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Will be in Japan at the end of Jan or beginning of Feb 09.

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I'm going to Japan for a few days to a week, at the end of Jan or beginning of Feb of 2009 for a family function, and I thought I could hit up some of the resorts in Japan. I will be in Gumma, but as I don't have a driver's license there, so taking train/bullet train/taxi will be my main method of transportation.


After doing some research on here, Gala Yuzawa seems like the easiest location for me to get to. (By taking Jouetsu Bullet Train from Takasaki station.) Then, maybe stay at Yuzawa Grand Hotel, as it seems to be the closest hotel.


I have some questions:

1. Is there any other option of ski resort and hotel to stay? I'm not picky about the slope too much for this trip, as I will only be there for a day or two, so as long as it has good snow, I'm stocked. The only concern is the transportation, as I won't be driving in Japan.

2. If I go to Gala Yuzawa or any other ski resort by myself on a weekday, will I feel intimidated of any sort? The last time I've gone to a ski resort in Japan was over 15 yrs ago! So, I don't know how things are these days and want to be prepared for it if necessary.


Thanks in advance!

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Hi there


No need to limit yourself to Gala and that hotel. You can easily get to any of the resorts in Yuzawa from the station. Check this map to see 'em:






Any of the resorts on those are within 30 minutes (most under 15) and have shuttle buses from the station. Same with the hotels, you can stay pretty much anywhere in the town area and easy get around.

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Thanks for all the replies!


Since I've narrowed the resorts I wanna visit to Kagura/Naeba and/or Hakuba, I've been doing more researches reading about all the different hotels/ryokan and what they offer, such as pick up/drop off from train station/ski resorts, etc. I'll update with what I come up with later.

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There were 2 conventions, 26 and 49. The 68 convention was not ratified by a number of countries.


This from the Automobile Associate of Great Britain.


(he's a very nice man, yes a very nice man)




List of countries for which a permit is required

An IDP is required for the following countries.


Special conditions or requirements apply for those countries in the list below with one or more capital letters alongside. It is important that you refer to the corresponding note(s) at the foot of this page.


IDP 1926

Brazil (E, P)

Burundi (E)






IDP 1949


Albania (P)

Algeria (L)

Angola (L)



Australia (E)




Bahrain (A, C)

Bangladesh (E)

Belarus (L)




Bosnia (E)

Botswana (A, E)

Brunei (A, E)

Bulgaria (D)

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Cameroon (E)

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Cape Verde (E)

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Central African Republic


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Congo (Republic of) (E)

Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (L)

Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles)

Czech Republic (D)


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Djibouti (G)

Dominica ©



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Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea (E)


French Guiana (E)


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Georgia (E)

Ghana (A, E)

Grenada ©

Guadeloupe (E)


Guinea Bissau ©

Guinea Republic (E)





Hong Kong (E)

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Iceland (F)


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Israel (A, E)

Italy (F)







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Kazakhstan (E)

Kenya (E)

Korea (South)

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Kyrgyzstan (E)




Laos (E)

Latvia (F)

Lebanon (A, M)

Lesotho (E)

Liberia ©




Macao (Macau)

Malaysia (A, E)

Mali (E)

Mauritania (E)

Mexico (E)

Montenegro (E)

Morocco (E)

Mozambique (E)

Myanmar (Burma) (G)




Namibia (A, L)

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Oman (G)


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Peru (L, Q)


Portugal (F)




Qatar (A, C)


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Russian Federation

Rwanda (L)




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San Marino (F)

Sao Tome and Principe (E)

Saudi Arabia (A, B, E)

Senegal (L)

Serbia (E)

Seychelles (A)

Sierra Leone

Singapore (A, Q)

Slovakia (A)

Slovenia (L)

South Africa (A, J)

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Sri Lanka (N)

Sudan (E)


Swaziland (L)



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Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

Tanzania (A, C)



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Turkey (I)





United Arab Emirates



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Zimbabwe (L)


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Important Notes


A – Required for car hire.


B – Women not permitted to drive.


C – IDP recommended. Temporary local licence may be obtained on production of UK licence, but this may be time consuming and more expensive.


D – UK driving licences that do not incorporate a photograph must be accompanied by an IDP.


E – IDP recommended.


F – All valid UK driving licences should be accepted. Acceptance of driving licences that are not of the European Communities model cannot be guaranteed therefore drivers may wish to voluntarily update them before travelling abroad, if time permits. Application for D1 (in Northern Ireland DL1) is available from most Post Offices. Alternatively, older licences may be accompanied by an IDP.


G – National licence or IDP should be presented to the police who will issue a visitors licence.


H – IDP valid for 15 days – local licence must then be obtained.


I – UK driving licences valid for 90 days.


J – IDP recommended as, in the event of an accident, some insurance companies will insist on seeing one. Additionally those licences which do not incorporate a photograph need to be accompanied by photographic proof of identity.


K – IDP must be exchanged for a local driving licence. A small charge will be made.


L – An IDP is compulsory for holders of driving licenses not incorporating a photograph and also recommended for photocard licence holders.


M – IDP compulsory and must be certified by the local authorities on arrival.


N – IDP must be accompanied by a recognition permit available for a small fee from the AA of Ceylon in Colombo.


P – Officially a certified translation is required from the Consulate.


Q – For stays longer than 30 days.



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that was a tad confusing. Might be better to put up the link, so anyone who wants to can get there.

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Ok, I guess I don't need to take a driving test, but I still need $15-20 and 2 passport pics.


But the question is: Is it really worth renting a car in Japan for a solo 2 day trip?


Or I can use the cars my parents own (and they live in Gumma) but I don't wanna get in an accident or be liable if anything happens.


btw, I got my info from http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-drive.html

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Originally Posted By: thursday.
due to requests from those easily confused, here's the link for your international driving pleasure: slap
The AA

Thanks, thurs. Age DOES weary them! (or at least me)
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Originally Posted By: t177
Since I've narrowed the resorts I wanna visit to Kagura/Naeba and/or Hakuba,

I wouldnt bother with Naeba, if you are going to be in Yazawa area stick to Kagura.

One thing is for sure, you cant do both Yuzawa and Hakuba in a 2-3 days trip. So better pick one of these two.
If you are not planing to do some BC touring also, I would say wait till you are here and go to the one that has the most recent snowfall.
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For lots of people Naeba is a better place than Kagura.

I would classify Kagura as being 'over-rated' myself.


It depends on what you want.

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"Kagura" as kagura area from the Tashiro/mitsumata/Kagura resort is overrated. I am actually glad some times that people have tunel vision for Kagura area because not many hit some of my stashes in Tashiro. razz


I would say that Naeba is better for beginners because its has much easier runs and really wide gelende, but some more experienced rider might find it a bit boring. On the other hand, I also remember myself when still a beginner in Kagura area getting my arse kicked... smile

Although the lower parts of Tashiro are excellent for beginners. Thats where I taught tsondagirl snowboarding.

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A sorry, yes now I got your question. Most of the people thinking kagura actually mean only the part of the resort up to the #1 kagura high speed lift. The resort is not only the kagura area but also Tashiro and Mitsumata areas, but is usually referred as kagura resort. I ve met many people that have been going to kagura for more than a season and never actually explored tashiro. There is more to the resort than the Kagura main gelende or the 2 runs under the #1 kagura high speed lift and the lift next to it. I hope that makes sense.

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