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Japan Stoke Thread 2023

7580 Views 237 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Etienne
If you didn't know, all restrictions to enter Japan have now been lifted.

Who is going?
Where are you going?
Have you been before and where?
What board/bindings are you taking?

I can't believe I'm actually going, if you asked me 4 weeks ago we were holding off until 2024 but now myself and 3 other mates have already booked our flights and accommodation for the first week of Feb 2023.

This will be my 7th time to Japan, I've been to around 30 different ski resorts already in areas such as Hakuba, Myoko, Fukushima (Bandai), Yamagata (Zao Onsen) and several resorts up on Hokkaido.

This trip I have 2 first timers coming with me and the only way I could convince them was to keep the trip reasonably short and inexpensive. So we have 7 days on snow in Hakuba Valley and we will be getting 5 consecutive days of lift tickets for free with our Epic pass. We are staying right next to the gondola at the base of Tsugaike Kogan ski resort.

I am taking my Salomon Dancehaul 152 with Now Drive bindings and my Korua Dart 156 with Ride A-10 bindings. Both boards should be good in powder with the Dancehaul having a softer more freestyle focus and the Dart will be great for carving.

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I'll be doing everything I can to go, was hoping to do a Niseko trip but might be a little pricy if we don't get the Singapore trips out of Darwin back online. Looking like I'll need to go through Cairns which the RTN trip from Darwin is more expensive than the RTN trip to Japan.

Probably somewhere around Nagano, Myoko, Hakuna or Nozawa.

Only been twice and only to Hakuba, much easier with two of the family that don't ski/board to cruise around and always stayed around Echoland. @JDA what's Myoko or Nazawa Onsen like compared to Hakuba? Is worth venturing up that way?

In terms of boards. I really want to get on my Party Platter as I'm still yet to ride it but just loved the Dada so really want to take that but feel the better combo is the Surfari and one of Dada/PP. PP with Ride LTD bindings and Surfari kith K2 Lien AT's if I can part with the Dada.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@JDA what's Myoko or Nazawa Onsen like compared to Hakuba? Is worth venturing up that way?
I haven't been to Nozawa but did Myoko in 2018 and again in 2020.

2020 was a bad year for snow, we did score a couple of epic powder days still but compared to 2018 where 2.6m of snow fell over the 9 days we were in Myoko I will remember that trip forever! This was the tourist information sign as you enter town to give you an idea.



Myoko the town is a lot smaller than Hakuba but it gets more snow and more consistently too. You can access 2 resorts just by walking from the town center. Buses will take you to another 2 resorts close by or a longer bus will also take you to another 3 resorts further out. Then if you had a car there are another 2 you could also visit but there are no buses for these, so plenty of options for resorts to visit each day.

If we weren't trying to do 2023 on the cheap I probably would have gone back to Myoko but we have free lift tickets in Hakuba and we are planning a bigger trip for 2024 where I hope to visit some new parts of Japan I haven't been to yet.

So yes Myoko is well worth a visit!
 

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I've been to Rusutsu, Niseko and Furano. I like Furano as it's close to a reasonable sized township so you can walk down and get groceries. Has a 101 person ropeway. You can do day trips to Kamui and Tomamu as well. Rusutsu is really good but it's a little by itself. You can get bus trip from Niseko. Had some awesome powder days at Rusutsu. Great runs as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been to Rusutsu, Niseko and Furano. I like Furano as it's close to a reasonable sized township so you can walk down and get groceries. Has a 101 person ropeway. You can do day trips to Kamui and Tomamu as well. Rusutsu is really good but it's a little by itself. You can get bus trip from Niseko. Had some awesome powder days at Rusutsu. Great runs as well.
Are you going back to Japan next year?
 

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Are you going back to Japan next year?
I'm looking at retiring early next year as work is offering a fairly decent disengagement package. Consequently I'm saving all my leave to add into the package. So I was aiming at '24 as my kids are about to start jobs out of Uni next year so will be available with both their boyfriends/girlfriends who are also keen for Japan in 24 .
 

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Never been, want to SOOOO BAD. Trip planning for 2024 too. We have Epic so probably start with at least a few days there and branch out from there. I haven't traveled out of the country often and worry about travel abroad. Thought about getting a tour company but want to keep it on the cheap....i know contradicting, but hey one can hope.
 

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I love both. Is Feb 1st the ideal time to arrive in Japan?

If it's better than the 50 or so inches that fell within 3 days at Wolf Creek, CO this past season; hell yes.
That's still peakish season but towards the end of the Australian school holidays. Second week of Feb onwards will be much quieter. Which is when I'm going 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Around January 22nd is my preferred time to go for maximum powder days but 3 of us have kids and it's easier to go once they are back in school.

If you go too late the base might be good but most of the snow has already fallen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My mate just picked up a K2 Special Effects 148 for the trip, seems like it was designed specifically for Japan so it should be good on those deep powder days. Other mate has a Korua Dart 160 like me but I have the 156, I'd like to try his 160 but he has much bigger feet.

Non powder day boards they have are Salomon Assassin and Endeavor Scout, both good options I think.

4th guy is on skiis, he is very good though.
 

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Any list of areas to hit? I have both the Epic/Ikon/Loveland pass (Powder Alliance partner, Kiroro). I'd be open to anything off this list if it's worth it. Generally looking for areas with enjoyable riding + others (onsen, beer, monkeys that steel your wallet while at the onsen, etc...). Sushi. And more sushi. Followed by a trip to Kyoto + Tokyo even.

Maybe. I tend to change my mind a lot. Just want a guaranteed nice time for what I pay for; I'm not strapped for cash but not willing to unload on single trip when there's Europe and cheese/wine/beer!

It seems by reading here, the best times to go are either:
1. mid-feb+
2. mid-jan+ (or even early Jan+)?
 

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I'll be doing my first Japan ski trip, arriving in Hakuba 27th February. It's late in the season but it's the only dates we could get consensus on in our group that worked.
We booked our flights and accommodation before everything opened up, so we were able to score a lot of good deals

There's 3 others coming with me and we're all trying to get extra value out of our Epic passes. Overall it's been a cheap holiday to book so far as we also used our Qantas points to book our flights.
I've spent more for weekend accomodation in Jindabyne than what this trip outlay is costing.

No idea what I'm doing for boards yet, will see what specials I see around in Aus - but probably take an old faithful just so I don't have anything to complain about!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Anyone been to Madarao?
Yes 2018 and 2020 as my post above about Myoko. I consider it part of Myoko and we went there many times when staying in Myoko but I did also spend a couple of nights in Madarao itself on my 2020 trip.

Great place, gets lots of snow and has some really good trees where the spacing is wider than normal for Japan.
 
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