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Japan - Seasonal accomodation

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm scheming my way back to Japan, hopefully for the whole season this time. I'm planning to pick somewhere to base myself for most of the season. Probably looking at Honshu this time around, but going back to Hokkaido is totally a possibility.

Shiga Kogen and Myoko Kogen seem like reasonable locations. Staying in a resort town isn't a necessity - Nagano-shi, Myoko-shi, and Iiyama-shi could be possibilities. Further north (in Iwata) there's Morioka-shi. I did consider Aomori as well; being near Hakkoda would be neat, but I don't think I'd want to do a whole season there, and staying Aomori could be pretty rough with my rudimentary spoken Japanese.
I should consider Hakuba seriously, but I hear it's rapidly becoming Niseko 2.0, what with all the Australians these days... wink.gif

I'm mainly looking for advice on finding somewhere to stay for the season. Anyone got any suggestions or recommendations for me?

EDIT: I have backcountry kit. It will be going with me, and it will be put to good use.
Edited by Yoichi - 7/20/15 at 1:08am
post #2 of 5

I'll be honest with you.. I'm not a fan of Shiga Kogen at all.. The management there was rediculous about going off anything that hadn't been groomed... I mean its sort of ok, and there's a maze of terrain, but not huge contiguous vertical. There are probably 15-20 areas/regions in the world that would be better, including Myoko... with one caveat. Myoko, the ski areas, are pretty flat. Myoko, the mountain above the ski areas is really fun. Skins and bc gear are a must. Go to Hakuba if you're not doing Hokkaido, then take the ferry north for a couple of weeks to break things up. Again, take BC gear... the terrain above the areas is the hokey pokey.  Also catch a ride and go ski a day or two at Nozawa for fun and  history. Everything is pretty close... From Hakuba to Myoko for a few days, etc... is no big deal. Without some domestic travel, you'll feel a bit limited. 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

I'll be honest with you.. I'm not a fan of Shiga Kogen at all.. The management there was rediculous about going off anything that hadn't been groomed... I mean its sort of ok, and there's a maze of terrain, but not huge contiguous vertical. There are probably 15-20 areas/regions in the world that would be better, including Myoko... with one caveat. Myoko, the ski areas, are pretty flat. Myoko, the mountain above the ski areas is really fun. Skins and bc gear are a must. Go to Hakuba if you're not doing Hokkaido, then take the ferry north for a couple of weeks to break things up. Again, take BC gear... the terrain above the areas is the hokey pokey.  Also catch a ride and go ski a day or two at Nozawa for fun and  history. Everything is pretty close... From Hakuba to Myoko for a few days, etc... is no big deal. Without some domestic travel, you'll feel a bit limited. 

Thanks for the valuable info! I should have mentioned that I have backcountry kit and it goes wherever I do nowadays. I am totally hooked on sweating for my turns.

In particular, I didn't realise Shiga Kogen was one of the places with strict fun police, so thanks for the heads up. Out of curiosity, how does the gradient at Myoko compare to some of the flattish Hokkaido ski areas?
post #4 of 5
Its pretty flat. Its fun though. My info on Shiga is old though. It'd be worth while to ask on one of the expat/tourist english language websites.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I had a look for other sources, and it seems like some (but not all) of the Shiga Kogen fields are a bit less uptight about off-piste skiiing than they used to be.

It sounds kind of comparable to Furano, where they're slowly relaxing the rules but it's still best to stay out of sight and out of mind when skiing trees or off-piste (...says the guy who poached a bunch of turns directly under some of their lifts... fortunately patrol were preoccupied with the hundreds of kids up from way down south for a school trip).

I really like the sound of Myoko-san, the mountain above Myoko Kogen biggrin.gif
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