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Japan 2013 (redux)

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  Quote not-ewrx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Japan 2013 (redux)
    Posted: Nov/28/2012 at 2:41pm
I'm waiting to book my trip to Hakiado/ tokyo when ticket prices go back down.  I'm hoping they go down after xmas.  
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/28/2012 at 2:26pm
ill be at work im pretty sure for most of that. And in Nagano. Earliest chance ill have to make it to niseko will be late season when the prices pop back down for flights. But have fun dude. 
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/28/2012 at 4:23am
what my schedule will look like:

would be cool if peeps from here would join the trip! holla.


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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/27/2012 at 4:56am
who's shredding japan this season?

i'll be up in Rusutsu and Niseko in Feb!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 6:58pm
Goryu/47 confirmed a limited opening for this weekend. Just the top two lifts on the 47 side (from the peak about 850m down), it aint much, but if there was a damn bus running (or i could drive and had a car), you bet your ass id be there. 
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 3:07pm
Originally posted by ippollite

Its not just hakuba though. Heres the link so you can torture yourself every day: 


just being in the East Coast USA is a torture every season!

yeah, i'm aware of that site. i use it thoroughly when in i'm in japan
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 2:42pm
Its not just hakuba though. Heres the link so you can torture yourself every day: 

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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 2:24pm
gah!!! 
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 2:13pm
just to wind you up a bit though:

Today at Hakuba 47:

Today at Hakuba Happo1:


And today at Niseko:
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 1:40pm
I will be checking the honshu mountains for sure within the next few seasons. so many places, so little time..


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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 1:23pm
If given the choice id be in hokkaido too :) 
i <3 Nagano (obviously - i moved back here). But when it cmes to a nice long season with almost endless pukarage (and awesome off piste policies/tree runs), then you cant beat the nieko area. 
If you do get a chance and happen to be in and around asahikawa dont forget to check out kamui. The place is insane fun.  
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/14/2012 at 11:57am
@ippollite

looks like i'm headed up to hokkaido again this season. i'm never making it to nagano! LOL
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/04/2012 at 2:25pm
2013 bump. Welcome to japan. I now live back in nagano. wheee! 


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  Quote tworunningcards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2012 at 4:33am
Originally posted by ippollite

you might as well. But maybe try and time to a specific period. Either cherry blossom season, snowboarding season (acourse) or leaf changing season. 
Either way you should probably do it in kyoto just because if youre coming to japan on your honeymoon, youd be daft if you didnt go to somewhere like Kiyomizu-dera (a very famous temple in kyoto) 


Totally agree on the Kiyomizu dera. There are a few really amazing temples in that area. My plans for a Japan trip fell through, but I'll still be going sometime this year I hope.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/05/2012 at 1:50pm
you might as well. But maybe try and time to a specific period. Either cherry blossom season, snowboarding season (acourse) or leaf changing season. 

Either way you should probably do it in kyoto just because if youre coming to japan on your honeymoon, youd be daft if you didnt go to somewhere like Kiyomizu-dera (a very famous temple in kyoto) 


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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/04/2012 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by not-ewrx

I actually want to go to Japan for a Honeymoon.  No one ever does cool shit for their honeymoon. 

do it!
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  Quote not-ewrx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/03/2012 at 12:12pm
I actually want to go to Japan for a Honeymoon.  No one ever does cool shit for their honeymoon. 
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  Quote Migoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/03/2012 at 11:54am
ippollite, I have a friend in Niseko at the moment. He's loving it, and rubbing it in my face every day...

Sounds like conditions are pretty good over there.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/16/2012 at 7:50pm
hakuba has much better terrain than niseko though :) 
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/16/2012 at 6:59am
pretty much what i thought but you def put in a lot insight for honshu. hokkaido is really a dream, just an amazing place. but i was looking into hakuba and areas up north for the traveling convenience between Tokyo. but i guess Hokkaido still wins. 
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2012 at 6:13pm
entirely your call to make. In truth, if money wasnt an issue, id be in niseko/rusutsu. 

- Consistent drops
- Easy to manage with limited or no japanese.
- Lots of accommodation options.
- Beans in the combini.
- Early start, super late finish to the season.
- The nighta is still unbelievably good.
- Side country is superb.
- Lots of apres ski options.

