
  19. hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member
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    Maybe thats why some of us act like animals in Tokyo?
     
  20. hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member
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    Just checked this out.I reckon Nth Korea could be worth a try!
     
  21. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    South Korea has the winter Olympics next season, anyone heading over for that?
     
  22. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    I wonder how many poor people had to die for that resort to be built :(
     
  23. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Only one snowboarder in the whole resort it seems. Perhaps it's too bourgeoisie.
     
  24. john_kr

    john_kr Active Member
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    Hi Thommo - we did a similar trip to yours two years ago (early into Haneda with three kids 8-10-12 and straight out to Iiyama) and it was a breeze. Our biggest issue was getting through things quicker than expected, and then having a longer wait for the train than we'd planned on.
     
    #74 john_kr, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  25. Crispy013

    Crispy013 Dedicated Member

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    My experience with Japanese customs (arrival) is that it is super super efficient. Usually baggage is your hold up if you have oversized, but even then its generally very speedy. Worth having a couple of transport options for different times. i.e. when you expect to get out, then one before and one after if the plane is late.
     
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  26. DeskRider

    DeskRider Dedicated Member
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    Looking like a maybe for next season, still working on the mrs.. Will be a very different experience if we do head over with a 2 & 4y.o in tow..
    Reckon a week hanging out with old mates in Tokyo followed by a week somewhere in Honshu that has childcare for the 2y.o & ski school for the 4y.o (Noz or Myoko, maybe Hukuba).
     
  27. silva

    silva Active Member

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    Agreed unless you fly Jetstar into Terminal 3 at Narita - then allow an hour or so plus about 15 minutes to walk to terminal 2 for transport options.
     
  28. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Excellent advice.
    Alternatives take the panic and stress out of things not going to plan. Just roll onto plan b or c without any stress at all.
     
  29. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    We are in Seoul in the middle of the Olympics. Could be worth looking in to! We had a blast at a World Cup downhill in Wengen, not sure the atmosphere would be the same as Europe, but it IS the Olympics.
     
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  30. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    The South Koreans support their nation with a fierce sense of pride, plus they do love to party! I think the atmosphere would be pretty good!
     
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  31. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Until you mentioned it I hadn't clicked! Wow the Olympics have come up FAST!! We are staying 2 nights and Pyongyang is about 1hr on the (under construction) train from Seoul. I'll see what events coincide and try to get tix. Might even go for a bit longer if the event appeals. :thumbs:
     
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  32. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture
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    That's where the problem lies IMO
     
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  33. Thommo79

    Thommo79 Just Registered

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    Thanks @john_kr To be honest I'm not real worried about getting to the Shink on time, if we miss one we'll spend the time to wander around Tokyo Station and catch the next.

    Flight SQ636 has a history of arriving at Haneda 30-40 mins early on average so I think we'll have plenty of time.

    We'll be on Holiday after all so why stress!
     
  34. Kimski

    Kimski Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure you want to go to Pyongyang at the moment :eek:
     
  35. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    Just booked Jan 29 - Feb 12 will be based in the Tohuku region and doing one of the PR tours. Very stoked, very excited. Flying Qantas out of NZ for the first time and arriving in Haneda very early. Much easier and quicker to get to Tokyo than Narita it seems?
     
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Where abouts in Tohoku?

    Haneda is certainly closer so quicker to get into Tokyo but wouldn't say easier with luggage. You have to transfer from the monorail to JR line, though there are other options these days.
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Just about everyone on here use various trains(Haneda & Narita) to get to Tokyo station, but honestly, with baggage, it's way easier by bus. I never use train.
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Quite a few visitors get JR passes and exchange them in Narita, so catch the train.
     
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  39. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Doesn't make much difference at Haneda, at 5:30am.
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    I guess in that case, bus does win as there are no JR counters at Haneda at that time. I've never flown international into Haneda.

    I just have a strong natural general preference to trains over buses (wherever I am). I just find them more reliable, predictable, quicker, so if there is an option I'll generally choose train.There will though be the odd exception and this is probably one.
     
    #90 Heinz, Apr 30, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  41. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    Why?
     
  42. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    Going to Tohoku largely due to your TRs, source of much stoke and good information. Will stay at Appi Kogen for a few days and try to day tip to Hachimantai and then back to Morioka and meet up with Powder Recon for on of their tours.
     
  43. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I use trains all the time. JR, Tokyu, Metro, Toei, Keikyu, Minatomirai, Sotetsu and others....
    Today I will use JR, Tokyu, Metro, Keikyu, Minatomirai.
    So I tend to know when trains are efficient and when they are a pain. I use the bus from Yokohama to both Haneda and Narita, because it's just easier when you have bags.
     
  44. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Saw a PR group at Hachimantai Shimokura last year. They were getting into the tree runs. Try to get to Amihari as well.
     
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  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    If you are interested food challenges you might consider trying Wanko Soba while in Morioka.
    http://www.japan-iwate.info/noodle/wanko.html
    I thought about it, but in the end decided going to an Izakaya to be a better option. I did briefly watch someone trying this as a walked past one of those restaurants - quite amusing.
     
  46. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    Going with a group of old grizzly surfer/boarders would be unfair competition for everyone else, unlikely to stand a chance.
     
  47. PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member
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    We'll be back. We were planning to go to Austria in 2018 but there is a wedding in the family later this year so Europe is out.
    Looking forward to a mix of old and new places.
     
    #97 PMG, Apr 30, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  48. Thommo79

    Thommo79 Just Registered

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    I'm hoping that it won't be to much of a chore with one suitcase and a child by the hand to navigate the trains from Haneda. We should be in the thick of it between 630 - 730am.
     
  49. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    LOL
    My bad!
    Pyeongchang!

    :oops:
     
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  50. hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member
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    Will Kim be turning up?