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Back to Japan …

Posted on : 24-02-2013 | By : Nathan | In : Travelogue

3

Japan 201330 straight hours of travel; consisting of 2 car rides, 2 plane rides, and 2 train rides and I finally arrived in Nagano Japan. My best buddy Derek & his wife Miwa greeted me at the airport and we were ready to roll.

This time I did not let myself fall victim to the jet lag and opposite sleep timing associated with arriving somewhere that has 12+ hours time difference. How you ask ? Don’t sleep the entire way there ! It is brutal, but when you arrive, and it is nearly midnight, you have not choice but to go straight to sleep. You then wake up 8 hours later magically aligned to the new time zone. Lesson learned from the last trip … write that down.

So today’s plan was simple: Snowboarding. After a sampling of numerous Japanese paleo-friendly breakfast delicacies at the buffet, we were off. Another hour long bus ride up into the mountains got us to Hakuba Happo One, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. There was snow early on, and it only picked up steadily throughout the day. Some of the black diamond runs had over 2 feet of fresh powder and an 8-10 foot base. Toward the end of the outing, the conditions were near white-out offering a mere 5 feet of visibility.

Derek had some hellacious high speed flips (we called them kabuki rolls) but remained unphased, as he miraculously transitioned from his head to his feet several times. In a classic “tortoise and the hare” scenario, Miwa was able to conquer the runs without issue, much more in control and significantly slower. Around 4 pm most of the lifts had stopped running due to inclement weather, so we took that as a our queue to pull the rip cord.

I can’t remember much about the bus ride back because I was napping to a marginal audiobook. However, I think Japanese buses are made for people considerably smaller then me. IE: I had no feeling from the waste down due to near fetal positioning in the tiny bench seats.

A well deserved dinner immediately followed our arrival back to Nagano. We went for Yakitori We sampled everything from chicken, liver, beef, duck, and more. The restaurant was a very intimate setting, holding maybe 15 people max. We were lucky enough to get a table and enjoyed course after course of the mini skewers as the ever-attentive service staff kept the very traditional Japanese dinner progressing. One particular highlight was a Beer called “Yebisu Stout – Creamy Top” which reminded me of Guinness, but only available here. Was a great dining experience, and highly recommended !

So, where are the pics ? A few technical difficulties are currently plaguing my digital upload situation. Namely: Did not bring a card reader for the Sony memory stick, camera battery died, permissions issue on the web site that I am just too tired to troubleshoot. I will work on these when I get time …

Already missing Niamh and Sco bigtime … Gonna hit the sack … Up in another 7 hours for round 2 at the mountain !

Unordinary: Sweet Brown, I ain’t got time for that: Link

Comments (3)

Glad to hear you all had a safe, fun, and very Happo time boarding today. How cool can it be to surf the same snowy slopes once covered with Olympic Gold medalists. Perfect North must pale in comparison right now.

All I did today was get my oil changed at WallyWorld…
ha ha ha

Sounds like u “Hit the snow sledding” just as planned! Have a great time. Can’t wait to see Miwa and Derek when they visit Ohio.. Stay warm and safe! ! :-)

Nathan

JWM: Very funny :) I can tell you I definitely prefer the mountains here in Japan to the current offerings on our home state of Ohio!

Neeve: Ha ha, was definitely some serious snow. Derek and Miwa say hello & look forward to seeing you soon.

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