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Aussie skiers in Japan look beyond Niseko for powdery pay dirt

Hokkaido resort no longer seen as hidden gem as its fame spreads abroad

An Australian skier takes on the mountain at Geto Kogen Snow Resort in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture.

TOKYO -- On a February weekday, Robert Jagger, a ski buff from Australia, is poised at the top of a slope marked for advanced skiers at Geto in northern Honshu, Japan's main island.

"Wow, this is going to be a fantastic tree run," the 49-year-old says, looking over the surface of the powder. He puts on his goggles and glides down into a snow-carpeted beech forest.

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