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Myoko (review)

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Myoko (review)
    Posted: Sep/05/2012 at 5:09pm
Why i <3 myoko...

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/20/2011 at 5:26am
Some quick thoughts on Myoko from my few days there in february (i forgot to update it). This wont be long, primarily because its my bed time, but also because i'm now around 5 months away from the events, so only the big things have stuck :)

1. Mont Cervin people are adorable. The hostel is japanese orientated, so er when i went to buy usual lodger fare (tea bags, sugar, bread etc), they first of all looked puzzled because guests cant use the kitchen, but then decided that they would prepare me a breakfast every morning with the stuff anyway. The husband was lovely, and always accommodated whatever wild plan you had to take you out to the ski field. And every day he'd pick you up at 4.30 to bring you back to the hostel. They are out of the way, but they sure as hell know how to make you forget that.

On to the resorts:

2. Akakura Onsen:

I HATE THIS PLACE. there we go. Poorly linked up lifts, nothing to do, flat lines, wild horizontal all resulting in LOTS of lifts to get back to where you started. The only saving grace is that it spills you out into the main street. But you can take that saving grace and shove it. It saves nothing. The resort is a hole. Good for families with little kids i assume, but thats about it (still, i did see a tiny 7 year old ripping 7s (i kid thee not) on one of the small kickers - the kids going pro).

3. Suginohara:

Theyve destroyed one of the best runs in the whole place. Myoko really needs to sort itself out. if its not akakan and akakura onsen bickering about lift charges and profits, its cost cutting at suginohara by removing one of *THE* most important lifts in the entire resort.
Clearly this decision came from someone who has never used the amazingly slow two seater that gets you back to the main resort area.

Basically, now when you come down skiers right hand side of the mountain - the best run in suginohara - youre now spat out into a very long flat part (that used to be mercifully short) and an invariable unclipping and trek to the slowest, smallest lift on the whole resort to take you back to the main resort and the gondola back up to the near top. An appalling decision that has completely sullied the experience! They should be ashamed!
Still, the ticket price is cheaper now :) And theres a lot more tree riding than i remember (and some of it was bloody difficult - particularly the stuff up the very top which i really struggled with if im honest).

4. My favourite moment of the season:

Whilst mucking about under all these new lines, i went under one of the old abandoned lifts. Its been closed for years.

Happily charging down these amazing untracked clouds of powder and wondering why there were no lines, the thought struck me that just maybe i was going too fast for what was increasingly presenting itself as a serious drop. On the left of me was the lift stanchion, and on the right was a bank of trees. I had one choice. I had to hit it. I didnt know what was under it or how big it was and i had no idea just how far my speed was going to launch me (i was also on my own), it was my first real heart in the mouth moment on a snowboard. And amazingly i landed it! Euphoric i turned back to look at this monstrous drop that had required every fibre of courage just to survive and take a picture to prove to all my friends how awesome i was! Only to realise it must have been all of about 3 meters :( Bit of a let down if im honest. Still, it was the best single moment of the season and it happened at suginohara.

5. Akakan:

Akakan was the strange highlight of the trip. Whereas i came out feeling slightly underwhelmed by suginohara (part of that though is the conditions), i came away from akakan kinda loving it way more than i remembered. The tree riding was honestly fantastic, and even the closing off of part of the resort for time trials didnt damped my spirits. The powder was insane, the lines were great and the joy was heartfelt and bountiful! Um... maybe thats a bit effusive?... it was fun and just one of those days you kinda want. I had a great day there. So many trees, so few people, and no one hassling you about where to ride. Nothing too challenging, but nothing too boring either. And the vibe was always changing depending on where you were on the mountain. Its a really nice varied little mountain with MUCH better tree riding and powder than i remember. Definitely good for a day out on a powder dump.

