Tag Archive | winter

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!

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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

Snowpocalypse

Tokyo had some unprecedented snowfall yesterday. Ended up getting stranded and didn’t get home until 6am this morning. What a long cold night it was.

It snowed all day in Tokyo yesterday. Some workplaces declared snow day. All we got was a 5pm earlymark.
When I left the office a little before 6pm, here is what it looked like outside my office building:

From Snowpocalypse

It wasn’t too bad. Subways were running (although a few train lines were down).
I headed to Shinjuku where we boarding a bus bound for Hakuba for a weekend of snowboarding.
Our bus left Shinjuku at 7:30pm and we hit the road. It took us an hour just to get out of the city and onto the highway.
We then spent 5 hours on the bus only to travel 50km and we were technically still in Tokyo. Traffic had been diverted off the highways as the highways shut down due to the snow. We just crawled along.

At about 12:30am the decision was made to head back home to Tokyo. By this time we were outside Takaosan train station. There was no way we were going to reach our destination. Snow trip officially cancelled.

Stopped in the middle of the road, where we walked to the nearby train station to use the toilets:

From Snowpocalypse

Here are some pics in the middle of the night at the pit stop:

From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse

We made it back to Tokyo where the bus dropped us off in Shinjuku. It was now 3:30am and we were stranded in Shinjuku as no public transport was running. They close during the night. Not a single taxi was available either. We tried to hail over a dozen taxis. They were either all full or no one wanted to pick us up.

By this time, we were super tired, freezing cold and wet. Ugh. Sooo cold.

These were the conditions trying to cross the roads in Shinjuku:

From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse

With no way to get home, my friend and I camped out a ramen shop where we ate a bowl of ramen at 4am. Even the 24 hour Maccas was closed! They had decided to close at 4am and were only doing takeaway to stop people from camping out inside.

From Snowpocalypse

Cars struggling in the snow in Shinjuku:

From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse

I finally got home at 6am this morning, once the trains were up and running again at 5am. Had a long hot shower to thaw out, and crawled into bed with my hot water bottle.

There was so much snow for this weekend, but ironically no one could get out to the slopes to enjoy it. All the highways have been shut. Quite the adventurous weekend so far, and it’s only Saturday morning!

Am now settled in for having a bludgey day indoors. It’s freezing though and super slushy outside. although it has stopped snowing.

Here was the view from my balcony this morning:

From Snowpocalypse
From Snowpocalypse

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.

Myoko Snow Weekend

Last weekend was another weekend spent snowboarding. Went to Myoko Suginohara resort for the first time.
The runs there are incredibly long and pretty wide. Great for beginners.

Saturday was a bluebird day, followed by a dump of snow which made for a powder day on the Sunday along with poorer visibility. Seems to be the way every time I go away for a snow weekend.

The scenery, landscape and views from the slopes are pretty EPIC.

