Japan Day 3 – Hokkaido

Japan — By on February 18, 2009 11:07 am

Woke absolutely parched, the dry air from the heater set at 27 degrees with no humidifier rendering me incapable of even swallowing.  My body ached from the tumbles I’d had on the slopes, and muscles that seemed to be used only for pursuits such as snowboarding were sore.  There was a soreness in muscles that I didn’t even know were muscles.  I had a hangover, as did Crystal, so neither of us could make the buffet breakfast, which was a waste.  Alex and Junko made it though, and were up on the slopes before I’d even brushed my teeth.  We arranged to meet them later.  Breakfast time became brunch, and we walked outside into the cold and glorious sunshine, snowy mountains all around, and into the 7-11 to buy some corn soup and onigiri.

After the cheap brunch, we went to our lockers to get our snowboards and gear, and headed up to the top of White Lover and Famiy Run beginners slopes once more for a few runs.  We then got a cable car to East Mountain, at the foot of which we had arranged to meet Alex and Junko for lunch.  A delicious ramen lunch followed.  Crystal and I then went to the top of Easy Trail, which was much easier than White Lover and Family Run on West Mountain.  Here, Crystal could try and learn the ropes properly, as it wasn’t a quick slope.  I could try and perfect my snaking moves, as I hated occasionally having to switch from regular to goofy stance due to inability to swerve right at times.  After several good runs, I’d near-perfected the manoevre (at a slower, more controlled pace anyway), and I left Crystal to head to the top of East Mountain, and down an intermediate slope.  Now that I’d got the hang of it again, it felt great to be able to head down without falling, and I really enjoyed it.  The views from the top of the mountain were wonderful too.  After a few fantastic runs, I headed to meet Crystal for a tea break.  Crystal was really improving too, and starting to enjoy herself.  Alex and Junko joined us for a cuppa.

After another run or 2, we headed back to our base at West Mountain, where Crystal and I had a few more runs of White Lover, before calling it a day.  A similar, very welcome progression followed – onsen, change, out to eat and drink.  We again drank before heading out – quite heavily – we polished off the beers and a bottle of wine – and we headed to an izikaya.  The food here was a delicious mix of sushi, tempura, onigiri, gyoza and the much sought after edimame, which taste absolutely fantastic when salted and washed down with Kirin, Sapporo or Asahi.  We got drunk (well, me and Alex did), had a brilliant chat and a good laugh, and called it a night.  Another fine day on and off the slopes!

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