Resort Reviews from December 2004

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 27 reviews.
Ski Jam Katsuyama
スキージャム勝山
Katsuyama City, Fukui
Submitted by andrewl on 31st December 2004
Ski Jam Katsuyama review by Pattoriku
In my humble opinion, Ski Jam is the biggest and best spot in Fukui.

Of course, this was 5-7 years ago.. Certainly it's the destination for locals, but for those travelling from Kansai, if you're travelling anyway, you might as well make the long haul up to Nagano for the big stuff. \r\n\r\nThe beauty of this place for the enterprising foreigner, is that, at around noon, all of the skiers who got there at 6am are ready to go home.
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Togari Onsen
戸狩温泉
Iiyama City, Nagano
Submitted by jakeboarder on 30th December 2004
Togari Onsen review by jakeboarder
We arrived in Togari Onsen just after a night of snow fall, and so had great snow conditions.

One slope wasn't even treated at all and offered so complete pure powder - very cool. Also, there's quite a bit of opportunity to get off-slopes without getting caught... I'd say there was a 50-50 split between snowboarders and skiers, but most boarder were beginners.

Not very crowded, except for Sundays (long lines at the lifts). Togari Onsen has 2 sides from
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
ニセコマウンテンリゾートグラン・ヒラフ
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by kjj on 30th December 2004
Niseko Grand Hirafu review by kjj
This was my first time to niseko (and to hokkaido) and I was more than impressed!

Apart from the pros listed above, I liked the general diversity of the resort (ie. a range of hotels and restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes) and the variety of people there (yes, there were many aussies, but also americans, canadians, brits etc and the majority of people on the mountain are japanese).

I would definately go back and highly recommended it
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Hijiri Kogen
聖高原
Omi Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 30th December 2004
Hijiri Kogen review by Sheepshot
Set above the central Nagano village of Omin Hijiri-kogen Ski resort is a very local, quiet and smallllll resort. Yet a great day can be had here after big snow if you aren't near the larger resorts.

Take along your own shovels, smile and ask the family workers if you can make your own freestyle park out on the pow and watch them laugh at you all session long.

Hint - check up the top of the summit, a short hike
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Kagura
かぐら
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by rossirider on 29th December 2004
Kagura review by Rossirider
By far my favorite resort in the Yuzawa area. Wide runs that are not too crowded even on the weekends. Great quality snow, with lots of tree runs next to on-piste and great BC within easy hiking range.

The only con is that it takes almost an hour to get from the bottom of the Mitsumata Ropeway to the top of the Kagura quad. However, the ropeway does open at 7:30 in the morning. So you can
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Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba47ウインタースポーツパーク
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 29th December 2004
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park review by neurozoo
Both times I was there, there was a lot of snow on the upper elevations.. a white out storm made conditions a little too deep, but thats good too.. a few rails n boxes, all "ride on" I think.. and HUGE jumps at the bottom..

I mean American resort sized kickers! (not typical Japanese size).. best I have seen at any resort in Japan.

But I have only been to 8 resorts here, but hey, still says a
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Kagura
かぐら
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by julz on 29th December 2004
Kagura review by julz
This resort I have been to for spring boarding before, and at that time it was fully open still, so there was a lot of tracks to explore.

However, I decided to make my first trip of the season to Kagura only to be totally disappointed. This is all I will say: DO NOT GO here before it has fully opened. A full hour after gearing up, we finally made it to the top of the
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Hachi Kogen
ハチ高原
Yabu City, Hyogo
Submitted by boardbaka on 29th December 2004
Hachi Kogen review by boardbaka
I'm gonna have to give this place a top knotch best western review *****

I was lucky enough to work here for a ski school (teaching JHS skis and snowboard) during the seasons listed above.

It's weird because living here in Tokyo now not many people even know you can get turns down in West Japan, Hyogo prefecture. Anyway based on my experience in excess of 150 days on snow here I must be qualified to write something about this
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Naeba
苗場
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 29th December 2004
Naeba review by marnix
I was there during the WC freestyle 2004. It was sunny and warm. Even at 9am you didn't need to wear your jacket. Even with this kind of weather we were able to ski powder although it got heavy at the end of the morning.

On Thursday and Friday it good skiing, but during the weekend it was kind of busy, although real liftlines like I am used to stand in on Europe are non-existent. The crowds are on the slopes.

The
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 29th December 2004
Hakuba Happo-one review by helmet
Not much to add to what has already been said, but I really love this place. I'm a skier, so forgive me for saying that this is a great "skiers mountain". Read into that what you will :)

Try to go on weekdays when it is less busy. If you time it right with the snow and weather, you're almost sure to have a great day
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Naeba
苗場
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 29th December 2004
Naeba review by helmet
I'm not really keen on Naeba. Maybe it's because I've never really seemed to time my visits there well with respect to snow (only once were the conditions really good), weather (not had a clear sky day), and crowds (it was busy on the holidays).

The place is big and fairly wide (and not connected to Tashiro via the Gondola), but there's a real bottleneck problem in the middle of the mountain with everyone trying to come down the same
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Tazawako
たざわ湖
Semboku City, Akita
Submitted by enzanB on 28th December 2004
Tazawako review by enzanB
I have spent time there in December & in January from time to time. YH has half price lift tickets and more food than you can digest.

Got lucky I think, but it snowed 30+cm every night so powder is available until noon everyday.

No lift lines at all. And if it is not snowing, the view of the lake is beautiful.
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by DumbStick on 28th December 2004
Appi Kogen review by DumbStick
Juat to balance out about Appi - I really liked the place.

It might not be a challenge for really experienced riders but when we went we had a real good time.

The snow was good, some good intermediate/beginner runs, wasn't crowded
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by a007bondgirl on 28th December 2004
Appi Kogen review by a007bondgirl
Appi has a variety of slopes to accomodate all levels.

The gondolas are nice and pretty quick.

The face was good for the morning, but after the sun beat down on it for a while and the sun began to set, it turned to ice.

It needs a little more snow and should be perfect
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by DiGriz on 26th December 2004
Appi Kogen review by SlipperyJim
Boring

Boring

Boring

Overpriced

Boring

f you're a terminal intermediate, with no interest in pushing yourself beyond cruising slopes, and you have more money than sense, and you don't mind interminable flat runouts, and you've spent at least 100,000 yen on a flourescent pink ski jacket with a slick-wet finish, and you don't understand when every last run on the mountain isn't groomed flat -- well, Appi just might be the place for you
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