A snowboarding weekend in pictures:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4Zq1tRrVTy5JJNnAxc5cks8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sfgAgIHEJfM/UuZ3HmcUgLI/AAAAAAACez4/pI7To2N1tKw/s640/IMG_6594.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/URQO5teLImpi5-nmnM5GI88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-L5Brcbs4tpk/UuZ21xu3wqI/AAAAAAACewc/OMwyq1m26k4/s640/DSCF0158.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/oHLO8BQLl7A1ZLZSqZdf4s8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FdIpVJoJ4ZI/UuZ238LMHzI/AAAAAAACew4/h4WW6B-Y0J4/s640/DSCF0161.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bDh4A2N7Bm47qhst5MPOhM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xVnJyYHV0gk/UuZ3IAK1pjI/AAAAAAACe0A/lIBnbvPKQrw/s640/IMG_6597.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EPMgiX3HuogoUFcYw2Nr4c8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-X8zZ33oSCBU/UuZ3JZD5khI/AAAAAAACe0U/5JskX-qwer4/s640/IMG_6599.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7sO4zRu770O3xztlAiFy5c8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gcBn6OiPc5I/UuZ3LduIq8I/AAAAAAACe1A/THemHRhmM8A/s640/IMG_6605.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-LCFlzJXOAnsh2EbmbrozM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-wejTDoWzxeA/UuZ3MB7KesI/AAAAAAACe1I/67QHOgBAkMU/s640/IMG_6606.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JxEgOfxA17ExL7DMkvMFpM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O-aU9Qtlvgw/UuZ25jjejOI/AAAAAAACexY/JPeSYC1jIC0/s640/DSCF0166.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/tuitIATs2rH68DRKHQlMUM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-P_S4IjAuNE0/UuZ26RBqI2I/AAAAAAACexw/skGtXhQPAIk/s640/DSCF0167.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xXhvqgfZd4o8TCgWlbT-5s8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YUdq9MfLtmU/UuZ24TJZVOI/AAAAAAACexE/Vfxyuz6DPYw/s640/DSCF0162.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yelNODL_lUcb7EfJ7-pMDs8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-fRX_YEkRGSo/UuZ3RcFWN8I/AAAAAAACe2g/tQva_l31BKU/s640/IMG_6618.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7GYvhL1jBYmidFAz7Fxg588ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-UcwDOtsBQ84/UuZ3GWhiBJI/AAAAAAACezg/Vwx47K3AbQM/s640/DSCF0188.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Fr6Wu-mJGANrrnQZO4_uYs8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-98w7deOA6GE/UuZ3fomCn4I/AAAAAAACe5I/kZmq5wLL6UA/s640/IMG_6639.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Amazing views:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TcY0ARMlZnVAju_zu32PBc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Kwkzge2r6mA/UuZ3AyO8vNI/AAAAAAACeyI/dfppHj6K23E/s640/DSCF0173.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/nZE4xoG8QQzPJQVMj_gpks8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vLxKlf9FoBU/UuZ3HB-q9pI/AAAAAAACezs/MAEucn0ISkU/s640/DSCF0189.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/U61_PdlNa5ToIqp7uteaCc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RsLf1x6LTrE/UuZ3BfU0ZrI/AAAAAAACeyQ/vs72Sj78EEY/s640/DSCF0174.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2yDIEH0BKmyhyUoOTFBsxM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KMN99budsdo/UuZ3CN8Pf0I/AAAAAAACeyk/xbaiPR6mqow/s640/DSCF0177.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EGI_ZyLcS7BnfAabXiuOaM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-e3ruZPk1Qn8/UuZ3C4QSZjI/AAAAAAACeyw/71qM98NS3c4/s640/DSCF0178.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-h_Ht5tNHgh1njpD7zYIZs8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-rWbPAfVqgtM/UuZ3EpjHOBI/AAAAAAACezE/rh7lSkeGQcQ/s640/DSCF0183.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Majestic Mountains:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vXYhnogN6yxRYVnVxvHd588ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4iFR_Qn7w8I/UuZ3Dce3zAI/AAAAAAACeys/t9le-Dby1pc/s640/DSCF0181.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rN61Yz6TyayX8cbUtMlrFs8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-P_psqQDRNs4/UuZ3ErINWEI/AAAAAAACezA/nyZp7W26tW4/s640/DSCF0182.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7OXQYANEciOJTbjvpPRJnM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-gHfRU29vceo/UuZ3F4rw81I/AAAAAAACezk/cto26NlrSmY/s640/DSCF0186.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JrqQ7Cqg3ci2mk4-93NzCc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gp5BOYPDtBU/UuZ3PFjVQmI/AAAAAAACe18/VHQWkWfkUTA/s400/IMG_6613.jpg&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DRAosQqMaWtxsB33iUHamc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-j2wJ4yw3xHQ/UuZ3WFhJuRI/AAAAAAACe3Q/Hgxu672eCvM/s640/IMG_6624.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Lunch on the slopes. Katsu curry + Beer = standard.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GZG1Owk8_TOptlkn8sgcg88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TpNXcQUfkWY/UuZ3WMHj0MI/AAAAAAACe3U/oEyJh0SI5d4/s640/IMG_6625.jpg&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/g8qMOOjMoM44VrDYIoOHl88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-TDPVgdo-bak/UuZ3YXgZtPI/AAAAAAACe38/eBN-K6hyn-A/s640/IMG_6630.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Suginohara summit: 1855m

