Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snowboarding in Echigo Yuzawa, Niigata

The other week I went for my first time this year snowboarding. Last year I only managed to get out one time, so it has been a while since I been gliding down the mountain snowbanks. This was my 4th time snowboarding I believe, and I'm still getting my snow feet. There was two of us and we decided to drive up to Niigata at night, and stay over night and get a fresh start in the morning. We got to stay in one of my friends, companies apartment which was located right beside the ski lifts. You could look out the window and see the lifts, just exit from the 1st floor and on your way you go to snowboard. How easy is that? The apartment was amazing! Huge! It's rare to see for me in Japan, it had two large bedrooms, a huge living room, kitchen, shower, washroom...I would imagine it cost a fortune to buy. As we drove up, we were stopped by security just as we entered Niigata Prefecture to check for winter tires. When the weather is bad, they stop everyone to check, and if you have no winter tires, they send you back, or you will have to buy some, or buy chains for your tires. The weather was bad as we drove more into the mountains of Niigata, white snow everywhere. But we arrived safely at the apartment. We went up to the apartment and turned the heat on and curled up under the kotatsu.

We awoke to fresh powder snow everywhere! What a beautiful sight! What a better way to start the snowboarding year, and it would hurt a lot less if I fell in powder. :) We went to get breakfast, but turned out it was closed, oh well, an earlier start for snowboarding. The day was spent gliding down the hills, I fell a few times, but nothing too bad. Of course I felt the pain for a couple days after, but that's typical. During the afternoon the snow started to fall, and by late afternoon we could hardly see in front of us, so we decided to finish up and go to the onsen (hot spring) to warm up. Nothing better to do after a hard day than to sit in a hot onsen and relax away all the sore muscles.

The drive back was a blur and I fell asleep, to awake at my home before climbing the stairs up to my apartment and crashing for the night.

A typical rest stop off the highway.

Lots of souvenirs you can buy! Japanese people LOVE souvenirs.

Purple Potatoe Ice cream!

Drive up during the night.

The onsen

Good morning!!

Dinner time

Mocha Latter Ice Cream

Friend chose Chocolate

Crab flavored chips

Pear flavored Kitkat

The entrance to the apartment

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