25.12.2013 - 25.12.2013
We took the 4 hour bus from Tokyo to Hakuba and when we arrived it was snowing like crazy! So we had an early night and set our alarms for 7am to pick up our hire gear and head up the mountain for first lifts! The snow was unreal! I have never snowboarded in so much powder before. And the ski runs were a lot better than we had expected. Some people told us we were very lucky to have such a big dump at this time of year. Before we even came to Hakuba people had told us it wasn't going to be very good so we had such low expectations. Instead though it was amazing!! We spent a good 6 hours up there and were knackered by the time we got home. Riding in powder is so much more tiring our leg muscles were burning!
This ski resort isn't like any European ski resorts Will and I have been to before. It's split up into lots of little towns and as the season hasn't really started yet it is so quiet! They have regular free shuttle busses to the slopes and it takes max 10 mins to get there. Lots of different mountain choices too.
We've been lucky with our hostel as there are loads of cool people who have stayed here over Christmas too. We spent Christmas Eve in a reggae bar which was different from the usual cosy English pub! Someone organised Secret Santa for early Christmas morning which we took part in. Then as a group all headed up the mountain so there were about 12 of us all together. That's the best way to do the mountain! It reminded us of when we were on seasons. We had burgers for our Christmas lunch, had a couple more runs down the mountain and then got the bus back for fireworks and buffalo wings and pasta for Christmas dinner! I'm not going to lie it really didn't feel like Christmas at all. I don't actually think we have listened to any Christmas songs! Maybe a couple here and there that they played on the chairlift but none of the tradition Fairytale of New York or Driving Home for Christmas! Some Japanese remixes! Haha! Still had such a great day though.
Boxing Day was just as fun. No one went up the mountain as everyone was slightly hungover so we made a huge Boxing Day breakfast with bacon and eggs and then built snowmen and had snowball fights! A lot of the people in this hostel are Australian and haven't experienced snow before. One girl had never built a snowman before! Couldn't believe it!
We don't think we're going to make it to Niseko anymore even though we have booked flights. We've left it too late booking accommodation and there is none available over New Year so we reckon we might spend it in Tokyo with some friends we've made here. We don't want to risk getting to Niseko with all the hostels fully booked and have to either pay heaps or be homeless! We've had some great snowboarding here though so we're not too fussed and it means we get more time in Kyoto and Osaka!