On Saturday night us Iida-blockers headed north to Myokokogen ski resort in Niigata-ken. We stayed the night in the same dorm place last time. The evening consisted on onsen, karaoke, drink and food. My rendition of 'Take A Look Around' by Limp Bizkit left something to be desired, although I nailed 'Handle With Care' by the Traveling Wilberries.
After a good nights sleep we were ready to hit the slopes on Sunday morning.
The day was awesome. It always catches me unawares how high up you really are - we took the lift to the higher reaches of the resort, where the sky was blue and the sun bright and warm, and then snowboarded down into cloud below. You couldn't see more than 20 yards ahead of you, and fast-moving shadows quickly materialised as skiers, before flying past and simply disappeared into the gloomy abyss ahead (think Stephen King's "Fog", but with less terrifying and people-eating creatures). It was good fun, made better by the warmer weather and the fact I didn't manage to injure myself like I have done in recent snowboarding trips - ending up with your head stuck in the snow like a cartoon ostrich will put a dampener on your day.
Afterwards we headed back to Matsukawa to soak our bones in the onsen (stopping at Starbucks on the way, hell yes!*), and then on to Aruru for amazing food! Fantoobulous.
*In the Japanese inaka Starbucks are rarer than rare, much like decent, strong coffee. This more than warrants a "hell yes."
The snow has started to turn to slush, but the scenery is still lovely.
The fog awaits us...