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Japan - Tokyo and Hakuba trip Friday 18th February – Sunday 27th February

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Trip Introduction I've got a few packages focusing on great value, travelling at the best time of the year and staying in the best locations. To make sure you get the most out of the trip, and really enjoy an iconic Japanese experience we have experienced local, bi-lingual hosts. Our guide knows the ski areas better than anyone, having looked after the Warren miller film crew. With a wide range of people coming along, from Australia, the UK, Europe and Canada, shall provide great mix of like minded people leading to some great times and some new friendships. I’ve tried to contain the group section of the trip including Tokyo and Hakuba to 10 days allowing the option for people to arrange their own additional travel plans before or after. I’ve also allowed a fair amount of flexibility as to how you spend your days in Tokyo and Hakuba while still providing some recommendations from our local host of some of the best things to do. I’ve listed 3 packages, however I may be able to assist with minor changes to tailor it to your needs (eg. Vary number of lift tickets, ski hire, remove Tokyo component, flights, etc.) Also for those in Melbourne, I am plan on having a Japanese dinner one night to meet people going on the trip and have a qualified Personal Trainer offering their services to get your fitness levels up with other group members before the trip. If you have any questions or after more information feel free to email me at michaelnicolson@hotmail.com or call me (Michael) on 0403 573 519. Flights I’ve listed the flights below that already a lot of people have booked. I recommend taking the flight departing Melbourne as a group (help make the flight a bit more fun), and if you would like to extend your trip, organise your own flight home. In terms of airlines, Jetstar is the cheapest airline flying Melbourne to Tokyo, and I suggest keeping an eye out for specials. The last sale offered return flights for under $700. Other than that, the earlier you book, the better deal you will get. Flights at the moment are around $1050 including taxes and fees. (12th September) th

Friday 18 February Flight Number Departing JQ 430 Melbourne - T1 Domestic JQ 11 Gold Coast – T1 International

Time 0600 hr 1050 hr

Arriving Gold Coast Domestic Tokyo (Narita Int.)

Time 0705 hr 1855 hr

Time 2010 hr 0915 hr

Arriving Cairns International Melbourne T1

Time 0450 hr 1340 hr

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Sunday 27 February Flight Number Departing JQ 26 Tokyo (Narita Int. Terminal 2) JQ 947 Cairns Domestic

Singapore Airlines have also offered a special for this month only: $850 + tax (approx $400) return. Bookings through me and must advise of interest before October.

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Tokyo (18th Feb – 20th Feb) I have booked accommodation in the Shinjuku District (http://www.thehotel.co.jp/en/lonestar/index.html), which is an area famous for its nightlife, and with Friday and Saturday night booked, will be able to see the locals cut loose after a stressful week of work. There are many areas within the Shinjuku district for more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinjuku,_Tokyo and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinjuku_Gyoen

Hakuba (20th Feb – 27th Feb) Accommodation I have organised a couple of options for accommodation, depending on numbers, and the standard of accommodation you are after, from dorm rooms, to private ensuited double rooms, and a private 2 bedroom house. All accommodation is very clean, near each other and in good locations in Echoland. Echoland is known as the bar and restaurant district in the Hakuba Valley, and less than 200 metres from Happo One (the main ski resort) and 47. All other resorts are less than 15 minute drive. A free shuttle is available to take you out each morning. The Lab (Budget) http://www.thelabhakuba.com/ Monkey Rider (Budget) http://www.monkeyrider.com.au/ White Horse http://www.whitehorse-hakuba.com/Accommodation/page27/page27.html The resort of Happo One Echoland is at the base on the right, behind the trees. Some of the legendary back country to the left of Happo.

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Skiing & Boarding Japan boasts over 600 ski resorts and the best of them all are in the Hakuba area. Hakuba is home to 13 resorts - all within a 15 minute drive. Hakuba's famed lift-serviced deep powder, steep terrain, accessible back country, terrain parks and a consistent 11 meters of snow per season make it one of the best kept secrets in the snow-going world! Don’t worry if you’re not an expert skier or boarder, there are plenty of groomed beginner and intermediate runs for you to enjoy and improve on. Happo One (closest resort to our accommodation) consists of 50% intermediate and 30% beginner terrain. There is a free shuttle bus between all the resorts. I have also organised with an Australian-Hakuba local, Tony, some back country tours to explore his favourite parts. As part of the “Ski Mate” service, each morning we will assess the weather conditions, check with the resorts, discuss with our guests what type of terrain and level of skiing they would like for the day and make our recommendations to suit. We will assist you to get onto the first lifts each day to get the best powder runs or the fresh corduroy. Alternatively we will lazily drop you off later in the morning after you have enjoyed a sleep in and a hearty breakfast.

