SooooooooI know that the Winter Olympics were in Japan, but the amount of snow I saw this weekend SHOCKED me. And I’m used to snow, having lived in Vermont for the past six years. Combined with the fact that houses lack insulation and centralized heat, winter in Japan is for realz.
Without further adieu, 36 hours in HAKUBA.
Our mountain hostel, buried under a mountain of snow. Twas like going in and out of an igloo.
Saturday was COLD on the mountain and the snow never stopped. It was even hard to see the neon ski outfits! I was FROZEN after a few hours and had to warm up inside.
Saturday night, we hit up an onsen and pizzakaya. You guys, it was this tiny little wooden structure, maybe four tables tops, and the owner made homemade pizza AND fondue AND served it all on her handmade pottery. I bought a plate before I left.
Sunday, we got up early and headed up to the slopes. Just check out this snow bank.
Subway breakfast, since it was the only place open. Turkey with lettuce, peppers, and mustard. A random cookie (maybe caramel??). And vending machine coffee.
I was surprised how much more popular snowboarding is in Japan than skiing. There were so many snowboarders! I bet there were 10 boarders for every skier.
I got talked into skiing some intermediate trails with a few other friends. I’m not a great skier since we lacked mountains growing up in Ohio, so I fell a few times, but overall had a blast. I think skiing on the ICE in Vermont helped me out on the harder trails.
I came in for a miso ramen lunch.
And later that afternoon we bid farewell to Hakuba and a gorgeous blue sky. Ah, really great weekend. Like all the good ones, they go too fast.