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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Handful of questions for Japan virgin

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
Atilz
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Atilz View Post
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
Atilz
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!!!!!

!!!!!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply Mizu.

I'm flying with Jetstar, and I have a 20kg checked baggage allowance. Is that what you meant or is there more I need to consider like trustworthiness?


Is there a particular brand and/or size you'd recommend as a good starter?

Beard: check! Balaclava: check!
As for a mid layer, and great brands you can recommend that I can pick up easily in Oz?

I think these Khombus I found will do the trick (assuming all the great reviews I've read are accurate). Not doing any hardcore climbing or anything.

Finally, if I don't Takkyubin the bag to the airport, what's the best way to take it? I've heard taking it on the Shinkansen will be a right PITA. Any suggestions? I really don't want to lose a day of boarding just so I can send the bag a day ahead of me.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 06:12 PM
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1. Check with your airline! I had checked my 17kg boardbag (split- and solud board, 2 bindings, poles, shovel, probe) with KLM/Delta/British for 100$ one way, but with Emirates it had cost double cos they have other conditions and only allow 10kg sport bags, i.e. every additional kg costs.

2. One gets used to a bagpack quickly... I ride with a rather heavy touring/avy bagpack and hardly recognize it. Just adjust it tightly to your body so it won't move too much.

3. Bring something warm. I've been wearing a down jacket under the shell almost every day now riding in Nagano area. Mostly chairlifts, rather slow, no covers to shield away the wind. It's often cloudy/snowing; no sun to warm you up. Absolutely bring a face mask. Don't bring hand warmers. They have them here for very low price.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Atilz View Post
Thanks for the quick reply Mizu.

I'm flying with Jetstar, and I have a 20kg checked baggage allowance. Is that what you meant or is there more I need to consider like trustworthiness?


Is there a particular brand and/or size you'd recommend as a good starter?

Beard: check! Balaclava: check!
As for a mid layer, and great brands you can recommend that I can pick up easily in Oz?

I think these Khombus I found will do the trick (assuming all the great reviews I've read are accurate). Not doing any hardcore climbing or anything.

Finally, if I don't Takkyubin the bag to the airport, what's the best way to take it? I've heard taking it on the Shinkansen will be a right PITA. Any suggestions? I really don't want to lose a day of boarding just so I can send the bag a day ahead of me.
Jetstar are pretty basic when it comes to air travel, but they're baggage rules while straight forward, are pretty good!!!!! If you look like you're gonna take more than 20kg, then pre book cause it'll be cheaper!!!!!

Try and keep it all in the one wheelie bag, then that way riding the Shinkansen back to Tokyo will be easy!!!!! Aim to ride the Shinkansen outside of peak hour times if possible, and pay the extra few Yen for a reserved seat so ya got room to put your bags at the end of the carriage!!!!! It won't be that hectic with only one wheelie bag and a backpack, and definitely not worth missin a day of riding!!!!!

Mid layers, go for something Merino!!!!! Doesn't have to be name brand!!!!!

!!!!!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah the baggage allowance was already part of the airfare so that's sorted. In terms of taking the Shinkansen and Narita express back, do you mean I need to get a green reserved ticket? They're pretty exxy. Or just the normal reserved ticket?

And how does the end of carriage thing work? When I spoke to a travel agent about it, they weren't sure a snowboard bag would fit.

And lastly with the middle layer, would it work well if I've got a merino base layer then another merino middle inside the jacket?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Atilz View Post
Yeah the baggage allowance was already part of the airfare so that's sorted. In terms of taking the Shinkansen and Narita express back, do you mean I need to get a green reserved ticket? They're pretty exxy. Or just the normal reserved ticket?

And how does the end of carriage thing work? When I spoke to a travel agent about it, they weren't sure a snowboard bag would fit.

And lastly with the middle layer, would it work well if I've got a merino base layer then another merino middle inside the jacket?
Just normal reserved!!!!! Green is like First Class!!!!! There'll be room, just make sure you're in reserved and get in line early!!!!! Avoid Peak!!!!! There's a place behind the back seats in the carriage for board bags!!!!!

Merino + Merino = Warm and Dry!!!!!

I personally don't feel the cold cause I run hot, and I wear the same in Japan as I do over here in Australia!!!!! Bar a face covering of sorts!!!!!

!!!!!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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OK one more quick question.
Shinkansen seems sorted (I assume I just buy a ticket at the booth at Nagano or online before leaving Hakuba?)
What about from Tokyo to Narita (again I'm assuming this is the method of travel to Narita from Tokyo?) Is it just as easy to take the bag with me, or will I just have to hold it upright in my lap or something?

My plane flies out of Narita at 20:25. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my planned journey from Hakuba to Narita (according to Hyperdia) is:

- Alpico shuttle bus from Hakuba Goryu at 13:25 to Nagano station, arriving 14:30
- Shinkansen from Nagano at 15:03 to Ueno station(??), arriving 16:22, then I need to walk... (WTF?!) to Keisei Ueno
- Catch Keisei Skyliner 49 at 17:00 to Narita Terminal 2, arriving 17:41. Then another 20min walk to terminal 3 (WTF?!)
- 2-3 hour wait until take off

I would have thought I'd take the Shinkansen to Tokyo Station, then the Narita Express from there to Narita... have I muddled myself somehow?

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 04:50 PM
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Just buy tickets at the JR Counter in Nagano, and don't stress about the board bag!!!!! It's manageable!!!!!

Hyperdia will give a few options depending on times!!!!! But that option sounds right!!!!! Kiesei is only 300m walk from Ueno!!!!!

One thing is, if it were me I'd leave earlier!!!!! But maybe that's just me?????

I've never used the new terminal at Narita, cause that's the one Jetstar use!!!!! But I've heard it's a bit of a pain in the arse!!!!! Maybe there's a shuttle service????? Look at the airport website!!!!!

!!!!!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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One thing is, if it were me I'd leave earlier!!!!! But maybe that's just me?????
No, that's fine. I'll take anyone's advice who been there and done it. I was gonna walk around Hakuba for a little while in the morning before leaving but I eventually need to face the reality that my holiday is over anyway T_T

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I've never used the new terminal at Narita, cause that's the one Jetstar use!!!!! But I've heard it's a bit of a pain in the arse!!!!! Maybe there's a shuttle service????? Look at the airport website!!!!!
I'll have a look. Do you know what kind of issues people have had with it?
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