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/wNFR2I5v3ux-Uab2R2jtm88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-R6YD25sgjUU/UuZ3ZIa9z_I/AAAAAAACe4I/LxO_QsqKmNo/s640/IMG_6631.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Mount Fuji – thatta way:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lxda6kwFR-dFpikHRSnPj88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Ow2LXcZySWI/UuZ3a5f-U4I/AAAAAAACe4k/1ZmGgeSeXT8/s640/IMG_6635.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/v_i3XvqGy805rkpyef9Q9c8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HmmuxQuRMBM/UuZ3bcWZ9EI/AAAAAAACe4s/QbhMqrAsV0A/s640/IMG_6634.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JCU3U82tXKL02Due-kPq8c8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-wiR8PqX6RYU/UuZ3Z76yvHI/AAAAAAACe4Q/rT8H40wP7os/s640/IMG_6633.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AMX44vRdz7YvQWroeuCCcc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sCm7jpI48TI/UuZ3cOpdukI/AAAAAAACe4w/VbPnwdO4T9s/s640/IMG_6637.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lIP3IE9buQgjwxe758iGSM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y5f650RTix4/UuZ3ddQRZZI/AAAAAAACe44/4JMiqqjJHhg/s640/IMG_6638.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MRLJEY35LriJfpXEQCnq388ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zfMxGOK4D8E/UuZ3gv0kwEI/AAAAAAACe58/bdOUz2QMItg/s640/IMG_6642.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pkZ51rRw0vg50Xt6LK5rbc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PPOCkx9G4CM/UuZ3hJ6YhwI/AAAAAAACe6E/UgT2xo89AJE/s640/IMG_6644.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/m-YDN4IfTY214HtkneLnAs8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q6stJ73eI34/UuZ3hh9Ky5I/AAAAAAACe54/vkJ2YgncvGc/s640/IMG_6645.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Meanwhile, back in the accommodation – a slipper explosion in the genkan!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MI7eFhP-SVJvdYPR7acx0s8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/–GXUu4U0-1M/UuZ3j8xaMZI/AAAAAAACe6g/bgjXyDtVblo/s640/IMG_6652.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Compare the amazing views to this on the Sunday. Visibility reduced to zero. Hard to believe the photos above were taken from the same spot:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CSldk7oDMdOg1rHtnd9hZc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Y-U3pHsw_3Y/UuZ3r2kx7pI/AAAAAAACe8c/Li0-Z7UUEdQ/s640/IMG_6668.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_IeRlBjzRFhrGtIiHHOor88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ioX6AbA7pHM/UuZ3sVWHjPI/AAAAAAACe8k/XpDJDffqQjk/s640/IMG_6670.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1DL0n1BmJMAm8uj3CTKGkc8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Rc7t7juy0_0/UuZ3tpMWqKI/AAAAAAACe9U/L_GXSSa0ob8/s640/IMG_6674.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>
And last Sunday was Australia Day.
Represent!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NFWIgJP0-kuojEgtwQtVxM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-RCcMpZsIzl8/UuZ3u6gUMKI/AAAAAAACe9c/IunZlYuUAGM/s640/IMG_6677.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Swapped the Aussie BBQ for a bowl of ramen instead. Gotta admit, this ski resort was definitely one of the better places for food.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sCoEEvoDBR57fT2QRXlzj88ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dPOurEnhUlE/UuZ3szHeTTI/AAAAAAACe88/XDGXEAeFSkk/s640/IMG_6671.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

