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First day on the slopes

And loving it!

sunny -2 °C

Into our hotel and look around, then rug up a bit and head off to the base of the Happo One ski fields to do a recce for tomorrow. The place looks magic with all the snow covered houses and the trails and roads cut out of the drifts. Get our heads around all the tickets etc, then head off to get our rentals. We have looked at 4 places, and the gear in Spicy Rentals looks to be good and every one seems to be the same price. Decked out we deposit our stuff at the hotel, then head outside again. We start up a snowball fight, which I stop because I am losing (and because G got me out there saying we were going to build a snowman) and it is getting dark – it is 5pm. This is the major shock coming from Melbourne where it has been 9pm before it gets dark. So we wander off down the street for a look around and see what is available for dinner. See a few possibilities before we settle on the Hakuba Hutte which importantly takes credit cards. We order up and are quite surprised by how much we get – but it is the first substantial meal since breakfast. Not much protein is supplemented by a lot of carbs – just the thing.cricket practice - honest

cricket practice - honest


Wadano scenery

Wadano scenery


Head back up the hill and get changed into the yakuta to get into the onsen. Do the full body wash and rinse off before hopping in the hot bath – which is way too hot for us. However there is another bath outside in the snow. The snow is way too cold, but the outside bath is just right, so in we hop and isn’t it great – really relaxing and soothing.
Now we are ready for sleep and it comes pretty easy, it has been a long day.

Alarm goes off at 7. We ignore it and get up at 8. We go down and have a filling breakfast to get us going. On the lifts before 9. The tickets here are in the form of little credit card things that you tap on a sensor that lets you through the gate. But you need a way to present it to the gates without taking it out of your pocket each time. Luckily it can be read through a pocket, so we just have to contort our pockets up to the sensor each time. The first run is just a green to start us off. Unfortunately it is just a trail, so no practice until the bottom. Next we get a bit more adventurous and head further up the hill, going down skyline which is nice and open, and by the time you head down to the bottom, a long run. And so it goes on.
Hakuba from Happo One

Hakuba from Happo One

The snow is hard packed for the most part, but still lovely and dry underneath, despite the sun coming out today (first time in a fortnight). We get a few more runs in before a light lunch. Next we head right up to the highest point of the resort, and then head all the way to the bottom. This takes us into mogul country, and they manage to trip up G a few times which makes him pretty shitty. We are not talking when we reach the bottom, nor for the next couple of runs. Soon he is out of it and determinedly leads us back to the mountain peak – it won’t get the better of him. So we get down again, this time including a fair swag of the 1998 Olympics downhill course. I swear it doesn’t look that steep on TV, but when you are there...
The range above Happo One

The range above Happo One


By 4:30 we are plum tuckered, so it is back to change, but I need to get more cash so we need to get into town. No buses to be seen, but I know the way, so we will walk. We slip and slide 30 minutes down the road to Happo and the tourism man points us towards the 7-11 where the ATM spits out yen for me. Now we start the walk back – no buses around for another 45 mins. Taxi time back stops G from killing me. An ordinary but cheap meal gets us filled up before we hit the onsen again, then a bit of rest before bed.
Bar flies in Wadano

Bar flies in Wadano

Posted by lostagain 03:32 Archived in Japan Tagged skiing

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