Resort Reviews by bryantp

Reviews of ski resorts submitted by bryantp. Currently 18 reviews.
Kandatsu Snow Resort
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 26th February 2007
Kandatsu Kogen
This is a sad place.

The crappy conditions made it sadder still. Snow was falling but too little - too late.

Still, even with good conditions, better places are nearby. It's not even a good place for first-time riders. The green runs start and end too steep for them but the "black runs" aren't even ambitious "reds".

After teaching some friends in the morning, I went to the top around 1 PM. There were no tracks under the lift -
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Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 20th February 2007
Nozawa Onsen review by bryantp
The 5 stars are because I know what Nozawa can be...if it was based upon what it is this season, it would be one or two.

It's time to close. This year's lack of snow and unseasonable rain has devastated Nozawa Onsen. Several of the better/steeper runs are closed and others should be. Grass and bamboo are burning through every run I saw.

I am committed to ride next weekend...without significantly more snow, this will be my last trip in the Niigata/Nagano
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Aomori City, Aomori
Submitted by bryantp on 13th February 2007
Hakkoda review by bryantp
Hakkoda lived in my head for several years. Photos showed a fascinating place and everyone told me it was awesome. So, when I went there for the first time, my expectations were extremely high.

Hakkoda was better than I could imagine. I make my living with words and I don't really know any to express the experience. It makes all the other resorts seem so insignificant in comparison.

The moment I exited the tram ropeway, cold air blasted me. Quickly, I got
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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari
Omachi City, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 9th April 2006
Kashimayari Sports Village review by Todd Grant
There's no gondola. That's how small. If you're a beginner or a lounge lizard, this might be okay. Or, if you catch it on a powder day, it's okay. But, you're in Nagano - why settle? Nozawa and Shiga are so near.

Too small...way too small
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Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 28th March 2006
Naeba review by bryantp
Just an update: the snowboard park at Naeba is very cool.

Still, the crowds and the loud music provide good reasons to get over to Kagura but the Park is too much fun
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Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 6th March 2006
Naeba review by bryantp
The problem with Naeba is one of perception.

If you like groomed runs and music on loudspeakers, it's cool.

If you (like me) prefer the sounds of snowboards and skis and like the trees, cross the Dragondola at 9 a.m. and ride the real deal.

Then come back to Naeba for the evening, where, if you look, you'll find stuff to do.

Weekends at Naeba are torture - weekdays with good snow can be fun
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Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 6th March 2006
Kagura review by bryantp
Saturday we escaped Naeba via Dragondola and, watched by kamoshika, zoomed into Kagura.

There we found tasty powder for the asking. Best snow in weeks. So many trees, so many runs. Sunday wasn't quite as good but, when Naeba was turning to slush, there were still small powder pockets for the inquisitive.

Ride Kagura, play at night at Naeba, and tell the kamoshika hello for me
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Akakura Onsen
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 23rd February 2006
Akakura Onsen review by bryantp
If you're a park rider (I'm not), this is the place. The jumps are huge and the talent was there to match it.

For use mountain riders, Akakura offers lots of runs and trees that are in-bounds, spaced well, and fun. As we were having a "snowmelt-slushy" day, it's hard to evaluate the slope quality. Definitely a good place for beginners and intermediates - perhaps not so good for expert-level folks would be my best guess. Lots of parking (at
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Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 9th February 2006
Nozawa Onsen review by bryantp
If you like ungroomed trails, tree runs, powder, this is the place. If not, Naeba's a possibility ;-)

On a serious note, this is one of the best resorts imaginable. We got 3 days of powder and just ate it up.

Nozawa Town offers diversions (restaurants, onsens, etc.) that aren't usually available within immediate proximity of the average ski-jo. While this was my first trip there, I suspect (reading other reviewers) that good conditions are the norm. If you ride
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Tsugaike Kogen
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 12th January 2006
Tsugaike Kogen review by bryantp
Worth a day of each season, Tsugaike has some interesting intermediate runs and some hidden treasures.

Decent but slightly pricey restaurants.

No bus parking on site and a bit hard to find for our bus drivers
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Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 5th January 2006
Hakuba Goryu review by bryantp
A Wednesday usually means uncrowded...but not this one. Alas.

Crossing to 47, the conditions were worse but no crowds. Good changing rooms. If you take a chartered bus, be sure you have made parking reservations in advance. Best food on the 47 side
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Okunakayama Kogen
Ichinohe Town, Iwate
Submitted by bryantp on 31st January 2005
Okunakayama Kogen review by bryantp
A nice small resort with respectable runs, Okunakayama offers a great getaway spot for a day's outing.

Fun but short runs keep you busy all day
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