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Everything posted by Zaphod222

  1. Yes. So what? I did not say anything about "the largest number of Australian visitors". That is entirely your invention. You make up a fictious quote and then proced to bash it. That is called a "strawman argument". I would strongly recommend to you to read before commenting...
  2. There is fair number of those in other areas in Japan, like Shiga-Kogen. Personally, I kind of like them. But I suppose for boarders they must be hell...
  3. Seconded! I learned skiing first from a Japanese girlfriend. She was good and got me started, but when I took a professional lesson, they first had to work to get some bad habits out of me. And while we taught skiing to our own kids, we certainy noticed the difference every time we sent them to a ski school. Skiing has so many different levels and there are so many little things to know, there is world of difference between an amateur and a pro instructor. I suppose it is the same in the snowboard world, about which I know nothing.
  4. Argh... hate to hear that. The thing is, I hate to throw away perfectly usable things. And I hate spending time shopping. And I hate to buy ski stuff in mid-season when it is most expensive. AND those boots are really really comfy for me. But I guess I will have to bite the bullet. I´ll use them this winter and then buy new ones at the big sale at the end of the season. Thanks!
  5. I laid out the facts, Dr. Watson. Try to read before opining next time :-)
  6. Not my impression in Hirafu at all, but of course that is only anecdotal evidence. I had the feeling about 80% of the people on the slope in Hirafu were Aussies, the rest Japanese/Chinese/whatever. Now I don´t think Taiwanese tourists are likely suspects, but anyway, please note that I said "foreigner". Now you are welcome to place your statistical bet on Japanese as likely suspects. We are all free to use Occams razor or to not use it.
  7. Nope, just looking at the probabilities. In Japanese resorts with no foreigners, this incident does not happen. In Niseko (according to the story), it does happen. What is the difference between other resorts and Niseko? Foreigners. What is the nationality of just about 100% of the foreigners in Niseko? Aussie. Now your turn, Dr. Watson. :-)
  8. If I were betting guy, I´d put my money on a non-Japanese visitor.
  9. Let`s agree to disagree. Quite so. So leave this "custom" at home and don´t bring it to Japan. Thank you!
  10. Surelt it was introduced not by the tourists, but by the businesses doing it. Frankly, no way! A Japanese business would never think of that. If the shop is Aussie-owned, perhaps. Otherwise, no way. The way this developed must have surely been by tourists dropping tips on confused staff, the management asking what the h/&%&ck these foreigners are doing, and then dealing with the situation. You can travel all over Japan, and you will NEVER see a thing like a "tip jar". (Except around US military bases, which is another story).
  11. One more thing about foreign tourists here: I noticed "tip jars" in some of the restaurants in Hirafu. Tipping is really really not done in Japan (except in some very special situations, usually involving erotic services), so this is obviously something introduced by the Aussie tourists. I find "tipping" is an absurd concept on so many levels, I am happy that Japan is free from this nuisance, and I really wish foreign visitors would not try to introduce it in Japan. Thank you!
  12. Just fwiw, Japan is still a cash society, and cash works best here. Also, the crime rate for all practical purposes is zero here, so this one of the very few countries where you can walk around with large wads of cash without being worried (unless you are concerned about your fellow foreign tourists). As for exchange, in my experience you always get the best rate in exchange shops in the airport in your own country before you depart. The rate is always better than in the destination country. Don´t know why, but I suppose one reason is that they don´t want to sit on large amounts of foreign
  13. So you never saw actually a boot with a ripped out sole? Because that was the horror scenario that the ski rental guy in Hirafu described for me. It is oddly comforting to hear that this, after all, does not happen every season.
  14. I can´t ditto that enough!! I remember the times before snowboarding, and some of the things we have to put with now simply did not exist then.
  15. Thanks. No, I don´t stay on easy slopes. I go on hard ones and between the trees too, just at my own pace and not like a young hotshot. But at the temperatures in Hirafu I think a barefoot trip down could cost me my foot? I was just wondering if someone had heard a similar story, but apparently not. Anyway, it might be time to look at new boots. Do they still make rear-entry? From looking around the ski crowds, it seems not. (My 205 cm old-style skis also seem totally alien today...)
  16. Ew. That's.....disgusting. Just back from Niseko, and I might add you might also want to brush up on bus etiquette. Niseko is in the countryside, and the local bus uses an old-style pay system. It is pretty simply actually... you get in and draw a number ticket. Up front in the bus is a display panel which shows the fare for each number (the number counts up at each stop). So say you have ticket No. 7, and up front it shows 7 as 300 yen, then PLEASE HAVE 300 Yen READY when getting off! It is really rude to expect the bus driver to make change for every single one of you. We almost miss
  17. Hi everybody, first time poster, long-time site visitor here. I ski every year, but I am not a power skiier, it is just a winter activitiy that I enjoy tremendously. I can get down the montain on all slopes, somehow, but not always in the most elegant way (never had formal instruction; I learned skiiing way back then from a Japanese girlfriend). Never been into the whole throwaway society concept, so I tend to use my gear until it falls apart (which literally happened with my last ski bindings...). Which brings me to my question. We were in Niseko last weekend; I´d left my (antediluvia
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