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JohnPaulIII

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About JohnPaulIII

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    25+ posts

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  • Nationality
    American
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    Japan
  1. Tsugaike Kogen in Hakuba, Nagano is open (only the top of the mountain) and conditions are good! If you're not too far away, its worth the trip to brush up your skills for the season!
  2. Awesome! I will recommend the camp in Niseko and Colorado. Looks expensive though. He is 17 and comes from a very poor family. Kid skips school to work so he can board on the weekends. What I told him is that he should get a Job at a place like Hakuba or Niseko and learn English from all the Aussies there. The points made by others about working holiday visas and NZ might be another great opportunity. Thanks guys!
  3. Listen to this Man. Any bus will take 3 hours just to get you in to Nagano Prefecture. Take the Shinkansen as much as possible assuming you have the pass.
  4. Sorry I was slow to reply to this. Thanks for the information. My student doesn't speak English well now, he just wants to. He does ride well. Big air, jumps, half pipes etc. Dunno about contests. He seems to think there are schools that teach you how to be a pro the same way you can learn to be a scientist. I spent a good 3 hours looking for red bull on a map but I could only find mountain dew, and that just won't cut it.
  5. I hope General Snow is the best category for this. I live in Nagano and work as a HS teacher. I've got a student studying English under me right now, but mostly he's just an awesome boarder. Living in Nagano he is used to the amazing conditions we have here, but he wants to go to an English speaking country and work at a resort or enroll in some kind of advanced "pro-making" lessons. The internet being a very vast place, I've found an enourmous ammount of information on places. Too many to be honest. If you were trying to make a living snowboarding, what English speaking country would you go? Any specific resort names or programs you know of could really help not only me, but my student out a lot!
  6. I had the luck of winning TWO sets of tickets this year. THANK YOU SNOW JAPAN!!! However, I used one set as quickly as I could but the second set for use in Sugadaira turned tragic. I had been checking reports that there was still 75cm left to ride on at Sugadaira on Monday April 1st. I took that morning to drive up and come face to face with the sadness of springtime fate. I really am greatful that you have such a great promotion going on, I'm ashamed that I became part of the problem this year!
  7. THANK YOU SNOWJAPAN for the free lift ticket!!! Here is my review of Myokokogen's suginohara from the perspective of a lower intermediate level boarder on a wednesday. Finding the place was quite easy as the toll booth attendant from the highway gave us a map and told us how to get there. The parking for this place is convenient, better than a lot of other places since there is really only one massive lot. Of course, it was a weekday so it was at about 5% capacity, a MAJOR plus. Myoko in general doesn't get nearly as many foreigners as Hakuba so there seemed to be more excitement than usual at our presence. There are also some ski lodges ON the mountain, as in you can stay in a cabin or lodge, strap on your board and ride down to a lift from your room. Very cool On to the snow... There is still PLENTY of it Suginohara was running their gondola, two double lifts and one quad. So four lifts doesn't sound like much but let me tell you, it takes a solid 30 minutes of nonstop riding to get from the top of the quad down to the bottom of the gondola. This place is LONG! If you are looking for a little exercise with your riding this place is great. Park riders: The snow park on the far left side of the park is quite good. It has at least 15 jumps one after the other with probably 5 sets of rails 4-5 boxes a couple rainbow rails including one that is about a meter up from the edge of the lip. If you know what you are doing, this park could be quite good. There was no halfpipe but plenty of quarter edges that people were launching off of. For intermediates (like myself): The area to the far right side of the gondola (take a right when you exit the gondola) was filled with sets of small jumps. The kind that you can really build confidence on. I definitely learned a thing or two about how to handle jumps by cruising around this side. There are probably 4 sets of 5 jumps randomly placed along the path going down along the gondola. For beginners: For true beginners, I really wouldn't recommend this place. There are a few beginner runs but if you are learning then this is not the place for you. There is really only one or two bunny slopes, in comparison to ikenotaira which has about 6. On the other hand if you can turn and want to build confidence by forcing yourself to ride for a long time the runs are long enough that you will definitely get a hang of it by the end of one or two runs. Off piste: The signs are strict, but the people were not. That may have been because it was a weekday though. All in all I had an amazing time. Although the sand blew in in the morning and rain did fall in the afternoon, our spirits were not dampened. Probably the highlight of the trip was racing to the bottom of the gondola at 4:01. The gate was closed and the sign said closed but we called out for one more time and believe it or not they opened the gate for us and let us on!!! This kind of rule breaking is quite rare in Japan so I couldn't believe their kindness. They say you can see mount fuji from here when the weather cooperates. It was hazy for us but still you can see a few other mountains, a lake and the valley below. Not a bad view at all. Anyway I highly recommend this place especially for people who want to learn to do jumps or challenge your skills in the park.
  8. Thanks for the responses! I really did mean Sugadaira in north eastern Nagano. Sounds like there is a slight bias against myoko haha, thanks for your advice
  9. I've got an invitation this week to go to either sugadaira resort in Nagano or Myoko kogen in Niigata. I'll have to drive to both so transportantion isn't important. I'm wondering which is your preference?
  10. JohnPaulIII

    Togari Onsen Quick report.

    Awesome! Thanks for a great report!
  11. JohnPaulIII

    Important news of the day thread

    I'm not sure that is a good thing
  12. I went up to Nagano's Tsugaike resort last weekend and they were having a discounted price if you are a resident of Nagano. I believe it continues until the end of the month. It was around a 600 yen discount. So not too much but, hey thats basically a free lunch.
  13. Gary's post about buying is VERY correct. Even going to second hand shop you can pick up a decent board with bindings for under 10,000 yen. I got mine for a third that price and have been riding it hard for the last 2 seasons. Skis are also available in abundance. Boots may be a bigger challenge though if your size is above 28 Japan (10.5 USA)
  14. Nagano has a direct bullet train from Tokyo. I don't know if you'll have a rail pass or not but its less than 2 hours from Tokyo to Nagano city and then about 1.5 hrs to Hakuba from there via one of the many busses from Nagano city. I think if you want a more Japanese experience going to Myoko Kogen in Niigata would be nice. It's much more "authentic" than Hakuba. I like Aussies too but when in Japan its nice to be in Japan. I've only heard amazing things about the Niseko experience though...
  15. JohnPaulIII

    Day Trip to Matsumoto Castle

    Matsumoto would be a great day trip. Hakuba is fun but Matsumoto castle is one of the only remaining authentic castles in Japan. ie the castle is osaka has an elevator in it as where Matsumoto castle is complete with super steep staircases and all. Check the train schedule carefully via hyperdia to make sure you dont have to sit and wait on the train for an extra hour though.

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