Tag Archive | snowboarding

Snowboarding weekend in Hakuba

I have a massive backlog of blog posts. I didn’t snowboard much this past winter. Only managed to get out a few weekend. But here is a post from Winter 2015 (March last year) of a snowboarding trip to Hakuba.

Just photos. No words.

From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba

Break time:

From Hakuba
From Hakuba

Enjoying an apres drink:

From Hakuba

Elusive kamoshika spotting

Over the winter, whilst on a snowboarding trip to Nozawa Onsen, I spotted me an elusive kamoshika. A kamoshika is a Japanese goat-antelope animal usually found in the mountains. I was surprised to find this one near the streets of the village, right outside my favourite onsen at Nozawa, it was just amongst the bushes.

They are rather an unusual looking animal, and it was the first time I had ever seen one.

From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika
From Kamoshika

Nozawa: winter love

Did a total of three snowboarding trips to Nozawa in one season this year! It’s probably one of my favourite ski resorts, particularly on Honshu.
The runs are good and so is the nightlife. Has a proper village and enough stuff to keep you occupied off the slopes as well ie cafes, bars including a craft beer bar, lots of free onsens to enjoy etc.
It’s popular with a lot of Aussies.

I believe from next winter season, they are extending the bullet train/train line so it reaches closer to Nozawa. It will still be a bus ride from there, but they are making it more transport friendly to get to.

Here are some photos from my last trip to Nozawa.

Great views from on the slope:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

When it’s white outside and the snow is fallin’
who you gonna call?

From Nozawa powder love

The craft beer bar there does a nice cappuccino, Aussie-style.

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Conditions were good – white and powdery!

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Saw some interesting costumes on piste:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

It was sooooo crowded:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Post-snowboarding beers:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

The Nozawa dosojin mascots:

From Nozawa powder love

A local onsen:

From Nozawa powder love

Snow-buried temple:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Some very cool icicles:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Nothing says ‘love’ more than a matching his/her ski outfit:

From Nozawa powder love

Below zero:

From Nozawa powder love
From Nozawa powder love

Hakuba ski resort

Last snow session for the season was at Hakuba – Cortina ski resort.
Not a fan of Happo One ski resort.
Cortina is way more powdery and better for off-pisten and ungroomed runs.
We also got the 1000yen coupon extra coupon added to the ski lift which is good value. Pay the additional 1000yen and you get lunch and free onsen. Lunch is up to the value of 1000yen. Anything over than and you pay the difference. For an extra 300yen we paid for the buffet (read: all you can eat) lunch. Good value. And the onsen entry is free (which is normally valued at 700yen). The onsen is large and includes a rotemburo that looks straight out onto the ski slope.

It’s snow sexy. 50 shades of white. Enjoy:

From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba

Coffee time. Let’s paws for a break (oh, was that pun too unbearable for you?)

From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba
From Hakuba

Goodbye winter. So looking forward to summer!

Nozawa again

Life has been kicking me in the arse lately. Or rather, work has.
No time to blog, no time to exercise. Barely enough time to sleep.

The last three weekend’s straight have been spent snowboarding – two weekends at Nozawa and one at Myoko.

Last weekend it snowed non-stop. The powder was amazing.

Here are some snapshots.

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

Powderhounds:

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

Snow-covered apples:

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

Sky skis:

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

My favourite onsen at Nozawa:

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

The original Apple Store:

From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend
From February Nozawa weekend

Winter 2014: The Video

Boy, do I have a treat for you.
A video! Yes, a video!!!
A compilation of winter snowboarding trips taken over the last couple of months.
Video footage and photography by me. Starring my friends and, of course, yours truly.
Video editing and production by my friend and housemate. He spent the whole day working on it. Big props to him.
One of these days, I’ll get around to learning how to edit a video myself, but for now, enjoy his work.

Enjoy!

Hakuba Ski Resort in Photos

Given my debilitating bout of hay fever that comes with the arrival of Spring, it means that Winter is over. Bring on summer, I say.

No more snowboarding for this season. Ended the season about 2 weeks ago at Nozawa.

But last month, I got to snowboard at Hakuba for the first time. Had only ever been there briefly in the summer many years ago. Hakuba was full of Aussies! Soooo many Aussies! And we’re not a classy bunch. The hotel we stayed at was full of Aussies. We took the shink there this time and then a connecting bus, given the previous week’s failed attempt to get to the ski resort due to the snowpocalypse.

