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Posts posted by deemacvee

  1. Though she was too young, too frail to handle it.

    Then she had her accident with the tanker on the way to the start in Sydney. I thought her parents were irresponsible and feared it would end in tragedy. I have followed her trip every step of the way http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/ and will be there on Saturday to wave her home, eat my words and applaud her remarkable feat.

    Never judge a book........

  2. For me, returning after a few years gap was like going back to Bali. Somewhat disappointing. It's a matter of preference, but I preferred it quieter, less crowded and more "Japanese". Not-withstanding, the pow and dining/drinking options abound, but it's probably more of an attraction for the younger crowd. I'll keep on trying new places. Have not been disappointed yet & have a long list to get to before the knees pack in for good.

  3. Actually re-thinking Myoko at this point.

    I'm reading that the lift ticket dispute between Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko is a bit of a nuisance.

    Might put it off for a year until they (hopefully) get their acts together. (Voting with my skis?)

    Have been having pleasant dreams about Hakuba lately ..........

    I try and go somewhere different every year, but I think I have unfinished business there.

    I can arrange a bus to do Hakuba / Noz for the fire festival.


    Thanks for the advice peeps.

  4. We were in Sapporo & Otaru last month for the snow festivals. Sapporo didn't disappoint, but the more folksy Otaru snow gleaming really won us over.

    2nd the motion regarding the Otaru Beer brewery. In a Japanese town with a bit of a Russian influence doing Bavarian Beer Hall (quite well, I might add).... we'll... you just need a few drinks to cope.

    The seafood, especially crab, is abumdant.

    Not to mention, there is a pretty reasonable ski resort called Kiroro about a 40min bus ride from Otaru station. Got a good dose of Hokkaido pow there and some good runs.

  5. Thanks for the link. WE've had it on the list of places to visit for a few years, not really to ski but for the "cultural" part of our annual pilgrimages north. The mountain is a bonus and it looks pretty good. We are hitting some of the lesser known mountains this year but I like to know what's ahead. A bumper season and another nice mountain - it's all (ways) good.

    Cheers >>> Kampai


  6. We have been taking walkie-talkies to Japan for years and they have proven really useful, not just on the mountain.

    I was surprised when I stumbled upon this advise fron the Australian Dept of Immigration advising that "The use of UHF-CB radios ("walkie talkies") which do not meet Japanese specifications (i.e. purchased outside of Japan) is prohibited. There are heavy fines and a possible jail sentence for those in breach of this law. " http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Japan


    Seems a bit harsh ! Good advice to pick up some sets in Tokyo.

  7. An option to staying in Sapporo, which will be pretty booked out, is to stay a couple of train stops away at Otaru. It's an easy 20min subway trip into Sapporo. Right above the station is the Otaru Hilton Hotel. We found it to be great value.

    Otaru also has its own snow festival or Snow Gleaming - mostly at night, so that should be something close to base for the kids as well.

    Good luck

  8. I can't advise on the art scene, but can recommend a really good hotel in Kyoto. In past trips there we have gone for the traditional ryokan, which is a good experience and can be expensive. On our last trip we opted for a western hotel and found the APA Hotel Gion. The hotel standard was very good and the price was reasonable. The best thing about it was the location. A fantastic point from which to walk to major shrines around the Higashiyama disctrict, through to the famous Kiyomizudera. I never tire of exploring that area. If you are into Giesha spotting, Gion corner is the place.

    Also close to subway & major shopping / restaurant area.

    This link takes you to Kyoto walks. http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-503.pdf

    Gion Corner is marked. The Hotel is in Shijo St, near the corner to Higashioji St.

    The map also shows art & craft places around Kyoto.

    We'd love to see Kyoto in the warmer months, but that will have to wait until the knees completely pack in & I can ski no more.

    Still, it's a great place in winter & probably far less crowded.

    Good luck

    PS we found the APA Hotel in Asia Rooms. We are heading to Nozawa Onsen this time (in 2 weeks) - not stopping in Kyoto - but heading north to Takayama for our pre-ski cultural experience.

    Don't skip Osaka, if that's your port of entry. It's all about shopping, eating &, if you time it right, the Sumo!

  9. Counting the days and calculating the extra quantum of Aussie pesos to convert to yen for our next trip (15 days to go), and our first visit to Nozawa.


    Is it fair to say that the ability to use a Visa card or find an ATM (if I run out of cash) at Noz, will be the same as at Hakuba.


    i.e. Is there an ATM that takes Cirrus cards in the village (7-11 or post office?)?

    Do (at least some) lift ticket windows accept foreign credit cards?


    I thought I had it all worked out last year, then JR declined my Visa for 2 tix from Nagano to Kyoto. Amex was ok! I guess it had to come in handy eventually.... after so many decades...


    One more thing, I note that there is a "6 day season pass" at Nozawa. Does this mean any six days in a season?


    Many thanks


  10. We will be in Happoone in a week & a half (& counting). I thought I had the cash / ATM / credit card issues sorted, based on past trip, but not to Hakuba.


    I've read (somewhere, maybe here) that at Hakuba you can pay for day or 2 day lift passes with a credit card, but for a season card you need to pay cash.


    Is that correct? I'm banking on buying day tickets with a credit card. Otherwise, I'd better go and get some more Yen.


    Many thanks.

  11. Thanks. I think the trains to Nagoya, then shinkansen to Kyoto is what we will end up doing. Just looking at other options.

    My wife was trying to find out some info about a one way car hire, from Hakuba to Kyoto via web inquiry & posted some questions in the Japan-guide forum. Didn't get much info (as compared to this forum - I can't believe the response). The site coordinator advised we'd need to pick up a car at Massumoto. I thought if we had to get a train that far, we ought to just keep going.


    If you know of a car hire place that operates out of Hakuba & does one way rentals, that would be great.


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