6. The conditions.

When i rolled into akakan it was just about to dump. The first few lifts, off piste was a sticky wet heavy sluggish mess. But within an hour the snow was tipping down, and suddenly the place sprang to life. The second day on suginohara was supposed to be epic pow because of all the snow that puked the previous day. I arrived and was disappointed to find that suginohara was still kinda sluggish. Dont ask me, im not a meteorologist. Everything was kinda sticky and heavy. It felt looser and fluffier than maybe akakan had felt first thing (and shiga felt later into my trip), but it did still feel kind of heavy. Not quite cement, but not exactly powder either. It really gave me an appreciation of just how awesome the powder is in hokkaido in truth. Nagano might get similar numbers (or rather, better numbers than hokkaido), but ultimately its just not as soft and light as hokkaido pow. Thats now a quantifiable (subjective)objective FACT which one should consider in their decision making process.

I mention it because it really was one of the big features of the nagano trip. Id been fooled by the numbers and my early tasteless lack of experience on the matter. Nagano gets better pow than hokkaido... Seki MURDERS every resort in japan for pow... but nagano pow nonetheless felt kinda heavy and wet compared to hokkaido pow.

I must admit this was also the ONLY pow that dropped in my entire 11 day trip, and it felt fantastic the day it dropped, so maybe i just needed a proper dump to get it all raging again. Still, if given the choice, im taking niseko pow over myoko pow (though Im still taking myoko pow over hakuba pow :p)
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  Quote superdave141 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/19/2011 at 4:47pm
Thanks for the write up. Went to Hakuba last season and thought it was great, so if you say this is better I'll be looking into it next season!
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  Quote Jrem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/13/2011 at 5:08pm
Oh and ippollite its Tsukebe ;)
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  Quote Jrem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/13/2011 at 5:06pm
Best place to board on the Western Coast of Japan.
Niigata is renowned for some of the highest snowfall in the world especially around Takada/Joetsu area.
I know this as I lived there for 10 months as an exchange student.
Myoko kogen is exactly as Ippy says. It's not touristy its low profile and locals are very extremely friendly.It does help if you know a bit of Japanese too. The locals always talk about Myoko and how magnificent it is. So anyone going to Japan endeavor to get here.

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  Quote Angry Midget Yo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/13/2011 at 4:01pm
Wow, nice write up Ippy!  It just might be better than this booklet I bought that is full of different Japanese resort reviews.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/13/2011 at 3:36pm
"Re-engage the myoko hype machine!"

/engaged

Hey people at hakuba, get your ass to myoko. :)

PS. Seki onsen is now sitting on 540cm of snow :) We are talking the possible end of tree riding soon just because theyre gonna disappear :p
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/28/2010 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by gepet0

ippollite, i have to say you that you have done a very good work...the post is simply perfecttt+99


Thanks dude, but after that post i linked from k9s trip report, it does feel utterly like a kids cartoon rather than a realistic account :p

And mech, i completely missed this somehow, sorry dude:

thanks for the info. the net cafe sounds interesting... do you pay for a terminal and sleep at the desk? how does that work? the dorm sounds interesting if the price is right... The 2 places I mentioned were around 4000yen per night. Snowjapan had listed some other places like Hawk and Hare but there isn't anyway to check prices or book with them short of calling them. I saw Hawk and Hare on Ratuken site but they weren't accepting any reservations for Feb and thus, I could not find out the cost.

Also, it sounds like if I stay at Suginosawa it is close to all the hills? ie. walking distance.


Net cafe actually has a small sleeping quarters. It can get BLOODY noisy mind you so take ear plugs and a sleeping mask. Theres a club right above it and if you go on friday or saturday night chances are you wont be sleeping. Price is around 1600 or so for an 8 hour night package if i remember right. I probably dont mind you :) but its going to be way cheaper than a hotel obviously. Its pretty doable though. Because i lived in suzaka (just too far for a taxi) and the buses and trains stopped running there around 11pm, id spend occasional weekends there in the (forlorn) hope of finding something fun to do in nagano.

