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  1. Accommodation Information on Bears House in Ishiuchi, Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/bears-house
  2. Accommodation Information on Garden Cress in Yuzawa, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/yuzawa/garden-cress
  3. Accommodation Information on Ryugon in Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/ryugon
  4. Accommodation Information on Maruyama Onsen Kojyokan in Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/hotel-kojyokan
  5. Accommodation Information on Maiko Kogen Hotel in Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/maiko-kogen-hotel-minamiuonuma
  6. Accommodation Information on Belle Vue Nishiuri in Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/belle-vue-nishiura
  7. Resort Spotlight The Resort Spotlight for the Minamiuonuma in Niigata Prefecture can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/minamiuonuma
  8. Resort Spotlight The Resort Spotlight for the Maiko Snow Resort resort in Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/maiko-snow-resort
  9. Resort Spotlight The Resort Spotlight for the Ishiuchi Maruyama resort in Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/ishiuchi-maruyama
  10. I wasn't planning on skiing today but with a sprinkling of snow here, Maiko reporting 5-10cm of fresh and blue skies soon appearing this morning I thought why not. Braved the potential hayfever madness (OK so far!) and got up there. It's the last weekend of the main season at Maiko. After tomorrow the will be closed Monday-Friday but plan to open up next Saturday and Sunday for the last two days. So we are right on the end of the season. The layer of fresh snow overnight really made a difference I think as I'm sure if we hadn't have had that conditions would have been pretty awful.
  11. I woke up with a bit of a headache this morning and as the weather looked decent and with the fresh snow we have had, I thought I needed to get out in the fresh air. As Mt Granview isn't open today, it unfortunately had to be somewhere else. Nearby Joetsu Kokusai it was! I made the decision not to take my camera/bag as the weather didn't look that good, and I just wanted to enjoy the skiing. But I quickly really regretted that decision, as it was looking beautiful up there - a good mix of blue skies and cloud, fresh snow, snow on the trees....so I had to make do with my phone, t
  12. We got about 30cm of snow overnight and today was due to be snow all day so I wasn't expecting to ski. But as it was getting near lunchtime, the sun was shining through the window and golly gosh, blue skies all round! Computer was turned off promptly and I made my way to Maiko Snow Resort. It was a stunner of an afternoon. Still some cloud around amongst the blue skies, but they added to the beautiful-ness of it all. Snow was decent, but we still need more. Not many people at all, the Okusoeji quad was very quiet. I got fed up of waiting to take pics of a chair with someone on i
  13. First proper ski in about 3 weeks for one reason or another (warm, work, snow). What a silly boy I have been - it's fun! At least I have kick-started my season into action again and want to make up for the big gap. Just took my phone today, so here's some snaps from Ishiuchi. The snow was not as good as I thought it might be, after the snow since last weekend. Bit heavy and hard-going especially lower down, not so bad higher up. Still not light and fluffy either. Can't explain but real early spring-like feel going on. It was +3C mid-skijo according to the big thermometer they have u
  14. Today was supposed to be snowing, according to the forecasts. But they were wrong (again) and the day started with the sun shining through my curtains and I quickly had to make a choice. Was I feeling gnarly enough? The answer was a tentative yes, so it was off to The Legendary Mt Granview. And Mt Granview delivered (as it almost always does). Actually we had a really great time up there. Lots of untouched snow to play in on the sides, and the views were gran(d). Some days you try and squeeze some colour out of a dull photo. Today was one of those days when with some yo
  15. Just a few hours at the local skijo today. And local in every way. It was actually quite busy, but almost everyone there was a local school student taking ski lessons. Though somehow the pics make it look very quiet. Perhaps I should quality it by saying busy for a weekday at a small skijo. Anyway, not much to say really. Not very interesting. The top lift is now closed which is a shame. Funnily, they have it as a 'feature' - a 'Hike Up Zone' they call it. Lovely views of the valley. That's it really. Just took my phone, so here's some iphone pics. I don't think I'll go her
  16. Mostly clear skies this morning so it was off to another local, Muikamachi Hakkaisan. Glad I made it in the morning because by noon it was more overcast than clear, and now the skies are a uniform grey over Minamiuonuma and Yuzawa. I had a fun time but it's very clear that there isn't much snow yet. I have never been to Hakkaisan in December before. While it's mostly open (top steep run is not open and the left hand side lift is never open on weekdays), we need much more snow. Lots of stuff popping up and in some of the places where I usually stand to take photos, it's noticeably mu
