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nekdut

Niseko

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There isn't a Japan or Asia-specific forum, so forgive me for posting this here.

Who's done Niseko before?  I'm going to try to get a week in early March.  Tips and secrets?  How about where to eat in Hirafu? :)

Keeping this carving-specific, I was thinking of renting a board or two out there instead of bringing my own gear (will bring boots and plate bindings).  I figure powder boards are easy to find there, but how about narrow carving boards, if on the chance we're not getting fresh pow?  Are these readily available since the hardboot scene is a bit more prominent there?  

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I was in Niseko 3weeks ago, mostly on Annupuri and Moiwa. I saw very few Hardbooters, though I’m sure they’re there. Alot of boarders there are riding powder boards that carve really well on groomers too. I met an instructor named Mr. K at the Powder Company, at the bottom of the Annupuri lift. I took a night carving class with him at Annupuri, was a lot of fun, no crowds.    The store rents boards but mostly Gentemstick powder boards.           Moiwa’s a smaller Resort next to Annupuri, the main run (Main Burn) is good for hard booting but it’s short.       Hirafu is sort of the epicenter of Niseko, with a lot of restaurants and snowboard shops, if there are any alpine boards to be found, it’ll probably be there.          We stayed in Annupuri for 10 Days, I wish I could have stayed another 10, the snow was great. 

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Niseko is a nice enough resort, very westernized in Grand hirafu especially and prone to white out conditions and wind as its close to the coast.town is one of the only apres ski towns in hokkaido but it's more western than Japanese especially Australians which hirafu seems to attract due to price and location.  Most expensive resort in hokkaido too as a result. 

Has many good places to carve, zero shops selling carving gear only problem is each run u need to be careful of getting hit from behind as it's a lot more crowded with foreign dipshxxs who bomb runs like u would see in nz... especially in hirafu.  Annapuri is much better in that regard, I found niseko village and hanazono not as good as hirafu or annapuri terrain wise but it might have been when I was there. 

The upper part of the mountain is often shut which is a pity as that's how u cross from the 4 areas but it's quite wind prone. Also the 4 areas have different owners so they try not to open the top section unlike say mammoth or whistler. Also the lifts up there are more basic. 

Town is good excellent food it's not Japanese as such but nice enough except Australia week which is to be avoided at all costs. If u don't speak ujapanese it's still easy to get around and has great food but it's just not that quintessential Japanese experience which some ppl love some not. 

Rusutsu nearby is a better carving hill and less crowded an easy day trip away. Do a day there. Kiroro not bad either.

A few shops in sapporo to buy stuff. But gear is going in Japan a high price.

U won't see many or any carvers Japanese from hokkaido in niseko for the most part. The guys I know there laughed when I said I was going niseko and suggested I take a softboot board.  Powder can be great but tracks out much faster than rusutsu or other resorts as its a place ppl go to ride off piste powder of which it gets a lot. I do recommend going but it's just not the best carving hill in hokkaido. Imho. Still good though. 

Edited by kipstar
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48 minutes ago, kipstar said:

Has many good places to carve, zero shops selling carving gear only problem is each run u need to be careful of getting hit from behind as it's a lot more crowded with foreign dipshxxs who bomb runs like u would see in nz... especially in hirafu.  Annapuri is much better in that regard, I found niseko village and hanazono not as good as hirafu or annapuri terrain wise but it might have been when I was there. 

Pro tip: Go during Australia Day. The Aussies are too hung over to ski and the slopes are pretty much empty.

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12 hours ago, Pat Donnelly said:

Found a few former threads via ear h that may help

SVR and Mats may be somewhere in Japan powder boarding this month, not sure on the specifics?

Pat you have good intel👍😎

 

Mats and I will be in Hakuba until Sunday probably riding mostly at Happo and Cortina 🏂

Then Mats will be at Interstyle (one of the Japanese snowsports shows) in Yokohama (stop by if you are there) before he heads to Hokkaido.

 

As for carving in Japan, this time of year is best for pow and as someone else stated, finding hardboot gear in Hokkaido is difficult.

cheers and pray for pow❄️

F948D916-6F06-42E3-8E28-2645BC1CFAB5.jpeg

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the hardboot riding mountains in Hokkaido that I saw are:

- Kiroro: weekend racer riders coming up from Sapporo often at Nagamine side, @Masahiko is on this board and is part of that group
- Tomamu, Furano, Sahoro: not uncommon to see carvers on the hill most days, but we are talking a few, Furano has an instructor for hardboots

- Niseko: I saw 1-2 total in the week and a half I was there

- Rusutsu: saw a few there, better runs and more of a race scene 

- Kamui Ski Links: a big local racing scene for skiing, and more carvers here i heard, although i only rode there 2 days, both days saw some but not many

You might think its like 1 in 10 riders due to videos and such, maybe in Korea it is 1 in 20 or 1 in 50, I'd say in these resorts above more like 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000 riders on hardboot gear.  Except when there is some activity.

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Rode Rusutsu in Jan 2016. Seriously wide well groomed pistes of green to blue slopes, little groomed that would seriously qualify as black.  
Had a Coiler NSR 180 with me (and a couple of other boards), saw perhaps 2 other hardbooters the whole week I was there. Pistes were generally uncrowded, as most of the non-Japanese headed for the daily fresh in-resort powder in the trees.
Seriously cold, -15 to 20 Celsius with windchill. GoPros and cell phones stop working because of the cold.

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On 2/6/2018 at 11:21 PM, McKarver said:

I was in Niseko 3weeks ago, mostly on Annupuri and Moiwa. I saw very few Hardbooters, though I’m sure they’re there. Alot of boarders there are riding powder boards that carve really well on groomers too. I met an instructor named Mr. K at the Powder Company, at the bottom of the Annupuri lift. I took a night carving class with him at Annupuri, was a lot of fun, no crowds.    The store rents boards but mostly Gentemstick powder boards.           Moiwa’s a smaller Resort next to Annupuri, the main run (Main Burn) is good for hard booting but it’s short.       Hirafu is sort of the epicenter of Niseko, with a lot of restaurants and snowboard shops, if there are any alpine boards to be found, it’ll probably be there.          We stayed in Annupuri for 10 Days, I wish I could have stayed another 10, the snow was great. 

Thanks.  We're staying in Hirafu for 6 days/5 nights.  Sounds like I need to bring my own carving board.  I might as well bring my own powder board too since I'll have to use the tube.  Appreciate the tips.

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On 2/7/2018 at 6:25 AM, kipstar said:

Zero chance to rent a carving board in niseko also. 

Thank you.  That helps, and makes it clear that I need to lug gear with me.

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On 2/8/2018 at 1:15 AM, SunSurfer said:

Rode Rusutsu in Jan 2016. Seriously wide well groomed pistes of green to blue slopes, little groomed that would seriously qualify as black.  
Had a Coiler NSR 180 with me (and a couple of other boards), saw perhaps 2 other hardbooters the whole week I was there. Pistes were generally uncrowded, as most of the non-Japanese headed for the daily fresh in-resort powder in the trees.
Seriously cold, -15 to 20 Celsius with windchill. GoPros and cell phones stop working because of the cold.

Didn't realize it got that cold.  We'll plan ahead.  Thanks!!

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