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Messages - smitty484

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1
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Thanks MyokoGuy
« on: August 11, 2010, 08:37:01 PM »
I want to say from the outset that even though I received a copy of this book free from MyokoGuy (many thanks :) ) I don't feel obliged to say it is good if I don't think it is....However, I did find it very good, haha.

Just finished reading it over the weekend and found it very interesting. Lots of good information on resorts all over Japan, from Hokkaido to Honshu. Information on the resorts included pow, park, village, good for beginners/experts etc. In fact, after reading the book it sounds as if the people who wrote it have actually been to all the places reported in the book. Always helps!

What I also enjoyed about the book was it just didn't have info on snow resorts but also everything to do with making a snow trip, or even non snow trips, much easier. I.e. Info on onsens, train travel, cultural things, jobs, language etc.

If you like snow in Japan and want a good/helpful read, pick up this book.

2
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Epic TR
« on: July 14, 2010, 06:45:10 PM »
Yep I third the plug of Rabid's TR. Epic stuff and a great read. I think there is one more chapter left.

3
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Thanks MyokoGuy
« on: July 14, 2010, 06:43:57 PM »
Received the Snow Search Japan book in the mail yesterday. Haven't had a proper read of it yet, just had a quick flick through. But when I get time to have a read i'll let you all know what I think. Cheers :)

4
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:51:17 AM »
Mum and dad have more on their computer so I will try and post them up.

Monday 15 Feb 2010 - Travel day to Nozawa Onsen via Snow Monkey Park.

So Monday arrived much too quickly and it was goodbye to Myoko for us this time round. I really enjoyed the time in Myoko, the resorts were very off-piste friendly, there was lots of snow (however I would have liked one or two bigger pow days that Myoko is famous for), the people were really friendly and it wasn't overrun by Aussies. In saying that though, an injection of Western tourist dollars is probably needed for some of the areas around here, in order to stop them going broke. I have no idea how some of the restaurants survive because it seemed like we were the only ones going to them. Will I be back? Yes definitely, but probably not for a few years as there is so much more of Japan to explore.

Our next stop was to be Nozawa Onsen, but rather than head straight there I had organised for private transfers for our group via the snow monkey park.  I had organised the private transfers through Amy at the Myoko tourist. I think from memory it cost 9000 yen per person for Myoko to Nozawa with a 2 hour snow monkey stop over. Worth every cent (or yen).

The snow monkey park seems to have a purpose built onsen for the snow monkeys to enjoy. I am of the understanding that the monkey descend from the mountains during the day to play around with the humans and enjoy a warm bath in the onsen. They then pack their stuff up in the afternoon and head back into the mountains. They really were very cute, but you are not allowed to touch them or feed them. My brother made the mistake of getting a little too close for a photo and the monkey took a swipe at him...while they may not be big, they could still cause some damage to your face with their sharp nails. Luckily he was just out of reach.

The monkeys overall were pretty friendly to the humans and each other. However, there was one incident where everyone was standing around watching the monkeys preen each other calmly in the Onsen, when what seemed to be the dominant male decided to assert himself over the other monkeys. He took a particular disliking to one of the male (I think) monkeys. It was enough to scare the shit out of the smaller monkey who started screeching and then ran off as the bigger monkey chased him into the cold water of the stream flowing next to the onsen. The bigger monkey then proceeded to beat the crap out of him and hold him under the water while the screeches of the smaller monkey seemed to fill the whole valley. Nobody really knew what to do apart from hope the bigger monkey didn't kill the smaller monkey. As it was the dominant one let him go after a further beating, however the smaller one seemed to be pretty beaten, he couldn't walk on one leg and was bleeding pretty bad. Not sure what happened to him after he hobbled off back into the mountains. It was just an example of nature doing its thing. After the incident the big monkey took himself (and what seemed to be his two hoes) back to the prime spot in the onsen, keeping an eye on what was going on. All the other monkeys seemed to be on edge now. Anyway, I am not sure what happened next but all of a sudden, from the otherside over near the entry of the monkey park, a whole bunch of other monkeys were returning to the onsen with an even bigger monkey at the for-front. As it turns out this guy seemed to be the dominant one because as soon as he made it back to the onsen, the other big monkey, which we all thought was king-daddy, pissed off back up the mountain with his two hoes close behind. After that all the monkeys went back to enjoying themselves and relaxing in the warmth of the onsen.