Hakuba has a few of the environmental features, but has less consistent drops, and late season it gets cement like when it does fall. You can also get hit by a duff season. The only two seasons that have been outstanding in my time in japan were 2005 (and i only know of this because the news kept telling us about how much snow was everywhere, i didnt board then), and this season.  Hell, until this season i would have sworn blind that nozawa gets much less snow than the other mountains in the area just because thats been the pattern the past three or four years. 

Bear in mind as well that the season didnt even start until the last week of december, and even then that was more just a covering.  

It also suffers from weeks of no snow in late jan--->march when you could book two weeks in japan and be super unlucky with your timings (as i seemed to be the 2 years i was in korea and had to fly over - 2 weeks of pow, two weeks of ice). 

In niseko, youve got a much smaller window of no snow. I think the longest i went was three days, then it dropped a meter on everyone (while i was in furano and got nowt :/)

Buuuuut, honshu means more variety. 
You can access all of hakuba, all of myoko, shiga kogen, nozawa, kita shiga kogen (xjam, ryuoo, takaifuji), and a host of other resorts all within an hour by car from nagano. You can also access tokyo, osaka, kyoto, niigata, nagano, and nagoya for a change of pace. 

Ooooh, and lets not forget that theres also the Yuzawa district which is barely a stones throw away from tokyo (70 minutes by shink). And this gives you access to niseko conditions in kagura (which gets consistently dumped on), as well as a few other places like gala yuzawa, ishiuchi maruyama, naeba, iwaparra, maiko, kandatsu and a host of other smaller resorts. 

And then theres also minakami area which is just before echigo yuzawa which boasts 18 resorts (though realistically theres maybe two or three youd want to hit). 

Nagano gives you WAY more options. It also gives you some proper cities to chill out in like tokyo or nagoya (which is a dump though). (and you can also hit up places like alts bandai or even yamamagata for zao onsen if you want to hang around tokyo). 

Lots to do and see in honshu. But more consistent better quality powder and a longer season at niseko. Niseko slackcountry is second to none in japan. (There are resorts in akita and Aomori that are literally one or two lifts and you ride where the hell you like, but i know none of those im afraid and you could probably do with some local knowledge before venturing up there.)

So there you go, some pros and cons.
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2012 at 4:04am
so hakuba vs niseko/rusutsu?been to niseko/rusu twice. best experience ever in hokkaido. but thinking if i should check out honshu next time.
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  Quote madsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2012 at 12:02am

well unfortunately im now back at work but what a trip, japan is amazing!

the night we rocked up to hukuba it had puking all day so we woke up to so much powder! we managed to get good snow pretty much the whole time we were there except for about one day so i defintely cant complain. checked out happo one, hukuba 47, iwatake and cortina. only went to cortina on the last day but it was amazing. so much snow and some epic tree runs. cant wait to go back now.

tokyo was rad as well, checked out a lot of the places you listed and saw some temples and castles as well.

thanks again for the info mate and enjoy the rest of the season!

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  Quote namsapalooza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/12/2012 at 2:03pm
Ippy this is awesome! Hopefully we'll be able to make it out there some time and enjoy the fabulous pow Japan has to offer :)
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/12/2012 at 1:52pm
Kagura redeems itself yet again. Seriously, this is the best place in japan right now (for me). None of the niseko costs but all of the soft dry light fluffy powder and off piste youd want. Its smaller than niseko in scale of course, but theres about 1/100th of the people and 1/1,000,000th of the bogans. No beans and timtams in the combini though so it loses some points for that LOL
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/28/2012 at 5:21pm
boooo! went to kagura. They shut the top lift because of an electric fault (and because its a bit deep and dodgy out there - 2 deaths earlier in the season in the region from upended (not creek beds or ninja holes, just upended and buried) snowboarders has things a little on edge. 

Kagura without its top lift (and access to tashiro which was entirely shut down), leaves only the nasty gondola run, the park, and the green run that runs parallel to it. Got my ticket at 10.12, came down by 12, got my cash back and came home. If i was on the scope i would have been alright, but a 164 slasher feels a biiiit big to just dick around with (though its way flexy). Ah well, save an extra 2man en for february and got to sleep in my own bed, so i guess thats nice. Would rather be out riding today than typing, but whatchagonnado? 

