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torihada

Convince me to spend Xmas boarding in Japan?

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Can you convince me to come to Japan this Dec/Jan? This rather ponderous post is because I really can't make up my mind.

 

Nearly 3 years since my last visit (to Japan & this site) in which I combine visit to inlaws in Akita with family skiing/boarding in Akita/Iwate.

 

On the cusp of buying airline tickets for Dec/Jan, 3 week visit but struck by alternative;

 

Drive to French Alps (I'm in the UK) for one week of Alpine boarding & skiing this Xmas and spend next summer holiday in Japan.Mmmmmmmmmmmm

 

Reasons against Japan snow: last 2 trips I've been caught out with very poor snow (local Akita resorts brownfield until last week of Dec). Local (20 mins away) never opened last time & lovely little resort with lovely steep runs has closed. eyes

 

Visiting Nagano/Niigata too expensive; eg I'll have to pay for accomodation for 4, same with Hokkaido (apart from distance to drive). Though in Appi Kogen we rented studio appartment (sleeps 4) for about Y56k for 4 nights. I fancy 4/5 days in Zao, but again accomodation is $$$$$$.

 

I'm bored of Iwate (Appi Kogen) & Tazawako & other sites local to Daisen Shi.

 

For: Onsen. Roten furo in snow. Ahhhhhh. Japanaese winter food mmmmmm. The possibility of big dumps of powder. Any other suggestions? Should I come or should I stay?

 

Thanks in advance.

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One of the things about Zao is the accommodation and restaurants and stuff. I stayed down 25 minutes drive in Yamagata. That was just one night, not sure it would be a good idea there and back for a number of days.

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What was the name of your local resort torihada?

 

I'd come. And go to Europe too. wink

 

But even if you get unlucky with a late start, think of all the other +++ of Japan. Go on you know you want to!

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Zao is a fine place, I'd definitely consider it.

But wherever you go other than family you'll have the accommodation problem, right?

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Originally Posted By: joshnii
Xmas is never guaranteed unfortunately.
Is it at your alternative?

wink


Staying at 2000 m in French Alps there's more likelihood. But as you say no guarantee.

Originally Posted By: grungy-gonads
Quote:
Convince me to spend Xmas boarding in Japan?


Japanese females. evilgrin


Combine boarding with grounds for divorce? Mmmmmm. naughty Also I'm very happy with my current 'Japanese female' thank you.

Originally Posted By: mina2
What was the name of your local resort torihada?

I'd come. And go to Europe too. wink

But even if you get unlucky with a late start, think of all the other +++ of Japan. Go on you know you want to!


Tazawako is the nearest large resort. There's an even closer run with just 2 lifts (can see it from my father-in-laws house) which is great for niighta runs.But that never opened on my last visit.

Its the other +++ things of Japan that'll swing it, its just so long since I've visited in Summer. Sweating to death in Japanese summer,what's there not to like?

Originally Posted By: BagOfCrisps
Zao is a fine place, I'd definitely consider it.
But wherever you go other than family you'll have the accommodation problem, right?


Yeah I'm prepared to pay for a few nights accommodation somewhere (my idea is to head to Zao for 4 nights). I also would like to offer some support to northern Tohoku in these hard times.

Originally Posted By: griller
Hows the exchange rate compared with last time then torihada?


Moderately worse than last time when I was getting Y140 = £1, now its under Y130. Ahhhh the heady days of Y220 to the GB£. Then again my first visit in 95 I was getting Y130. I think these Yen rates are going to be pretty static for the next few years. So winter or summer I'm going to get it in the wallet. The four airfare tickets will be less than three weeks car hire. doh

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Originally Posted By: torihada
Yeah I'm prepared to pay for a few nights accommodation somewhere (my idea is to head to Zao for 4 nights). I also would like to offer some support to northern Tohoku in these hard times.


Sounds like a killer argument right there. thumbsup

Staying in Yamagata city is really not too expensive, as Muika says. Can even get a hotel with onsen there. (Maybe not rotenburo.)

What does your wife think?

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Originally Posted By: Metabo Oyaji

What does your wife think?


I think she's be happy to go to the Alps. Actually over dinner tonight the kids decided that the onsen will more enjoyable in winter than summer.

When I look at all the fringe benefits in Japan, boarding in the Alps just doesn't come close.

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Same here. Onsen are a seasonal thing for me. Perhaps not intentionally but that's how it turns out. Autumn until around spring time.

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though after a summer days hard hiking in the mountains, soaking in a roten furo that night is very relaxing.

 

In winter onsen also serve the purpose of reheating you, especially if you're staying in an old draughty house, where you have to scrape the ice off the inside of the windows in the morning.

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Originally Posted By: torihada
The four airfare tickets will be less than three weeks car hire. doh


How does that work out torihada?

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Bit of hyperbole from me there; figures are a bit skewed as I'll use airmiles. With airmiles (equates to getting one ticket free) it'll be approx GB£ 1,600. (Lufthansa would do me 4 tickets for £2300) My three week car hire with Tocoo approx Y220,000 (incl snow tyres, ski rack)= GBP £1720.

 

6 years ago my car hire for the same period was nearly the same price in Yen but cost me approx. GB£900. Ahhh the joys of currency fluctuation.

 

Car hire is still the cheapest option when you're visiting Tokyo, Ota & Akita.

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If you can get up to Hokkaido, I would recommend it.

 

I live in one of the best areas for snow in the world and snow wise I think Hokkaido takes the cake (at least for Dec/Jan/Feb) So I would recommend going there if you can.

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Originally Posted By: soubriquet
Don't bother coming. Appi is boring. December grass and rock boarding in yurrup is a much better waste of money.


Appi is popular so it must have something for some people.

And Shizukuishi is not too far away as well.

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Nope. Appi is boring, well it is after 4 days with no fresh snow. It was great when my kids were learning (and so was I) but motorway wide pistes that flatten out for the last third of the mountain soon lose your attention.

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Originally Posted By: torihada
Nope.


'Nope' what exactly?

Appi isn't popular? Well, it is, and so it must have something for some people. Maybe not you.

And Shizukuishi is indeed fairly nearby.

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Appi was my first resort in Japan and I really like it still.

No, not keen on the lower parts but the beginners can all stay there can't they?

It's a decent place and has it's audience.

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Originally Posted By: SKI
Originally Posted By: torihada
Nope.


'Nope' what exactly?

Appi isn't popular? Well, it is, and so it must have something for some people. Maybe not you.

And Shizukuishi is indeed fairly nearby.


I was sort of agreeing with Soub, but you're right, my answer is not clear.

Reading back I appear to be overly critical of Appi. As I cram all my boarding into my Japan visit approximately every 3 years I'm a bit desperate to explore other hills. First visit to Appi with fresh powder (staying in resort for 4 days) I loved it. 3 years ago, again staying in resort for 4 days and no fresh snow the whole family felt they'd had enough by the end. I feel we've exhausted Appi. If the inlaws lived closer I'd be there every day.

In Appi's favour: their ski school is very good. I think the restaurants are also good, lifts are efficient, kids room friendly and reasonable price.The Apartments are fantastic value and well equiped & clean.

This long explanation is because in these tough times for Tohoku I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from visiting what is a very good resort.

I may well give Shizukuishi a look over.

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