Lodge tabi-tabi’s home mountain, Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort, has a lot to offer. Back-country enthusiasts have endless options if they are willing to hike and have the right gear. Check conditions or better yet, get a guide because people go missing here every year.
For those who enjoy the comforts of Goryu‘s high speed gondola and well groomed runs, there are wide steep runs enjoyed mostly by high level skiers. The cat track down the center and along the top part of Iimori is meant for beginners but has fun walls great for boarders who like to shred. While the lower half of Iimori has wide quiet runs with a gentle slope perfect for those still practicing their turns. Iimori also has a small park with kickers and jumps. Hakuba Goryu is connected to Hakuba 47, you only need 1 pass to use both resorts. A day pass is 5000 yen for adults, you will save money if you buy one of their multi-day passes or ask us about our discount passes!
During the 2014/15 season Hakuba Goryu opened a new off-piste area skier’s right off The Champion. The ungroomed area is controlled by patrol so may not always be open. Keep checking it. On powder days this natural terrain is very good fun!
Access from Lodge tabi-tabi:
It takes 10 minutes to walk to Goryu’s gondola The nearest shuttle stop is in front of San Marute Hotel, take the short cut through the forest, turn left on the road and it’s the first hotel on your left. You will see a bus stop with an Escal Plaza sign on it. Please check the lodge for the time-table.
I’m often asked to recommend a place to stay in Tokyo but since I live in the city 5 months of the year and have always had my own apartment, I have never had to look for accommodation, well, until last week that is. I moved out of my old place and while looking for a new Tokyo abode I had to find a place to crash for one night so I took this opportunity to look for an interesting place to stay. We had heard about Toco Backpackers and Nui Hostel from a friend, who’s friend’s friend, is part owner.
Nui is more than just a hostel, it’s an amazing creatively designed space meant to bring together people from all over the world. Set in an old warehouse, it still has lots of industrial touches like the high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass doors across the front, and the over-sized freight elevator. Comforting touches of nature are incorporated with their 8 meter long tree-trunk bar, and a massive de-barked tree that stands in the center of the 1st floor lounge. The bathroom doors have original handles forged by a local lady black smith artisan. Nui has private rooms and dormitories available on the upper floors. They have free wifi throughout the building and a computer for all to use. I have no doubt that the yet-to-be-completed kitchen and library on the 5th floor will be another amazing creative feat of eclectic design.
If you are looking for something more Japanesy, you might want to try their second location, Toco Backpacker’s Inn and Free Space Bar Lounge, an old ryokan built in 1920 and completely refurbished by the same creative crew that built Nui Hostel & Bar Lounge.
Although both locations are within easy reach of Narita and Haneda airports, you should keep in mind that neither neighbourhood, Iria or Kuramae, are in the must-see section of your guidebook. Instead, Nui and Toco, provide a great escape from the big city bustle with easy access to the rest of Tokyo.
Are you an instagrammer? We are! You can “follow us” at tabitabijapan, or check out all of our Hakuba photos here. Enjoy!
It’s International Woman’s Day today so this one is for the laydeez! Women have come a loooong way, so long in fact that women are now able to pee standing up! That’s right Freud, time to scrap your male-centered penis envy theory. With the right gadget, women too, can relieve themselves anywhere anytime. Find yourself in a dirty john? Behind a skinny tree? A urinal? Or in the back-country above the tree line without a bush insight (and not wanting to reveal yours)? All you need is an FUD (female urination device). This season I have started using P-mate, a very simple origami-like funnel that catches your stream and sends it off, away from your pants and shoes, without the need to drop your drawers.
This product has been a goddess-send for a woman like me, who wears bib pants and spends most of her back-country days hiking with the boys. It’s even easier if you wear boys tights underneath and make good use of the hole in the front.
P-mates are only $4.95 for a pack of 5. Although they are disposable, I re-use each one a few times by giving it a rinse before placing it back in the zip-lock bag. I ordered mine online direct from their website. International orders have a $15.00 shipping fee. Which is not bad at all if you stock up and buy some extra for your female friends.
True Player’s Skate Park will have its grand opening in April, but they’re already letting skaters ride the ramps. True Player’s is an excellent indoor park with big well shaped ramps and other street skate items, and for ¥500 a day you can’t go wrong anyway. True Player’s is in a gym on the same road as Mimizuku Onsen near Happo. I will add it to our recommendation map here.
Open: 12ish to 9ish (everyday-ish)
Karaoke, lasers, a smoke machine, a discoball, slot machines, a projector, an acoustic guitar, open-mike nights, a pool table, bikes and other motorized vehicles…. Bike Bar has it all. The owners are more than happy to help you choose a drink and a bite to eat as well. The blue cheese in their home-made burger was a hit the night I visited. The cake-like pudding with ice-cream was definitely an Ozi serving so best to share.The pumpkin soup came in two sizes but the small was plenty. I suggest you go with a crowd and make good use of all their toys, or join me this Thursday to swing away to some funky bass lines, when Swell will be making their first appearance at Bike Bar.
Remembering some good silly backyard jib sessions at Lodge tabi-tabi. Featuring Baz and friends in the Deep Forest Fun Run at Lodge tabi-tabi during the 2009/10 season. Thanks Chris, for making, and posting, this awesome little flick.
Some of the Think Thank crew stayed with us last season. We never really saw them though. They were out the door before I woke up, and rarely got back before dark. These guys work hard!!!! Check out Ransack Rebellion to see what they were up to all day.
but this is just a teaser. You can get the full deal here
After surfing pow on my new Yuki-ita, we were itching to see some waves so off to the ocean we went:
It felt great to stretch our eyes out to the horizon:
When in Japan, especially when you are near the ocean, do as the Japanese do, and feast on some seafood!Nihon-kai (The Japanese sea) is said to bear some of the best delicacies,because of its frigid temperatures fish are fattier, and therefore even tastier. This is a great fish market along the west coast of Japan:
With so much choice we had a lot of trouble choosing:
Eventually we went with this HUGE buri (yellowtail) for only 1500 yen:
and the friendly fish butcher cleaned it up for us at no charge:
when we got home Yasu made Buri Shabu Shabu:
Actually the morning started at the doctor’s office. There is a great sports clinic in Nagano city that uses their own (painful) version of osteopathy to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible. I have been going there twice a week for the last 3 weeks to treat a bad knee from a snowboarding injury. Yasu came along to have his back adjusted as well. Walked out of there stronger, staighter, and ready for another onsen. Not far from Nagano city is an old town famous for temples, pottery, and…. onsen. We have been to Matsushiro Onsen before and have recommended their rich yellow waters to friends and other lovers of onsen.
The place we chose was new, and big. I suspect it’s government run and felt a bit like a hospital or “silver house” (retirement home). Lots of baths; indoor, outdoor, hot and cold. Plenty of space for everyone seeking a relaxing soak in iron rich waters.
With so many bathers about I couldn’t take any pics so I have added a photo of their flyer.