So, time for a new thread, I'll have to put the Gulmarg thread on hold for a little bit as I'm off to Japan on Saturday. I thought I'd do my usual trip report on Epic, so here we go!
This is the first time I will be going to Japan and Hokkaido and it's a trip I've been planning on doing for a long time. I'll be out there for 4 1/2 weeks with a couple of different groups of people and we'll be exploring as much of the north island of Hokkaido as we can. We'll be basing out of 3 distinctive zones: Niseko (5 nights), Otaru (3 nights) and Furano (5 nights). I organized a local guide and we have our own private transportation so we can be flexible on where we ski each day. I have 2 weeks with the first group and then I repeat the same trip with a second group.
I'll be heading out to Tokyo on the 2nd Jan (this Saturday) and then I have 3 nights in Tokyo. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I'd gotten somewhat comfortable with only going overseas to Gulmarg each season (as exciting and wild as that place is), but this will be something new and different. I'm definitely expecting some major culture shock a la Bill Murray in Lost in Translation! It will be a fun time though. I'll try and document as much of the antics as possible
Thankfully the snow has gotten a lot better by all reports. Hokkaido was off to a slow start but thanks to some decent storms recently (like 180cm in the past week in Rusutsu, for example), the snow and the base have gotten a lot better. More snow is due to start tomorrow, so it looks like they have finally turned on the snow taps and I hope they will now be getting into their consistent snow cycles that Hokkaido is renowned for.
So, just wanted to write a quick outline and I'll try and write some regular reports with as many photos and video that I can take. I'll probably chime back in when I get to Tokyo as that is where the fun will really begin. Hope you can follow the adventure.