Theres also cheap hotels in the area for around 5000 yen per night if you want a bit more luxury (and by luxury i mean typical japanese business hotel). You can just hunt around nagano for them, though your best bet is to sniff out the snack bar district. I also remember a kind of backpackers hotel, i think it was called smile or something like that... ooh! found it. Its a proper hotel hotel, so might be pricey, but its not a proper proper in terms of prices if i recall. It also has a really nice thai restaurant attached to it if i remember.

oooh! found it! http://www.smile-nagano.com/
Just use google translate... actually theres an english link. Turns out its around 4900 yen per person per night.

As for suginosawa, it depends of course WHERE You stay, but if youre in the centre of town its like a 5-10 minute walk up a hill to the bottom lift at suginohara so its no big thing. Think of it as your warm up :)
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  Quote gepet0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/28/2010 at 11:55am
ippollite, i have to say you that you have done a very good work...

the post is simply perfecttt

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/28/2010 at 12:09am
SUKEBE DA!!!
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  Quote STRICK-9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/26/2010 at 2:04am
Ipp: these are absolutely fabulous reviews...thank you kind sir, but you make me seriously consider moving back there for good.

Nothing like Japanese Tang for breakfast.
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/26/2010 at 1:14am
so around about 3 hours to get there, not too bad actually. depending on how my cash flow is going i might have to take up the chance and check out nozawa.. i'm not there til february so i don't think accomodation is going to be too tough to sort out, especially for a day or two
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/24/2010 at 3:39pm
you can just head there around 6pm, theres a bus at 6.30ish if i remember, to nagano, and then its a train ride to whichever resort youre after. Still, after that its likley youllbe dropping a spot of cash on a taxi ride. I cant remember when we turned up at nozawa, (probably around 9), but the buses had stopped for the night. Anyway, so long as you have your accommodation all nice and ready, you might even get a pick up. We didnt :) We just barreled in at 9 in the rain, and trying to figure out what the hell we were gonna do :)
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2010 at 4:45am
yeah i've read cortina is pretty good for off piste..?
which run in hakuba gets your reccomendation?

but it seems simple enough to get to myoko or nozawa, apart from the long travel there, i wouldnt want that cutting into my riding!

i just can't believe how cheap it is for a day lift pass, its crazy!

anyway, thanks for the info, gives me a bit of food for thought before i set my plans in stone :)
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2010 at 2:52am
its about the same price as hakuba: 4500 per day (think hakuba is 4800).

Remember theres also nozawa. Nozawa is serene.

And remember, to get there, get the bus back to nagano down at the base of the hill at the main road (1500 yen and 1 hour), then you can just hop ion a train at nagano station to EITHER myoko or Nozawa. Both trains are about 45 minutes, and both are about 600yen :)

Its honestly nothing.

oh, and you could just go to hakuba cortina or iwatake to avoid the worst of the aussie! aussie! aussie! contingent. :)   
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2010 at 1:22am
haha yeah i know, i think we're extending our trip anyway, but i don't know if i'll manage anymore days in the snow. probably just down to osaka and kyoto along with tokyo.. so how much is a lift pass for the day at myoko?
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2010 at 1:15am
you'll not be disappointed at all, youll be too busy having an awesome time riding to mind :) Still, if you want a break, theres always myoko and nozawa a bus and short train journey away :)
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2010 at 1:10am
bah damn.. in not going to niseko i was hoping to avoid the majority of the australian crowd.. looks like i'll be disapointed then
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 11:42pm
if by 'international' you mean aussies AND kiwis, then yes, its certainly international :)
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 11:31pm
but surely hakuka has a far more international feel to it than niseko? isn't that just ridiculously overrun with aussies?
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  Quote mech9t5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 6:24am
Originally posted by ippollite

yeah, myoko unfortunately is pretty poor to get accommodation info from. Alas i lived in suzaka so it was just a day trip for me, i only once stayed at the resort and that was some place at the base of akakan i cant remember the name of. Your best bet really is to contact the tourist office and see what they suggest, or head to snowjapan and see if any of the guys there have better info for you.

