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Close connections between ski-jo

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I’m interested in ski resorts that are very close to each other, where a physical connection seems possible - almost obvious - but they don’t happen.

Like Iwappara and Maiko in the Yuzawa area.

Like Alts Bandai and Nekoma in Fukushima.

Any more?  Or even stories behind those.

 

 

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For Alts/Nekoma, I think I remember reading that the current owner of both places had intended to link them up.  They even had a joint logo for a while with arrows pointing from each to the other suggesting such a link. Obviously never happened.

One can read speculation that they had difficulty getting forestry permits needed to cut courses and install a linking lift, but I don’t  think an official reason has ever been given.  The aftermath of the earthquake may not have helped, either — they have since shut down lifts on both sides, rather than investing in new infrastructure.

Might be nice if they did it some day, though as a practical matter, either side is enough for a day of skiing by itself. So maybe not much to gain, unless one wants to spend the whole day just traversing from one end to the other and back.

 

Edited by Metabo Oyaji
Brevity

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Madarao and Tangram are linked. So you you can easily ski both resorts with one joint ticket and they are both literally joined within the resort. Personally though Madarao is the better of the two and is more than enough for a full days skiing. I did the joint thing between those two but found myself back at Madarao within a couple of hours of doing all of Tamgram.

 

Edited by snowdude

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I have always been fascinated by the Iwappara / Maiko thing.

There's an unused pair lift at Iwappara that gets real close to Maiko (top of the lift is close to the top of the now unused Iwappara Gondola); there's the big band of trees that seem to have been felled between the two areas in the vicinity of that lift; the top Iwappara Gondola station is very close and can clearly be seen from Maiko. 

The gap between the two really is negligible.

And there's that seemingly meaningless road that goes up from the side of Iwappara (near the gondola base) and ends up round the back of the Okusoeji bowl area of Maiko. I remember hearing that the Yuzawa Park people funded that road, though I'm really dusting off some faded recollections of conversations there. Good on a bike! They used to have some cows up there at Okusoeji in the summer months.

It seems to be one of those things where you can ask 10 people and you get 10 different stories. Even locals who work for the ski resorts themselves. Over the years I have heard so many different variations that you can just call me confused on the details.

One day, I really will do some proper research to find out the full proper story. I want to know!

 

 

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I wonder if there were ever real plans to link up Iwappara and Maiko? 

One of my fave mad bubble story is that  tiny, tiny ski hill called Tsuchitaru (no longer operating), just outside of the Kanetsu tunnel on the Yuzawa side. It was owned by Prince and that in itself seemed odd. I heard that the master plan was for some kind of link from there over to Naeba. Don't know if that is true or just made up!

 

 

 

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Iwappara gondola - if my memory is correct it was (is?) owned and operated by Kokudo, ie. Prince. I think originally it was even a separate lift ticket.

It hasn't been operating since 2007 but the facilities are still in place. I remember hearing back when it first closed that it needed some kind of maintenance but they never did it, and it has just remained closed. I have been in the area since 1992 and can’t ever remember that gondola being busy when it was operating. The other lifts of Iwappara pretty much cover the resort. The gondola always seemed superfluous.

In the coming months I’ll ask around, see if we can solve these mysteries!

 

 

 

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Kokudo!  There's a name I haven't heard for a long time.

Keen to hear the results of your research there.

 

 

 

 

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On 3/12/2019 at 5:54 PM, muikabochi said:

One of my fave mad bubble story is that  tiny, tiny ski hill called Tsuchitaru (no longer operating), just outside of the Kanetsu tunnel on the Yuzawa side. It was owned by Prince and that in itself seemed odd. I heard that the master plan was for some kind of link from there over to Naeba. Don't know if that is true or just made up!

 

 

 

There’s some fun bubble stories isn’t there. Some are mad enough to be true.

 

 

Edited by SKI

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Yes.

Another one was a gondola link between Naeba and Yakebitaiyama in Shiga Kogen.

There were taking some mad stuff around that era!

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Yes, Tsutsumi-san had some grandiose plans until he trod on his manhood by trying to co-opt the Nagano Olympics to get those links done.

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Interesting.

We were surprised at how close the top of Iwappara was when we went to Maiko. Very close!

 

 

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I read with interest about the "walking" connection between the top of Alts Bandai and Nekomo over in Fukushima.

Check the later reports on the Aizu Bandai Now section: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports/Aizu-Bandai-Now

I wonder if they will do that again, maybe expand on it. Hey, how abouts a lift?  ;)

 

 

 

Edited by hetakedosuki

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Yes, I thought that was interesting, though not enough to tempt me to actually go try it this spring.  That is the one part of Alts that I would want to be able to access from Nekoma, and it would be nice to be able to get there without having to go through the whole front end of Alts.  It would be much more interesting with a lift connection!

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Certainly looks like a simple enough connection. What are the trees like in that area from the top Nekoma lift to the base of that Alts top lift?

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