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Bright sunshine from early morning today and so I felt compelled to get out there again.


And I am very glad I did.


Destination Iwappara in Yuzawa, about 25 minutes drive from my home.


I really enjoyed Iwappara this morning. The snow was better than yesterday at next door Maiko, which was a bit odd, but there you go. And I really enjoyed whizzing down that top run. I think I did the "just one more lift" thing about 5 times!


It is a bit sad to see so many lifts not moving - and not moving for the season. Iwappara have not used their Gondola for handful of seasons now and there are a few more pair lifts that are there but unused. This season the lift going down on the far right side joins the 'rested' lifts. I liked that course. You can still ski half way down that course but now have to turn back in to get back to the main slopes.


Early on it was deep blue skies but it was interesting to see how gradually wispy clouds were forming and now that we are at 1pm it has become much greyer. Rain is even forecast for later on which isn't good to hear.


Anyway a fine morning and here are some shots.






Looking south towards Tokyo (probably, maybe)
















Minamiuonuma to the right




Kandatsu Kogen on the left in the background and you can see the Mitsumata courses top right too.




The ("it was hazy in this direction and so the") Black & White corner!












Look! No cables!






Kanetsu Expressway






(Not) Opening Soon






Getting more hazy/cloudy. Home in the background. Top of Centleisure Maiko to the right.



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Amazed at how quickly and how many top quality photos you take, muika.


Makes you sick, doesn't it? ;)


Only kidding, great stuff. Always look forward to your photos, you on a roll this last few days!

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Hihi, thanks. Quality of subject matter makes it easy.


I think it must be 4 seasons or so that the Gondola has not moved. It's all still there - well the stations and the towers and cables...


It's very grey all round here now. Changed so quickly. Going to be raining soon by the looks.

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I always thought the Iwappara Gondola was a bit of a non-necessary.

It never seemed busy and it doesn't open up any more terrain - in fact it doesn't go as high as the top quad.

Perhaps a bad plan in the first place.

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+1! :thumbsup:


So how far is this from Ishiuchi Hanaoka & Mt Granview? ;)




I made this for you Mick





doumo! :thumbsup: That route goes past GALA and I guess the world famous telephone box as well! Too many places to visit in too short a space of time!!! I've been harbouring thoughts of living in Hokkaido but at this rate I might have to consider moving to Niigata!! :D

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I really like the way you can seek out some beautiful shapes and curves, ones I would never think of taking pics of. Then again, I am totally rubbish at photos. :doh:

Can't really put it into words..

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I have been with muikabochi when he has done his photo thing. He really does it very quick, there's certainly no faffing about. So his point and shoot comments are totally legit.

He's just pretty excellent at knowing how to frame and compose a good photo.

A skill I sadly don't really have.

Obviously has a good camera too.

It was really funny seeing the photos he took and the photos I took from the same day, mostly pretty much from the same places as well! :lol:

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They have 4 (5 if you count the parallel one) slow pair lifts and 2 quads operating.

For anyone much over beginner you really need to stick to the top quad - which is basically what I do when I go.

Even if you don't and you want to ski the main middle area, stick to the central quad for minimalising all of those 'romance lift' frustrations!

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Great picsmuikabochi!

I know I'll try Iwappara atleast once as I'll be staying there most of the time. I can even see my place in one of the pics!

Now I can't wait to get there. Will be interesting to compare to Iwappara/Yuzawa in summertime.

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its actually way easy to get to if youre coming from tokyo and using the local train.


I know! People can do this!


Basically once you get past takasaki the train stops a couple of places before hitting up numata, and minakami. It then pops through a tunnel then a looooooong tunnel, then its nakazato (and yuzawa park i believe) and iwaparra before arriving at echigo yuzawa. Ive been kinda tempted since the train literally spits you out at the resort, but neither of them seemed that much of a draw... even if the pics make them appear to be as ever :)

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theres a direct train that runs from omiya at around 7am and arrives at echigo at 9.44. It passes me around 7.25. Kinda handy :) Otherwise its around 3.5 hours what with having to make changes at minakami and takasaki. Theres possibly one that goes from tokyo too, dunno about that though im afraid.

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its pretty awesome for me though. 2 hours and 20 minutes and saves me 2500yen each way. Bean counter to the max. And yet somehow i always go way the hell over my budget... :|

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