Apologies for the long post, but I wanna be prepared for my first Japan trip and make the most of it. I'll be hitting Hakuba in Mid Feb for just under two weeks, planning on boarding all day, every day.
1. When packing, is it better to pack as much as possible into my board bag? I can pretty much cram everything in there except my helmet, which is just a bit too tall to fit. I was going to carry that on the plane with me. Failing that, where else could/would I carry stuff, and what sort of stuff should I leave out of the board bag?
This also ties in to another issue I've read about, with the risk of the airline sending my bag to the wrong airport. Someone suggested wearing as much of my gear as possible on the plane, but the idea of wearing boarding pants and jacket onto the plane is ridiculous to me.
2. I'm considering getting a backpack, like a 20L or so. But there are pros and cons of both getting or not getting it. I've heard a lot about backpacks throwing out your balance too much for it to be worth it, but at the same time I'm likely to need it for carrying stuff around like drinks, snacks, layers, camera stuff (GoPro and attachments, not SLR or anything like that).
3. Clothing: So far I've only hit Aus/NZ slopes, and I understand there's a huge difference between here and Japan. How many/what kind of layers will I typically need? At the moment I'll be wearinga Surfanic 10k/10k jacket, and Analog pants. As a given I'd be wearing a merino long sleeved shirt, probably no long johns unless I need them.
4. I need some good recommendations for shoes for when I'm not boarding. I came across a pair of Khumbo boots at my local ski shop that had good treads and claimed to be waterproof, but some online reading provided mixed reviews, some really good, and some terrible.
5. Thoughts on Ski-Takkyubin. I'm flying into Kyoto, and will need my stuff at Hakuba about 5-6 days later. Then I'll need to ship off my stuff to Narita the day before I leave. I'm not worried it won't arrive at Hakuba, but not sure if I ship it on the second last day, will it make it to Narita the day of my flight? Or would I be best to just carry the bag with me? Also, what kind of insurance do they offer? What happens if they lose my bag?
Thanks in advance
1. All depends on the Airline you use!!!!!
2. Yes Backpacks can be shit to ride with, but you'll get used to it, and besides that where else would you put all that stuff if ya don't get one?????
3. Usually any waterproof/breathability rating is fine in Japan due to the snow being so dry (can't say this about this year though?????, but if you feel the cold, then layer up!!!!! Exposed skin is the critical part, so wear a face mask or grow a beard!!!!!
4. Any waterproof style boots will do, if you're just walking around town!!!!! Look for something with a good tread, or get cleats/spikes if ya clumsy on ice!!!!! (Or wobbly when intoxicated)
5. Takkyubin from Kyoto to Hakuba, but 1 day isn't really enough to guarantee delivery on leg home!!!!! Not sure about insurance, but never heard of them ever losing anyone's gear!!!!!