ETA: Japans numbers at the moment:

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/26/2012 at 6:50pm
Right now im at work in saitama. But HOLY SHEEEET!!! is it DUMPING right now?
(not here, but on the resorts). 

Nozawa just got pasted yesterday with a meter in 24 hours. Yuzawa is swimming in pow. Hakuba got another 50cms on average and cortina is still off the hook. 


Myokos daily report hasnt even come in. The dudes probably busy digging himself out.
Lets see how my little seki onsen is doing...
530cms with yesterdays still to be added and a SERIOUS hit coming midweek.

To all those who bailed on japan... 

teehee :p Thanks dudes, its shtooking awesome out here right now :) 

As for tokyo... hmm, depends what you like doing. 

If youre just kinda ambling about the places you HAVE to go to:

Shibuya
Shinjuku
Akihabara
Asakusa
Harajuku (they also have a few snowboard boutique stores there - burton and volcom are both there if i remember right). 
and if youre after snowboard gear, you might want to go to kanda area which on the subway is the street between ogawamachi and jimbocho (green line)


Either way you wont be bored, but really shinjuku shibuya and akihabara will shop you out, harajuku will give you that OMG! tokyo! thing, asakusa is the nearest temple so youll feel all traditional and kanda gives you your snowboard gears... though its WAY expensive. 

OOOOOOOh! if you want temples like kyoto so you can say youve done that, then you might also want to look into visiting Kamakura. 

Which i guess means you could also pop to yokohama as well, though i dont know what you can really do there except visit china town to be honest. Oh, and if you get on a train you can go to fujinomia and see fuji. As soon as you leave tokyo in fact you should be able to see it. I can see it from my school right now in fact and im miles and miles away from it. 


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  Quote madsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/25/2012 at 12:45pm

thanks for all that info mate! i would love to check it out but the limited time we have in tokyo will probably be spent doing tourist things around tokyo. is there anything you would recommend?

are you in yuzawa at the moment?

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2012 at 1:13pm
you may really want to ninja a day trip to yuzawa then if boarding is your top priority. 
JR often have deals for day trips from tokyo, and midweek they can be super cheap. 

Heres another thing i have never personally tried (i dont live in tokyo, but north saitama so i dont think it works for me): http://www.snowjapanforums.com/index.php/topic/16494-how-to-get-cheap-shinkansen-tickets/

ETA: reading through the thread it looks like you cant use it on the same day for return. Either way, if you can get to a VIEW shop near a shink station in tokyo, they might be able to hook you up with cheap combo tickets (lift and train). 

If you can get to Omiya for 7am theres also a local train that gets you to echigo-yuzawa station for 9.45am and costs a mere 2940 yen (mere for japan). 


Its the train i get from konosu. Goes straight through to yuzawa and takes just over an hour longer than the shinkansen (but saves about 3000yen each way). 


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  Quote madsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2012 at 2:44am
 flying into tokyo and spending a couple of days there then going to hakuba and back to tokyo for a couple more days on the way home. were only there for about 2 weeks and the main priority is to get as much boarding in as possible so we wont be visiting too many places.   
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2012 at 5:26pm
no worries dude. Its my pleasure. I love hyping japan because im literally rubbing everyone elses lack of powder (and their snowboards getting nicked because they went to the toilet for two minutes in keystone) in their faces. Where are you going if you dont mind me asking? 
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  Quote madsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/17/2012 at 11:40am

thanks for taking the time to post such a wealth of information ippollite. im hitting up japan in two weeks time so between this and the previous threads, it has been extremely helpful. cheers!

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 4:36am
bataleon riot and my trusty dual forces (bindings and zoom1). :)

PS. Just destroyed the Nozawa review. Sorry dudes looking for it. I had a brain fart, was editing the nozawa review so i could grab the titles (so i could use my little template), but forgot and started the writing the review. Ended up posting it and thus wiping the nozawa review. It may be a blessing in disguise, since if i ever do bother to rewrite it, you can bet your ass it'll be a lot shorter :) 

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  Quote ctoma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 4:14am
You definitely are styling, though.  What setup are you riding in that photo?
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 4:11am
yeah, but you dont have the others (thank ye gods) to compare it against. :)

Im not joking... not even a bit :)   
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  Quote ctoma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 4:09am
^ I disagree, you look quite chubby in that photo.

