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All reviews japanese style ski resort amenities buses shuttle onsen slopes hakuba
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Reviewed 13 January 2016 via mobile

Pretty decent room size, great free wifi (available in your room), friendly and helpful English speaking staff, hot breakfast and the ski shuttle bus picks you up and drops you off right out the front of the hotel. Easy 10 minute walk to the Main Street of Echo Land.

Date of stay: January 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Amy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2015

Great first time holiday to Japan. Hotel Oak forest was good with all the amenities that you could want for a relative short stay of 6 days. Staff were fantastic and always helpful, do not know how the manager managed it but he seemed to be there at all hours with a smile on his face. As you may expect rooms were small, especially the bathrooms but we found the same when we rented the hotel in Tokyo, just put it down to enjoying the experience. Downside-Breakfast became bland with tomato sauce on the eggs YUK ! and a lack of choice of fruits. We put this down to the general Japanese fare so was'nt too concerned. Ski equipment hire in the hotel was by an outside contractor with the chap coming in at 8 in the morning for the initial fitting. He insisted on cash so if using you should be aware as it ate into our funds that we were keeping for use when out and about. It was only after several days that we asked for modern boots for the skiboard, ones without lace ups, but we did have to pay an additional 1,000 yen per day, around $10 Aus. Another thing to keep in mind is that the equipment has to be back by 5pm sharp when returning off hire. You have to time this with the courtesy coaches from the ski sloes to get you back in time. Courtesy coaches to and from the ski slopes was good with regular times from the hotel in the morning and return in the afternoon. When you get the bus remember the number or ask the driver as there are a few buses going to different locations. Take a picture on your phone. As I had not skied for many years and my son had never seen snow we went to Hakuba Snow sports for some lessons at Imori ski slopes. This company was ran by Australians and catered for the Aussies / Europeans. They managed to fit us in for a couple of hours with an instructor each on very short notice. Instructors were greta but be aware that when you use a credit card there is a surcharge of over 3%. A good tip they gave was to ask for a family ticket for the ski lift as it worked out cheaper. We paid this by credit card 8,300yen with 2,00yen refunded when you put back the electronic ski pass. This is done by inserting the small square ski pass into the vending type machine to the left of the ticket booth at the end of the day. We always went down the main street in the evenings which is about a 10min: walk from the hotel. On the main street Hakuba Echoland you have a few options but the 2 best ones we found were Sarugaku, went twice and had to book each time, just pop in by in the first night and make a booking and TakoTaco which is next door. Both restaurants were very good for food and service. You can have something decent for 2 for between $60 - 80Aus, inclusive of a couple of drinks, try getting that in Perth ! On one of the nights we decided to stay in and order pizza, again the hotel manager was great and managed to get through to Hakuba pizzas which is a couple of k's from the hotel. This is another company ran by Aussies but unlike the ski lesson guys we were not impressed. No credit card facilities, took 1 1/2hrs to deliver, was quoted an hour, mildly hot when it arrived and cost over 6,000 yen for 2 large pizzas, work it out for yourself. Most likely there to cater for Aussies / Europeans who are willing to pay the price, lesson learned there. For a bit of entertainment visit the Weather Report on the main street, this is one of these stores that has everything including a shooting gallery. For 3,000 yen you can hire some air guns / rifles and shoot B pellets at targets. There is also a couple of stores open late at night for the usual bits and bobs of groceries etc:. As this was our first trip to Japan we struggled to decide how to get from Narita airport to Hakuba. As we arrived in Japan in the afternoon we had missed the coach in the morning or had to wait several hours for the one in the evening. This is a 5hr coach travel so I chose a taxi from Chuo Taxi corp. This was to take us from the airport to the hotel and would be another 5hr journey but without the waiting until the regular bus. The booking was simple but the fun begn at the airport. The driver was not there to meet us but we were warned by the company that this may be the case. I went to the airport information centre and the very helpful ladies there called the driver to come an get us. After a good 20 mins he turned, very nice chap and he informed us that he had to go get the bus from the parking lot. Another 20 mins