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Discussion in 'Japan' started by M_G, Apr 23, 2017.
$943 is the best I can find for Brisbane / Tokyo with Qantas in Feb.
Summer plastic ski slope installation. For race training I am led to believe.
What will they get up to next?
Try Eva Air.Argento got a fantastic price Brisbane -Sapporo return.
It's Hikage not Karasawa
I hope you are crossing your fingers for a good accommodation experience....any positivity thrown toward the Wabblies actually coming away with a win might be a little wasted........
I've been the lone gold clad Aussie in a sea of black in NZ before.
If you were to base yourself in Hokkaido with a vehicle and the intention to hit any of the resorts south of Sapporo on any given day, where would you do it? Are there reasonable options other than Niseko? Cost is a consideration, but not necessarily the main one...comfortable accommodation and decent dining options would be good. Party central is not needed. Crew of 4 to 6 at this stage.
How long were you thinking?
Are you averse to moving a few times?
otaru, kutchan, around sapporo
Usual trips are 10 to 14 days. Moving is no problem, although too many shifts tend to cut into slope time in that period, hence the thought to base at one place and just travel wherever each day with the vehicle.
Kutchan certainly ticks the box central wise. Almost smack bang in the middle of Niseko, Kiroro and Rusutsu.....what's it like for accommodation, eating and other amenities?
My feeling is that Otaru and Sapporo are a bit far to drive each day...but I could be convinced otherwise...
Righto if you're coming for that long and you want to hit Niseko, Rusutsu and Kiroro then Kutchan would be good. Lots of great places to eat. I'm not sure about accomodation, but lots of staff end up in Kutchan so there's got to be something reasonable happening there, especially as the Hirafu prices keep rising.
I wouldn't move for that period of time.
Check this place out on AirBnB (Rankoshi)
There's a few such offerings if you are prepared to spend a few hours finding the diamonds.
It's a bit far to drive to where, from Otaru and Sapporo? If you mean Niseko, then you are better off elsewhere, but last season I spent 4 days staying at Niseko, and only spent one day skiing there (2 at Rusutsu & one at Kiroro)
Otaru & Sapporo are close to a number of mountains.
Yeah, that's kind of what I am looking at. I will do Niseko, but really Kiroro and Rusutsu hold more attraction, hence the thought Sapporo is a little too far for those resorts. Kutchan does seem quite central with good airbnb options.
Been asked by a guest re JR Pass - where is the best place to buy one in Australia? They are thinking of travelling after staying but will stay longer if the snow is good. They are getting prices around $335 but horrendous return fees if they don't use it - between $100-$200. I've done a quick search tonight but can't seem to turn up anything better that is based in Australia. Some of the o/s based ones only have a 10% fee. Advice appreciated.
Jtb travel - https://jtbtravel.com.au/
Is the Japanese government sponsored travel agency. Don't think you'll get cheaper/better service anywhere else.
Thanks TIS. I've checked them and the cancellation fee is fairly steep.
Spent a fair bit of time researching tonight, the things I do...
JNTO says there is a trial to sell the tickets upon arrival. (but 4,000 yen more expensive - 33,000 v 29,110) That should only mean a 10% cancellation fee. However I was worried about if the plane arrives at 7PM would the office still be open? However, after some more research I found:
JR EAST Travel Service Center – Narita Airport Terminal 2·3
Open 8:15 - 20:00, every day of the year
So if they land on time and get through customs/immigration promptly should be okay. Still a little fine for my liking though.
The pass can be bought in Niigata City Station, but not Nagano Station. Bit odd with the numbers of foreigners going through Nagano. Still, not a bad option as they can leave the decision until the last minute, take the local train up to Niigata, buy the pass and then start their longer journey from there.
Did you try H.I.S.? Haven't looked at the fine print.
Yep, same thing. Looks like ordering online from overseas is the best way if not buying in Japan.
japan-rail-pass.com only has a 10% cancellation fee and cost is A$330 each. Only hassle is that you have to send the unused voucher back to France to get a refund if needed.
