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Tristan-NZ 11-06-2011 04:02 AM

Planning Japan Trip Jan/Feb '12 (Help us)
Hi guys

Me and my girlfriend are planning a trip to Japan skiing (her) and snowboarding (me) in Jan/Feb '12 and we'd love to you to offer your experiences and suggestions.

Neither of us have been there so we have no idea what to expect or where to go so any advice is greatly appreciated. A few things we'd like, not sure if it narrows down the list of places:

-Trees :)
-Wide, long runs

We aren't really after park; also if you have any suggestions on places to stay that'd be great too!

Thanks in advance.

RaID 11-06-2011 05:33 AM

quite a bit of info here

fire away with any other questions after youve gone throught the above thread

dreampow 11-06-2011 06:40 AM

Its got to be Hokkaido for big pow or Nagano is also very good but not quite as much consistency with the snow.
The post above shows a link to a thread where this is explained in much more detail

check this guy out

he might hook you and your girlfriend up for a 2 week stay if he can't find a share partner (I suspect he won't this late).

Tristan-NZ 11-06-2011 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by RaID (Post 434060)
quite a bit of info here

fire away with any other questions after youve gone throught the above thread

Already had a thorough browse through there :)

Nagano and Hokkaido sound good but I'm not a very experienced powder rider (Never :confused:) so will that be difficult? I'm not afraid to learn of course, and I usually end up throwing myself down something above my level and improve by pushing boundaries. Obviously this is personal, but in your opinions would that be unwise in powder?

Nagano , Niseko, Hokkaido and Hakuba seem to be the standouts from my research..

Hakuba seems good as it's close to Tokyo (we may want some tourist days) and it has 10 resorts, 140 lifts and 200 runs. Seems to me like a good flexible option. What are your thoughts?

Tristan-NZ 11-06-2011 03:56 PM

We are now looking at going to Hakuba/Nozawa Onsen on a 14 night ski package.

It includes 7 nights accommodation at "The Lab" in Hakuba and the other 7 nights in Nozawa Onsen.

- 5 days multi-resort lift passes Hakuba valley - valid at Happo One, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Goryu, Iwatake, Cortina and Tsugaike
- 5 day lift pass for Nozawa Onsen

RaID 11-06-2011 05:54 PM

Sounds like a good choice, youll get quite a bit of variety all those places.

Is that tour with Liquid Tours? I just hope he has sorted his sh!t out, i went on one of his first tours to Japan, a lets say it left a lot to be desired. Regardless you going to have a great time and great terrain to hit up.

dreampow 11-06-2011 05:59 PM

late January is probably the most consistent weather wise. Early February is sweet too but after that it can be variable.
Sometimes we have amazing powder as late as April but If I were you I'd go late January. Less crowds too after the new year rush.
I think you'll love it.
You might see me at Nozawa onsen, If so I'll show you some sweet tree runs. I posted a vid of me in the other link you read. I wear the same Jacket and its pretty noticeable. Only trouble is catching me up;).
Let me know your dates when you have them.
I just go when the powder falls so hopefully I'll see you there.:D

Take some time to learn a few words of Japanese and you'll reap the benefits. Also learn the bathing practices for hot springs.
Don't step into any buildings with shoes on unless there is no place to leave shoes near the entrance or you see Japanese people doing so. If its a shoes off building (many old style restaurants and inns as well as all hot baths) there will be a noticeable step near the entrance. Take your shoes off there and put them where everyone else is putting them.
I often see foreigners do this wrong and the locals get pissed but the foreigners can't understand why.

Also wash yourself with soap before you get in the bath tub. Some young Japanese dudes don't do this properly but its correct etiquette.

Have a blast.

Tristan-NZ 11-06-2011 06:54 PM

Thanks for your advice! My girlfriend really loves her tree runs. We live in New Zealand where trees runs are very sparce where we ride. She's skiied most places, France, B.C, Colorado, Utah etc. I'm limited to NZ so this will be my first overseas snow trip (and I'm amping)

After reading that Hakuba withdraws passes for OOB (I assume tree runs?) it's a slight deterrent (but definitely doesn't eliminate the possibility)
I'm sure if Nozawa Onsen has tree runs we would look to do the Hakuba/Nozawa 2 week package.

This is the site I'm getting my information from Hakuba Ski Packages & Specials |

I'm not sure if that's Liquid Tours as they aren't exclusively advertised there, but in the packages are some Liquid Tours guides etc. so perhaps? Anyone care to shed some light?

Dreampow, will do in regards to letting you know our dates. Nothing beats local knowledge, that's for sure!

Tristan-NZ 11-07-2011 01:08 AM

I think we are going to plan our own trip as we have likely found some incredibly cheap air fares! I've also just bought a Japanese phrase book. When in Rome..

Deceiss 11-07-2011 03:23 AM

Do it yourself.
Japanese packages have not come out yet (mid November) so we will look at those first. But the packages we found on English sites are way too expensive.

For our trip (~ 19th Dec) it looks like we will Bus it to Hakuba (Cheaper than train but slower), stay at a Pension(Happy to pass you the details if you need but they speak very little english, but we managed speaking only the very basics last time) and catch the shuttle bus to the slope of our choice(you can change each day if you like), snowboard and eat out at one of the restaurants in town at night (can also catch a bus for a couple of hundred Yen to an onsen of your choice).

If your not on a budget staying on the slope would be easier but you would be less likely to try other places. Choice is up to you I guess.

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