before we all got on the bus, parking area is very far away. Several passengers got on with us and off we went, to the other terminal to pick up another passenger. Finally got on the road and had several rest stops as promised with one stop / deviation to drop off a passenger at a village. Got into the mountains and transferred to a car / taxi as the other passengers were not travelling in the same direction. Another journey with a very courteous driver who delivered us straight to the hotel. Now I have to say that at all times the people from the taxi company were very nice but we did take the good part of 7hrs to get to the hotel and if you are intending to take this route then be aware of the possibility of delays. To put this in context it took almost the same time to fly from perth to Hong Kong. On the return journey we were staying over in Tokyo so we planned to take the bullet train from Nagano to Tokyo central but first we had to get from the hotel to Nagano. This was more pleasant as we were delivered by courtesy coach from the hotel to the information centre in Happo, 10min: drive from the hotel. There you purchase the coach ticket 1800 yen for 2. Be aware this is cash only, no visa and the queue for the bus was long but the company did put on 2 buses. Disappointing to see some of the attitudes of the people, not the Japanese, pushing in the line to get to the front as they thought they were more important than the rest, they still ended up in the same line to get the train at the other end. The coach takes 1 hour to get to Nagano where you can purchase a ticket on the fabulous bullet train. Cost for 2 reserved seats was 16,400 Yen with visa taken. Tip here is to look for the younger generation behind the counter as they have more english speaking experience. Tickets are marked with the carriage number and seat, carriage number is marked on the platform so you know where to stand to wait. A couple that got on the train with us had purchased a ticket without a reserved seat and there are a couple of carriages set up for this. Now when they say reserved the Japanese conductor does come in and check and may ask you to politely move if you are sitting in the wrong seat. We were in a carriage with lots of spare seats but he still moved a young local back one row. The train is everything that I have heard about, quiet, punctual, clean and very fast 1 1/2hrs to Tokyo central. Travel time from Hakuba to Tokyo 3 and a bit hrs magic !.We were going onto a hotel in the Shinjuku ward / district which is 15mins train journey from Tokyo central. A quick conversation with an english speaking lady in the information centre at Tokyo central of which she informed us that the train ticket for the bullet train also included the cost of the train to Shinjuku. Another 15 min: train journey followed by a 10 min: walk to the hotel. Two nights in Shinjuku which is fine after skiing and then the JR express to the airport 80mins:. We purchased the tickets the day before and you have to be careful as the reserved tickets are not transferable, miss the train and you buy another ticket. We did get confused on the train right at the end on which was the terminal to get off at, no problem as yet another discussion with the helpful people at the airport information desk and we were pointed to a shuttle bus to take us to the correct location. So would we go again, absolutely. The hotel was good, Japanese people are fantastic, ski slopes were safe with little or no queues and snow / scenery the best. Go for the experience and treat it as an experience which all holidays are. I hope the comments here help if you go and I will be planning my next trip soon.

Room tip: Room with 2 beds if possible.
Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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9  Thank Helen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2015

pros:
-location was easy to find
-room was clean
-staff speak a bit of English

Cons:
-people next door were smoking in their room and we could smell it from our room..the staff didn't fix this problem
-wifi in our level (level 3) didn't work
-breakfast was horrible! didn't have many options

Date of stay: January 2015
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Serena9292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2015

Stayed in Oak Forest end of the year 2014 in the tatami room. It was an awesome experience, especially for the kids.
Kato san, the manager of the hotel really made the stay enjoyable. He is such a good host and always took an extra mile to service his guest. I had to say that he gave such a good hospitality service exceeding to those five star hotel. You don't have to worry about being unable to communicate whole in japan. he speak really good english.
I definitely be staying back in Forest Oak if i ever be back in Hakuba. Totally recomended

Date of stay: December 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank aprase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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