Jump to content
SnowJapan Community
  • Sign Up


SnowJapan Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

5 Getting some votes!

About ShigaMac

  • Rank
    25+ posts

Profile Information

  • Nationality
  • Living in

Recent Profile Visitors

388 profile views
  1. I was skiing in Hokkaido, Rusutsu and Teine, until last week and am now thinking of going to Nagano. "Attention. Cover your nose and mouth with a face mask or neck warmer and wear gloves when riding a gondola to prevent the spread of infections including Covid 19" was at most lift stations. In addition "Please do not ride lifts with people you do not know". People skiing alone rode the lifts alone. I see in your daily reports that the Hikage gondola in Nozawa has been closed for sanitizing after an employee tested positive. What other restrictions are there at Nagano ski areas? Is Nozawa's new gondola being used with restricted numbers? I would appreciate information from your daily reporters.
  2. Thank you Colin for this info. And today there's nobody in the gondolaOh well Yamabiko will be untracked paradise.
  3. The new gondola! Are they social distancing the number of passengers like in some N.American resorts?
  4. ShigaMac

    Japan 2019-2020: a one off?

    Snowdude: is there anything we can do to bring the jet stream back down again? interesting how much cleaner the air in cities has become recently due to the absence of cars and factory smoke. Fish have returned to the canals of Venice! Climate change can be eased when we stop pollution which contributes to global warming. In Hokkaido it has been a reasonable season for piste skiers but a very disappointing one for backcountry. More attention to the preparation of pistes has helped a lot. Sapporo Teine has been much better this season and is still boasting depths of 270cm and 150cm. Areas in the interior close to Asahikawa while having a better quality of snow have had less.....Sahoro has had an average of 90cm-130cm most of the season, maintained by very good grooming. It was interesting to see the number of vans from Niseko in the car parks at Rusutsu, not to mention the groups of overseas backcountry skiers who had booked Hakuba and ended up being transported to Hokkaido! If it's of any consolation the piste season in Chamonix Mont-Blanc did not start until January 10th a few years ago (used to be Nov) and had it not been for snowmaking there would have been very little skiing. Let's hope that this cycle of poor winters will soon end.....oops, I had to dig out my car 5 times in Sapporo City Jan/Feb, each time taking about 45mins the problem being where to put the snow!
  5. ShigaMac

    Early season in Japan

    Skied Mt Isola and East Mnt at Rusutsu today.....given the lack of snow so far the conditions were excellent and plenty of pistes open.
  6. ShigaMac

    Teine Highland

    Thank you!. so the first & second follow the old ropeway track, more or less? My car awaits me in the Highland carpark so I don't want to end up in town! I skied T yesterday. Saw some kids scratching their skis on Kita Kabe. I can wait until there is another metre or so. Still decapitated sasa poking through on the City View Panorama and C. V. Cruise runs and a nice little field of icy bumps on the right side of the Ladies GS course to annoy those on their first ski of the season. The Swiss took their time before deciding to make snow. How much longer do you think Teine can hold out? (or is the problem the winds you mentioned? creating those icy patches on the GS course through the season)
  7. s5804: Shinkansen is for the general population, ski areas are for a small minority. The boom is over and Japan is a country of booms....the latest one was Rugby during the World Cup, but most people have already lost interest in that. Most Japanese are weekend or daily skiers. They are amazed at Europeans who can take a week or two off to go skiing. Who does their work while they are enjoying themselves? It seems very selfish and indulgent. During the week the pistes are inhabited by the elderly and university students. The former don't need much and are happy to relax on a long slow lift. The latter have little skiing experience and so are also content with the conditions they find. When quad lifts were first introduced here pistes suddenly became more crowded. They contributed, in part, to a decrease in the number of skiers. Traditional Japanese resorts were not designed with modern lifts in mind and those in national or quasi-national parks cannot be developed further. Yes, more and more Japanese resorts are being bought by Asian companies and so the ambience changes. The local people in Hokkaido already talk about certain resorts as Asian ones while others are for Western people. I hope you enjoy Lotte. You'll find very few Niigata people there as they are voting with their feet and going to other areas in their prefecture where lift tickets are less expensive. A family ski trip, even if just for one day, is a considerable expenditure for most Japanese families. The Japanese are not a rich people. During the ski boom years those who went to ski in Europe did so with money given to them as presents by neighbors, friends and family members....or even bank loans. The shopping that went on in overseas ski resorts was for presents for those who had helped finance the trip.....unfortunately creating the idea that Japanese are rich. I really hope you don't expect clones of Alpine resorts here. Believe it or not this is not Europe.
  8. ShigaMac

