I'm super stoked on Japan. My girlfriends good mate lives at the base of one of the mountains over there (cant remember which one) so hopefully that Japanese that I got taught in primary school can be revived....
Also, any place that has A) Beer and B) Aussies will have C) a night life.
Amen to that! We like to have a good time And thats what makes the Aussie resorts worth while! The snow might be poor in comparison some of the time (alright most of the time) but damn do we have a good time regardless!
If anyone is keen for an Aussie trip ever then dont be shy
I've lived here for 6 years and learned to snowboard here. It's a big subject but here are a few tips.
Tokyo is a long way from all the resorts. You will need to travel. The easiest place to go is Niseko. Once at the resort, over half of the folks speak English, albeit with an Aussie accent. It has a significant night life (props to the Aussies for that) and a wonderful vibe. It has the second best powder I've ridden here.
Shiga Kogen is a bit more complicated to get to but once you're there, no problems with English. Very large resort with lots of terrain changes. When the powder comes, it's mindboggling.
Hakkoda is the best for powder. Chest high much of the season is normal. It is the hardest to get to and you need a guide...really. I recommend Simon's Hakkoda Powder Snow Tours for info. Simon's pretty cool and has taken me further than I thought possible. Don't think of going without a guide though or you'll be another statistic. People die there.
Lots of other places...Japan is awesome. Compared to Colorado - more powder, less steep. For Hokkaido and definitely Hakkoda, ride something a bit longer/wider than you might use on your home slope. Hakkoda also requires poles - yes for snowboarding. Almost everything is off piste and there are some short flat spots.
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Hey, just noticed this thread. Just wanted to mention that Nagano and Niseko are great, but there's more out there. Aside from the obvious Niseko, my favorite place is Takasu Snow Park in Gifu. It's better than any of the places I've been in Nagano so far. Better groomers, better parks, and they don't care if you go into the trees. If you're in the area, try it!
If anyone is going to be in Niseko next week, please send me a PM!