JK... really, I'm only joking... well, a bit...
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 3:13am
Originally posted by bugsbunnymydad

If y'all come to Japan, you too could snowboard with the awesomeness that is ippollite.


Hahaha...sorry, had to...kinda sad I didn't take pics in the pow areas.

Holy shit! i dont look as fat as every other photo ever taken of me on a snowboard. I am fat by the way, bugs has clearly changed the dimensions of the photo because hes nice like that :) Oblique angles for the win! PS. Come to yuzawa :) 
And matic, i live in saitama (the very dull prefecture north of tokyo), originally from scotland. :) 

PPS. Definitely not awesome. Definitely fashion challenged, and definitely likely to be found splattered on the ground somewhere because i have no balance. 
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 2:57am
Originally posted by ippollite

Ill be honest. The whole yuzawa area has really made me question my nagano loyalty (that will be a line in teh review somewhere i reckons :P)

nice. where are you originally from? do you live out there?
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  Quote bugsbunnymydad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/16/2012 at 2:03am
If y'all come to Japan, you too could snowboard with the awesomeness that is ippollite.


Hahaha...sorry, had to...kinda sad I didn't take pics in the pow areas.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2012 at 5:35pm
Ill be honest. The whole yuzawa area has really made me question my nagano loyalty (that will be a line in teh review somewhere i reckons :P)
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2012 at 5:19pm
so many areas to check out. let us know more about kagura. i still haven't riden anything in honshu yet..but twice in hokkaido
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2012 at 4:32pm
Went to kagura this weekend and had a blast. Its basically two areas mishmashed - mitsumata and tashiro. Spent most of day 1 in mistumata area and day 2 scooting from the end of tashiro back. Unfortunately the gopro ran out of battery at the end of day 1 in very flat light conditions, and the best views are from the tashiro side. Day 2 was bluebird in the morning as well making it even sadder because it was rather magnificent.

Either way, review will be coming. :) Just sans the best pictures i could have got :p
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2012 at 4:31pm
Originally posted by matic

I F'ED UP big time for not visiting this season. they are getting DUMPED!! Ouch

yupyup, nozawa has barely scraped over 2meters the last few seasons. Its already at 3 :) Seki is obviously on course for being typical seki at a 3.5m base. Niseko is a more modest 3.3meters. Yuzawa is 2.6m. All in all a pretty nice start to the season (even if it didnt all start happening until late december) :) 

Ps, for those interested: latest radiation readings can be found here:

m00m
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2012 at 2:20pm
Originally posted by Angry Midget Yo

Originally posted by tworunningcards

Originally posted by dangerzone9k

Here's an article that talks about it. It's set to start in April.

Japan giving away 10000 airfare tickets


Awesome. Thanks a lot. That's pretty good timing if they're giving away tickets in April and I want to go in June.

I still haven't heard any news on this yet so we'll see...

it was false news. i think some news blog or someone got the info wrong and was officially announced that this was never happening.
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  Quote Angry Midget Yo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2012 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by tworunningcards

Originally posted by dangerzone9k

Here's an article that talks about it. It's set to start in April.

Japan giving away 10000 airfare tickets


Awesome. Thanks a lot. That's pretty good timing if they're giving away tickets in April and I want to go in June.

I still haven't heard any news on this yet so we'll see...
Sessions sucks hairy monkey balls, the end.
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  Quote matic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2012 at 12:22pm
I F'ED UP big time for not visiting this season. they are getting DUMPED!! Ouch
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  Quote humdingaling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2012 at 7:41pm
500 ish if you live in cairns/gold coast
otherwise its closer to 600 ish these days...after you include baggage etc



Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side..
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  Quote Levi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2012 at 7:01pm
and the 10,000 free flights wasn't approved so yeah... not happening which sucks
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  Quote Levi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2012 at 6:58pm
i've been over to Japan a couple times now and i know of some really cheap flights. From Australia return for about $500... which is rad since the first time i went i paid $1,600...
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2012 at 6:04pm
Spent the weekend in nozawa and the powder was insane :) 
m00m
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