Anyway some photos:






















5
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:48:24 PM »
Sunday 14 Feb 2010 – Backcountry with Bill Ross from MBBS.

Sunday was the second of my two favourite days in Myoko. As it was the weekend and I thought the inbounds stuff might be more crowded I booked myself a spot in a backcountry tour with Bill Ross.  It was kind of like an entry level backcountry experience because apart from Asahidake (which doesn’t involve any hiking) this was my first backcountry trip.  Anyway, the weather was great with blue skies and fresh snow.

For our trip we headed out from Ikenotaira and up towards Mt Myoko. The hike wasn’t overly challenging, but getting used to the snow shoes at the beginning was. We kitted ourselves up with beacons and the like, but word on the street was that the avy danger wasn’t very high where we were headed.

We stopped for lunch on a flat area that I believe is a road in Summer and we had views out to the Sea of Japan as well as to the top of Mt Myoko and also past Nozawa Onsen…was awesome.

The ride back down was well worth it with some nice powder runs. Down low in the sun affected areas it was starting to get crusty, I just had to make sure I didn’t stop on any flatter areas or it would have been a pain in the ass moving again.  We eventually worked our way down the bottom, past where I was stuck a couple days before and out on to the golf course.

Overall it was a great day, the group I was in were really fantastic and Bill and the other bloke (sorry cant remember his name) were top fellas and very helpful. IIRC Bill has lived in the area for over 20 years and he had some pretty interesting stories to tell about the place.  When I head back to Myoko again I will definitely be going on another trip with him, but now that my first backcountry experience is over with I might take on something a little more challenging next time.

Some pics below and I actually have some helmet cam footage for the entire trip down, but I will have to post it later.

The Group
 

Testing out the gear before starting the hike.
 

On the way up
     

Lunch looking up towards Mt Myoko
 

Lunch stop again
 

The summer road where we had lunch.
 

Up the top and the goodies we were about to enjoy :D If only I could be right there again!!
 

6
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:47:15 PM »
Feb 13 2010 - Seki Onsen

Today my brother and I started the day thinking we were going to hit up Suginohara. The plan had originally been to go to Seki Onsen today, however after reading the pamphlet in the hotel it said the bus there only ran Tue, Wed and Thur. However, on the walk to the Suginohara bus, we stumbled across the Seki bus (there must have been a translation error on the pamphlet) and off we went.

Has been snowing in the area light to moderately for the past couple of days and I am guessing that there has been 30/40cm or so of fresh stuff at Seki. Snow was pretty good quality, not as dry as Furano last year, but good enough!

I always assumed there were 4 lifts at Seki, but as it turns out there really are only 2 main ones accessing the runs. Note that Seki basically has no grooming, it is all just fresh stuff, however there is a single groomed run that runs around the outside of the ski are and then pops back in at the bottom.

When we arrived we were disappointed to see that the top lift was not running, which meant everyone was on the lower lift. Being a Saturday and with only the bottom lift running it meant that the obvious stuff got tracked out pretty quickly. However, around lunch time the top lift (a single chair) was opened and we got to smash through all the fresh stuff up top.

For lunch we ate at the single restaurant on the mountain and had fun trying to converse with the lady behind the till. I'm pretty sure we were the only western people in all of Seki and barely anyone spoke much english... However I like it like this!

Once the top was tracked out after lunch, we decided to check out the tree areas to skiers left of the bottom lift and managed to find fresh tracks for the remainder of the day, however the runs were pretty short.

The interesting part of the day really happened when trying to get back to Akakura. In the morning on the bus we paid for a return ticket and the bus driver pointed out where he would pick us up at 4pm. We got to the bus stop at about 3.35pm, but by 4.20pm no bus had come. It was at the point we thought we were pretty farked as we only had our return ticket, no enough cash for a taxi back to Akakura and even if we did I had no idea how to call a taxi. In the end we walked back to the information desk near the bottom ski lift and luckily ran into a young bloke who I tried to explain our situation to. Top bloke in the end as he organised for my brother and I to get a lift back with some old dude in his car. Was pretty funny squeezing all our gear and the two of us into a small car with a male driver and three old women in the back...none of whom spoke english.