When i first did this thread i tried to get some accommodation info but honestly gave up looking. Sorry man, hope someone has better advice for you :)

Two backups to consider though:

I think theres a massive dorm at the base of ikenotaira that might be like the one in escal plaza (hakuba goryu). Its just a big open room where youre given a blanket and a pillow and crash for the night. Im not sure if thats how it works, but i remember there being signs in japanese about it.

A second option is if its just a couple of days, camp at nagano. Get the train at 8.12, get the connecting bus at 8.58/9.00 and youll be ready and on the slopes by 10ish. Then around 5 (if not at suginohara - last bus from there is a ridiculous 4.05 - though you can catch a later one by walking into suginosawa (the village about 400meters away at the foot of it). Then its back on teh train to nagano and hang out there overnight before doing it again.

And if the worst really does come to the worst, theres two or three net cafes within walking distance from the train station where you can crash overnight (this was my back up to my backup plans). Finding a place wont be god awful if you dont mind the trek into nagano... but obviously its not ideal. Contatct the tourist office and see what they say :)

thanks for the info.  the net cafe sounds interesting... do you pay for a terminal and sleep at the desk?  how does that work?  the dorm sounds interesting if the price is right... The 2 places I mentioned were around 4000yen per night.  Snowjapan had listed some other places like Hawk and Hare but there isn't anyway to check prices or book with them short of calling them.  I saw Hawk and Hare on Ratuken site but they weren't accepting any reservations for Feb and thus, I could not find out the cost.

Also, it sounds like if I stay at Suginosawa it is close to all the hills?  ie. walking distance.  
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  Quote seefarr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 6:21am
I did a fair amount of googlidge before booking anything. This is the tourist board in Myoko who should be able to scope something for you:

http://www.myoko.tv/foreign/english/

This website also has lots of options in the area:

http://myoko-nojiri.com/hotels/index.html

Cheers!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:40am
yeah, myoko unfortunately is pretty poor to get accommodation info from. Alas i lived in suzaka so it was just a day trip for me, i only once stayed at the resort and that was some place at the base of akakan i cant remember the name of. Your best bet really is to contact the tourist office and see what they suggest, or head to snowjapan and see if any of the guys there have better info for you.

When i first did this thread i tried to get some accommodation info but honestly gave up looking. Sorry man, hope someone has better advice for you :)

Two backups to consider though:

I think theres a massive dorm at the base of ikenotaira that might be like the one in escal plaza (hakuba goryu). Its just a big open room where youre given a blanket and a pillow and crash for the night. Im not sure if thats how it works, but i remember there being signs in japanese about it.

A second option is if its just a couple of days, camp at nagano. Get the train at 8.12, get the connecting bus at 8.58/9.00 and youll be ready and on the slopes by 10ish. Then around 5 (if not at suginohara - last bus from there is a ridiculous 4.05 - though you can catch a later one by walking into suginosawa (the village about 400meters away at the foot of it). Then its back on teh train to nagano and hang out there overnight before doing it again.

And if the worst really does come to the worst, theres two or three net cafes within walking distance from the train station where you can crash overnight (this was my back up to my backup plans). Finding a place wont be god awful if you dont mind the trek into nagano... but obviously its not ideal. Contatct the tourist office and see what they say :)
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  Quote mech9t5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:33am
i'm planning a trip to niseko for a week and will also be heading to myoko for a few days.  where's a good place to stay (read CHEAP place to stay)?

Since I don't read japanese, the only places I found were canadian house and montcervin...
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  Quote tomek77pl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:32am
omg those mountains look so nice i just wanna ride down in the pow:(
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:26am
i really wish that post had come up before i booked hakuba haha, oh well im sure hakuba will still be joy, maybe ill have to head to myoko next time then?
im glad im not going to niseko, if i wanted to hang around with a bunch of aussies i'd just go over east!


