Here I am again with the promised post about our short snowboard holiday in Hokkaido, Japan.
Many photos and also a video is waiting for you, so grab a coffee before reading on!
We actually decided to do the snowboarding in Hokkaido, because there was not really a difference price-wise to those famous skiing areas in Nagano and because I also had never been to Japans North yet. Actually I never did a ‘sport holiday’ nor ever stood on ski or a snowboard before.
I therefore was quite excited. (We actually did a first try a few days before the travel in an indoor snowpark, but mountains are a little different..)
So we squeezed ourselfes out of bed at 4.30am to get the Tokyo Haneda Airport.
After our arrival at the gate we were told that due a blizzard we might not be able to land in Sapporo and had to come back eventually.
Of course we tried anyway!
And were lucky! Apart from this and one other airport all other had closed already, but we were able to land in Hokkaido.
A snowman was greeting us ♡
However we had a delay which resulted in our bus being gone already. But it gave us more time to get our rental boards before the next bus came.
After a 1.5 hours drive we finally arrived in Yubari (夕張). Our hotel looked like a ship.
Because it was already in the afternoon when we arrived, we jumped in our snow wear immediately and got ready for the mountain.
Proud like a cookie:
Starting from the beginners slope (My husband doesn’t need it but he trained me how to board and stayed with me. Aww!) I was always paralyzed about the corner of the slope. There was no fence and it seemed to go down right behind and I was so afraid to fall down there. Haha.
So I tried to always board somewhere in the middle to not die on the first day. Due to the mentioned blizzard the view was limited to max. 200m and the snow was hitting the face with full speed. Furthermore I bumped my ass and knees a few times heavily when falling – but I had a blast!
We kept going up and sliding/falling down until it was dark.
Afterwards we immediately warmed our frozen bodies in the Japanese Onsen (public spring bath) and then munched ourselves through the long buffet table.
Hokkaido is famous for its delicious and fresh crabs and my husband took fully advantage of that by shoveling a crab mountain on his plate.
Nice ramen (noodle soup) packages!
Actually the City Yubari is well known for mask melon but unfortunately it was not season – therefore we couldn’t try fresh ones.
Then we crashed into bed. And I am telling ya!! ISOLATED WINDOWS! COMFORTABLE WARMTH IN THE HOUSE! Something which I always wish for in Tokyo! Hokkaido has it! And space! The rooms are huuuge compared to Tokyo.
The next morning started with a breakfast buffet. Another specialty seemed to be black bread (and other foods). In the past there has been a huge coal mine in Yubari, thats why they still sell bread etc. as ‘coal bread’. If there is coal inside or not or what makes the color – I don’t know – but there was no difference in taste.
Yubari at better times. (Now its actually bankrupt.)
After our stomach was filled we headed for the slopes. Unfortunately day 2 was still blizzardy weather. We still could not see the mountains around us, but it was slightly better than the day before.
On day 2 I tried to step a bit higher on the mountain. Not to the top top but quite high already. Down at the station we had -6°C and on the top -12°C.
And the wind! Yes, the wind was extreme on the top and bashed the snow in our faces with no mercy. It was cold and painful so that we couldn’t get on the board and down the slope fast enough. Haha.
After driving down a ‘intermediate’ slope a few times we headed for the top of the mountain. That also allowed us to take the gondola instead of lifts, which was wind protected and comfortable. Ha!
At night then another specialty of Hokkaido: Soft-ice-cream
Since the North of Japan is the only place which seems capable of producing proper diary products and potatoes – soft-cream is also unbelievable tasty! The difference to the crap in Tokyo was really significant! So milky!
On day 3 the weather finally cleared up a little, so we used the chance to have a little walk through the city/village.
Not without my ice-guitar!!
Well a little wind was still there at times..
I was dreaming of this since I was child!! To wake up once and the snow is so high that I have to dig a tunnel to get out of my house. Yesss!
Between the street and the houses – snow walls everywhere. So fun! A snow paradise!
Unfortunately the most shops were closed and the area around the hotel felt a little like a ghost city. The city went bankrupt some time ago. No jobs. No people.
After our excursion we went back to snowboarding of course!
Every day we saw many troops (from the Army or sth.?) who were trained to ski. They were everywhere.
I have never seen people skiing in camouflage.
And then: For the first time we saw the sun above the mountains. Yay!
Step by step we tried out all slopes (except super pro ones).
On the last day we still had time to do the snowboarding until 3pm, before soaking in the bath for the last time and getting back to the airport. The weather was perfect!
And finally we asked someone to take a pic of us together.
The weather was great, our mood perfect and my snowboarding skill good enough to board smoothly with my love.
My husby also took a video of me boarding on the last day.
I uploaded that to YouTube so you can see it:
(I don’t know why but it always seems slower and the mountains more flat in the video.. LOL)
Finally we also discovered cute deers who were looking for food.
Then we had to get back.
But I found apple soda (which is normal in Germany but never seen in Japan). Yay!
At the airport we had a big bowl of Hokkaido Ramen before departing back to Tokyo.
The 4 days were really amazing and I can really recommend Hokkaido for snowboarding!
I hope to get back to see more of Hokkaido the next time.