Anyway to give the place a wrap up, it's a pretty small ski area but has more steeps than most of the main areas of Myoko. The powder is abundant, but if I was to go back it would be with a car, I would do it on a week day and I would probably organise a half day pass. Whatever you do, DON"T get the bus from Akakura, or if you do, have a back up plan!

I've included a link below to a short video I took on my helmet cam. It's early on in the day and is a run from the top of the bottom lift so it's pretty mellow. I haven't edited it yet, and I apologize for the lack of sound, I haven't worked that feature out yet.

Seki Onsen.AVI

7
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:46:42 PM »
Friday 12 Feb 2010 – Ikenotaira

Friday was probably the best day as far as snow conditions went for us in the Myoko area during our trip. It had been snowing for about 18 hours or so and it was supposed to snow all day (which it did). I would say there would have been  20-30cm total of new snow, which in the off-piste areas was quite a lot of fun.

Anyway on the advice of MyokoGuy I decided to head to Ikenotaira for the pow day and it did not disappoint. Like all of the resorts in Myoko there was absolutely no ropes and there were plenty of trees to get in to. I have said this before, but the inbounds stuff at Myoko is not particularly steep, however if you are after easily accessed off-piste tree runs it is great. I basically just started off at in the morning hitting up the trees around skiers right of the top lift and then just worked my way across. There is a pretty long run the heads mostly under the chairlfts in the middle and it is basically pow after pow after pow through the trees. As it was not super steep and there had been a nice little snowfall, I basically didn’t hit the ice crust the whole day.

I only had one problem the whole day and that was later on during the day when I was going through the trees on far skiers left and to get back on the piste area I had to cut across what I thought was a creek before it starts to head down and away from the resort. Anyway I missed the cut off and found myself in a spot where I had to hike through the soft snow for about 40min or so, up a hill before I got back to the piste areas…I was spent. I actually found out two days later that if I kept going down I would have just reached the golf course and it would have been fine, but I wasn’t to know.

Ikenotaira was one of two of my favourite days in Myoko. Fresh snow ALL day (hardly any of the Japanese left the piste areas) and there were very long tree runs…pretty much all the way from the top to the bottom lift. And it snowed moderately all day, which just made things really nice. Unfortunately no pics from here as I went by myself for the day and didn’t take the camera, but there are pics from my last post which show some of what the snow was like this day around Akakura.

8
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:45:21 PM »
Thursday 11 February 2010 – Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen, Myoko Kogen.

Note: Will include some photos when I get home.

Woke up to around 5cm of new snow in the village and it was a welcome change to the mixture of rain, ice rain, fog and sleet from the past couple of days. The snow pack didn’t really take any beating from the rain during the previous two days as it was never that heavy, more like a thick mist. So the snow pack was deep and there was a light covering of new snow, not really enough for off-piste turns but it should be fun on the groomers so we decided to test out Akakura Kanko.

To get to Akakura Kanko from Akakura Onsen you can purchase a duel pass, start at Akakura Onsen and make your way over, you can walk for 15min in ski gear (probably not that fun) or there is a bus service (different to the inter-resort service) that is free and will take you there. We opted for the bus!

Arrived at the Gondola and were the first to line up..unfortunately we had lined up at the wrong entrance, so we ended up getting in the second gondola…bugger. Haha. The skiing wasn’t too bad, especially on the groomers where there was about 5cm of nice snow to carve. During the morning it continued to snow light to moderately, keeping conditions nice, however eventually more fog rolled in and reduced visability. We decided to make our way from the top of Akakura Kanko to the bottom of Akakura Onsen and go spend a few hours having lunch near the hotel. However on the way down we decided to head into the trees next to a few runs (again no ropes) and we were surprised to find a few powder stashes. Obviously we had to head into areas that weren’t too steep so we didn’t hit the ice below, but it was fun all the same. 

Went in for lunch, it continued to snow (quite heavily at times) and then went back out for a couple of hours at Akakura Onsen. As I have said before, none of the runs here are particularly steep, but we headed over towards skiers left and there were NO crowds heading off the groomers into the fresh stuff (in fact just two other westerners). Lost of fun mucking around in the trees with steady moderate snow. Life was good!!