"...i dun wanna tell him! you tell him!..."




































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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:21am
ive just finished reading it :) I didnt even read it all, just the resorts i wanted to know about with some of the interludes for good measure. Seriously, i dont think ive read anything better. Its almost insulting that i didnt make it a thread to itself!

I like the fact that even after all the places he went to, and all the stuff he saw, he ended at niseko and just really loved riding it.







Seriously, this thread is one of the best threads on japan ive ever seen.
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  Quote seefarr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 4:17am
Actually, as long as we're doing Myoko info, spook on the snowjapan forums has some great photos and a short review too:

http://www.snowjapanforums.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/360732/Snowed_In_A_month_in_Myoko.html

Cheers!
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  Quote seefarr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 3:47am
Ippy, that thread is an awesome find. I've got three weeks in Myoko in Feb and my excitement is growing already.
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  Quote krisshono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 3:35am
that looks pretty sick man
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 3:34am
i really wish that post had come up before i booked hakuba haha, oh well im sure hakuba will still be joy, maybe ill have to head to myoko next time then?
im glad im not going to niseko, if i wanted to hang around with a bunch of aussies i'd just go over east!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 2:30am
haha! this, as ive just learned (hunting for kamui information to stp me turning to the dark side and spending another year at niseko instead of kamui/tomamu/furano), is the mother of all myoko posts:

http://forums.ski.com.au/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=924151&page=1&fpart=1

Im still reading it, if you want to get a feel fro the dump that myoko gives compared to hakuba, you have to read it and look at these pics. Honestly hakuba is a JOKE!!!
:p

haha! i have to steal one of his war on snow pictures :)



and heres myoko:



Actyually, the whole thread is PURE GOLD!!! If youre going to japan, you need to read it. By actually having photographic skills alongside a genuine ability to write, the guy puts my coloring book looking reviews to complete and total shame.

Honestly the stuff in that thread is stunning.
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  Quote woodyy05 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 2:19am
wow ippollite, such an epic post.. you've pretty much convinced me to extend my trip in japan, i swear i could just spend months there checking out all the resorts, the cities and the culture
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 2:01am
But why take hakuba ro australian filth (arent they the same thing?) when you can have angelic pow in myoko, or the most beautiful ride in japan at nozawa? Both literally an hour and a half away. In fact you can see myoko from goryu! its THAT close!
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  Quote humdingaling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 1:45am
ill take hakuba filth over australia slush/man-made/ice anydayLOL
Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side..
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/22/2010 at 1:23am
bizzump because i want you people in myoko and not covering yoruself in hakuba filth.
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  Quote rythymstick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/13/2010 at 5:08am
Good writeup Ippolite, although the more that gets written about Myoko the more people arrive. Good for the town I guess. I gave up on Hakuba and just stick to Myoko, Nozawa and Madarao now. The relaxed off-piste is what I like best about Myoko

If you're looking for Myoko trail maps (in English) you can find them here - http://myokokogen.net/myoko_ski_trail_maps/index.html

The people at the Myoko tourist board are super helpful. Wish they'd offer me a job and I could give up English teaching (at least for the winter)
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/11/2010 at 8:54pm
hehe, its kinda fun if you get dumped on. I lucked out last season. Aside the two days in nozawa i think i got to the point where it was just "oh good, pow, again? christ, i just want a nice bit of ice today!"

i think i blew off a few days for hangovers as well just because i knew itd be pow tomorrow :) If id have arrived a week earlier apparently i'd probably have appreciated it a bit more. It was supposed to be garbage until literally the day before i turned up :)
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  Quote AyChan87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/11/2010 at 8:52pm
wow those pictures look AWESOME!!! if only japan wasnt so far away id definitely want to go later on
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  Quote humdingaling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/11/2010 at 8:46pm
Great write up man
definately try add Myoko to the cards next time i go japan

Those pics make me miss the snow in japan so much Cry
Had pow days for the whole week we were in nagano area

Riding NZ and Aus just isnt the same Dead

Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side..
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/11/2010 at 8:41pm
how hard is it to visit the mountains mentioned above from the cities, because i don't get to travel much, and my wife and i want to visit japan from the states, and we couldn't justify a straight up snowboarding trip.