    Teine Highland

    Teine has had its first dusting of snow and may make its opening date of 11/23....yeah! Below is a review from TubbyBeaverinho, January 2014. If any of you have skied the 7 bowls mentioned in this review I'd appreciate your input. Last season I was fortunate to ski the main Highland area with someone who had worked at Hokudai Avalanche Research Centre and even though Teine had about 2.5 metres at that time I was advised not to go near the bowls until at least another metre had fallen. On Kita Kabe (turn left off Summit Express and left again before Ladies Downhill) there were rocks and tree trunks still visible, so for safety reasons I can understand the need for more snow before attempting the bowls which are unpatrolled. Also for safety reasons I'd prefer to ski it with other people, preferably those who have skied it before "THE reason for coming to Teine Highland though are the bowls and chutes. Accessed from the top of the Summit Express, you turn right and walk under an ominous sign saying DANGER, DEATH, with a few skull and cross bones thrown in, heading for the old abandoned ropeway station a little further up the hill. Below and beside the old station is a series of 7 bowls that when accessed will give you some awesome short, but steep n deep turns. I've only been out as far as bowl 3 as the cat track run back to resort is a bit of a PITA. Remember this area is out of bounds so its totally on you and your ability, when you drop in here. The patrol don't keep an eye here and there are no signposts saying where the resort is at the bottom. That said the cat track is usually very well established and should be easy to spot (keep an eye out for all tracks converging skiers right). If you ride down too far then you are gonna have a long and deep walk out to the resort or the access road so be careful. Today, bowl 1 and 2 were fantastic, even when it was all chopped and tracked, it was still soft to plough through and face shots were aplenty!! If you are in the Sapporo area then you should definitely give Teine a try.......actually no, don't....avoid it like the plague!!!! ;)"
  9. ShigaMac

    Hasuike to Giants still skiable?

    Yup, a lot of changes that have made that path a little difficult to see.....it would help if they had better signage It was open last season. I skied from Giant down the path to Maruike and then on to Hasuike. From there I crossed the road and returned to Giant via the tunnel under the Giant lift......かな?!Hope that makes sense!
  10. ShigaMac

    Buying ski equipment for Myoko

    Hi and Welcome! Tell the people you are staying with in Myoko/Nozawa that you are interested in purchasing gear etc and maybe they'll let you know what is available. It should be easy enough to get hire skis for a 5yr old. re Nagano there is at least one shop near the station but you may find yourself in the mad Jan Sales rush when you're not going to get the best attention from the overworked staff.......in some places it's Jan 1st, others the 2nd or 3rd. Online? a very busy time of year but they could send the skis ahead of your arrival (accommodation usually have no problems with that) if you purchase in mid-Dec. Do you read Japanese? there are bargains to be had at the moment on last year's skis but most of the info is not in English. I have been very careful not to write any names which might be construed as advertising. Have a great trip and enjoy the après-ski onsen.....there are plenty but be careful in Nozawa as they can be very hot.....44°-46° C in the public ones.
  11. ShigaMac

    Kagura early season

    Thanks for that info Muikabochi.....my ski club are heading there just after new year and will be using car parks. Hope they get some snow this weekend. Going up to Sapporo on Friday if Chitose is open
  12. ShigaMac

    Kagura early season

    3 month forecasts on TV are not very reliable, especially for the skiing community. 暖冬 (warm winter) forecasts are for the general, non-skiing, population and hardly refer to elevations of 1,800m (Kagura). Today, Nov3rd, is a national holiday in Japan and in the past the evening news closed with images of skiers making their first turns of the season in Hokkaido. Fingers crossed!
  13. ShigaMac

    Furano in 2019 mid-March

    The Lavender Bus starts from Asahikawa Station, calling at the Airport on its way to Furano. I believe it's just a regular bus line so cannot be reserved. Even if it is full and you have to stand it's only 1hr 20mins to the terminus At the end of December last year we took a similar bus from Asahikawa Station to Asahidake Onsen/Ski Area. The first few rows were occupied by skiers, the rest regular travelers. The bus stopped at the airport to pick up/drop off some passengers. Cheung-san. Furano usually stays open until May, however with global warming ski seasons are becoming less predictable. Check out the web cams for snow conditions.
  14. ShigaMac


    Thank you for this info. Still there it appears, with a slight change of name....now Village 432.
  15. ShigaMac


    Am looking for info from people who have skied Sahoro. Is it worth a visit? looks just a little far from Sapporo for a day trip so any info on nearby minshiku would be appreciated. Thanks


About SnowJapan

SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

SnowJapan.com covers the whole of Japan. We are here to introduce the world to unbiased, honest and detailed information about winter sports in Japan. We publish exclusive and in-depth and daily content throughout the winter season and we add new functionality and content to the site every year.

We are not here to promote any specific destinations or resorts, or to sell our readers any kind of products or services. We are not a travel agency and we do not own any ski resorts, ski schools, accommodations or other related businesses.