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Slippery Jim

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Everything posted by Slippery Jim

  1. Slippery Jim

    Busy or not busy?

    I was at Kagura on the 27th, indeed a lovely day. Took the 8:40 bus from station, and the line for the ropeway stretched halfway down the parking lot when I arrived. It cleared out pretty much by the time I got booted up, and aside from a wait of 3 or 4 minutes for the Mitsumata quad, lifts weren't crowded at all. The main run off the Kagura quad lift was a bit busy, but for a warm & sunny Sunday I'd judge it as quite acceptable (but I haven't been to Kagura on a weekend in quite a few years). My trips to Niseko this month were like a time trip to the year 2000 in terms of lack of crowds.
  2. Slippery Jim

    Nasuki Go ???

    This question is aimed at SJ's faithful Nozawa Onsen Today reporter (who, like all his colleagues does a great and much-appreciated job 😍) Today's (Dec 18) report mentions Nasuki Go, apparently in the context of some kind of transportation service within the village -- between the Nagasaka & Hikage gondolas. Could we get a bit more information on this, please? What's available as far as (bus?) service within the village? Many thanks!!
  3. Slippery Jim

    Nasuki Go ???

    Thanks very much! SnowJapan: responsive, clear and accurate as always. I was away from a real keyboard for a few days (⛷️) but saw the explanation on the Saturday Now report.
  4. Slippery Jim

    Go To Travel coupons

    Pretty much dead quiet on Dec 4-6, and very very quiet Dec 11-13. Heading back up again tomorrow (19th) for three more days, and expect with all the new snow there will be far more locals out on the runs.
  5. Slippery Jim

    Go To Travel coupons

    Does anyone have confirmation that the Go To coupons can be used to buy lift passes at ski resorts? The information I've received indicates they can be used for "activities," but doesn't specify that this includes lift tix.
  6. Slippery Jim

    Go To Travel coupons

    Just to circle back to this: Yes, I used GoTo coupons to buy lift tix at Niseko over the weekend, pay for dinner, pay for a beer at a bar, pay for groceries, hotel incidentals. Basically, they're good for pretty much anything -- just be sure to use them during your trip; they are limited to the dates of travel.
  7. Slippery Jim

    Anyone have experience with forwarding services?

    Revisiting this to ask if anyone has received packages from the US in recent months. I have some gear at a friend's home but when he tried to send it to me USPS wouldn't accept it, saying there are Covid protocols preventing shipments to Japan. Meanwhile, I have a ski gear maker telling me "no problem" shipping to Japan. Obviously, I should've just bought the damn helmet/goggles in Jimbocho to begin with 🤯, but that ship sailed.
  8. Do any of the esteemed SnowJapan members have experience with package forwarding services, specifically for skis? Any recommendations? experience with the MyUS outfit? others? There are some exceptional deals available these days, but specific things I'm after all carry shipping-to-Japan charges of USD150-180, which seems excessive. Thanks for any information any of you can provide.
  9. Slippery Jim

    Go To Travel coupons

    OK, I am reliably informed (by the folks at Furano Prince & Okushiga Kogen) that the coupons can be used to purchase lift passes (unless something changes in the meantime). Which is probably as reliable as there is at the moment. Hope this is useful to everyone.
  10. Slippery Jim

    Questions about site updates

    It's all very much appreciated 😍
  11. Slippery Jim

    Hokkaido Ski Season Net

    Thanks Nisoko, that's pretty much what I figured but appreciate the confirmation. It'll have to wait until I can move permanently North!
  12. Slippery Jim

