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Went to Wada Toge Kokuritsu Skijo today on the Venus Line above Shimosuwa, Nagano. I was told they have an ungroomed run, but it turned out to be groomed. However, there was another whole gelende, roped off and a short walk over a ridge (2 min max.) that was ungroomed. Mental. Getting stuck in Sleepy Hollow at the bottom was a pain, but with some walking out and tobogganing, we made a trail and could then ride out like human beings. There are a few other good tree and lift runs up there, but the place is very small scale. There's just one single-seat lift that is not very fast. A day pass costs 2,500 yen and 11 rides cost 1,500 yen - not a bad deal really.


I heard that Wada will close next year. Hardly surprising as nobody knows about the place - a miserable failure of imaginative marketing, as it could be good, especially if they didn't bother to groom the steepest run. I saw some skiers gingerly making their way down it with many a ghastly scraping noise, and heard a few 'wooars' - the noise Japanese make when they've just got out of their depth. Far be it from me to say what is fun for other people (heheheh), but it didn't look fun.


If they would market themselves as a 'natural' resort, in the middle of 'natural' Venus Line territory, and saved themselves the money involved in running a groomer, Wada Toge would be a great little place. If you're in the Suwa area, go and enjoy it before it disappears.


SJG peoples, a question for you. If we want to post reviews on the reader review section for odd places, how do we do that? As I understand it, if the place isn't already registered, it's not possible - is that right?

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Hi Ocean11


Glad you had a "fun" day at Wada Toge - the first foreigner to go there maybe smile.gif


If you want to send a review for places not on the site, then please do send a mail to editor@skijapanguide.com - you can't use the normal form right now as it is all linked up to resort listings. If you send us a mail on other resorts we will get that resort quickly into the SJG database.


However, in this case Ocean11, isn't this the resort you are talking about:





Let us know....

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Wow, Ocean 300 posts ! And you ask me I've got any work to do....


Check out the course map here



130m of vert ! Max 27 degrees. No corners to cut by the looks, so that's going to be your lot.


Possibly time to show my ignorance of gelende mechanics here, but doesn't a lack of grooming on a run that gets limited snow result in the creation of lots of moguls ? That's assuming some skiers are actually going down that run, of course. The ungroomed courses at the resorts I've been to have always been the mogulled ones, unless there's been a big dump in the preceding 36 hours. Deep pow on moguls rocks !


Any groomer guys care to comment ?

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I'll tell you, I don't think the reason that

Wada is closing has anything to do with

marketing. I think it's those damn Grizzly

bears that they have let loose all over the

damn mountain.


If they marketed themselves as a natural

resort, fine, whatever, I'm still not buying

any tickets.


If they marketed themselves as a natural

resort where you don't get eaten alive by

Grizzly bears, we'll then maybe I'd start

riding here.


130m of sheer Grizzly-induced terror is not

where I want to spend my vacation.

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cal, coupla reasons. Now that I'm unemployed for the time being, I have weekdays off.


Wada Toge is really near to where I live, and we've been having more snow on the


hills around here than Nozzle has been getting. Plus, it's a very cheap day out on a


field where hardly anyone goes.


SJG, actually a lot of the foreigners living in Suwa and Okaya go up there, and have


been going for years. On Friday there were four gaijinskis out of maybe a total of


twenty people there.


NoFakie, 300 posts is a lot, but I was posting with the same handle last year. The


point of going to Wada is to choose days when there's been lots of snow locally.


Actually, I noticed at Miyoko Suginohara today that snowboarders also create small


moguls on heavily tracked powder - but they're much cuter than the ones skiers make.

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  • 2 months later...

Wada Toge....I am gonna take a look at some more out-of-the-way places next season, already decided. I think this one fits into that.


How long will it take to get to this place from Matsumoto, Ocean11?

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Depends how fast you drive...


Take the highway from Matsumoto to Okaya (15 - 20 min) then from there to Wada maybe 30 min if there's not too much traffic and you don't get lost.


If you're in Matsumoto, Norikura Onsen Skijo(not Hakuba Norikura) would prolly be worth a look too. It's due east of Matsumoto, and not far at all.

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On days when I fancy boarding but don't want to get up at 5 am, drive for 2.5 hours, pay 6,000 yen for a ticket and food, and 2,000 yen for highway tolls, Wada fits the bill nicely. Some days Wada gets far more snow than Hakuba or Nozawa. It's a different rhythm and scale, but it's all snowboarding.


But hey tomas, you stick to the big places now, and leave the short but intense riding for me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's usually a couple of good dumps per year, and sometimes you actually get fine powder snow right in the middle of Suwa. Trying to clear it off your path is a real bugger.


In the hills around Suwa and Chino, it can be pretty good (including Wada Toge). The times I went to Wada last season, there was knee-deep powder on the ungroomed bits. Can't grumble about that. The snow falls on the higher ground much more than on Suwa, so there's tolerably good snow around here for most of the season.

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Ok, here are pics of the place. We took the now toll-free Venus line past there, and for the benefit of all you good people, I braved the curses of Missus 11 to take these snaps from the bottom. It looks better with snow on.


The main run. The lift goes up the left side and there are three courses to the right of the lift. The trees to the left of the lift are great to go through.




This is the back slope that you're not supposed to go down. When it's covered in powder and has a kicker built on it, it's good for a morning's fun.




From Utsukushigahara, you can see Royal Hill, 2in1, and Kurumayama all in a row. The latter looks the best. I'll be up there a lot of weekdays next season.

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Hi Wayne!


I've had my Ixy Digital Camera for a few years now - snapped one up almost as soon as they came out, and there still aren't much better cameras around even two years later.


What I am enjoying is my new domain name and website.

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