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  1. With Minowa opening today, the 2013/2014 season has officially started in Fukushima. And hence, time for this season's thread. Previous season's threads: 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Planned openings: 11.15 Minowa (B lift) 11.30 Grandeco 12.14 Adatara Kogen Nekoma 12.15 Oze Hinoemata Onsen 12.19 Aizu Kogen Daikura 12.20 Grandsunpia Inawashiro Resort Numajiri 12.21 Aizu Kogen Takatsue Alts Bandai Fairyland Kaneyama Family Snow Park Bandai x2 Grandee Hatoriko Inawashiro Listel Ski Fantasia Nihonmatsu Shiozawa Tadami Ten-Ei Urabandai
  2. Sunday at Grandeco was predicted to be snowy and blustery. Turned out to be a calm, gorgeous day. Muikabochi gorgeous -- blue skies above, fresh packed powder underfoot (and unpacked to the sides). Excellent day for high-speed carving, mogul runs, and the cross course which was used for competition in the morning, then opened to the public from the afternoon. Had my fill of all the above, thighs still aching the next day. Couldn't ask for more. Cross course: Mt. Adatara seen above gondola station: Lake Inawashiro and Mt. Bandai (p
  3. Took the drive through Tochigi on regular roads, past Shiobara Onsen, to Aizu Kogen Daikura on Saturday. That part of southern Fukushima had always seemed hard to get to, but in fact it takes not much more time to reach than it does to get to the Bandai-area ski areas using the expressway. Snowed constantly all day. Visibility sufficient for the most part, wind not as bad as predicted (though gusted occasionally), lots of fresh snow. Arriving: The base area is split into two parts, the older part to the right, and the newer part to the lower left: The lifts on t
  4. It was supposed to be clear and sunny yesterday at Grandeco, though as can be seen from the photos, it pretty much wasn't except at the very top of the mountain, later in the day. No matter, good skiing weather, cold enough but not too cold. They have added a third park area on the bottom leg of the Akadeko course, which is the long beginner course that winds its way down to the bottom from the top of the gondola. The main mogul course also empties out into this leg, after which that leg always felt like an overly long (kilometer or so?) run-out
  5. So, last time (http://www.snowjapan...ushima-2014211/), I reported that skiing the trees off-piste appears to now be officially sanctioned at Grandeco. It appears I may have to issue a correction on that. What made me think the policy had been liberalized was a wall of PR material, posters and travel mag spreads, in the main building. In particular, a couple of bits of text from there caught my eye. The first one quotes a manager as saying: The second has more details, though no direct quote: So, I thought, and reported, that skiing off-piste appears now to be officiall
  6. We had planned to go to Grandeco for the first outing of the season, but the weather forecast was looking way too blustery there. Grandee Hatoriko looked more reasonable, so off we went, for the first time in almost 4 years (http://www.snowjapan...shima-201019-10). Heading into the tunnel that separates Ibaraki and Tochigi on the Kita Kanto Expressway, still Autumn colors in Ibaraki: Emerging into Tochigi, winter in the distance: Shirakawa is the first exit off the Tohoku Expressway after the Tochigi/Fukushima border. From Shirakawa, you can see Mt. Jeans (center), and if you
  7. 11月下旬, time for this season's Fukushima thread. Some planned openings: 11/23: Minowa 12/1: 11/30: Grandeco 12/15: 12/12: Urabandai Nekoma 12/19: Aizu Kogen Takatsue 12/21: Numajiri Grand Sunpia Inawashiro Resort Grandee Hatoriko 12/22: ALTS Bandai Adatara Kogen Listel Ski Fantasia Family Snow Park Bandai x2 Inawashiro Urabandai Sannokura Tadami TenEi 12/27: Aizu Kogen Takahata Aizu Kogen Nango Minowa were the first in the region to open last year. Judging from webcams they look to be in the running for that record this year as well, thou
  8. Interest has been expressed in making another attempt at a meet-up in Fukushima, this season. So, who is up for it, and when and where? If a preferred date or ski area has been omitted from the poll, let me know and I will add them. I believe poll answers can be changed (by deleting and re-voting), so you can go back and modify your answers as circumstances change.
