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Old 09-05-2014, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trip to Japan from US

Thinking of making a trip to Japan Jan-Mar, 2015. Just starting my research, so collecting any/all advice I can get. Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Consistent Pow > terrain. Trees, glades and reasonable variety would be ideal. Not looking for anything really gnarly as long as not too flat with lots of traverses. Garden variety blues and blacks like in Colorado or Utah would be fine, if that helps
  • Mostly lift served, but short hikes okay too
  • 12-14 days of boarding everyday is the plan
  • Planning to stay and ride in one location for the duration, so reasonable resort size or multiple mountains in the same area would be nice

So:
  1. Which place(s) in Japan should I be looking at and when in the season?
  2. Tips on when and how to get good airfare from the US (esp. from Dallas)?
  3. For a first time, I was thinking of a package trip that includes lodging, airport transfers, lift tickets and meals for the duration. Any outfits in the US that do this on a regular basis? Your tips/recos based on experience if you've gone this route before?

Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidj View Post
Thinking of making a trip to Japan Jan-Mar, 2015. Just starting my research, so collecting any/all advice I can get. Here's what I'm looking for:
[LIST]
So:
  1. Which place(s) in Japan should I be looking at and when in the season?
  2. Tips on when and how to get good airfare from the US (esp. from Dallas)?
  3. For a first time, I was thinking of a package trip that includes lodging, airport transfers, lift tickets and meals for the duration. Any outfits in the US that do this on a regular basis? Your tips/recos based on experience if you've gone this route before?

Thanks.
My suggestion, go to Hokkaido and be based in Niseko. Take day trips to Rutsutsu if you get bored with the 4 areas and slackcountry at Niseko. Late December through February should be ridiculous. Check out these guys for info on what kind of itinerary you can put together Hokkaido's Backcountry Powder Specialists | Black Diamond Tours Niseko, Japan (or hell, get one of their 2 week package deals, they look insane).

I'm heading to Niseko for 10 over Christmas break. We got a ridiculously cheap airfare r/t from Portland to Sapporo/New Chitose for $1100 on Hawaiian Airlines. You can probably find routes connected from DFW pretty easily. My sister booked an apartment with these guys Niseko Accommodation | HT Holidays but there are a couple of hotel options as well as BD tours chalet & a hostel.


I don't know a whole lot about what's available in Hakuba (on the main island where Tokyo is), but I'm sure someone with more knowledge can add to that.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I will check these out. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are fine with staying at a Hostel I would highly recommend;
niseko-backpackers.com
You could stay in their actual hotel building or their hostel, I have only stayed in the hostel but I have to say it was one of the best times I have had. The crew there pretty much treat you like family, and by the time you leave you are thinking of them as family as well. You also form connections with the other people staying there allowing you to go out and do more during the day and night.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are fine with staying at a Hostel I would highly recommend;
niseko-backpackers.com
You could stay in their actual hotel building or their hostel, I have only stayed in the hostel but I have to say it was one of the best times I have had. The crew there pretty much treat you like family, and by the time you leave you are thinking of them as family as well. You also form connections with the other people staying there allowing you to go out and do more during the day and night.
Awesome! I'm really down with staying in a hostel. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Feb is a great time to go to Japan!!!!!

Some people reckon Chinese New Year is good to avoid, but I have never noticed the difference in crowds?????

Weekends and public holidays on Honshu however, are a different thing!!!!! The groomers are like Shibuya Crossing at peak hour!!!!!

As for what resort!!!!! Start by havin a look here!!!!! Japan Snow | Where to Ski in Japan | Snowboarding

Transport, etiquette, etc, here!!!!! japan-guide.com - Japan Travel and Living Guide

If thinkin Niseko, be careful in regards to where you're based, as the names of areas and their location can be a little misleading!!!!!

And two week minimum is a great idea, as even Japan can and does experience those warm front wonders in winter!!!!!
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi David,

We are doing a trip to Niseko from Feb 1st - Feb 14th.
Offering lift pass, airport transfers, luxury chalet accommodation, breakfast, dinner, coaching, photos, videos and more.

Just had a look online and flights from Dallas to Sapporo in Feb are $1300.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions. Here is a link with more info;

Niseko Ski and Snowboard Camp - Nexus Camps

Lottie
Nexus Camps | Dynamic Snow Sports Company
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Word of warning.
Niseko is the biggest shitfight in Japan, all the chumps go there. Its 50x more crowded than anywhere else in Japan and you wont see many locals there at all.
Not hating just stating facts
There are lots of resorts in Japan that have awesome snow, better terrain and almost nobody there, in Niseko you are competing with thousands of people for every line.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETM View Post
Word of warning.
Niseko is the biggest shitfight in Japan, all the chumps go there. Its 50x more crowded than anywhere else in Japan and you wont see many locals there at all.
Not hating just stating facts
There are lots of resorts in Japan that have awesome snow, better terrain and almost nobody there, in Niseko you are competing with thousands of people for every line.
some quality advice right there, noted!
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETM View Post
Word of warning.
Niseko is the biggest shitfight in Japan, all the chumps go there. Its 50x more crowded than anywhere else in Japan and you wont see many locals there at all.
Not hating just stating facts
There are lots of resorts in Japan that have awesome snow, better terrain and almost nobody there, in Niseko you are competing with thousands of people for every line.
So which do you recommend... Hokkaido?
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