Skiing in Japan

I spent the last two weeks skiing in Japan and it is quite a different experience.

The latter trip was the one where I had my camera so that is the one I’m going to talk about.  And no, the DSLR stayed at home because I didn’t want to break it, so I broke out my old nikon point and shoot out of storage for these shots, so apologies for the bad photos.

We went to shiga kogen, the largest ski resort in Japan.

Snow quality was very good (especially on the last day) but it was very cold.  -17 on the first day :(.

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Fantastic open vantage points.

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Splendid views.

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Like the lonely mountain.

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Amusing English signs to cheer you up.  Just take care of over the head.

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Great new friends (although a little bit crazy).

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And Japanese food while you wait.

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Ok, maybe this is a bit french.

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But I was with a Frenchman, so its ok.

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Unfortunately, there were the crowds to deal with :(.  The issue with Japan is that their lifts are very very old.  Not like the French alps.  So you could have quite long queues not because there were many people there, but because the lift system was not that efficient.

Which encouraged me to try some back country skiing.

What’s back country skiing?  Its walking around with snow shows (or specially converted skis) and then skiing down and walking up.

Overnight it had snowed heavily so seemed like perfect conditions.  Sounds exciting?

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This is a photo from one of my friends.  Sorry for the bad quality as its from a camera phone.

This is the frenchman and I on the way back up the slope.  Skis off, snow shoes on.

Its really tiring… Well at least to wear snow shoes.  Since the powder was about 1 meter deep, each step would sink you half a meter into the snow even with your snow shoe.  And sometimes you would slip back.  Plus your skis would get tangled with trees as you walked up.

I learnt would people mean when they say “walking in other people’s footsteps is easier” cause if you don’t, you slide back.

So… we spent 5 minutes skiing down.

And 60 minutes going up.

Ok.  It was a good experience, but not sure whether I would repeat it!  Well at least not the hiking bit.

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Until next time.  Off to France next week for skiing!

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