Lift Tickets There are a number of different lift ticket options for the valley. The Happy Seven pass will allow you to ski only seven of the areas. You may be able to find it to be slightly cheaper to use this pass however I recommend to all our guests to buy their passes on a day to day basis so you will have the option to ski all of the areas. You will also find that the multiday passes have to be validated each day at the ticket box so there is no time saving. Ticket prices range from $45 to $60 per day depending on the resort and the AUD. We also have some discount vouchers for lift tickets which include lunch as well. A message from Tony, our Australian local guide. “Having travelled here numerous times as a tourist before I moved here, I realised very early that it is of no benefit to be ski in ski out at any of the resorts in the Hakuba Valley. Although we get a good share of blue bird days here in the valley there will be times when resorts are on wind hold or lift delays due to the enormous amounts of snow that has to be cleared before they can start up. The last thing that you want to do is to have to wait around for lifts to open when you know that others are skiing some of the best powder days ever. Let us remove that concern from your hard earned holiday where we will deliver you to the best lift option each morning. This is a service that I would have much appreciated on my holidays and I know our guests will.”

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Cultural experiences There is a lot to experience in Hakuba and surrounding areas for when you want a day of to relax and experience some traditional Japanese culture. Even if you didn’t like skiing or boarding you would enjoy a holiday in the area. Off the slopes Hakuba has lots of great restaurants, offering some Japans finest traditional cuisine and fresh seafood. I have organised some group dinners at some of the best, unique and traditional restaurants, no doubt followed by drinks at one of the many bars, maybe even some karaoke, all in easy walking distance to our accommodation. Onsens are very popular in the Japanese alpine areas, and there are plenty in the area. In Hakuba I will recommend some of the best and most unique onsens. There are lots of different onsens, some indoors, outdoors, some with amazing views, one high up in amongst the trees, and one where you sit in your individual barrel. >> Onsens cost around $5 - $10 AUD per visit.

Also if you’re interested you can check out the snow monkeys, they are unique to Japan as they are the only known monkeys to bath in hot springs. They have their own special reserve just out of Hakuba.

Packages Monkey Rider Package $1100

White Horse Arctic Package $1600

Liquid Adventures Package/The Lab $1399 (includes 6 day lift passes but dinners are extra) Includes  2 nights in Tokyo  7 nights Hakuba accommodation  Return transfers from Tokyo to Hakuba  3 x dinners in Hakuba and all breakfasts Let me know if you would like to extend your time in Hakuba, as I have some package deals for 17 day trip (14 days in Hakuba plus 2 nights in Tokyo.) Page | 5


How to book Please let me know via email if you’re interested, and I will keep you up to date with any developments as well as airfare specials. Deposit of $150 to be paid from anytime to confirm your interest, please no later than 1st October. If you are not sure by then, but still interested, let me know so that I can at least get an idea of numbers. Let me know if you have a few people interested, and I can provide a discount for your group or yourself, depending on the number of people. Full payment paid by Friday 10th December 2010. Money can be paid via bank deposit. (I will offer other payment options soon) My bank details are:

Name: Michael Nicolson BSB: 033039 Account No: 472030

Links Good video to check out about the Hakuba ski area http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSSUHAg7Ae4&feature=player_embedded#!

Great photo diary of skiing in Japan - lots of photos (9 pages) but well worth a look http://forums.ski.com.au/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=924151&page=1&fpart=1 White Horse Blog http://www.whitehorse-hakuba.com/hakuba/page29/page29.html

Sunrise – Pre-dawn trips can be organised for any keen photographers who want to take advantage of these spectacular views.

Lots of snow – the record for these snow walls in 2009 was 23 metres

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Japan Ski Trip