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There you go, didn't realise that at all GN. I just assumed it was all part of the old feudal system that existed on the other islands. It did seem odd to me tht Sapporo should be laid out like it is. Quick google search leads me to discover the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, who would probably take offence to your comments, much as an Aboriginal Australian would about the same being said of Australia. But now we're way off thread...

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um.. Nara and Kyoto are two that sping to mind. 10min on wiki searching Japanese history will tell when and why grid systems are not new to Japan. That said, any logic to Sapporo's city planning doesn't share the same history as those places.

 

It really cracks me up, this whole "cultural ski trip" thing. What a load of nonsense. If you want to get a feel for Japanese culture take an extra week and spend some time in Kyoto or in Takayama or some of the other more out of the way places that still retain a lot of pre-Meiji history. Go there, see it and enjoy yourself and then head to the snow and be glad that at some resorts you can actually get a decent meal and stay in a decent hotel that doesn't close down at 9pm. Alternatively, spend some time in Tokyo after your trip, check out Ginza and Omote Sando and Harajuku and Shibuya and places like that to see 21st cent Japan and then visit Hiroshima, Nikko and the Yasukuni shrine and the Japanese war museum - this will give your a sense of how the Japanese see themselves and where they come from. Check out Matsumoto castle or the Himeji castle - I'm pretty sure these are a couple of the few remaining originals most are post war repos.

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It really cracks me up, this whole "cultural ski trip" thing. What a load of nonsense.


Just because it is "nonsense" to you does not mean it has to be for everyone.
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I know I'm given to gross generalisations, it is my one vice wink but I reckon there is a bt of substance to this. Exactly what sort of culture are people hoping to see? there isn't a Japanese alpine tradition, snow sports are a relatively (well less than 100 yrs)new thing for Japanese mountains. So what people see when they visit a Japanese ski resort is often a poor imitation of european ski culture (at best) or some gaudy-hello kitty- type thing. There were also numerous ski fields that were developed during the Japanese bubble that simply have nothing to recommend them and aren't financially viable, hence 80's style is theme of the day. What exactly do people expect to see when they look for Japanese culture at a ski resort. Japanese rurual towns are a study in appalling town planning with drab grey block buldings under a rat's nest of telephone, power, cable TV wires. It is a good thing the Japanese snow is as good as it is, coz there is bugger all else to do in the inaka in the winter time.

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Back on topic...

 

A person in the know in Niseko tells me that bookings are slow and that there have been a very large number of cancellations despite discounts being offered to those bookings already deposited. Feb rates are now running at a 40%+ discount over last year's prices.

 

The people really hurting will be the property managers and the tour operators. They will be geared up for client levels that simply won't be present. Not sure about developers though, the holding costs won't be that high - yen rate still really low and probably a lot of this year's developments would have been close to being finished by the time the crunch came so they would have been able to offload them. Still, there would be a lot of capital tied up in land banks that now look very unlikely to be sold at anything near what they were worth 6 mths ago. I wish I was still earning yen, there will be some bargins coming up I reckon.

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Originally Posted By: Rag-Doll
I know I'm given to gross generalisations, it is my one vice wink but I reckon there is a bt of substance to this. Exactly what sort of culture are people hoping to see? there isn't a Japanese alpine tradition, snow sports are a relatively (well less than 100 yrs)new thing for Japanese mountains. So what people see when they visit a Japanese ski resort is often a poor imitation of european ski culture (at best) or some gaudy-hello kitty- type thing. There were also numerous ski fields that were developed during the Japanese bubble that simply have nothing to recommend them and aren't financially viable, hence 80's style is theme of the day. What exactly do people expect to see when they look for Japanese culture at a ski resort. Japanese rurual towns are a study in appalling town planning with drab grey block buldings under a rat's nest of telephone, power, cable TV wires. It is a good thing the Japanese snow is as good as it is, coz there is bugger all else to do in the inaka in the winter time.


let me calrify this a litte - places like nozawa, which was a spa town before it was a ski town have a little something extra, as does hakuba and probably a others but they're the exception.
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I know people who come to ski and take in Kyoto or other places as part of their trip. This cultural thing isnt limited to the concept of the ski resorts themselves somehow being the main part of that cultural experience. Others just enjoy coming to Japan and finding their way around, exploring, mixing with locals, checking out the shopping.... whatevers your bag.

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Originally Posted By: oo
I know people who come to ski and take in Kyoto or other places as part of their trip. This cultural thing isnt limited to the concept of the ski resorts themselves somehow being the main part of that cultural experience. Others just enjoy coming to Japan and finding their way around, exploring, mixing with locals, checking out the shopping.... whatevers your bag.


That's my point exactly, so why do we have people who moan about a resort being westernised or being over run by Aussies?

as Thursday says, go to the snow to ski.
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Originally Posted By: Rag-Doll
um.. Nara and Kyoto are two that sping to mind. 10min on wiki searching Japanese history will tell when and why grid systems are not new to Japan. That said, any logic to Sapporo's city planning doesn't share the same history as those places.