 

Mt Myoko
 

Akakura Kanko
 

 


I am trying to think but this may be the top lift at Ikenotaira. Basically just head straight into those trees and follow the lift down. Great run. Went there on Friday 12 Feb.
 

Family
 

Shops around Akakura Onsen
 

Can't remember what day, but out the hotel window again.
  

9
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:44:34 PM »
Wed 10 February 2010 – Stay inside day, Myoko kogen

If I remember correctly, the forecast was for rain turning to snow, however due to the bloody temperature inversion it was a day of rain and ice rain and fog. I woke up with every intention of skiing, checked out the window and went back to sleep.

Didn’t really do a whole lot this day, had an onsen or two, went for lunch, had a few beers and basically rested up. The forecast was for a few days of light to moderate snow from Thursday so I just wait for that.

Chocolate beer

 

Stupid mist rain/ice rain

 

10
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:43:47 PM »
Day Two - Feb 9th 2010 - Suginohara, Myoko Kogen.


Myoko Kogen resorts
   

Ok so by the second day temperatures had begun to climb, so while there was a LOT of snow around it was going to be a slushy day.  Anyway we decided to spend the day at Suginohara which is the furthest resort from Akakura Onsen. Suginohara has the highest lifted point of the Myoko resorts and I was hoping that up top the snow would be in better condition. As it turned out there had been a temperature inversion so the whole mountain had soft snow anyway.

To get between the four major resorts Myoko has a free bus service that runs about once an hour (I think) during the day. If you are staying in Akakura Onsen you need to make your way to near the post office (I generally caught the 8.30am bus). The post office was a slow 5-10min stroll from the hotel. While it is only about 5 or 10min by bus to Ikenotaira, it takes about 35min to Suginohara, so if it's a pow day and you want to go to Suginohara make sure you arrive at the post office on time or it will be a while before you hit the snow!

It was just going to be my brother and I for the day, however on the bus I happened to run into smackies, so she joined in on the snowboarding action for the day!

The day was interesting as far as snow conditions went, they were "testing" conditions. We mostly spent the day up top to keep away from the crowds and there was some pretty wide groomers to race down as off-piste was definitely not going to happen. I had a pretty funny crash that day; was racing down the side of the run and I ran into some heavy soft snow (that I thought was groomer) but must not have been groomed properly. Anyway it basically stopped my board still and I flew forward about 1.5m hit the back of my head, did a complete forward flip and landed about 1.5m from there. Smackies and my brother had a good laugh, I was just happy to be alive.

Around lunch time a thick fog moved in which brought visibility to about nothing when you were going through it. We tried to stay above it, but the top lift wasn't working and the next lift below meant riding through the fog for half the run, so we decided to head back down.

The run down was a lot of thigh burning fun (apparently it is about 8km, but I dunno for sure?) and Suginohara, while not extreme skiing, has a lot to offer on a fresh pow day. Crowds were low, the runs were long and there were trees you could hit off to the sides. Like all area of Myoko there does not seem to be any problem with heading off into the trees and there are pretty much no ropes.

Again I can't really remember what we had for dinner that night, however MyokoGuy had recommended that we book a table at a place called Yamagishi so I had Takano book us a table for Thursday night. Yamagishi apparently specialises in Okonomiyaki (which I really like), however it is pretty popular, so if you want to go book a few days in advance.

Sorry no photos of Suginohara as I didn't take the camera with me, but here are some from around Akakura Kanko area on the same day.

Akakura Kanko I think
 

Akakura Kanko I think
 

My cousin and the snowpack. This is at the base of the mountain at around 700m asl
   

Later in the arvo when the fog/mist arrived. I think from memory it was below zero in the village, however due to a temperature inversion we received a mixture of sleet, ice rain and rain.
 

Dad and the deep snowpack
 

11
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Re: Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:40:37 PM »
Some photos to go with the report for the first day.


The bullet train and I
 

Travelling on the bullet train after leaving Ueno station.
   

Dad and I at Nagano station, waiting for the transfer train to Myoko Kogen.
       