Do you mean places like tokyo, kyoto, osaka etc?

Myoko to any of those is pretty doable.

Myoko to nagano is about 45 minutes. Then to tokyo you just jump on the bullet train.
(this site is INVALUABLE if youre travelling by train in japan by the way): Hyperdia.com

Hyperdia puts it at 7500 yen and 1 hour 40 minutes. :)

As for the other way its a wee bit more complicated,. but not that hard.

Head to nagano again, then get the Ltd Express to nagoya. GET THE HELL OUT OF NAGOYA ASAP SO ITS YUCK DOESNT GET ON YOU.

Then hop on a bullet train (shinkansen) to kyoto or osaka. (it stops at kyoto first then hits up osaka).

Cost is around 9000 yen and takes about 3 hours 40 minutes. Bit epic but there you go :)

Now heres the single most interesting piece of budget travel im going to give you.

So long as time isnt your biggest factor and so long as you are travelling in the school holiday periods in japan (mid dec to mid jan and March 1st to early april) there is a special ticket called the seishun juhachi kippu (18ticket)

Heres the info on it:

seishun 18kippu info

You can ONLY use it on normal JR trains (no ltd express and no shinkansen), and it will cost you around 11,000 yen for a book of 5 tickets. BUT for those five days you can ride any regular jr train for sort of free (well, 2200 yen if you count the fact you paid 11,000 yens for it).

Its TERRIBLE if you want to go from say hiroshima to tokyo. Thats a bit of a huge epic journey by local trains. But from something like kyoto to myoko/hakuba to tokyo its pretty doable and will save you a stack of cash.

The five days are any five days during teh period of use so you dont have to use them consecutively. Its also available to ANYONE, the name is just the name of it. It doesnt mean you have to be under 18 or anything. There, this is one of teh best things i can tell you about on budget travel in japan, so im kinda surprised i forgot until now :)

(oh and on a similar line, if you pop out of any decent sized city train station, you will see a shop selling discount tickets for trains. Youll save usually about 500-1000 yen on most shinkansen journeys if you can find them). Its not massive, but it all accumulates, and all you had to do was head out of the train station. Theres another travel tip for you! :D

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/11/2010 at 8:20pm
thanks man, i hope it goes some way to adding to the hype. :) Ive just sent a message as well to the tourist information to see if they can throw up some english speaking accommodation ideas for folks on a budget. Hopefully if they get back to me, ill be able to make this a bit more extensive.

And zhenjie you genius! thats the pass ive been looking for. Though, ill be honest, it looks kinda crap compared to the 2009 pass. Im pretty sure that one had suginohara AND Nozawa on it as well as a few places in shiga (like Ryuoo). Alas when i try linking to the 2008-2009 pass it goes to the new page. Either way, they have the three outside spots at hakuba (crotina tsugaiki and iwatake) and akakan. Maybe they just switch it about a bit at myoko. Hopefully next year itll be suginohara again.