2018 flights booked - 12 days skiing! Thinking about getting a car this time and trying to find somwehere 'central' that lends itself to day trips (45 mins/1 hr max one way) in Nagano/Nigata. Have found a cheap place at Tangram Ski Circus. So theory is to base ourselves there and do say 3 or 4 days at Tangram/Madarao and then drive to the likes of Myoko/Xjam(Mt Kosha)/Nozawa on the other days - Shiga Kogen may be a bit too far. Am I going to regret my plan drivetime wise? Distances (in winter?) are listed here http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/nagano/shinano/tangram-ski-circus but how long would it take to get to say Nozawa in winter (google says 50min) and Suginohara (google says 30 min) - no snow drive times I would assume. Other option may be to do the Yuzawa/Kagura/Naeba region - haven't been there previously but interested in hearing comments about basing ourselves there versus my current one?
If you have a car and want to do driving day trips have you considered Yuzawa? It would be perfect
I can do Akakura - Nozawa in 60 minutes in winter (if I don't stop at the bakery in Iiyama ). Should be no more than 30-35 minutes from Tangram. Shiga Kogen is definitely do-able but depends on how far you want to travel. Think about a day at Togari or maybe Kurohime too.
Sure you want to based at Tangram? Obviously you don't intend to be eating out.
Yes, have never been there before. Just need to be 'sold' on that being being a good area (or even less stressful option drive wise) for 12 days sking Would love to hear from anyone who has done both areas with car for say 7 to 10 days at each and hear their vote/experiences....
Thanks, it's very cheap (suprisingly so - cross my fingers) $95 Oz/night for two with brekky - Mori No Log Hotel Kamloops - lord knows where that name came from - anyone ever stayed there? Theory was to have an early dinner most nights at whichever resort I end up at eg You need to eat eartly in Nozawa if you don't have a booking
Base yourself at Myoko... easy for day trips everywhere, even the newly to be re-opened arai ski resort..
I did that this year & went to some great off the tourist trap ski resorts, all within around 1 hour drive
I think Sandy san recommended Nakano as a good option for the fields around there - Madarao/Myoko/Nozawa/Shiga Kogen/Kosha. Apparently very affordable accommodation too. Listen to the sensei.
@Born2ski @Born2skii did a cool trip around the smaller nigiita resorts
Can get you a better rate for two at Pension Petit House For You or Canadian House near Akakan I reckon. Better location to be based and you'll have maybe 12 resorts all within 5-45 minutes. That's what @ojisan and @Crispy013 have both done in the last two years.
Just checked and both these places are under $110 a night per twin as well
Mont Cervin Guest House
Ha, thought it was too good to be true - booking.com just rang to say the owner in Japan had just contacted them to say $95 should be the single person rate not for two! Been trying to find somehwere around the $100 mark (not easy and I realise I'm pushing it) to help pay for the car. Let me have a look and I'll PM you back - thanks.
You could ski the Yuzawa region for 12 days skiing a new resort every day and still not get around to all the resorts.
This is my trip report for the area from last year. Just keep in mind last year(2016) was a low snow year for Honshu.
Myoko (Akakura Onsen) is a good base with a nice snow village feel. Easy access to the 4 resorts at Myoko, then short proximity to Seki Onsen, Madarao/Tangram...and then venturing even further afield to say Togakushi, Kurohime or across to the other side of the valley with Nozawa, Ryuoo, Kijimdaira, Togari Onsen. Or if the snow is on, then head down towards the coast to try out Charmant or Cupid Valley. Plus Arai opening this season.
Or alternatively, base yourself in Yuzawa...
I really like Madarao/Tangram...............thats all I'm saying.
Edit: if you are looking for a great $50pp place in Madarao you really can't go past Pension Woody Hill. Looks average from the outside, but inside it is super super clean, well maintained and the hosts are great. Breakfast included, convenience store around the corner and other eats close by.