Looking out the window from our room in Myoko. This looks towards the Akakura Onsen ski area which is a hundred meters or so away. That crazy old bloke was removing the snow off this roof without any ropes or anything. No doubt he has been doing it for many years, but he would be in a bit of trouble if he slipped.
 

Another view from the room in Myoko. This is on the Monday after the massive dump from the previous Fri, Sat and just before the warmer temps on Tue and Wed.
   

12
Japan Ski Trip Journals / Myoko Kogen February 2010
« on: March 31, 2010, 09:38:14 PM »
Day 1 – Monday Feb 8 2010. Tokyo to Myoko Kogen.

No pics or video just yet as I am still sorting them out, but I will add them in as soon as I can.

Arrived in Tokyo on Sunday the 7th 2010. Flew with Tokyo with Jet* from Coolangatta and the plane was a few hours late to depart. However, this was not Jet*’s fault, it was just [auto-censor] down rain and most of the flights were delayed or cancelled.

Once we arrived in Tokyo we caught the airport limousine (a bus – 3000 yen) to Tokyo station and then transferred to a train which took us to Ueno station. There seems to be a number of ways to get out of Narita, but I chose to go to the bus Tokyo station as it was convenient and I had used the service before to get to Haneda. We stayed at Sutton Place in Ueno and due to the plane delays we arrived much later than I had originally informed them, however the staff we very friendly on arrival (I think it was about 12.30am).

Caught the 9.30am Shinkansen the following day to Nagano. My cousin had arrived in Tokyo a few days earlier, so she booked our tickets from Narita. I recommend this as I heard it can be a bit of a lottery getting into the non-reserved area, especially if it is during peak hour or it is a special occasion. Changed trains in Nagano for the train to Myoko and then arrived in Myoko sometime after midday. In Myoko I had organised us to stay at the Hotel Annex through Amy from the tourist office. Amy was VERY helpful (I highly recommend her services). I actually phoned her on the morning of our arrival to Myoko and she met us at the train station with 2 cars, one for the luggage and one to transport the troops. Again I really can’t recommend her services enough!

The Annex hotel is located in Akakura and was primarily run by an older gentlemen by the name of Tukano (spelling?), however there were a few others there and they all were helpful. Tukano’s English was pretty good and he was VERY helpful; he gave us a tour of the place and helped us over the week with buses, transfers to other resorts, ordering taxis, booking restaurants etc. The hotel itself is not brand new or flash, but the rooms are clean and comfortable (with private ensuites if you don’t want to use the onsens – however I always just used the onsens) and the prices were very reasonable. The only problem with the place is that each morning and evening they get the heater system going and I think they do this by running warm water through the pipes. Anyway as you can imagine, warm water through cold pipes creates a lot of clanking and creaking. In the evening it wasn’t a problem, but they get it going at about 6am, so if you like to sleep in you have to endure about 20min of that before it’s quiet again. On the questionnaire at the end of the week, our group suggested it might be a better idea to run it a little later in the morning.

Myoko has 4 main areas; Akakura Kanko, Akakura Onsen, Suginohara and Ikenotaira. You can purchase separate tickets for each, a join ticket for the two Akakuras or an all mountain big 4 pass. The big 4 mountain pass seemed pointless to me as you wouldn’t bother changing resorts during the day, however as it turned out the big 4 pass was cheaper than a duel Akakura pass (go figure, Tuakano has no idea why either) so I ended up getting one later in the week.

The first afternoon I just bought an Akakura Onsen pass and played around there getting my snow legs back. The place is really only good for beginners to lower intermediates, however Myoko has pretty much no ropes so there were some fun little tree areas to hit. Also, barely any of the locals seem to go off-piste, so there was still fresh stuff from the mega dump the few days before. After a few hours in the arvo there, I was keen to test out the other areas of Myoko during our stay.

Akakura has a number of nice places to eat out and they were all a short walk (5 min) from our hotel which was handy. I can’t remember where we ate on the first night, but we had no bad meals in Myoko!

I should add: If you want really big mountains and steep lines then Myoko (from what I can see) isn’t for you. Hakuba would be your place for that. But if you are the kind of person that enjoys Niseko and want to try a Honshu resort, I can’t recommend Myoko enough. There are pretty much no ropes and you can ski and board wherever you like within the resort boundaries. The runs aren’t super steep so I am guessing this is why there is less of an avalanche risk, however there is plenty of easily accessed powder!

