Down-hill skiing

Saturday February 9, 2019


Difficulty 2 Number of Days 3 Nagano


We have had a cancellation and a new signup for the TWMC ski and board trip 9-11 Feb. The current participant list is as follows:
Rick & Nobuko Weisburd
Kyoko Nomura
Eunsam Lee
Airi Inoue
Thiery Fouquet
Wakako Tajima

I have to finalize the ski/snowboard insurance and guest house booking soon.. If any of you who are signed up cannot join, then please inform me by no later than noon on Tuesday 5 February. Assuming that there are no changes, I will cancel one room for 3 and reduce the lodging cost; we will keep a room for 4 and another for 3.

I don't know whether the guest house can accommodate dietary restrictions, but I plan to ask them to not serve me any beef or pork. If you have any dietary requests, then please let me know by Tuesday 5 February. The reservation includes breakfast. With advance notice, they can also prepare dinner for a modest price. Since we'll be tired after our early departure and full day on a mountain, I might book dinner at the guest house for our first night.

Participants please arrive at the Tsukuba Station parking lot by no later than 6:15 am Saturday 9 Feb. I'll be there from 6 am

I use this website for ski area weather reports:

For the Urabandai area at around 1000 m elevation Saturday through Monday, the present forecast is for temperatures between -5 and -9C with moderate to strong wind, which will make wind chill of -13 to -20C. Of course it will be colder higher up. The forecast may change before the weekend. Dress appropriately. I plan to wear my base layers under jeans Saturday for the drive, and change into my ski wear when we arrive.

I plan to make a Line Group for messages during the trip. If we have not already connected on Line and you would like to be in the group, then please email to me your Line QR code.

2nd announcement
In my initial estimate of the trip cost, I forgot to mention the TWMC club fee, which is 500 yen for a multi-day trip, drivers excluded. I also will need the age of each participant for the insurance application. If you joined the Nozawa Onsen trip last year and your birthday is not between 20 January and 9 February, then I can simply add 1 to the age you informed me last year. Airi and Yoshiko, please email me your age as of 9 Feb.

I have some old ski wear and gear that I could sell, lend, or give away. If interested, then please contact me off-list with a list of things you need.

Hike description
For the 9 to 11 February 2019 holiday weekend, Rick Weisburd and Kyoko Nomura will organize a ski and snowboard trip to ski resorts in the Bandai area of Fukushima Prefecture. This will be a car-based trip departing at 6:15 am on 9 Feb. from Tsukuba Station. Assuming smooth road conditions, the drive (about 250 km) will take about 3 ½ hours. For now, we have 2 cars equipped with stud-less tires, which can accommodate a total of 8 participants. We have room to carry skis and boards. For participants who do not have their own ski or snowboard gear, we can stop along the way to rent.

Our plan is to visit 2 or 3 different ski areas over the 3 days depending on snow conditions. Among the many resorts in the Bandai area are Inawashiro, Alts Bandai, Grandeco, Minowa, and Nekoma. You can find detailed information about these and other Fukushima resorts here:

We have booked 2 nights for group accommodations at Bandai Lakeside Guesthouse. (includes continental breakfast Sunday and Monday)

Expected costs/person are as follows:
About 13,000 yen for 2 nights in the guest house including 2 breakfasts
About 6000 yen for gas and tolls
About 1000 yen trip Insurance

These trip costs could change slightly.

You will also need to buy lift tickets at each resort. The price of a full day lift ticket at Grandeco or Inawashiro is 4700 yen. We will visit Grandeco on at least one of the 3 days; I expect that I can order Grandeco lift ticket coupons for 3200 yen. If you sign up for the trip and inform me before noon on Tuesday 20 November that you want one of those coupons, then I’ll try to get one for you too. We may be able to find other discount coupons later.

Food is available for sale at the resorts, but you can save money by bringing your own lunch. We will visit restaurants for dinners

What to bring:
Ski or snowboard equipment
Warm waterproof outerwear
Warm base layers
Warm gloves or mittens
Goggles (visibility is poor during frequent snowfall)
Boots or shoes for walking around town (waterproof recommended)
Onsen kit

This trip is likely to fill up quickly. Participation by more than 8 would require another car with studless tires and additional capacity at the guest house.

Skiing and boarding are inherently risky activities. TWMC and the organizers take no responsibility for any injuries that might occur.. If you want to try skiing or boarding but do not have experience, then please enroll in lessons at the ski resort; the organizers are not qualified to teach and will not be teaching.

To sign up, email Rick (rickweisburd @ with your name, email address, phone number, whether you will bring or rent skis or a snowboard. In case more than 8 sign up, I may ask later whether there are others who could drive their own car (with stud-less tires).