Also, i think there is a pass, its a bit pricey mind, but it covers happo/nozawa/myoko and some of shiga. I think it was around 70,000 yen though. Still, if youre happy dotting around for a month or so, could be great value.
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  Quote ShredbettyZoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/10/2010 at 5:17am
Wow awesome write up Ippollite! obviously a lot of time and effort went into this, great post :-)
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  Quote zhenjie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/10/2010 at 4:32am
Here's a pass, seems to be smaller resorts and bit spread out. http://www.jtb.co.jp/ski/season/
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/10/2010 at 3:47am
how hard is it to visit the mountains mentioned above from the cities, because i don't get to travel much, and my wife and i want to visit japan from the states, and we couldn't justify a straight up snowboarding trip.
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  Quote zhenjie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/10/2010 at 2:12am
mr IP. Do you know any other good value season passes that has access to multiple resorts (excluding Hakuba/Niseko)? Looking at spending a month or longer but don't want to bunker down to any one resort area.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/08/2010 at 3:50pm
yeah, i wouldnt be going there without your usual safety gears. I also wouldnt be going there without someone that knows the terrain. Obvious safety protocols and all that. i'll ask my mate about the hazards (i wish the scumbag would just post here), but he's usually pretty busy.

I remember when i first thought about myoko reading a thread on snowjapan about myoko BC, but its pretty hard to find now. I'll do my best to dig it out, but heres 2 things i remember from it.

1. It IS prone to avalanches as you go up. It's not like constantly prone but its enough to be on your guard.
2. There is a huge gap somewhere out side the resort that if you accidentally end up skiing down you better hope you can clear it :) i think it was about 30 feet or so. Apparently if youre caught in an avalanche around there, your best bet is to hope to christ you can jump it because if not youre more than likely dropping down that ravine to your death. So yeah, dont think its just the kind of place you can explore freely. Im pretty sure that area is more for the proper hardcore and theres plenty of safer spots. But i bring it up just to make you brick yourself that you need to know exactly where youre (not) going. And hence you get the low-down before you venture out.
(i read a different thread in my search (90 pages and counting), which said these ravines and cliffs are skiers right).
This is at the top of suginohara, i dont think theres anything other than avalanche dangers on the other two. :) So yeah, tranceivers and shovels are obviously necessary equipment. Anyway, because i might be wrong, ill see if i can dig out that thread for you.

ETA: on the skiers right issue, my mate had this to say:

kiers right can be navigated pretty easily. There's one super big die of shock while you're falling drop of death if your following the creek bed down. It's safest to drop off the cat track at the bottom.

The summit is a little tricky, if you drop over the back. It's actually 2 more hikes and 2 descents to get out. You gotta stay left and avoid to bubbling hot spring. Best to get a topographic map to plot the routes and end up at the top of Akakura.
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  Quote zhenjie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 3:56am
another fantastic post ippollite. Myoko is def on the cards in my next japan trip. I intend on hitting all the lesser known resorts instead of the usual Hakuba/Sapporo resorts everyone else does.

dr86. It depends where you are riding, what conditions and who with. If you are serious about the BC then its advisable to have a transceiver in any backcountry scenario. Most of Myoko seems to be known for its pow and tree riding though.

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  Quote dr86 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 3:32am
do u need to bring a transceiver and all that riding the bc there?
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/06/2010 at 5:31pm
thanks man. I really want to just make people stoked for the place, so im glad you feel that way. I dunno why though, as far as im concerned, all i want to do is save cash, find a nice house for cheap around there (and believe me they exist), then just relax for the next 40 years chilling out on the mountains before becoming one of those 60 year old weather-beaten shochu guzzling lift ops they have at the resort, before i die :) Sending you guys there will scupper my chances of landing a bargain! :)

Still, korean girls are way cuter, so ill end up married to the wrong visa :'(



Anyway, my mate sent me his vid of him and his mates (not even semi pro, just mates whove been riding on average around 4 years so dont be expecting mad tricks or owt), of them on suginohara back country (and a couple of bits of hitting the rails. Its looooooong, so you'll probably want to skip through a bit of it :)

Still, the reason im adding it is because it shows you some of the BC stuff around suginohara. I promise you, some of those lines are comparable to anything you get in japan :)

It is alas veoh. Its the only place they could host it in one piece. Still, even if you dont sign up you can watch 5 minutes of it and get a taste, and you dont really need more than 5 mins anyway :)

myoko backcountry stuff
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