When it’s snowing outside, my preference is to wear a beanie. But our bus driver had a better idea – a shower cap.
Sensible, practical and waterproof.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/qUXhIKgk0jDcEnXez-z6yM8ix6Leamj18Vk2krRNnLA?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3fQHjagdme4/UuZ3wWkKhDI/AAAAAAACe9s/h95F2STBu9k/s640/IMG_6682.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/MyokoSnowWeekend?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Myoko Snow weekend</a></td></tr></table>

Return to Nozawa

For the third year running, I went back to Nozawa for a weekend of snowboarding and onsen. It’s become a yearly winter tradition.

Nozawa is probably one of my favourite ski resorts. I really like all the runs there (I like ’em wide) and I love the village atmosphere and all the onsens. There’s even a craft beer place there and they stock my favourite craft beer (I only know of one place in Tokyo that has it). Snowboarding, followed by an onsen and a drop of craft beer – the perfect winter’s day out.

Saturday was perfect conditions out on the slopes. A bluebird day. Had probably one of the best days ever snowboarding.

From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014

Made it up to the peak:

From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014

An awesome day on the slopes. Full day of snowboarding and then a soak in the onsen.
Did a pub crawl in the evening and went to all four bars in the village.

I’ve died and gone to….

From Nozawa 2014

My favourite craft beer: Dead Guy Ale by Rogue Breweries:

From Nozawa 2014

Saturday night and all day Sunday it dumped snow. It made for a great powder day on the slopes on Sunday but visibility was negative. We got to the top of the mountain, and I had a little meltdown. I was basically blind and could not see a thing up there. Had a bit of a panic attack snowboarding blind. And it was extremely cold. I thought I was gonna get freezeburn.

From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014

Somehow made it down to the bottom in one piece, a little bit traumatised. Stuck to the lower runs instead. The powder was awesome. But visibility not so good.

From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014
From Nozawa 2014

Another weekend of snowboarding to look forward to this weekend. Will be checking out a new/different ski resort.

2014: Day One

Happy New Year!
May 2014 be a good one for you. Good lord, I need it to be.
2013 was a shocker of a year (hence the lack of posts over the last few months. You wouldn’t believe the lousy times I went through). Here’s hoping this year is going to be a lot better.

Anyway, what better way to see in the new year than a New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim! You could say it was a “cool” way to see in the new year. Quite literally. It was freezing.

More like a polar bear dip for me though. Air temp was about 10 degrees. Water temp about 16 degrees and plunge into the water we did. Mind you, I was sporting a severe hangover from the previous night’s New Year’s Eve festivities in Roppongi. Probably hit bed around 3am and had to be up at 8am to make the trek to Hayama Beach in Kanagawa prefecture. I was throwing up on the 1.5 hr train ride down there. Not a pretty sight.

A couple of trains and a bus ride later and a few more throw ups along the way, we made it to the beach.

Crazy windy and freezing. And quite the swell. The waves were rough.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Ax7KyGH821c6npappSAvTNEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4XfAM_8cM8s/UsUAke5g6ZI/AAAAAAACdFo/rX2r9UBblbA/s640/IMG_6414.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ojxAumCfeh3Anp7J8EvW59EAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lcYUpHaPhb8/UsUAkTPaLXI/AAAAAAACdFk/0ir-5p7PS38/s640/IMG_6412.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JHPDiSmW-whD3jQrEDh8z9EAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1p99TCiZoy0/UsUAkdSygXI/AAAAAAACdFc/j5r__K7hMH4/s640/IMG_6413.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

A few of us braved the cold temps, <em>sans</em> wetsuits, of course! The boys got in:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XeQiPuTQHF0BwdkWUx1cNtEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-po_mTGuaveY/UsUAvxwZSOI/AAAAAAACdIA/tlIwy9kzOCo/s640/RIMG0702.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4VugJRsKO5PiprjMzgnsrtEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9HJnX_qnQ_U/UsUAw8lsiZI/AAAAAAACdIQ/RemnG9Fgmwo/s640/RIMG0705.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

