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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 Park Bandai x2

 

12/23:

Adatara Kogen

Nihonmatsu Shiozawa

Ura Bandai

Inawashiro

Inawashiro Resort

Listel Ski Fantasia

Kitakata Sannokura

Grandee Hatoriko

Fairy Land Kaneyama

Aizu Kogen Daikura

 

12/27:

Aizu Kogen Nango

Aizu Kogen Takahata

 

12/28:

ALTS Bandai

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note:

 

I started a thread on Fukushima last year (http://www.snowjapan...shima%20%202010), mostly on a lark, because a) it was a place hardly anyone talked about at the time, not getting the publicity some other places get, and b ) while I don't live there, it is the easiest, best place for me to get to for skiing, and I have a great fondness for the area. I thought it kind of a hidden gem.

 

Obviously, now it is a place that everyone knows about. It pains me to see how much damage has been done by that power plant to the rest of the prefecture -- and to the prefectures around it. And for that matter to all of Japan, reputationally. I think one of the best ways to fight back against this reputational damage is to go right to the core of what everyone is afraid of, and show that even in Fukushima itself, there is some fine skiing and boarding to enjoy -- and being enjoyed. Decontaminate, even slightly, the name of Fukushima, not only for the sake of the people who live there, but for the sake of all of us living in Japan. We all gain if Fukushima gains.

 

So even if you plan to spend most of your time elsewhere, and would not have visited Fukushima ordinarily anyway, I would like to suggest giving a thought to making just one trip there this season, and posting a trip report and pictures. If you're so inclined.

Edited by Metabo Oyaji
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For the sake of Fukushima, let's hope it works better for them than Liverpool FC!

Im hoping to make a trip up there - a friend of mine is moving up to Nihonmatsu in January. However, neither of us have a car so Im wondering if anybody knows if there are transportation options from Nihonmatsu to any of the ski resorts?

BTW I would definitely recommend a trip to this region - its a beautiful area with some fine skiing in uncrowded resorts.

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Im wondering if anybody knows if there are transportation options from Nihonmatsu to any of the ski resorts?

 

Adatara Kogen has a taxi+lift ticket deal from Nihonmatsu: Roundtrip from JR Nihonmatsu station (or vicinity) to Adatara Kogen, plus 1-day lift ticket, for 6,900 yen per person if 2 people total, 5,800 yen/person if 3 people total, and 5,200 yen/person if 4 or more people total. Call Showa Taxi at 0243-22-1155 to make arrangements.

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I would say so, yes. Last year I went up to Inawashiro by night bus.........but we stopped off at a rest stop for 1 hour on 2 occassions, when I asked why the rep said so that we wouldn't be there too early!! WTF did we leave at 11pm for then?? Anyways we got there about 4.30-5am!! Stayed on the bus for about an hour before the resort staff opened up the bottom cafe and let us sit in there. So, if you were leaving at a more realistic time, I'd say you could make it up there no problem for opening lifts. The road up wasn't busy either, nothing like the Kan-Etsu

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"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)"

 

Good of them to say that.

Did they get the 2km course going?

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Takes about 3 hours to drive up to Alts from Tsukuba including some driving on snowy roads - obviously Kanagawa is a bit further, but if you make an early start and hopefully miss some of the traffic in Tokyo, then it should be do-able.

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how much of it do you reckon was man made?

 

Not sure, but at least half, especially in the lower parts.

 

Did they get the 2km course going?

 

Yeah, that is the first course they always open, and the last one they keep open. I think it may be the only course with snow cannons on it.

It's actually an intermediate course, so beginners might want to wait until they get more opened up.

 

Is Fukushima doable as a day trip?

 

Route Finder says 4:45 from Kanagawa (Yokohama):

http://www.snowjapan...velMode=DRIVING

 

Might be less if you get lucky with Tokyo traffic... or more if not.

 

Otherwise, as noted by DiGriz and Tubby, one could take the shinkansen to Koriyama, and a shuttle bus from there.

Independent of the JR deals, ALTS and Nekoma offer free shuttles from Koriyama station, while Grandeco and Adatara Kogen have 1,000 yen round-trip shuttles from there.

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Grandeco has announced that due to warm weather leading to bare patches, they have to close temporarily from tomorrow, 11/30. Weather does not look favorable for the next few days, with rain tomorrow and this weekend.

 

And just realized ( :blush: ) that Minowa managed to open a week earlier than planned! They opened last Saturday, 11/26, with a 640 m beginner's course. No announcement of temporary closure from them, but their weather forecast looks similar to Grandeco's, so probably a good idea to check their web page first if thinking of heading out there.

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Alts opening so late?

Get the impression that those dudes are in serious trouble.

How come Alts is so late? Is that unusual or are they just cutting back?

 

I'm not sure it is late for them -- they are on the front side of Bandai-san, so usually have a fairly short season anyway, similar to Inawashiro's.

Nekoma, on the other hand, has announced earlier target dates in the past, similar to Grandeco and Minowa, but are now just saying "mid-December."

Pure speculation, but perhaps they decided it was not worth spending money on snow-making this year?

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Grandeco is starting up again tomorrow, after working the snow cannons for the past couple of days.

Minowa has managed to keep going all week, and also was featured on Hodo Station last night.

 

Looks like rain expected in that area tomorrow, after which freezing temps predicted into next week, if not a lot of snow.

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