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230120 first day skiing in Hakuba

We’ve time travelled to Australia somehow......

rain 4 °C
View M and Triple J in Japan again on Jochester71's travel map.

Waking up and it is Judy’s 46th year on the planet! January birthdays are popular! We sing her a song, and generally let her know she hasn’t aged a bit! Strangely, she actually hasn’t except for a few more aches and pains!

After a fond farewell to Kanazawa we are train bound for a few hours! Lugging more luggage than we left home with ( seriously,I don’t even know how it happens.......even Mick refused to share his case space!) We make it on to the first of 4 trains! I actually love the train travel, going through tunnels at warp speed, so fast it makes your ears pop! They are comfortable, seemingly brand new ( they’re not but Japan is so fastidiously clean that it is as if they are new!) and the scenery is of course, magical.

After a while ( a fairly long while!) we see the first slivers of snow........ice here and there.....until we finally disembark at a station just 20 mins from Hakuba, and it is snow everywhere! So excited!

We arrive to be met by Michael, from Ozsnow Adventures, the company we booked through, and he takes us on a whirlwind tour of Hakuba to get our bearings and drives us to our apartment, home for the next week. No bearings were acquired ! Cute brand new apartment. Mick and I are excited as we finally get to share a room together! Jack and Judy settle in to the other bedroom, and supermarket shopping we go!

It is strange to be in Japan, but here, you mostly hear Australian accents. We are booked in for a gorgeous Italian dinner tonight, to celebrate Judy’s birthday! We arrive wearing our best snow gear, and they’re speaking Italian! Wtf? Where are we ? We don’t know what to do, say prego, arigato or thanks mate. It is really weird. Everyone around us is Australian. We eavesdrop ( cmon, we all do it!) and the table behind us is talking about how everyone simply must go to Aspen, beside us is the kid calling his new step mummy Sarah, whilst older dad hugs young wife and her diamond ring! We laughed so hard, quietly. Very quietly!

Our beds await, our stomachs are yet again stretched to the limit and we retire.

the following week............
We spent a week at Hakuba! There wasn’t as much snowfall as there usually is but it was ok for us! They said it was the worst season some had ever experienced! The elusive powder eluded us! We spent the first two mornings at lessons, of course Jack really flying through his. Judy and I skied green runs, on a goat track........I yet again spent every ski lift with my eyes firmly closed ( my fear of heights can be debilitating) and found the goat tracks put the fear of something in me, toooooooo close to a big edge of a mountain. The wide tracks suit me better!
Mick went well on the snowboard, and all in all we had an exhausting week but lots of laughs and fun!

We caught up with a guy Judy and I used to work with, Justin, and his son and his friends, and drank a few too many beers, a few too many Fireball shots, and way too many giggles! His 14 year old son learnt to drop a coin into a jug of water, to land on the top of an upturned shot glass. Each successful land was a free shooter.......we drank a fair few as he couldn’t hehe

hottest 100 countdown was a sea of drunk, happy Aussies, Australia Day became my worst night ever. Well, to be honest, it was the best night, followed by a really average and painful next morning. We had arrived at the Recovery Bar for a quick bite, then there were guys in togs, a blow up crocodile, and much dancing and drinking! We ended up rather unwell, well at least I did! I slept the next day , the rest went skiing! I was in no condition to be let loose on a mountain, a slippery mountain at that!

There was an Onsen at a hotel around 400 metres up the hill, cedar wood, outdoors, with a beautiful snowy mountain view. It was sublime. Slightly odd that I’d met Trina the day before ( friend of Justin’s) and here we were, less than 24 hours later, but naked together in a bath! Yes, that’s just how it goes!

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Skiing with 3 other people requires precision when planning to get out the door and onto the shuttle bus. It really was a 45 minute ordeal to dress and be out in time. We had a valley pass which meant we could ski 5 mountains! One, Tsugaike Kogen was a great wide ski area ( at least at the bottom) with restaurants up the mountain at various stops! The gondola to the top took 20 minutes......the views were amazing, but the trip down was long! And high....did I say how bloody high it was......( hyperventilates just remembering) ! There was decent food and beer, and a fire pit where you could buy sausages or marshmallows and cook them, beer in hand!

Jack of course would go right up the tippy top, and we’d wait for him to ski down, no poles and not a care in the world! He truly has taken to the worlds most expensive sport!

All in all, an exceptionally fun and exhausting week was had!

Posted by Jochester71 14:13 Archived in Japan

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