Yikes, it's been too long since a blog! That's post-christmas laziness for you. Right ok, January then...
On the 9th Jan I arrived back at my village in the early evening after a half hour drive, three hour bus journey, two hour train journey and a twelve hour flight from the UK that was delayed by an hour. Less than an hour later I was heading out for a three hour car trip to a resort in Niigata for my first snowboarding trip.
The UK had been (and still is slightly) gripped with cold weather, the worst it's seen for a while, and as the country came to standstill after a foot or so of snow, me, my friend and his girlfriend found ourselves between 8ft walls of it driving through Niigata to Myokokogen.
We spent the best part of Sunday snowboarding, and although bruised from bouncing off of various extremities, found myself taking to it fairly quickly. Indeed, the rush you get from sliding down a mountain at uncontrollable speeds is quite spectacular. I managed only one "nasty" crash, which saw me bounce off of my forehead into a snowdrift. After laying on my back staring at the sky for a moment, I realised I'd become a potential target for speeding skiers, and hefted myself up and back down the slope.
A great first experience, and we're going again this weekend!
The view from our hotel/dorm
Trussed up and ready to rock... er, slide...