Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido

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Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido

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Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido

J2SkiNews posted Feb-2016



A new bullet train line opening in Japan in a month's time will make it possible to travel overland (and sea) to the northern island of Hokkaido, and see the rugged beauty of northern Honshu and southern Hokkaido, rather than taking an internal flight, as most skiers heading to Niseko and other ski areas on the island have done up to now.

Travel times will be roughly comparable to the airport check in / flight / collect baggage / transfer process of the existing flight connection. Train travel will also be included in the Japan Rail Pass meaning visitors can plan travel to multiple resorts for a single inclusive price.

After the service opens on March 26th, skiers heading up from Tokyo will make a 4hr 10min bullet train journey to Shin Hakodate in southern Hokkaido from where it's a 2.5 hour JR train line to Niseko Village. Train changes may be required at Shin Aomori, Shin Hakodate and Oshamambe stations, and the estimated travel time from Tokyo – Hirafu is approximately 7.5 hours.

The link between the two islands, first considered over a century ago, is made via the existing 53.85 km (33.46 mile) long Seikan Tunnel, the deepest rail tunnel in the world at 100m below the sea bed and the second longest in the world after the recently opened Gottard Base tunnel in Switzerland.

Trains will travel at up to 260km per hour through the tunnel although most will have their speed restricted due to the danger of shockwaves from passing trains derailing freight trains, which are heavy users of the tunnel. Outside the tunnel trains will operate at 320 km/h (200 mph).
www  The Snow Hunter

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido'
posted Feb-2016

Sounds a more pleasurable and efficient way of seeing the country than an internal flight. Am still trying to figure out if Japan is actually any good or just hype as a ski destination?

Have seen pictures of friends literally in head deep powder.

Other friends went, no powder and described as it as having very mediocre terrain with small vertical & very gentle slopes.

Friend this year had 3 days of rain in Mid February.

Seems like you need to think about it as a mixed destination holiday vs. a pure ski one.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 24-Feb-2016

Bedrock barney
reply to 'Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido'
posted Feb-2016

Ranchero_1979 wrote:

Seems like you need to think about it as a mixed destination holiday vs. a pure ski one.


Bit like low altitude in Europe then!
slippy slidey snow......me likey!

Verbier_ski_bum
reply to 'Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido'
posted Feb-2016

I understand that Niseko and other Hokkaido ski areas are flatter, but Hakuba on Honshu has a more challenging terrain, and is much easier to get to from Tokyo.

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Bullet Train Line Opening From Tokyo to Hokkaido'
posted Feb-2016

Even Habuka has following ratings (out of 5 from popular ski website), which to me equates to intermediate area. Fine in itself but add in a decent amount of powder and sounds a bit rubbish.
Beginner 4
Intermediate 4
Advanced 3.5
Expert 2.5
Tree 2.5
Offpiste 2.5
Extreme 1.5
Is interesting they have an English (speaking) rating for the resorts, 4 for Habuka. Which I take as great guidance for avoiding Australians. Bad snow etc. you could live with but long way to go to find yourself surrounded by Aussies, dashing any hope of a cultural experience.

Topic last updated on 25-February-2016 at 12:16

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