Resource Japan 2018 thread

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

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  1. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    Google translate (with the Japanese language pack pre-downloaded) was pretty handy the last time I was in Japan. Sure you get a few laughs every now and then, but it's solid enough for the meaning to get through most of the time. Being able to take photos of text and get a rough translation out of it can be very handy too.
     
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  2. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Yeah super handy.

    I thought Id introduced all my boys to it ages ago but must've missed the photo translate bit with the youngest. I was using Soy Sauce last night and trying to work out which one from my multi speciality pack would be the best to use for the purpose and grabbed my phone to read the packs - kids mind was blown.
     
  3. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's great to see the tech come together. I think the origin of it was Google Goggles, a little app that came out in around 2010 where you could take a picture and google would attempt to find the object using image searches, and do it's best to translate any foreign text. 7 years later, and after what must have been an absolute metric shit-tonne of reference data, they really are bringing us an app with functionality that would have been considered science fiction a few decades back.
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    You don't even need to take a photo....
    Just line up in the photo window, and Google translate will translate text in real time via your camera, and superimpose the English text over the Japanese.
     
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  5. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Its magic!

    Although I have found on stuff with lots of text that the translation can jump around a bit and taking a photo and highlighting individually each section will give you a better translation.
     
  6. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    Ah yep, It's been a month or 4. I was just looking at some youtube videos actually. What an age we are living in:emoji_four_leaf_clover:

     
  7. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

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    Google translate sounds amazing! It may make grocery shopping a whole lot easier, especially with my ridiculous food intolerances.
     
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  8. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Finally locked in our end of season flight home on 4th April.

    Happy, but also sad.

    Our flight leaves a few hours after we've put the folks on a flight, and gets in the early evening before the 3rd offsprings 21st Birthday. Perfect timing.

    But it marks the end of our 4 month long Ferris Buellers day off. And who would want that to end!
     
  9. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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  10. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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  11. Any

    Any Active Member

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    i tried this a couple of times but every time it failed pretty bad. its been months since i tried again, but it seemed that it doesnt do japanese well at all. taking a photo and selecting the text gives me much better translations still.
     
  12. Pelm1

    Pelm1 Dedicated Member
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    Watch out for the sneaky extra stop in Taipei on the way back on the afternoon flights... I prefer Singapore airlines..
     
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  13. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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    Mega rain / floods in the SW. :(
     
  14. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    Yeah ive seen some serious rainfall occurring lately.
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    516mm of rain in 24 hours, and 308mm of that in 4 hours.
    Collision of Rainy Season stationary boundary, aftermath of the typhoon, and a northerly in-feed of cooler air.
     
  16. TJ

    TJ Dedicated Member
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    470mm here over 3 days. We don't really flood in this area as the water naturally absorbs so much and the rivers are built up for it. If you have been to Japan then you know they love to throw a dam wall up. Effective water management actually. There was a real threat of landslide in certain areas with a major warning bulletin for the valley. Some friends took heed of the warnings and moved out of home for a night. I would too. Roads and rail were closed in certain areas. Engineers were monitoring the bridges constantly. Totally different threat here to SE Oz where flooding is the main concern. There are lots of old water courses through the Echoland area and we are built up on river rock. Fixed that problem with the dams many years ago. River rock seems the saving grace though when it comes to the earthquake issue. Rock beats dirt in my limited experience.
     
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  17. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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    According to a report............Fukuoka prefecture on Kyushu was hit by 774mm of rain in nine hours, more than twice the amount that falls in a normal month of July.
    Looks like a mess.
     
  18. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Heading down there in 6 days. Hope it clears up a bit. Been a fair bit of rain here in Myoko with some relatively minor damages to roads and walking trails.
     
  19. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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    Looks like a disaster zone down there (going by the footage I just saw on TV).
    TV said the government had sent 7,800 personnel down there to assist in relief.
     
  20. PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member
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    My god that island cops some weather.
     
  21. notty

    notty Active Member

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    Hey guys, I've been reading through some of these past threads trying to get an idea of where it would be best for us to visit, would love if you could give us some advice. There's 4 of us travelling, 3 of us advanced and one intermediate telemark skiers, so we need somewhere where we can hire telemark skis. We're travelling in late january, so are thinking probably best to avoid Niseko as the rest of Australia will be there. Only travelling for about 8 days so thinking staying on Honshu would be the best choice? would love some input!
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Furano.
    https://www.backcountryskihirejapan.com/
    @telenomore posts here also.
    He is also your man if you want some backcountry guiding in the region.
     
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  23. Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member
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    Another vote for Furano @notty
    Cool town, nowhere near as busy as Hirafu, great mountain, good touring options, and if you have a car a few other resorts are a good day trip.
     
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  24. notty

    notty Active Member

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    Thanks guys, does look like a great place, loving the look of the side and backcountry, any tips on accommodation? everything seems sold out for anything longer than a few nights.
     
