Saturday, March 26, 2016

Skiing in Hakuba

We packed our bags and headed across to Tokyo station to catch our Shinkansen – bullet train - across to Nagoya.  We left plenty of time but it all worked well.  Andrew did some peering in the windows when the train pulled up to the platform to work out where our seats were.  The windows look tiny but were fine from the inside.  The two hour journey went seamlessly.  At Nagoya we walked out of the station to find the bus that would take us to Hakuba village.  We got front seats and Andrew described the drive as the smoothest he had ever had on a bus.

Our hotel, Panorama,  was a short walk away from the bus station and a 5-10 minute walk to the bottom of the ski-field.  They kindly took us around to the ski rental shop where Andrew was kitted out for 4 days of skiing

Skiing conditions were not the usual metres of powder (about half normal falls this year) but he managed to have a wonderful time.  Skiing conditions got better half way through our stay with a couple of 20cm falls.  Four days up and down the slopes he managed to meet 2 people from Wellington and a Japanese man who spent his winters in Wanaka. He noted that the equipment was sized for smaller framed people.


Lunch was routinely at a restaurant at the bottom of the gondolas.  Ordering through a self service machine – no problem for us with our lessons in Tokyo.  Every day Andrew had the TonKatsu curry.  And we watched the locals taking 10 minutes naps after their lunch.


I spent my days walking around the village and turning up at the restaurant for lunch – amazing how the day disappears on that routine. 


I did have one day trip out to Matsumoto, home of the 16th century Wooden Castle


We didn’t manage to get into the restaurants we wanted to in the evening – note to self – MAKE RESERVATIONS!  We survived and on our last day in Hakuba managed to have a good Japanese restaurant even if Andrew was a bit dismayed at the idea of sitting on the floor at low tables.  But give him an indoor grill, some sake & a beer and put him in charge of the tongs and all discomfort is forgotten.

dinner hakuba

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