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Old 06-01-2014, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Japan for Christmas & New Year

Just starting to plan a trip to Japan it's gotta be over the Christmas holidays beause of the wifes job. She's also instructed we've gotta do a couple of nights in Tokyo because she lived there and wants to show daughter around.
I've been looked through the threads on Japan and i'm trying to work out where the best place to go gonna have 10 nights in the mountains so don't want to do a shed load of travelling while we're there and waste snowboarding time.
Basing ourselves in Hakuba seems our best bet, any thoughts and advise would be appreciated.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With daughter in tow, I'd look at Nozawa!!!!!

Stay in a Ryokan, eat out at some cool Izakaya, do the Onsen Shuffle, and go see the Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani!!!!! * Unless its a deep pow day, go see the monkeys on a weekend so as to avoid the crowds in the hill!!!!!

If you were/are there jan 15th, the fire festival is also on in Nozawa!!!!!

Access is super easy via Shinkansen from Tokyo > Nagano, then bus Nagano > Nozawa!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's gonna be from about the 20th dec the wife is a head teacher so we can only have school holidays. Daughters not the problem she's skiing at competition level and races slalom in the uk and can't wait for some pow, the wife however likes nice gentle slopes to cruise down so as long as she's happy it's more about the pow runs.
The snow monkeys do look cool.

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Old 06-02-2014, 02:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Plenty of Pow to be had at Nozawa anyways!!!!!

And Jogokudani can be easily accessed via Hakuba as well!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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From my step brother who came in early feb - Nozawa can be a bit tough in the middle bit when the pow is deep, especially for snowboarders (the mountain is sort of a circus tent shape, steep, flaaaat, then steep again). He really preferred shiga kogen for variety, and said he would have skipped nozawa if he knew.

My first and only experience with Nozawa as a ski resort was during a very icy period, The top area was basically a steep ice rink and not at all fun. Lower sections were good, i did enjoy it, but it wasnt "OMG!" good.

The Onsens there however are amazing.... But might not be all that enjoyable for a first timer? I am not talking about the paid onsens; you have them near almost all ski resorts. Nozawa is famous for the 13 public onsens which are community maintained. You can go onsen-hopping and see all sorts of different onsens. BUT they are hot as hell. Like 45 deg C or more hot. For an Onsen first timer this would be basically unbearable (it hurts to put your hand in it the first time).

But, its one of the popular areas for Australians at the moment, so you will see more English spoken there, even some non-smoking bars (spun me out - I had never seen that in Japan before).
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, there is a flat transition between the top and bottom of the mountain, but once ya work it out it's not a big deal!!!!! Either ride the top area, or the bottom dependent on conditions and crowds!!!!!

There's plenty of off piste and out of bounds if ya keen though, and when it pukes, it really does puke!!!!! Has to be the deepest pow I've ever ridden!!!!! Scary Deep!!!!!

But on second thoughts, seein as ya goin around the 20th, it might even pay to go North, and get a more reliable chance of powder in Hokkaido?????

The travel from Tokyo is no real biggie as there's regular flights, and heaps of buses to get ya to ya destination!!!!! Plus the seafood is awesome, if ya like a bit of crab!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wanted to go to Hokkaido but the connecting flights seem pretty pricey, although I might be looking in the wrong place and it means we'll lose time on the mountain.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You will lose a day to internal travel each way if you fly to hokkaido or train to nagano.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETM View Post
You will lose a day to internal travel each way if you fly to hokkaido or train to nagano.
Half a day at push.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francium View Post
I wanted to go to Hokkaido but the connecting flights seem pretty pricey, although I might be looking in the wrong place and it means we'll lose time on the mountain.
Should not be more than JPY10k/flight - and can be as low as JPY5k.
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