Since I lost all my photos in the big iBook crash, I couldn’t blog about certain events. But a few days ago, a friend emailed me her photo album on Picasa, so here I am, sharing pretty pictures of my last snowboarding trip of the winter season.
A gal pal invited me to her company’s ski trip in late March. They got a massive discount on accommodation and free lessons thrown in, so I couldn’t resist. Her group of colleagues was fun and easy going. Everything was well organised and all we did was tear down the slopes, eat, drink, played silly games and dipped into the onsen twice a day. ‘Twas bliss…
Meanwhile, the kangaroo was back in Tokyo lugging our things from the old apartment to the new. My friends teased me for abusing my boyfriend, but really, our lives are so spontaneous schedule-wise, that stuff like this happens sometimes. His business trips are unpredictable and I make plans regardless whether he would be in town or not. As an aside, this is one way I survive as a trailing partner. If I waited for the kangaroo to tell me when he would be passing through town, I wouldn’t make any friends nor go on many outings. My advice is: make plans as if you were a single gal. If he can fit into your plans, cool, if not, you can hang out as a couple another time.
Back to my awesome trip…
We stayed at New Greenpia Tsunan Ski Resort in Niigata, which was about an hour away on the shinkansen, plus an additional hour’s bus ride from the station. It’s a big family hotel, but for the reasonable fee, who cares?
I love snowboarding but I am not good at it. This is me struggling to get up to pose for a photo but I couldn’t stand upright on this down slope.
The view was amazing. It makes all the tumbling and aching muscles worth it.
On breaks, I would just sit on the snow in the sun and gaze at the mountains and trees.
One new thing about Japanese culture I learned is they are absolutely into taking lessons. The Japanese believe in structured classes where they will practice till they get it right. Since this was a company trip, we had to participate because attendance was taken. It was particularly challenging for me as the lessons were all in Japanese.
If you’ve got time to kill, stop by the sake museum at Yuzawa station. For a small fee (probably less than 1,000JPY), you can try five different cups of sake. How it works is they have a huge selection of sake along a wall where the rice wine is dispensed into your tiny cup. I tried anything where I could recognize the kanji — from dragons to flowers to red monkeys, I sipped my way to a giggly, tipsy state.
I’m quite a loner most times, and if I do travel, it’s always with the kangaroo, so this group experience was refreshing. Anyway I hope the pictures will encourage you to try out Japanese ski slopes — they are just breathtaking.