  17. First day of my season and over to a local favourite, Maiko Snow Resort. It has been a mostly very grey day in the area, hardly any colour to play with, but it was the first day so I wasn't too fussy. Snow was fairly decent, not great, and while cover was actually pretty much 100% you can tell it's not mid season deep - lots of things popping up on the side of the runs. Had a fun few hours though. But just so you can see what Maiko looks like early in the season:
  18. A few hours at Ishiuchi Maruyama this morning. One of the first out so lots of groomed runs to spoil, though it was pretty hard and icy early on. Got more sugary later. Definitely spring season feel to proceedings. Gave my legs some good shock-absorber exercise! Curious weather, deep blue contrasty skies in one direction, hazy and wishy-washy out looking back home. Didn't get the camera out much either, another curiously not-really-bothered morning, so just took a few snaps. Looking towards home
  19. I have had a bit of a frustrating day and to see the clear skies outside made it even worse! 3:30pm and I decided it was time to take a break and get some fresh air. Time to check out the nighta at nearby Maiko Snow Resort here in Minamiuonuma. This season it's just 500 yen from 4pm to 8pm on the right 'Maiko' side of the resort. The top triple lift runs until 5pm and then it's just the central quad that goes until 8pm. Got there at just after 4pm so I could play on the top triple lift for a while before it closed. I was surprised actually because it's a fairly decent sized a
  20. Ah, Hakkai-san. Lovely beer, nice sake (so I hear!), beautiful mountain and a nearby ski resort here in Muikamachi. Early on today the sun was out and it was a beautiful morning with blue skies. Wispy clouds soon formed and by lunchtime the skies were a mix of blue to the north and a strange mix of colours towards Yuzawa and Gunma looking south. Almost early morning/sunset kind of colours going on there. It wasn't too crowded considering it is Saturday and didn't have to wait for a lift at all. Saw our friend the guy on the funny ski-board thing with poles - I see him there eve
  21. Very unexicting photos, sorry, but I went out for my first day at Joetsu Kokusai here in Niigata (Minamiuonuma) before New Year. The snow was ok but we were needing more fresh - that seems to be falling the last few days so should be much better now. Good to get out there though.
  22. My first day on the snow. And a good one to pick as well. Stormy conditions yesterday make for very nice snow today and the sun was out shining with blue skies over Minamiouonuma this morning. Mt Granview not being open yet, Maiko Snow Resort here in Minamiuonuma was the choice. Not busy at all, the whole place open and lovely snow conditions. Great first day. When the lovely new snowjapan site goes up, I'll write a resort review for Maiko, and the other places I know, with some more words rather than just pictures.
  23. Mid-morning here and the clouds had cleared and the sun came out. Time to go out for a few hours, we thought, and were debating whether to go to Maiko or Ishiuchi Maruyama. But we decided to have a bit of an adventure and check out a small place here in Minamiuonuma called "Mt Granview". Previously known as Sports Shinko Ishiuchi and before that as Yamato. Let's rebranding! It can be found between Ishiuchi Maruyama and Joetsu Kokusai and sort of opposite from Maiko: http://www.snowjapan...hp?resortNo=247 Neither of us had ever been to this place, and while we knew it was a small
  24. Yesterday i decided to use up the ticket I won for Minamiuonuma by going to Ishiuchi Maruyama. The weather report said it was going to be warm and sunny so I expected spring.slushy conditions as this resort is very low. From the minute the sun came up, there wasn't a cloud to be seen in the sky. The weather was glorious!! I had been praying to the road gods that the dreaded devil road that is the Kan-Etsu expressway would play nice today after so many delayed attempts at getting to and from the mountains.....thankfully my child sacrifice seemed to have worked and we got there without a hitch t
  25. Very strange day today weather wise. Started off snowing, then around 8am it was bright blue skies, then it quickly clouded over again. Back to sun after 9am and as I hadn't been skiing since Hakuba last week I thought I would go out and have a half day. Lovely blue skies for an hour or so and then it got all grey and clouding over once again around lunchtime. Lots of different shades of blue, then grey. It was almost like it was different days looking in different directions. I was really pleasantly surprised at the snow - it was really decent out there today. Actually it was easi
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