Meanwhile, at the water’s edge….(I’m the one in the pink cap):

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EryuDmFIBPXBEUJ5r_ztfNEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1xkySEvKBtg/Usj34XlHG9I/AAAAAAACd9k/TaLjPKOHmjw/s640/polar.jpg&#8221; height=”427″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

Am still not convinced about going in:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gWKz2OOjSW7EQHl_ONS8UtEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-XnbpBZRp6vg/Usj2bm8LUsI/AAAAAAACd9A/Ch5VhJGwCHI/s640/dip.jpg&#8221; height=”626″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

C’mon in the water’s lovely.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Mv7N_7Hv1leJX92C3fri9dEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-EQDxy6kxkSU/UsUAmw2BS3I/AAAAAAACdGc/8BAAAkXSDRk/s640/IMG_6420.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

I finally muster the strength to take the plunge. Might help rid the hangover, me thinks:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Mie8jtnd7tqFqhp10mbRJNEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s98EZkfeGjA/Usj2eTohRZI/AAAAAAACd9I/agPM4ViAZTw/s400/plunge.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”313″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

Oh holy crap it’s cold!
I couldn’t breathe. I cannot breathe.
I had to get out of the water. Because I couldn’t get in proper breaths, I had to get out of the water. Know your boundaries.
Survived the polar bear dip, but not the swim sadly.
My body did not take kindly to the water especially in the state I was in.

The others did well, and we’re in the water swimming away for at least another 20-30 minutes.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Vc_PL5I8D_LwzlyVMeMlq9EAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-WdzlVbsVmYI/UsUAmZryNkI/AAAAAAACdGM/GW4Jzt69t90/s640/IMG_6418.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/V_AQgpKNfnCjQ18j_x_W7dEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uvuIXdhUNk4/UsUAlal2YUI/AAAAAAACdF4/ludcYkXFsBw/s640/IMG_6415.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Hxut6mlTye9itlz_4BNVMNEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-71GXI8iLeHs/UsUAloZFOXI/AAAAAAACdF8/6qQkPLSqZbo/s640/IMG_6416.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6ZuffkCVJ8FnaPYU5vo36NEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HbjRF6i3EIk/UsUAmG-kLkI/AAAAAAACdGE/dL0BBFLJTZo/s640/IMG_6417.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

Cold, cold, cold:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-KFnu2DRSc7A0zGgsXECMtEAJXZdkKLe2njuguxH8bw?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9KFJqL_c4sE/UsUAnksYEdI/AAAAAAACdGg/_KWXjzrYU44/s640/IMG_6421.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/PolarBearDip?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCObBn4fm9fei6QE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Polar Bear Dip</a></td></tr></table>

It then took a few hours to get warmed back again. But a breakfast of pancakes, soup and muffins and cups of tea helped. My head and liver still not in good shape though.

Was a very cool thing to do though on New Year’s Day. I’m glad I did it, even though my body didn’t really hold up to the challenge. Still, I went in and took the plunge.

Here’s to a swimmingly hopeful new year!

First snowboard of the season

Managed to get in the first snowboard of the season. And perfect conditions for it too.
Lots of fresh powder snow.
Went to Naeba and Kagura ski resort.
Highly recommend Kagura. Loved it out there. Lots of nice green runs. Probably one of my favourite resorts on Honshu.

Snowboarding with a view:

From Kagura snow

View of Lake Tashiro:

From Kagura snow

Lots of nice wide runs for beginners like me: Perfect. And a bluebird day too.

From Kagura snow

Look! It’s snowing!

From Kagura snow
From Kagura snow
From Kagura snow

The next day, it dumped powder snow all day. Visibility not as good as the previous day though.
Winter Wonderland:

From Kagura snow