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Everything posted by Sciclone

  1. Not too steep, but definitely gnarly if it's been moguled up, icy and with heaps of people is Giant at Shiga Kogen. I think I came close to doing an unintentional flip after I launched off a mogul when someone cut across my path.
  2. Been there in Mid-Late Feb and there was plenty to play in off the runs. I ended up having to commando crawl out of some deeper stuff, because I followed a snowbunny who floated over the powder, but my heavier figure sunk down. Quite a few cat-tracks and trees to muck around in, that aren't too far from the runs.
  3. I had it happen to my sister when I was teaching her. The check strap was old/rotted and snapped, sending her board careening down Ichinose Family. Fortunately didn't hit anyone, but she was so embarassed, she just walked down the slope back to the hotel.. sending me to retrieve the board...
  4. Hi Ian, I looked into the rentacar thing a couple of years ago. It would depend on how many people you have with you. For just yourself or another person, it isn't worth it (IMO). In Nagano, there is a Nissan Rentacar and a Toyota rentacar straight across the road from the station. If you've gone all that way via the bullet train, then you are better off paying $20 and catching the bus straight to Hakuba or Nozawa. Then you aren't paying for a car to sit in a carpark. I've seen plenty of 2wd with snow tyres up the mountains, but it would also depend on how confident you are with dr
  5. No, meant via train and bus from Tokyo. It's 70-90 mins to Yuzawa on the shinkansen 90mins to Nagano on the shinkansen, 90mins (avg)on the bus from Nagano to Ichinose. I love the space, elevation and varied terrain of Shiga Kogen, but when you only have 6 days to go snowboarding in, every minute counts. Plus my mum and sister don't ski/snowboard, so with Yuzawa being a proper town, not just a resort, they can potter around the shops.
  6. WV, it has to be Yuzawa as that's where we are going, due to time constraints. I can't even afford to lose the extra 1.5 hours to get to Shiga Kogen, or I'd be head there first.
  7. Yuzawa Nakazato is the place that advertises that they have it, but there is no pricing on the site or link (from what I can see) to see how to book.
  8. I've read that there is snowmobiling lessons/free ride available in or around Yuzawa. Can anyone help locate information? Would these be suitable for 2 minimal Japanese speakers? What is the cost? How do I book? All the sites I find just say that there is snowmobiling, not where and when to do it.
  9. I reckon you'd possibly be better off getting it from the Yaesu side. There's still a ton of taxis. Or else get a subway from Marunouchi station to Ginza and get a taxi from Ginza station to your hotel. Taxis in Tokyo can be quite expensive.
  10. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go off the rice slope. No bowl, no second quad and the two top-left (on the piste map) lifts were also closed as well as the gondola. There was plenty of powder in the nearby town and fields though, so if I had gone under better circumstances, i think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
  11. Ok, before I start this trip report I must confess that I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I came to Maiko to use my free ticket. My snowboarding partner (my brother) was sick and couldn't get out of bed/onsen, I was teaching two noobs who lacked drive and the other 2 who came with us were complaining heavily. Add to that some warmer conditions and wind affecting lift/gondola operation, flat camera battery and you have the makings of a bad starting point. After getting to Echigo-Yuzawa around 9am, we made our way to the east exit, before asking where the Maiko bus left from. We had
  12. Come Friday, I'll be at Shiga Kogen for the weekend, leaving Tuesday morning to head to Yuzawa. I've been at SK during the Feb long weekend a couple of years ago, and the crowds seem to spread quite well.
  13. Classic! Yes, the higashidateyama gondola is quite egg shaped... Cool retro
  14. Furano zone's was pretty good. Take it up to the top, hammer down the runs then catch the next one 4 mins later. The one's at Yakebitai are also decent. A little slower, but not as slow as the triple that goes up the side of Giant. In someways I prefer them. 2 previous knee injuries (1 each knee) mean that leaving one strapped in puts a heap of strain on them and by the end of the day, they really hurt.
  15. When we went there, I think I only saw a handful of westerners. It was great as a first Japan snow experience, and probably why I go to Shiga Kogen instead of Hakuba or Niseko. What's the point in travelling halfway round the world to a different country/culture, just to see the same thing you do at home.
  16. The Shiga Kogen timetable can be found here: http://www.nagadenbus.co.jp/robus/2012fuyu/shigawin.htm The Nozawa can be found here: http://www.nagadenbus.co.jp/robus/2012fuyu/nozawawin.htm I think Madarao and Kit-shiga can be found herehttp://www.nagadenbus.co.jp/express.html
  17. If anyone is in Japan, I can wholeheartedly recommend Gush snowgear (check rakuten or Jimbocho stores). I've had my pants since 2008, and even on a rainy day in Hotham I was kept pretty dry.
  18. Just watch out for puddles with those skinny tyres. My sister was riding one last year, and hit a puddle, went splat and had the heavy steel bike land on her foot.
  19. Have just retired an old Burton AK down jacket and my 6yo Gush pants (30k waterproof, kept me dry really well) for some new high mm/gm stuff from Rakuten. New salomon synapse boots to replace worn 6yo ones, smith i/ox goggles to replace old scratched Oakley ducati wisdoms and some Aldi snow socks and compression skins. Who really gives a tinker's cuss if you look good on the slopes? Considering the amount of old guys I see wearing 80's fluoro gear and no-name goggles, I'd say they don't particularly care either. That latest style jacket will be superceded next year, and if doesn't keep you
  20. So jealous... I will have to make it up to Niseko one day or just tour around Hokkaido, Car Danchi-style.
  21. Hi all, Just wondering if there was any boarder cross courses (or similar) in Yuzawa.. would love to have a go, as I like tight, technical courses with good speed.
  22. Or you could take the bullet train from Kyoto to Nagoya and Wideview Shinano from Kyoto to Nagano.. probably not as cheap (about 9860Y unreserved one way), but possible quicker at 240mins instead of 440mins
  23. It's especially helpful if you are staying a night or two in Tokyo. Just takkyubin your stuff, rather than lugging unwieldy board bags and suitcases up/down stairs and on and off trains. Saves your back also.
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