This is how you travel in style:

From Hakuba snow weekend

View from the window of the accommodation, right at the base of the ski slope:

From Hakuba snow weekend

Hakuba is a great ski resort for the village vibe and its facilities. It’s also quite international – plenty of bars and dining options and a few onsens as well. It was one home to the Nagano Winter Olympics back in 1998.

From Hakuba snow weekend

Hakuba ski resort consists of 7 separate mountains, so you need to select your mountain pass options wisely. And the mountains are connected by free shuttle buses. Over two days, we managed to board at 3 of the mountains. Happo-One is best for skiers, not snowboarders. And the runs are quite steep and moguly.

Iwatake was great as was Tsugaike (athough Tsugaike is probably a little more beginner-friendly). Iwatake was pretty ideal out of the three we visited. Would have liked to have spent more time at Tsugaike but only managed to do a couple of runs there.

It was an awesome weekend though. Bluebird days and the mountains and the vista were absolutely majestic.
If a picture speaks a 1000 words, then consider this blog post Homer’s Iliad.

From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend

Ogle the Mogles:

From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend

EPIC:

From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend
From Hakuba snow weekend

Snow business: Sayonara Nozawa

Have managed to snowboard at about 6 different ski resorts this winter season. Last weekend was my final trip for the season. Back to Nozawa again.

It’s time to Suit Up!

From Snow business Nozawa 2014

Off to a BOARD meeting:

From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014

There’s no business like snow business, baby!

From Snow business Nozawa 2014

Just wearing my jump suit:

From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014

Gone fishing:

From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014

Conditions were awesome in Nozawa, particularly the Saturday. Lots of fresh powder. Lots of practice going through the trees. I’m still not that good. We did have a bit of a scare when we fully got buried in the powder and couldn’t get out.

Trees and Powder:

From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014

This was the 3.2km (mostly narrow) Skyline run on the Sunday. It requires a section that goes slightly uphill!

From Snow business Nozawa 2014
From Snow business Nozawa 2014

Now that winter is over, bring on summer! Sunshine, swimming, beach and SUPing. That’s what I’m talking about.

JUMP

Went snowboarding again over the weekend. This time we actually made it to the ski resort!

Bluebird days and magnificent mountain views.
Plenty of reasons to jump for joy.

The evolution of the snow jump:

From Jump

Oh what a feeling. Hakuba!

From Jump
From Jump

Defying gravity:

From Jump

Star Jump:

From Jump

Holding up the sun is hard work! You’re welcome.

From Jump

Taking a break:

From Jump

Woo Hoo:

From Jump
From Jump

Happy Days:

From Jump

If only there were two of me….oh wait, there is!

From Jump
From Jump

Fun times:

From Jump
From Jump

Powder Power – Houdaigi ski resort

From Houdaigi, Minakami

Another weekend snowboarding last weekend in Minakami (Gunma-ken) for a friend’s birthday weekend and the Snow Splash festival. Was an amazing weekend of powder – one of the best days on the slopes in a long time. Powda in the day and Louda in the night. But meanwhile, back in Tokyo, I missed out on one of the biggest snowstorms to hit Tokyo in the last 45 years. By the time I got back on Sunday night, there was still plenty of snow around Tokyo and my neighbourhood. Why couldn’t we have a snow day on a weekday so we don’t have to go to work.

Anyway, it didn’t make much of a difference to me, as we enjoyed a glorious weekend of powder snow. Went to Houdaigi ski resort which although small, has some really great runs. I thoroughly enjoyed the runs there and snowboarded for both days. Even got in an intermediate snowboarding lesson where we got to go off-piste a little bit and into the trees. Still gotta work on those narrow turns though. Was heaps of fun though. And if I was to ever learn how to ski, I would want to do it at this resort. They had some of the best beginner-friendly green runs I’ve ever seen.

The Minakami area is just as popular in the summer for activities like rafting, canyoning, hiking and bungee jumping. We passed through the Minakami Dam as well.

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

Lotsa snow:

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

One of the gourmet specialty’s of the area is the Dam Curry! (where the rice is served as the dam wall for the curry). This amused me greatly.

From Houdaigi, Minakami

Now here is the onslaught of photos that you know and love from a powder-filled weekend of snowboarding . Soooo much fun.

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

This was a lot steeper than it looks here (It was the top of the black run):

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

All strapped in:

From Houdaigi, Minakami

Knee deep in powder:

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

All but deserted:

From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami
From Houdaigi, Minakami

Powder Powder:

From Houdaigi, Minakami

Expect more of the same next week. Headed off to Hakuba this weekend for another weekend of powder snow. Conditions are looking good. I also took some video footage of last weekend, but I don’t know how to video edit. Ooops! Might have to pos them uncut, and unedited.