  25. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    On Honshu, definitely Hakuba and Myoko Kogen, pretty sure Yuzawa especially Kagura and maybe Nozawa Onsen and Madarao.
     
  26. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Where are you looking for accom? It's common for Japanese places to not release their availability until a few months out. Try email the places you're interested in directly, rather than use booking websites. You will sometimes get cheaper prices that way too :)
     
  27. Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member
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  28. Kimski

    Kimski Well-Known Member

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    I've booked flights to and from Adelaide and most of my accommodation. All I need now is a flight from Kansai to Sapporo. Looked at Jetstar Japan but no flights for sale in February next year. Any idea when they will be available?
     
  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Japanese domestic budget airfares can usually only be booked a few months in advance.
    For a trip in February 2014 I booked a Jetstar flight in September and a Skymark flight in November.
     
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  30. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    New Beginner Quads for Annupuri, Niseko Village and the Hirafu Ace Family lift for 2017.

    They are not going to access new terrain or get rid of the bottlenecks at the Ace Quad or Gondola, but they are long overdue, will improve the beginner experience in Niseko massively and improve the bottlenecked access point at the family lift somewhat.

    It's good news!

    Quite a few beginners head up the Ace Quad too early because the Family pair is terrifying for them to get off. Keeping them there (happily) longer will mean they will gain more skills and confidence before going up the Quad.
    They're also putting the terminus higher up the hill, so the family course will be longer. I'll be interested to see if there is any earth works to smooth out the hill where the current terminus is or if all the beginners will need to go through the lower narrower pathway, coz they sure as heck won't have the speed to crest the hill.

    Best news for the new Annupuri lift is it can take you from the low point near the Quad/Gondie stations up the hill to the restaurants when you pop out that side from Gate 7! No need to hoof uphill for lunch :p
     
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  31. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Ok need some advice from the Niseko experts. @LMB and others ?

    Considering options for the first week of our January trip. How busy does Niseko get in January ? In particular, what are crowds like around Niseko Annupuri and Moiwa. Will I spend a lot of time standing in lift lines ?
     
  32. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Short answer. Yes.
    It's busy.
    (No where near as busy as Aus in the school holidays though!!!)

    Less so at Moiwa.

    Hirafu is the craziest.
    But the queues are bad only on the base lifts (Gondola/Ace Quad/Ace Family). And mainly in the early morning. It's manageable elsewhere and later in the day. It's not too bad when everything is open as it spreads people out across the hill. If higher lifts are on wind hold it's crazy - drive around to Annupuri/Moiwa or Hanazono.

    Tips to cope:

    If you're starting in Hirafu buy the early bird lift access for the Quad and get 2 runs in before the general population.

    Get up high onto the more difficult lifts as quickly as possible and stay high until after lunch. Or get out the gates.

    If you've got a car start elsewhere - Annupuri/Moiwa/Hanazono.

    Lift queues significantly reduce over the lunch period. Consider taking lunch early or late or on the go.

    First time openings will get a big queue. First tracks after a dump. First time the peak gate opens. Etc.
     
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  33. MadPow

    MadPow Just Registered

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    Agree, I have now reverted to contacting accommodation places directly firstly via email in english and a Japanese google translate in the email. Works 90% of the time. A lot of places will take a booking and you dont have to pay until arrival.
     
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  34. Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member
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    Hanazono first lifts are quiet until the Hirafu crowd arrives. Always good for some quick runs before moving higher. Try Rusutsu too although it gets lots of Sapporo regulars on weekends. The front of Hirafu is ridiculous these days Annapuri is always a good starting point esp if you know where to go out of the gates
     
  35. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Last thing I need to do flightwise is book 2 lots of 6 tix domestically.

    CTS-Tokyo in Feb
    CTS to Hiroshima in March/April.

    Cheapest prices are about $500 and $700 respectively, but if I look for September (a few months from today) they go down to less than $200 each. I'm assuming I am absolutely doing the right thing by leaving it until November/January to book. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I only checked today because the car hire place had a bit of a fit by me giving them an end date for car hire but no flight out.
     
  36. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    Research the tickets available to non-Japanese for internal flights. Not sure where you will find them. Might be worth emailing or phoning ANA and JAL. This may help https://www.ana.co.jp/wws/us/e/wws_common/promotions/share/experience_jp/
     
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  37. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Hi all, after ditching plans to head to the USA this Jan (logistics getting too difficult, and therefore too $$$$), now turning my attention back to my beloved Japan.

    Having last skied Myoko Kogen in the dreaded season of 2016 (don't get me wrong, had a great time), I'm looking for something different for the family Jan 2018. Currently thinking Nozawa Onsen (possibly Shiga Kogen).

