Saturday, January 14, 2012

Skiing Japanese-style

From Chris:    Nice to take some turns at Mt. Naebo - a ski area in northwestern Japan.  This place sits inland of the north coast with nothing but the East China Sea separating it from Sibera.  Cold winds sweeping across the sea + mountains = a boatload of snow. Much like Tahoe geologically with a constant flow of cold air and moisture barrelling in. They aleady have a 250 cm base - about 100" depth.  About 2500' base level elevation; 4500' at the top.  
Lost in Translation
At least this part of Japan has not put the  ski area + real estate thing together.  The lodging was like a seventies style US ski lodge - really small rooms, few ameneties, marginal food. Cell Block living! The mountain had two detachable quads and one gondola.  The quads were kinda short - easy to ski faster than the lift time.  Utah style grooming.  and, at least on Thursday - no lift lines!  This place was almost 75% snow boarders by my rough count and most of the snowboarders were women, well, girls! I was really interested in what the on -mountain food scene was like.  You know, beef stew in the Northeast resorts and Chili in the west resorts are the staples.  Sure 'nuff: Curry Rice and Nori!

From the top - 9 F with wind!
Wall of Sake at the train station
Nice way of getting there too.  Take the bullet train from Tokyo and ninety minutes later you are there.  Perfect replacement for I-70 in Colorado.  There is a short stuttle from the train station to the base.  The highway crews have constructed these massive steel structures to keep the avalanches up hill from the roads.  These things look like skyscraper superstructures laying at 45 degree angles jammed into the earth.   I had about 20 minutes at the station on the return poking around a bit and found this liquor store...  the entire place was filled with sake.  holy cow. I'm becoming a fan.....
Shinkansen Bullet Train arriving at the station
View from the Shinkansen leaving the station
A few days in Tokyo in the forties F and this place in the low teens F a nice break from 84F - 91F day in and day out in Singapore...  but, always WONDERFUL getting back to Ricky and the pooch!

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