Talk about some bulk travel....just re-jigged the upcoming trip next season.
Land Fukuoka -> Kagoshima -> Fukuoka -> Beppu -> Hiroshima/Miyajima -> Himeji -> Kyoto -> Kanazawa -> Nagano -> Hakuba - > Nagano -> Tokyo -> Fly out Haneda.
Total land transport estimate: Y74,850 .
Unfortunately the way it falls day wise, the best value pass is 14 days which gets us all the way to Tokyo.
Revised land transport price (with pass): Y49,430. Savings of Y25,420 .
This is one example where the 14 day rail pass really pays off.
Gotta reinforce this...Stay in Myoko (Akakan) for the food and vibe, drive wherever the hell you want during the day...or ski there....lots of close options and Tangram is 20min away max....did that this year. Tangram, Madarao, Sugi, Seki, plus a few great days shock horror at Akakan itself
2018 Feb/Mar hokkaido trip booked too. Extend my stay a little longer, going to swing by Tomamu this time round too. Niseko is getting so crazily expensive, despite booking nearly 1yr in advance.
There are plenty of other places to explore on Hokkaido that aren't Niseko and are much cheaper!
I think the problem with Niseko is booking 1 year in advance. In Japan, that's telling you something. I know people like to stick with what they know and are comfortable with, but hey, at some point Niseko was the unknown and people went for it, so somewhere new cant be that daunting.
Can anyone provide accommodation recommendations for Kanazawa? Travelling parting includes 2 adults 2 children (9y & 7y). Well be in town for two nights after skiing at Nozawa in January 2018. Not really after flashy hotel international hotels, middle of the road will do. Thanks for your help!
If you want to visit Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle (and who wouldn't if you're going to Kanazawa?) then the Toyoko Inn Kanazawa Kenrokuen Korinbo is quite close. It's a standard Toyoko Inn with smallish rooms and a basic breakfast but their rates are reasonable. We stayed there for a few nights without any issues. I think they run a shuttle to the staion iirc. Some good restaurants fairly close by too.
Khaosan Kanazawa Family Hostel - not a great location but maybe good for a family
Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa - good location and has a great deal on a deluxe quad for only A$125
Stayed there two years in a row. Here's the trip reports with pics and info.
There are other options for ski in/ski out in Yuzawa. Check out Airbnb.
(Moved this post over here as I thought it was taking the trains and buses thread a little off track. )
Once you realise what else is out there in Hokkaido, and you are not obsessed with being in a ski town...
Ya, there are lots of other places to explore in Hokkaido, I guess it might b my last season in Niseko. As we dont drive, so if not staying in Hirafu, is kinda of hard to find food around.
Madarao or Myoko (Akakura) are good bases. Depends which resorts you want to ski. Madarao would be closer to more places though as it is central to 2 valleys. If you are hiring a car make sure there is car parking and that your accommodation is accessible if it really dumps.
Yuzawa could be another good option as there are so many resorts in that valley. Just be aware though that some resorts are really busy on the weekends and some resorts are quite small.
just make sure the inn-keepers snow blower is working eh @M_G
Obviously some in joke there but the real issue is the streets in some places. I picked a guest up from a place in one of the streets of the main drag in Akakura Onsen one night last season. Spent the whole time stressing about getting stuck. Saw 3 other cars stuck and abandoned in the street at the time. Not what you want!
is a joke (his snow blower broke down for the entire week I visited and I was parking overnight in the carpark behind the bus turning circle)
.. and I know what you mean about the snow.... when I left myoko this year, I was warned not to drive the car up to the lodge to pick up my gear as people were getting bogged in the snow all over the place and because of the rate of snow that was falling, the 'side' street was not a priority for the snow clearers.
And the car windows are wound up.
Double edged sword - too much snow makes the ski-in access much more fun but the drive up more adventurous. Very rarely any problem for our van, or for my neighbours. The problem more so is the punters who get stuck and block the street.