11th February 2023
15th Feb 2020
We really enjoyed our stay at Semi Onsen! It may not be the most fancy or modern hotel we stayed at during our trip to Japan, but we really felt well taken care of by the very friendly staff (although very few spoke english).
We also think Geto Kogen was great as it was possible to find fresh lines all through the day.
Early Feb 2020
The trip was fantastic, due to many of the comments below.
Your service was excellent, as I have said in an email before we left. You are so well organised and helpful that everything was easy. I also appreciated your willingness to contact both of our accommodation places when our flight was delayed and the late opening of the Japan Rail Pass Office meant we had to catch a later train. I have already recommended you to other people and we will definitely use you again.
Japan Rail Pass
This was excellent, but I only found out about it quite late and had to get it delivered to Maruken Sanso. I think it would be good for you to mention it to your customers as something to consider. We treated ourselves to a “Green Car” pass. It was about 30% more expensive, but the seating was like business or first class.
Japan seems to operate much more on cash compared to Australia’s use of credit cards. It would be helpful to advise customers of that beforehand and even to know where there are International ATMs in the various resorts. For example, there is one in Nozawa Onsen near the Chou Bus Terminal.
Time of year
We chose our dates when we were free, but it worked out very well. The Australian school holidays had just ended, so the crowds were much less. We hardly had to wait for any lifts. If I can, I will always choose to go in February.
This is a much smaller resort, but still very nice. I only have two negative comments:
Unfortunately the ski holders on the outside of the gondola don’t fit wider powder skis, so you have to take them inside, but the gondola is very small, so that is difficult. We hardly used the gondola as a result. If you can, please suggest to the resort that they change the holders on the outside of the gondolas. I don’t think it would cost them very much.The resort gets very crowded on the weekend. It was almost empty during the week, but there were quite long queues on the weekend. Someone gave us the general advice that you should “ski during the week” and “travel between resorts on the weekend”.
Semi Onsen Ryokan
This was exceptional. It was worth a holiday in itself: the staff were very friendly and helpful; every meal was like eating in a top class restaurant; the surrounding bush and river were beautiful; the outside onsen was very nice; and the whole ryokan exuded an air of peace, quiet, and relaxation. As you can tell, I want to go back.
You were right. The performance skis were good, but the boots were of a very low standard. I could see that from the photos you sent, but I asked for them too late and couldn’t do anything else. However, it actually worked out quite okay. The smaller sizes of boots were much better, so my son’s boots were good enough for the 5 days. I switched to my Telemark skis after day 1, so that worked out fine too. I think we are ready to buy our own boots now anyway.
It was a superb holiday. We will contact you to come back as soon as we can – next year I hope.
Semi Onsen is a great place to stay (only drawback is you have to get a shuttle up to the ski resort), the people and food are great. It was interesting as we meet some people who stay last year, so skiers love this place. Geto is an awesome mountain, but this year with the lack of snow was only ok.
Kay and Robert Davidsn