It really cracks me up, this whole "cultural ski trip" thing. What a load of nonsense. If you want to get a feel for Japanese culture take an extra week and spend some time in Kyoto or in Takayama or some of the other more out of the way places that still retain a lot of pre-Meiji history. Go there, see it and enjoy yourself and then head to the snow and be glad that at some resorts you can actually get a decent meal and stay in a decent hotel that doesn't close down at 9pm. Alternatively, spend some time in Tokyo after your trip, check out Ginza and Omote Sando and Harajuku and Shibuya and places like that to see 21st cent Japan and then visit Hiroshima, Nikko and the Yasukuni shrine and the Japanese war museum - this will give your a sense of how the Japanese see themselves and where they come from. Check out Matsumoto castle or the Himeji castle - I'm pretty sure these are a couple of the few remaining originals most are post war repos.


Ragdoll for the win!
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Originally Posted By: Rag-Doll
let me calrify this a litte - places like nozawa, which was a spa town before it was a ski town have a little something extra, as does hakuba and probably a others but they're the exception.


And guess what, RD, when we were last in Hakuba, that's exactly what we did. We took a day to go back to Nozawa Onsen to show off our little boy to our old hosts from a couple of years back, and soak up some of the village atmosphere. No skiing. Get that? We went to Nozawa Onsen and didn't ski. We also visited the snow monkeys another day and drove to Nagano, visited the shrine there, did some shopping for art prints and ate some Manju cake. We were in Hakuba for 13 days, and skied for 7 of those. It isn't everything, you know.

Don't try and tell me you can't mix a ski trip with enjoying the other things Japan, or any destination, has to offer. You holiday how you like, and I'll continue to do it my way.
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The hotel I'm booked at is still very full and hiked about 20% from last year. Hotels which perhaps have an 80% Japanese clientele are not offering any discounts I know of. But any more information most welcome.

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Shudder. I'm certainly licking my wounds this morning. veryshocked But enough of playing along with fools.

 

I know a few people with places in Niseko. Here's their situation:

 

Mr A

10% cancellations, but as of now all but a few spaces have been filled back in.

 

Mr B

He's fully booked for throughout the peak season. March is very slow but it usually is fairly slow anyway.

 

They rely on the foreign market more than they do Japanese.

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I bet loads of people come for a ski + other Japan trip.

 

Quote:
so why do we have people who moan about a resort being westernised or being over run by Aussies?

 

Cuz it would feel more like Japan if there were, er, Japanese on the slopes. Some of that exoticness ( that you so love Rag-Doll wink ) gets diluted away. Just a guess.

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Originally Posted By: keba
Originally Posted By: Rag-Doll
let me calrify this a litte - places like nozawa, which was a spa town before it was a ski town have a little something extra, as does hakuba and probably a others but they're the exception.


And guess what, RD, when we were last in Hakuba, that's exactly what we did. We took a day to go back to Nozawa Onsen to show off our little boy to our old hosts from a couple of years back, and soak up some of the village atmosphere. No skiing. Get that? We went to Nozawa Onsen and didn't ski. We also visited the snow monkeys another day and drove to Nagano, visited the shrine there, did some shopping for art prints and ate some Manju cake. We were in Hakuba for 13 days, and skied for 7 of those. It isn't everything, you know.

Don't try and tell me you can't mix a ski trip with enjoying the other things Japan, or any destination, has to offer. You holiday how you like, and I'll continue to do it my way.



I'm not saying your can't mix the two, I'm saying don't complain that you can't do two at the same time at Japanese ski resort - jeez, read the post. I think you just have a problem with the idea of your quaint view of rustic Japan being modernised. Here is the thing - good old quaint Nozawa, how much money do you reckon the resort is making? How much do you reckon they desparately need more visitors? where are they going to come from? What are they going to want, why is Niseko so very popular with foreign visitors? Yes, some of it is marketing and some of it is the mountain and snow but the additional services that have been added over the past 4-5 years have been done in response to visitor needs - child care, decent accom, decent lifts sevices, decent places to eat because there is only so much chicken skin yakitori a person can eat. So Keba, I reckon you're more of a type 2 kind of guy. You'd much rather watch rurual Japanese struggle to make ends meet than see them develop their business and, god forbid, attract international visitors.

The next big thing will be Chinese, mainland Chinese. If anybody reckons the Aussies were bad, you ain't seen nothing yet!
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because there is only so much chicken skin yakitori a person can eat


lol

Tons of sense being said there (not just the yaki-skin bit either).

Isn't there a barrier issue with mainland Chinese getting visas to visit?
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Ski,

 

Different places are obviousy affected to different degrees - my numbers come from oneof the main property managers in Niseko. The rates apply to all their apartments, which number in the hundreds. A fair sample I'd say.

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