  9. In a theme with recent threads, Inawashiro Resort ski area is now under new ownership, and has been renamed Grand Sunpia Inawashiro Resort. Kind of going the reverse direction as Maiko in terms of name length and complication. Should at least be less confusion with Inawashiro ski area, I suppose.
  10. It seems a good time to kick off a Fukushima 2011/2012 thread. Opening dates (or planned opening dates) for some Fukushima resorts: (List being updated as season opening progresses.) 11/26: Minowa (640 m E.T Course to start) 11/27: Grandeco (2 km Center Course only, 10-30 cm of mostly artificial snow -- they advise against bringing new equipment, so expect some "stubble" in places) Note: temporarily closing from 11/30, due to snow loss from warm weather. ...and reopening from 12/3. 12/17: Urabandai Nekoma 12/21: Aizu Kogen Takatsue 12/22: Numajiri Family Snow
  11. Some pictures from Alts Bandai on Saturday, 18 Feb. 2012. A carload of us went up, all first-timers to Alts. The fact that it is bigger than most places I usually visit was brought home from the parking lot, from which there is no walking to the base area -- have to take a shuttle bus. I normally hate little time-wasters like that, but it was a fast, efficient bus with no waiting, so no complaints as it turned out. Then to the base area. If one wanted to make a movie set in a bubble-jidai ski area, this would be the set to use. This is obviously not a small place that grew organica
  12. I had been wanting to visit Adatara Kogen again after first visiting it last year (http://www.snowjapan...__fromsearch__1), at which time the skiing was great but the visibility was terrible. I hoped for clearer weather to get some nice views of, and from, Mt. Adatara, one of the "100 famous mountains" of Japan. Finally made it yesterday, and got at least part of my wish. It was very foggy in the base area when we arrived: But once one took the gondola up, it was a whole new prospect: Looking back towards the direction of the base area, a huge wall of clouds loomed, like
  13. Time to start picking dates for an SJ gathering in Fukushima! From the previous thread, the preferred location seems to be Alts Bandai, and preferred dates are January or February, with a slight preference for February: http://www.snowjapan...g-in-fukushima/ Which dates are best for you? Multiple dates can be selected. (I have taken the liberty of omitting some dates that are inconvenient for me. I've voted for the best days for me, but the others are possible too. Of course don't let that stop anyone from arranging something else at another time!)
  14. For a meet-up in Fukushima, I suggest picking somewhere in the northern Fukushima (Inawashiro/Bandai/Adatara) area, which is readily accessible from all directions, being at the intersection of two expressways. The poll includes a suggested list of snow resorts in that area; people should feel free to suggest different places, either in the same area or further south. Multiple resorts and times can be chosen. Maps, descriptions and reviews: http://www.snowjapan...cture=Fukushima
  15. Anyone born between April 2, 1989 and April 1, 1992 can ski or board for free every day this season until March 31, 2012 at any of the following Fukushima ski areas: Aizu Kogen Daikura Aizu Kogen Takahata Aizu Kogen Nango Adatara Kogen Inawashiro Inawashiro Resort Urabandai Grandee Hatoriko Numajiri Family Snow Park Bandai x2 Minowa Yokomuki Onsen Listel Ski Fantasia Ten-Ei Hinoemata Fairy Land Kaneyama To get a free lift ticket, show one of the following forms of photo ID at the resort ticket counter: --Driver's license --Student ID w/photo --Passport --Juumin Kihon
  16. Actually, it was yesterday, just a sprinkling, and already gone today it seems. But snow nevertheless. And an excuse to try out the new topic prefixes. From the Grandeco web site:
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