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First Snowboarding Japan Trip - Mid March...which Resort?

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#1
melstar555

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Hi,

I'll be in Japan in early-mid march for my first Japan Snowboarding experience

Im looking for a bit of powder (fingers crossed), some tree runs, varied terrain, affordable accommodation, and a town close to the mountain that will appeal to a few 30 years olds looking for some good restaurants and bars.

Given I'll be coming towards the tail end of the season, Im a little concerned about icey slopes (although Id still be happy)

I have a JR rail pass, and will be coming from Tokyo, at this stage Im thinking either Hakuba or Sapporo.

To increase my chances of achieving my wish list above (in particular some powder), am I best off heading far north?

Any pointers or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

#2
lena1849

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I can't speak for Sapporo, but if you want to keep it closer to Tokyo, Hakuba isn't usually that bad in early March. For powder chasing I would keep to the North facing resorts of Tsugaike or Cortina, they catch way more in the event of a snow shower. The big Hakuba resorts might not have as much snow in the spring (as the north resorts) though, and they are likely to get packed and skiied over quickly (unless you get lucky with snow, which does happen now and then). The night life near them is better, though, so it is a trade off.

If you're okay with the other side of Nagano, resorts near Iiyama (north of Nagano city) like Nozawa Onsen are your best shot for finding powder when it is harder to come by. It is always snowing there. Nozawa is a great mountain, good tree runs, and it has an ok village, full of hot springs, shops, and some bars (nightlife ok but not too crazy). It might be harder to find info on affordable accomodation in English, but there are still plenty of options. There are also some other smaller resorts nearby for variety too, like Togari, and even Shiga kogen is not far away. Myoko area in Niigata is also good for spring skiing/boarding...it's always been a bit foggy whenever I go in spring, but not a problem with a good pair of goggles.

#3
blu

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also check the SJ Daily Reports for similar dates in previous years for the resorts:
http://www.snowjapan...nowcalendar.php

It would be a good chance to ski/board an uncrowded Niseko (you could checkout the cheap air passes/fares Tokyo-Chitose instead of JR rail pass).
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#4
Boardbunny

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First post and intermediate rider, but I second Nozawa for spring snow. It always dumps a ton throughout the season and it shouldn't be too packed or crowded come March. Hakuba does have quite a bit more in terms of atmosphere and variable mountain terrain, though as previously stated, the snow might not be as good as you're looking for. Haven't been as far north as Hokkaido so I can't comment on that.

#5
TubbyBeaverinho

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Kagura in Yuzawa can still throw up powder shots in March......I had a great day there at the end of March last year.
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#6
grungy-gonads

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It can even in April I think.
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#7
Mamabear

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North certainly works as well.
I have been in Niseko when it was puking down in April. Also had a fair share of icy mornings and sunshine causing slush as well.

Where ever you go you will have a great time. Take it as it comes.







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