    Hokkaido Ski Season Net

    Does anyone have experience with this? How does it work? The available info is a little confusing, and I'm having trouble figuring out it it's worthwhile.
  13. This is a great resource, and a lot of fun. Much appreciate all the hard work that must've gone into research, compilation, etc. Just one more reason why SnowJapan rocks!
  14. Not a forecast, per se, but it was great to get the first hint of a coming snow season today as the local discount liquor store began advertising Aki Aji 🍻!
  15. Hmmm, convoluted, but I think I read it as anyone with a permanent resident visa (or some other categories) qualifies for re-entry under "special exceptional circumstances," but I'd check w/immigration before leaving Japan. Then there are the "humanitarian" exceptions (eg, you travel to visit/care for an ill relative) and you can come back. It doesn't spell out the quarantine procedures, but of course that's a different ministry's responsibility so we don't want to clutter up our verbiage with theirs...🙅‍♂️
  16. My understanding is that you must have a pre-arranged location for a 14-day quarantine, and private transport to that location. Major PITA to be sure, but I don't think you're denied entry, especially with a PRV (but, I've been wrong before...).
  17. Slippery Jim

    Anyone have experience with forwarding services?

    The ones I've looked into all make it clear that you are responsible for any customs, taxes, etc. When I've had things shipped directly in the past, it's been hit/miss on customs duty, but when I've had to pay it's been pretty reasonable. Funny aside: The last time I had a pair of skis shipped to me, I received an e-mail from the Yokohama Customs office questioning the shipment value. Turned out the person who took care of the shipment put a value of USD 1 on the customs form, and YC didn't think that was accurate (tho the skis were obviously used). I told them how much I'd actually paid, but they asked me to get an e-mail from the shipper to back up my story. The person was very apologetic, saying he thought it would save me from paying any duty, and sent me a formal valuation e-mail immediately, which I then forwarded to YC, and my skis were delivered two days later -- with no customs charge.
  18. Short answer: None at all! Realistically, even without coronavirus it's much too early to guess at what sort of winter weather is in store. Even just as an overall climate estimate, you can't expect anything remotely in the ballpark before roughly September, and even then it would be more guess than forecast. Complicate that with the pandemic, and there's just no way of telling where we'll be next winter in terms of skiing. Don't make any non-refundable reservations just yet 😁. That said, January skiing is typically really good in Japan. Check out the exhaustive snowfall stats available here on SnowJapan.com for the areas you'd like to ski.
  19. Slippery Jim

    Happo-one closing suddenly

    Dear NOW Reporters, A warm, giant THANK YOU! for all the work you do. It is very much appreciated, and more valuable than you may realize. Best wishes for your health and safety in these perilous times. Looking forward to your reports again next winter. Until then, Good night, Mrs Calabash, wherever you are. Slippery Jim DiGriz
  20. OK, I'm going to suggest you base yourself in the Myoko region. The area gets tons of snow, plenty of reasonably priced accommodations and relatively easy to access other large resorts such as Hakuba, Nozwa Onsen & Shiga Kogen.
  21. I have to ask: If food, culture, history, festivals, etc. are secondary, why Japan? You could have a fantastic snowboarding experience in Snowbird, Big Sky, Revelstoke, Whistler....spend less money, avoid 12~18-hour flights, language hassles. So, why Japan? There ought to be some other consideration that makes you want to come all the way here. I ask this seriously, not mocking you or anything. Knowing why you want to make the trip opens the door to giving you some information.
  22. Slippery Jim

    Japan 2019-2020: a one off?

    Certainly a Black Swan season here. Have to believe we will once again host serene white swans for '20-21.
  23. Slippery Jim

    How fast is takkyubin?

    I would say it's possible but unlikely you can get delivery within a 24-hour window,. You may be able to receive bags on Tuesday morning, but I don't think Yamato will guarantee delivery until Wednesday a.m. Just for reference, I shipped a ski bag from Niseko on Saturday afternoon, and it arrived at my home this morning about 10 a.m. But there was no guarantee that it would arrive before tomorrow morning. My advice would be carry boots/pants/jacket, ship the rest and just plan to rent skis for monday. You do know that the last Nagano -> Shiga Kogen bus departs at 17:25, right?
  24. Slippery Jim

    Early season in Japan

    Just skied three days in Niseko, which is as short of snow as I've ever seen it at this point of December. Had to scramble to avoid bare areas, and still picked up numerous small scratches in bases of both skis. Sasa grass still sticking out everywhere. Well, still fun and worth the trip, and the many visitors from down south seemed to be enjoying themselves.


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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.

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