Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hakuba, Japan - January 2012

Despite Lunar New Year falling so close to the Christmas break, Ailey had a week off from school so we made the most of it and headed to Japan for a week of skiing. Plenty of snow, particularly at the tail end of the week where nearby Cortina got 80 and 70cm on consecutive nights. Happo One, where we were staying got a more moderate 30 and 20cm which was fine with us since we're not experienced with deep powder skiing.

We took a break after 3 days to visit the snow monkeys - Japanese Macaques that have learned to enjoy the natural hot springs in the mountains near Nagano. The timing was perfect as I'd failed to land an unplanned, high speed aerial manuever that resulted in a pretty serious 'skimatoma' on my left hip. Luckily the bruising didnt affect my hiking ability as the monkey's were a mile hike in from the drop off point.

After visiting the monkeys, we enjoyed lunch at a sake brewery and visited Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, the first Buddhist temple in Japan.