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  1. This morning started off really cloudy, then it snowed and by lunchtime we had the sun out and blue skies. Time to ski. So I went to close-by Joetsu Kokusai for the afternoon. I realised today that I am rarely at a skijo in an afternoon. Apart from quickly changing weather conditions again - quite quickly clouded over - late afternoon brings with it different colours. The snow was decent at the top Atema part, but like sand down at the base. But I had fun. I always want to like Joetsu Kokusai and I think I would more if the lifts were better. Sometimes you feel like you are there
  2. So I have waited a week for another clear day and this morning started off sunny so it was time to check out Ishiuchi Maruyama, just to the north of Yuzawa - connected with Gala Yuzawa resort - and actually in Minamiuonuma. About 15 minutes drive from my home. Lovely weather early on though once again gradually it started to cloud over and was getting overcast in some directions. As I write this now it's very grey all round here in Minamiuonuma. I really enjoyed this morning - snow was really nice up top, a little heavier down below but still decent. A fair few people about but by n
  3. Saturday 11th February 2012 until Friday 17th February 2012 The prizes: 10 one-day lift ticket vouchers - each one can be exchanged for a one-day lift ticket at the Muikamachi Hakkai-san resort in Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture this season. Vouchers valid for exchange and use at the resort on any day season. Who can enter? Any active, logged in members of SnowJapanForums can enter this Giveaway. You need to have made at least a few posts on the Forums, and join in - not just simply register. >> If you are logged in, click here to enter. >> If you need to register,
  4. Bright sunshine from early morning today and so I felt compelled to get out there again. And I am very glad I did. Destination Iwappara in Yuzawa, about 25 minutes drive from my home. I really enjoyed Iwappara this morning. The snow was better than yesterday at next door Maiko, which was a bit odd, but there you go. And I really enjoyed whizzing down that top run. I think I did the "just one more lift" thing about 5 times! It is a bit sad to see so many lifts not moving - and not moving for the season. Iwappara have not used their Gondola for handful of seasons now and ther
  5. We went to nearby Maiko this afternoon. Not one of those fab days of blue skies, not much colour really but nice the sun came out from time to time and it was generally bright and not too cold at all. I was actually really disappointed with the snow today. On Friday up at Yuzawa Kogen it was delish, but today it wasn't really good at all.... down on that low course back down to the gondola it was a bit ice-rink-y. Best snow up at the top of the quad over in the bowl. But, there are far worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, and the cheese fondue for lunch was nice. Not t
  6. Very strange weather today and it was forecast and looked like it would be snowing for the day but it was quite sunny around lunchtime so we decided to try out another 'first', and another little tiny place here in Minamiuonuma. This one is called 'Ishiuchi Hanaoka' and I believe it is owned by one of the main companies that owns close-by Ishiuchi Maruyama. It is located next to Ishiuchi Maruyama and between that resort and Mt Granview (here's my report from there). Like Mt Granview, it kind of feels like it belongs in a different era. While the one pair lift looks fairly modern
  7. I was going to wait and hit up here next Wednesday for some uncrowded weekday action but I couldn't stand looking at all the snowfilled webcams for another weekend, so off I went. Its an early start for me, get the 5.04am train from Fujisawa station to Tokyo, jump on the 6.08am Shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa and powder heaven. When we were spit out of the HUGE tunnel between Gunma and Niigata, we weren't disappointed to see that the Pow tap was left on and there was loads of snow around and the sky was full of it. Maiko puts on a free shuttle bus from Echigo Yuzawa station to the resort so thats
  8. I went out to take some new shots of the Emergency Telephone Box this evening and got some other shots of some "snow walls" around Ishiuchi here in Minamiuonuma (Niigata prefecture). In this region out of the Yuzawa, Ishiuchi, Shiozawa and Muikamachi town areas, I would say Ishiuchi has the best walls right now. They will look good when the storm clears too, I'm sure muika will oblige, but here are some nighta shots to start with. Some of these are seriously nearly 4m tall in places. Meet 'Emergency Telephone Box Ishiuchi', brother of 'Emergency Telephone Box Yuzawa'
  9. This morning the sun was out early on so it was time to get out somewhere. I decided to get on over to Hakkai-san, one of my locals. It wasn't busy, as you can see. The snow was pretty good. Pity they had the far left lift closed, I presume for weekdays, as I like that run. They seem very sensitive about the recent accident (and death) there, as there were regular warnings on the loudspeakers that I have not noticed before. Fine place. Nice cruising runs, moguls if you like them, and lots of trees to play in. Here's the pics. Frosty morning in town.
  10. 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
  11. Hey guys and gals Came back from Ishiuchi Maruyama in Niigata today. We had a fine few days playing in lots of snow and it wasn't busy. Clearer weather this morning. Here's a few shots of my friends trying to cope with the snow Not particularly exiting I'm afraid, but anyway here they are
  12. We got up early for the first lifts at Joetsu Kokusai today. The sun was out. Blue skies. Lovely snow. Nice. By the time we left at 11:30am it was grey and cloudy. A few hours later it was raining/sleeting and eventually snowing. Only took my small camera so a few snaps from the morning. Spot the SJ World Headquarters: Spot my house! Looking north Towards Yuzawa Maiko in the background Kandatsu Kogen to the right In technicolor!
  13. A bit of snow on show in Minamiuonuma and Yuzawa today. Only the very tops of the larger peaks. Good to see it. I had a bit of a drive and found a temple I had never seen before, so took a few snaps there too. Lovely.
  14. I thought I'd try out the photo section as well. My oh my. Less than 10 mins to create the gallery, upload and post this. Marvellous new system. Here it is, nothing special but hey-ho!
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