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About s5804

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  1. OK maybe I was generalizing too much. Definitely they had multiple lifties at the top on all lifts I can remember at Niseko United (all areas) and Rusutsu in March 2019. Both Gondola and chair lifts. Basically on the top it is 1-2 in the house and one right at the exit point. After a full day I normally have said hello to all of them many times. I feel sorry for them in the cold. I have the feeling that they have too many lifities at the bottom in Naeba, Appi, Zao, Geto Kogen, Niseko and Rustustu. But can't remember everything from a few years back.
  2. On a side note: Arai 2019/2020 season lift ticket prices are online now. 6000 Yen for a day pass during high season. The First class ticket for 8000 Yen is silly. They probably have no lift queue anyway. But how can inexperienced skiers from Asia know that. At least no crazy 10.000 Yen price.
  3. Thank you for your feedback and considerations. I think it is important to relate quality to cost. Unfortunately many resorts have very low quality compared to their cost. I can understand that they have no money for new investment. But what comes first; chicken or the egg? Probably one need to first invest and then people will hopefully come. Who wants to sit in the 1) old lifts and 2) freeze or 3) wait in 30 minutes lift queue for a 2 minute ski slope? Also I wonder how are the resorts really managed? What are the lift staff really doing? The whole setup seems completely costly and unnecessary. Take the example of lift operation. Chair lift exit requires max one security person able to push the emergency button. But no, in Japan they have at least 2-3 person per exit. What is the person standing there in the cold really doing? Analog you really don't need a person standing at the entry either. I feel sorry for them standing there and freezing saying welcome to the guests, maybe brushing off one or two snow flakes from the chair. Maybe the season is too short in Japan for anybody to justify the investment. But I think they save a lot not having snow canons which cost a fortune to run. In my humble opinion I don't think Arai is expensive when adding together the cost relative to the expected quality. For example I booked double rooms over Christmas for 26K Yen per night. That is in a reasonable luxury hotel. Compare it to Myoko Tsuginohara I booked for 19k with futons in a basic accommodation, thin wall and old looking house. It is not comparable. Another funny story I wanted to mention. The brand new lifts from Doppelmayr only open the safety bar 2-3 seconds before exit to make sure nobody is falling off too early. Still there is sufficient time for everybody to exit safe even in a 8 person chairlift. But in Niseko I noticed that the locals wanted to open the safety bar 100 meters before exit. Which is off course old school and dangerous. I was in quad lift with two locals and one ski patrol. I forgot to release my skies and they told me to release. I replied no problem just a second. Then the patrol guy screamed at me to release. This was maybe about 15 seconds left to exit zone. Of course I replied "jukiri it is not safe to release now". Then the patrol guy went crazy and started to scream more. Well there we have it safety first. 😔 Of course I meet many nice patrol guys in Niseko as well. Well practice and technology from the 1980 don't apply anymore. In the end I wanted to learn from you guys how the Japanese operators really think. Thank you
  4. s5804

    ATMs in Furano that accept overseas cards?

    I often have to use ATM to withdraw YEN with my German VISA. Often it can be a problem depending on the the Japanes bank or on the issuing bank back home. Tip: Japan Post ATMs always works. And 7-11 ATMs always works. ATMs at the airports always works. Lawson or similar convenient stores most of the time works.
  5. Thanks for your feedback!
  6. Hi I would like to ship my skies from Haneda to Myoko. For example Yamato Transport offer Ski TA-Q-BIN for 2070 Yen for a bag. However the bag seems to be limited to 160 cm!!!. Also JNTO seems to have max 160 cm!!! My ski bag is 175 cm. And skies are 171 cm. Do you have recommendations? Thanks
  7. Yes, I absolutely agree with Slippery Jim. No right or wrong. Instead optimize for your situation. 1 Day Niseko United 8000 Yen 1 Day Hirafu 6200 Yen But since flights from Europe to Japan including all kinds of transfers could be at least 100.000 Yen. Well an extra 1.800 Yen is cheap for flexibility. Or a flight from Tokio plus all kinds of transfers could be 30.000 Yen. But your valuable time is worth how much? Still 1.8000 Yen is very little extra. enjoy.
  8. Sad to hear many are closing. Anybody know why? No snow like in the Alps? No guests? Too high costs? I of course suspect that skies doesn’t want slow cold lifts anymore and stay home playing games instead. But interested to hear other views.
  9. Yes something is strange. Therefore I am curious, how is it that Japanese ski resort operators with higher prices is not able to budget for renovation faster than it has been until now? Maybe somebody of you guys and girls have connections to operators? The Alps have 100 times better lifts than Japan. And have 1000 times more slopes. Much bigger areas. Having all this fantastic equipment. Still the lift cards and rental is much cheaper in the Alps. Also the accommodation has much higher standard and cost much less compared to Japan. But Alps has a problem with snow. To solve this we have 100000 snow cannons and millions of liter of water. Still it is much cheaper than Japan. Why are Japanese resorts investing so little? I heard last year that the company operating Niseko Hirafu don't want to invest anything. Is this really true? And that a rich Thai guest was very angry, paying hundreds of dollars for standing in lift lines for hours... that Thai invested in Kiroro to make it better? Anybody know if there is some truth to this? Also it is hurts my hart that there is no balance. High-tec Shinkansen train is perfect, but then I have to take a badly designed bus. Living in old cold hotels. Riding terrible old slow lifts. Did technology stop with Shinkansen? Upcoming Christmas I will check out Lotte Arai. The accommodation looks like one should expect. But the cost is unreasonable crazy. The lifts looks like a B class Alp resort. I will definitely report if somebody is interested.
  10. Hi. Just to give you an idea. In the Alps you need this technology in order to get customers. I am promoting that skiers start to demand better lifts in Japan. World class snow and hopefully one day world class lifts. Then the boom can start again, but prepared this time.
  11. May I ask if you are a beginner or expert skier? For example I would personally find it too limited and maybe even boring with only one area pass. However if it is windy and they close down all the connection lifts then you may think that the extra money was unnecessary. However, in Niseko I would recommend the Freedom to ski where ever you want. Both intermediate and expert skiiers. Only beginners could consider the day passes. The reason I recommend Niseko all mountain is because if one spend enormous of money on - Flights, Trains, Hotels, Ski equipment. And your valuable Time. Then the extra lift pass is worth a little bit extra money.
  12. s5804

    Day from Niseko - Kiroro or Rusutsu?

    Rusutsu is less than an hour away. Very easy to get to from Niseko.
  13. s5804

    Ski rentals, Fukushima, Akita, Iwate.

    Appi Kogen has very decent ski rental. I got Fischer World Cup RC4 for 5000 yen per day. It is difficult to find this high level ski in anywhere. Zao had one shop with Völkel Race Tiger close to similar high level for 4500 yen per day. But Getto Kogen and Naeba had soft low quality skies only on offer. Therefore last season I also brought my own skies with me from Europe to avoid any issues with low quality skies and frustration. The same goes for boots. I have not seen any high level quality boots in the above mentioned places.
  14. s5804

    Clearer skies in Niseko

    March month is better probability for clear skies. But you never know when a storm pass by and give you 50 cm powder.
  15. Rusutsu, because they have long long long easy runs that are perfectly groomed. Their lift system is rather good for being Japan. Rusutsu have two mountains. I am recommending the bigger mountain. Their they have two Gondolas and at least 2 great covered fast speed chair lifts with nice easy slopes to choose from. And I am sure due to the nice set up soon you will be doing Blue and some Red as well.


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