My mate Ethan and I made our way to Hakuba in Nagano at the end of February for our annual (if two consecutive years can be considered annual!) snowboarding trip. Pretty much identical to last years really and that certainly means in terms of the same jokes and repeated conversations as well as our ironic reserection of the ‘not’ lines which were fashionable(?) in the early 90’s.
What was most definitely different were the conditions on the middle day (Saturday 1st March) which were great for us as there had been lots of thick powdery snow overnight which allowed for the snowboarding of dreams in terms of gliding through new untouched snow. Inevitably it wasn’t all plain sailing though as falling over in such snow meant great frustration when it was difficult to get back on your feet and subsequently to get moving.
The thick snow also made me a bit braver and so I actually rode over the jumps albeit fairly slowly so that in actual fact I was just riding over them with the slightest of aerial jumps.
As for the other two days on the slopes they were sunny and I did manage to spot my colleague Bridget and her friend on a few occasions. Yet again the place we were staying at on the slopes provided us with nabe (stew) which is quite nice and loved by the Japanese who can sit around their rooms cooking it as they are used to doing.
However, myself and Ethan hate having to cook for ourselves in this situation so the following night we went into town to a Mexican restaurant where we also sampled an absolute stinger of a sauce. The effects on our mouths of adding just a tiny bit to our tacos lasted what seemed like an eternity. Photos taken on the slopes are usually cr*p and as we were at the same place in the same outfits as the year before I only took a few this time.