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Old 01-19-2010, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just got back from sweet powder at Shiga Kogen in Nagano. Put up 7 new posts while nursing my cold.

Overview

The view from Giant

Cock refilling

Japanese totem poles


Egg gondolas

Narrative

Okojo
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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cool. Japan is way outside of my budget, but maybe some day when I have the corner office I can find the time & money to get there. I've seen pictures & vids and it looks unreal.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This isn't anywhere close to where the videos are shot. Japan is doable...just takes planning and saving. But, it is expensive. I'm already here so it's a bit more affordable.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Beautiful. Other than the expenses of getting there. What are the prices like for lodging nearby, lift tickets and food and such?

Do they get crowded on weekends like the states? It looks empty which I would love and so be worth the $$.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lodging varies in price, given the range of hotels to hostels. If you go to my site, lots of them advertise there. The big trick to booking rooms - understanding what's being said. Traditionally, Japan charges by the person more than by the room. However, some places are going "Western" and charging by the room. Hostels can be found under $50 per night. Hotels will be around $100 for a nice enough place.

Food is comparable in price to Keystone or A-Basin or you can pay a lot more if you feel flush. Quality-wise, I love Japanese food...as you can see on my blog.

Lift tickets are around $50 per day on average.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Seems the prices are similar to the places here if not slightly cheaper. Is car rental a problem expensive though?

I'll be reading through your blog to find more info.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Car rental is expensive and difficult.

If I was making my first trip to Japan (or second or third for that matter), I'd go to Niseko. It almost always has good snow and more people speak English...albeit with an odd Aussie accent .

Most of the movies shoot here. It is epic. There's another smaller, more remote place that sometimes works better but you don't want to go there for your first trip. Might overdose you on the Japanese experience ;-)

You fly into the airport in Hokkaido. Take a bus to your hotel/hostel/etc. Ride until your legs turn to jello. Return. If budget permitted, I would also hire a guide for a day or two just so you find the good stuff. I had friends but may still use a guide next time just to find new good stuff.

Bring your own gear. It's expensive to rent things here, sizes are difficult, and I'm not impressed with rental quality (generally here or anywhere). Inexpensive delivery services (Black Cat and others) can take your gear from the airport to the hotel. Your hotel can make recommendations.

After the first trip, you might consider driving but most people don't. Car rental, tolls, driving on the left, etc make it more difficult. Public transportation works so well, there's no need.

Most of Japan works best carless unless you live here and have a place to park. Living on a base, parking is easy for me. Most Japanese folks don't have cars.

Use the site. Google Niseko. You'll also see Annapurna. They're side-by-side. You'll ride both. As with any place, the longer you stay, the better your chance of an epic trip. Definitely you should stay a week or more just because travel is so expensive and time consuming. You want to get your money back.

If you don't have one, get your passport in the works. It's not always a quick process and you can't go without it.
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