    But I'm trying to get an understanding on the differences between the resorts. ie scale, ease of access (both there and around the resort), other activities etc. Focus on No

    English speaking ski school is a must.

    I liked Myoko Kogen, and having done that once (and have done Furano before that pre kids), I know the benefits and the limits (and therefore could probably plan a bit better - eg having a car to get to the other resorts near by, or have your accommodation take you there and pick you up would be highly beneficial). This was compounded by having the kids on ski school and the lack of fresh and needing to be back.

    But luckily we were at Myoko Kogen that year. Shiga had nothing...

    I guess the focus question is on Nozawa Onsen as that is probably the first consideration.

    Other activities near by / easy to get to is important for my wife as she doesn't want to ski everyday.
     
  38. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    You can find discount domestic airline discounts on Japan-guide.com. Search for "japan-guide discount air tickets"
     
  39. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I'm not aware of any English ski school at Shiga Kogen, as it's very much a Japanese style resort complex. Shiga has the snow monkeys nearby, and snowmobiling near the Prince Hotel. It's the largest lifted area on one ticket in Japan, with maybe 80 lifts. The elevation is high, so snow quality is good, and sometimes when it's raining on the bottom half of order resorts, it's snow at Shiga. It's not difficult to get to from Nagano. It very quiet during the mid week, except for loads of slow moving school groups.
     
  40. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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  41. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Thanks Sandy... that rules at Shiga then... I was only vaguely considering Shiga Kogen for the size (ie for me). No good skiing there without English speaking ski school as that negates that one!

    So I guess my question is on Nozawa Onsen then.
     
  42. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Ok I'll look into that too, but I think Nozawa Onsen was my preference.
     
  43. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Noz will have you covered with a English ski school, all one mountain with easy village access. So you can go ski the fresh and your kids can have their lessons, and then you can meet for lunch somewhere on the hill. Because Nozawa is one of the most popular destinations for gaijin accommodation can book out relatively early though, so start looking soon!
     
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  44. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Are there other resorts near by for day trips...
     
  45. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Yes as long as you have your own car. Nozawa is a big enough resort to keep you busy for 4-5 days probably, how long are you staying?
     
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  46. PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member
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    Skymark fly Sapporo/Tokyo but don't release fares until about two months before departure.
    Why is the car rental company interested in when you fly out?
     
  47. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Madaro, Ryuoo Ski Park and Kijimadaira are all 20-30 minutes drive
     
  48. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Forms.
    I don't know.
    Makes no sense.

    Neither does taking the booking from 6 months before the END date. Shouldn't it be START date.

    Anyhooo it's all ok. I've got what I want (I think) just gotta jump the bureaucratic hoops.
     
  49. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Cool. Thanks. Trying to work out how long to stay. Good to know that Madaro is that close as was thinking of going there too. Thinking up to 7 days ski time, but that depends on the balance of ski / non ski time (ie what we can easily do off the mountain).
     
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  50. silva

    silva Active Member

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    Hi Funky
    Sorry to hear your plans for the US did not work out - Japan is a awesome alternative though. I have not been to Myoko but spent a week in Nozawa in Jan this year (after 10 days in Hakuba). We found the village of Nozawa to be great - the onsens, restaurants and tourist shops are fun to wonder around and there was lots to see and investigate. After spending the start of this trip and our last trip in Hakuba we found the mountain to be underwhelming though. During the week a lot of the middle lifts do not operate which means spending time on cat tracks getting from one run to another. I would certainly recommend Nozawa for beginner families - there is a lot of green terrain but the harder terrain takes time and effort to get to and from (I am sure this would be easier for skiers rather than our boarding family - Mr 7 often got frustrated with the long cat tracks).

    There is a ski school in Nozawa which offers English speaking lessons but my advice is to do your homework and double check with them that there will be group lessons available when you are there. We discovered that Group lessons in English were only available "when sufficient prebookings have been made" for skiing kids and not at all for snowboarders - only Private lessons were available for snowboarding kids. Out of the week we were there people we met only managed to get their kids in to group lessons 2 days out of 7 - the other days the only option available was for them to pay for private lessons and as their kids were very different abilities that would have meant paying for 2 private instructors which was very expensive. Quote from the website:
    "Group lessons for very first timers are run daily for infants, children and adults for both ski and snowboard.
    Group lessons for other ability levels may be available depending on instructor availability. "

    Your other option if lessons in English are a must is Hakuba.
    We have used both Evergreen snow school based at Happo and Hakuba snowsports based at Imori for kids lessons (snowboarding for our son but met others whose kids were skiing as well). Both were good options - not the slick sort of operation you get in the US and Canada though. Both schools offer group lessons in English and do full and half day lessons. Hakuba snowsports is the smaller of the two companies but we thought it offered the better service overall and had a much better on mountain location - it is a bit harder to get to though - no walking distance accommodation but we caught a direct bus from Happo.
     
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