13
Seki Onsen / Re: Seki Onsen Feb 13 2010
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:42:10 PM »
That is really weird..The pamphlet said if only ran those 3 days, but at the bus stop near the post office in Akakura there was a bus that had Seki Onsen on it and we bought a return ticket. Also the bus only went to Seki, nowhere else....Very weird indeed! Was a great day though.

14
Seki Onsen / Seki Onsen Feb 13 2010
« on: February 20, 2010, 07:39:56 AM »
Today my brother and I started the day thinking we were going to hit up Suginohara. The plan had originally been to go to Seki Onsen today, however after reading the pamphlet in the hotel it said the bus there only ran Tue, Wed and Thur. However, on the walk to the Suginohara bus, we stumbled across the Seki bus (there must have been a translation error on the pamphlet) and off we went.

Has been snowing in the area light to moderately for the past couple of days and I am guessing that there has been 30/40cm or so of fresh stuff at Seki. Snow was pretty good quality, not as dry as Furano last year, but good enough!

I always assumed there were 4 lifts at Seki, but as it turns out there really are only 2 main ones accessing the runs. Note that Seki basically has no grooming, it is all just fresh stuff, however there is a single groomed run that runs around the outside of the ski are and then pops back in at the bottom.

When we arrived we were disappointed to see that the top lift was not running, which meant everyone was on the lower lift. Being a Saturday and with only the bottom lift running it meant that the obvious stuff got tracked out pretty quickly. However, around lunch time the top lift (a single chair) was opened and we got to smash through all the fresh stuff up top.

For lunch we ate at the single restaurant on the mountain and had fun trying to converse with the lady behind the till. I'm pretty sure we were the only western people in all of Seki and barely anyone spoke much english... However I like it like this!

Once the top was tracked out after lunch, we decided to check out the tree areas to skiers left of the bottom lift and managed to find fresh tracks for the remainder of the day, however the runs were pretty short.

The interesting part of the day really happened when trying to get back to Akakura. In the morning on the bus we paid for a return ticket and the bus driver pointed out where he would pick us up at 4pm. We got to the bus stop at about 3.35pm, but by 4.20pm no bus had come. It was at the point we thought we were pretty farked as we only had our return ticket, no enough cash for a taxi back to Akakura and even if we did I had no idea how to call a taxi. In the end we walked back to the information desk near the bottom ski lift and luckily ran into a young bloke who I tried to explain our situation to. Top bloke in the end as he organised for my brother and I to get a lift back with some old dude in his car. Was pretty funny squeezing all our gear and the two of us into a small car with a male driver and three old women in the back...none of whom spoke english.

Anyway to give the place a wrap up, it's a pretty small ski area but has more steeps than most of the main areas of Myoko. The powder is abundant, but if I was to go back it would be with a car, I would do it on a week day and I would probably organise a half day pass. Whatever you do, DON"T get the bus from Akakura, or if you do, have a back up plan!

I've included a link below to a short video I took on my helmet cam. It's early on in the day and is a run from the top of the bottom lift so it's pretty mellow. I haven't edited it yet, and I apologise for the lack of sound, I haven't worked that feature out yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAfSutgYqtY

15
Akakura Ski Resort Areas / Re: Myoko SNOW
« on: February 11, 2010, 05:43:18 PM »
Myoko really stepped it up a gear this arvo. 5cm last night, clear this morning, fat flakes just before lunch, back to ice rain (temps below zero though) then started snowing around 1 or so and hasn't stopped. Not the biggest flakes, but lots of them. My brother and I tried through the trees this morning up at Akakura Kanko and hit the crust too much for it to be fun. Tried it again this arvo and it was SO much better. About ankle deep, but enough so that we didn't hit the crust that often. Then moved over to Akakura Onsen and into the trees and again SO much better than it has been. Freshies everywhere. I just love how the Japanese people keep to the piste, left heaps of untouched for my brother and I all afternoon. Stayed till last lifts. Just had an onsen, stoked.

Really looking forward to tomorrow.

Also, snow quality just keeps improving and by about 3pm we had 1 to 2m dust trails behind us.

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