Snowboarding, Shinkansens and Stuff
03.02.2007 - 03.02.2007 -2 °C
We were up and about early today (by my standards). No sleep in's allowed, not even on holiday!
Meghan and the boys cooked up some delicious bacon and eggs, toast, coffee etc, then we were off to the slopes again. Did you know there's about 600 ski resorts in Japan (so I'm told)? That's one down, 599 to go! Tony from White Horse Hotel is a great host, he dropped us off at the Happo snow area and left us to enjoy a perfect blue sky and powdery snow day. Suzie is possibly the best female, Scottish snowboarder in Japan. (She might also be the only one, hehehe). She really knows how to dig in the front rail for maximum face plant effect. She has the black eye and cuts to prove it.
Near the end of the day we took two adjoining quad chairs, climbing way up to near the summit. The view is majestic... it's even better knowing you don't have to ski or board back down... that's what Gondolas are for.
Trust me people - just get there, especially the Aussies. These mountains leave the Victorian ski fields for dead. 1 day lift tickets are approx. $60AU. These are electronic/proximity tickets of course - only the best for Japan, someone should tell then the Winter Olympics finished years ago. The ski runs are huge, the crowds are bearable to non-existent. Right now there's a good 2+ meters of snow.
Tip: if you're not a hard core skier or board rider you could consider the (from memory it was) 3000 Yen for 10 rides pass - the rides are long enough that it could last you the whole day.
At the end of the day we hurriedly made it back to the bus for Nagano and then Tokyo. Then we swanned around Shibuya for a while to find the elusive Love Hotels... to be continued.
Photo's and entries for days 2 and 4 are still coming... and so is Christmas.