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Mt. 3 pass Yuzawa (Gala, Yuzawa Kogen, Ishicuhi)

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ippollite View Drop Down
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mt. 3 pass Yuzawa (Gala, Yuzawa Kogen, Ishicuhi)
    Posted: Feb/06/2012 at 7:35pm
and another one gone
m00m
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  Quote Kileki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/12/2012 at 10:07am
Is this the Beserker that was reviewed on another forum? maybe its my monitor that is distorting the pic but i can't see any sidecut.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/12/2012 at 1:25pm
Ah, thatll be the gopro doing its damage. The sidecut is just a sidecut. The only difference is its a 3 radius one with super long arc at the front tapering into a tight middle, and then loosening out again at the tail (though not as loose as the front). 


I tried to find the other (better) one  but couldnt find the damn thing except on the ride website for the board itself. Awesome board.
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  Quote zakk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2013 at 5:54am
i leave for Japan in 8 days and wanted to do a day trip to Gala Yuzawa via the train straight there.  just wondering what is the appropriate way to travel on the train.  wearing my snow gear and just toss the board in with luggage?  pack up my board bag and change there?  combination?  

I'm bringing all my own gear so rentals are not needed.

any other tips on the train would be apprciated, staying near Tokyo station Big smile

Thank you, Ippy! 
-zakk

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/10/2013 at 2:21pm
First thing is if youre in tokyo you can pick up the 1 day shink return for i think 10,000yen. Just head to the shinkansen /bullet train station if youre up for that. And about that, they might give you a SPECIFIC time and seat so maybe thetrain you want is fully booked... fear ye not! just buy whatever day return they have, get on any shinkansen and sit in a hallway or if theres space, the unreserved sections. The only check you get is through the barriers at the entrance and exit of the train station. They just check the ticket s valid, they dont care what train you got on. 

Second thing, train is easy. Shinkansen goes direct to gala yuzawa. The main station for other resorts is ECHIGO Yuzawa, but there was a teensy little extra bit of track line for a few trains a day to go to GALA yuzawa. 
What you CAN do to increase your options is of course just get the train to echigo and then get one of the very frequent shuttle buses to gala. OR get the train to echigo, come out the side closest to the shink ticket gates (basically to your left), walk up to the road where the kagura bus is (youll probably see a queue of people), turn right, walk about two hundred meters down the road and you should be at one of the yuzawa kogen lifts. This means you can just grab your three mountain, ride the lift up, and then work your way across. 

Of course the problem with this is that ishiuchi suddenly becomes very far away and a bit of a mission to get to. My advice is have a quick play in yuzawa kogen (you really wont need long), dont bother running the full length of it. Just stay up the ropeway area of it, then while yorue waiting for the ropeway to bring you across to gala, have a few runs there, enjoy the views, but dont spend too long. Then when you get the ropeway across, have a few runs of the south face if its open. Then immediately head to ishiuchi. It has the best runs, and hopefully its not too exposed (see review). If theres any part of the three mountain that MIGHT deliver something seriously fun itll be those top to bottom ishiuchi runs. Since youve had a wee statse of the south face, and a decent run of ishiuchi you should be able to make a decent decision on where you want to ride for the rest of the day. You aint missing much skipping the rest of Gala, its nice, but its just cruisy mediocre terrain. If you have time go play in it, but otherwise prioritise ishiuchi, the south face of gala, and if youre in the area, the view from yuzawa kogen since its gorgeous if its just a day trip.  Also remember that ishiuchi all the way back to yuzawa kogen is going to take a fair lump of time since you have those super slow (and busy) lifts from ishiuchi to gala and then the ropeway times from gala to yuzawa kogen to deal with. Id make a mental note of what ropeway you plan on catching back to yuzawa to make it in time for whatever train youre catching.  
Last of all, when you hit yuzawa kogen you can cruise down that long red run bringing you to the base area and your stuff. Then its time to get changed, and walk a few hundred meters back to the station. Theres plenty of trains to be honest from echigo, so its not a big deal, its just that i had to get the train stopping at kumagaya and that pretty much meant fewer options. 

Righto. Alternative two: Train direct to gala. 

Gala has everything you need to get sorted. Its got dressing rooms, lockers, creperies, a little shop for accessories and rentals. Its a train station SOLELY for the purpose of bringing day trippers from tokyo to yuzawa (since gala is owned by JR). 

So if youre coming direct obviously this means no bother at all. It just means youll have to get the right trains is all. 

Now if youre doing that as a day trip, get up there, head to the south face and see if its open. If it is, you can now either head there then pop across to yuzawa kogen for the time it takes you to do a few laps of it (about 35-40 minutes should honestly be sufficient here unless you kinda like the mellow pace of it all after the bedlam - likely - of gala. Get some photos to amaze your facebook buddies, skip one ropeway, grab the next one and spend some time in the south face. Pop down to the base area of gala for a spot of earliesh lunch then head to ishiuchi. Check the conditions, if its swimming, its got the best terrain of the three so youmight as well hang out there for the rest of the day. If its not, lap it a few times then head back to the south face. This means youre back in the general gala yuzawa area making it sweet for riding the path all the way down to the station and catching your train home. Much easier ultimately, but as i say the trade off here is that you have less options for trains to and from it than gala. 

Option 3 is obviously you get the train to echigo, you get the bus to kagura. You play in the trees and powder all day, you have no queues, no people, and endless lines under lifts and in trees. And i beleive you can also get a daty return for kagura. So honestly, if youre just after a day of cruising and just want to soak in the sights and sounds of japan snowboarding, sure gala is a great day out, but if it was my money and i was trying to choose a resort, its no contest, kagura over gala any day. 

Other alternative for stunning backdrop and some fun lines is Maiko. Also worth the trip I HAVE BEEN TOLD since i never quite made it out there. :) 

OOoh, one more thing. If you want to make a couple of days of it, directly beneath gala is the onsen/sleeping place. You need ear plugs. You need whatever you need to pass you out, but its super cheap, you get a free and very decent onsen in with it, and it means that you get a second day on the slopes with a nice early start. The only problem is that even thougfh its barely 200 meters from gala as the crow flies, the road makes it a km at least up hill, so if youve got a lot of stuff, its going to be a decent morning hike up to gala. Ooooooh! but you can leave massive items in gala for 500yen overnight. The problem with this though is that the ticket place to get them back doesnt open until about 8ish if i remember right... pity that.
The advantage of this is that its a) nex to teh resort, and b) ONSEN!!!!, and c) cheaper than any hotel youll likely be staying in in tokyo. So why the hell not?
Disadvantage: Its going to work out pricier on your shink plus two day passes plus stay plus shink home compared to the day return ticket. There you go. Plenty of stuff to work out :) 
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/10/2013 at 3:32pm
ETA: shouldnt really answer questions before ive properly woken up :)

Best thing is honestly just to wear change of clothes, carry your stuff, then get changed at gala. 
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  Quote zakk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/14/2013 at 12:55pm
Thank you Ippollite!  I'll report back with what I find out and expereince!! 
-zakk

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/14/2013 at 11:48pm
Heres a wee pic i stole from Muikabochi's thread here on yuzawa kogen:
(its basically Echigo yuzawa train station and the village/town
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