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Old 09-11-2012, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Best time to go to Japan?

I am about to plan a trip to Japan for next year.

What weeks/month is the best time to go?

I like powder if that helps but i dont want it dumping down while riding.

Any suggestions to what mountains? where to fly into?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brayden87 View Post
I am about to plan a trip to Japan for next year.

What weeks/month is the best time to go?
Ive been in january and february. Personally I like feb the best.

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Originally Posted by brayden87 View Post
I like powder if that helps but i dont want it dumping down while riding.
Whilst it generally snows at night you will still get a few days where its just snowing hard all day, the beauty of japan is its often snowing hard with no wind which is a really nice experience.

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Any suggestions to what mountains? where to fly into?
If you feel insecure go to niseko with the hordes. If you are a bit more adventurous and like equally good terrain with way less people try one of the other 50+ places to ride like rusutsu, kiroro, sahoro, tomamu, mt racey, furano and the list goes on.

And that is assuming you want to go to hokkaido (you should). Depending where you are coming from most people fly into narita (tokyo), bus transfer to haneda (tokyo) and fly up to new chitose (sapporo) then bus transfer to your chosen resort.

Last edited by ETM; 09-11-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is what happens on them days when its snowing, note the lack of crowds on such an epic powder day, reason is Im not at niseko.

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Old 09-11-2012, 11:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im planning to go 19th Jan - 3rd Febuary.

So hopefully that has some good weather as its all i can get off work at the moment.

I was doing black runs in NZ this season, dunno what they compare to in Japan but pretty confident in most conditions.

Hokkaido might be my best bet - judging on what others say, its accessible but a decent trip from Tokyo.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brayden87 View Post
Im planning to go 19th Jan - 3rd Febuary.

So hopefully that has some good weather as its all i can get off work at the moment.

I was doing black runs in NZ this season, dunno what they compare to in Japan but pretty confident in most conditions.

Hokkaido might be my best bet - judging on what others say, its accessible but a decent trip from Tokyo.
I did the same dates this year, that pic was taken on jan 25 I think. For reliable powder go hokkaido, thats not to say it wont dump most days in honshu but its not a sure thing like hokkaido is.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I did the same dates this year, that pic was taken on jan 25 I think. For reliable powder go hokkaido, thats not to say it wont dump most days in honshu but its not a sure thing like hokkaido is.
Judging on your advice, i think ill take my chances and go in those dates.

So I dont want to spend all my time in hokkaido - only 4-5 days, whats closest to Tokyo that is good? I want to spend a week in Tokyo off the mountain so i figure i can spend a few travelling out from Tokyo.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brayden87 View Post
Judging on your advice, i think ill take my chances and go in those dates.

So I dont want to spend all my time in hokkaido - only 4-5 days, whats closest to Tokyo that is good? I want to spend a week in Tokyo off the mountain so i figure i can spend a few travelling out from Tokyo.
Tokyo sucks pretty badly. I did 3 days there and it was a day too much, dont waste a week there unless you get a kick out of seeing men in suits. In 2 days you can do the imperial gardens (highly recommended), war museum, tokyo tower, roppongi by night and as many temples as you can before they all blend into one.
If you have your heart set on wasting that much time in tokyo then forget hokkaido. Go to Hakuba, myoko, nozawa etc.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ive been in january and february. Personally I like feb the best.
Agree that February is probably the best for conditions. But two qualifications:
1. OP does not want it to be dumping while riding (not clear why), but February in Hokkaido there is a fair chance of almost continuous snow fall for several days (and nights) in a row.
2. When Chinese New Year is in February (like in 2013) it will also be the busiest time in the big resorts like Niseko.

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Originally Posted by ETM View Post
Whilst it generally snows at night you will still get a few days where its just snowing hard all day, the beauty of japan is its often snowing hard with no wind which is a really nice experience.
+1/QFT.


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Originally Posted by ETM View Post
If you feel insecure go to niseko with the hordes. If you are a bit more adventurous and like equally good terrain with way less people try one of the other 50+ places to ride like rusutsu, kiroro, sahoro, tomamu, mt racey, furano and the list goes on.

And that is assuming you want to go to hokkaido (you should). Depending where you are coming from most people fly into narita (tokyo), bus transfer to haneda (tokyo) and fly up to new chitose (sapporo) then bus transfer to your chosen resort.
Pretty much agree with that. Couple of comments on travel:
- You can fly to Chitose/Sapporo from both Narita and Haneda airports. Handa has a few more flights (and is a nicer airport) but Narita is just fine. Unless you are going into Tokyo just transit at whatever airport you arrive in Japan - not worth the hassle to transfer between airports.
- Consider renting a car in Hokkaido, as it makes it much easier to move between multiple locations (or base yourself in one location but also hit others).
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Pretty sure he only wants a few days riding out of tokyo and will probably end up doing yuzawa.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brayden87 View Post
Judging on your advice, i think ill take my chances and go in those dates.

So I dont want to spend all my time in hokkaido - only 4-5 days, whats closest to Tokyo that is good? I want to spend a week in Tokyo off the mountain so i figure i can spend a few travelling out from Tokyo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ETM View Post
Tokyo sucks pretty badly. I did 3 days there and it was a day too much, dont waste a week there unless you get a kick out of seeing men in suits. In 2 days you can do the imperial gardens (highly recommended), war museum, tokyo tower, roppongi by night and as many temples as you can before they all blend into one.
If you have your heart set on wasting that much time in tokyo then forget hokkaido. Go to Hakuba, myoko, nozawa etc.
Disagree on Tokyo. Love the place and could easily spend a few weeks there. But that is personal preference...

For boarding 'close' to Tokyo Nagano (Hakuba, Nozawa, etc.) is indeed your best choice. But be aware that it will take at least 1/2 day going there from Tokyo (high-speed train and bus ride) - and the same coming back, so you will lose at least 1 day to travel.
Note that this is also the case for traveling from Tokyo to Hokkaido and back: The flight is only 1:45 or so, but consider time for check-in, time waiting for luggage/the bus/rental car at Chitose, plus the 2 hour drive (e.g., to Niseko - might be 3 hours in bad conditions and if you have never driven there before) and a good chunk of the day is gone...
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