Skiing in Hakuba

6 01 2010

As the train ride went higher north and into the Japanese Alps we started seeing snow covering the houses and rice fields. By the time we reached Hakuba it was heavily snowing, everything covered in a couple metres of snow and several degrees below zero.

It was totally magical to see snow (and in such huge quantities) for the first time. Looking out the window of the hostel we could watch the snow falling and building up on the rooves and gardens outside.

We booked a group ski lesson with Evergreen for our first morning skiing, but we were the only 2 in the group so it was like a private lesson. Richard took us up to Hakuba 47, to a beginners slope that was at the top of the mountain. It was snowing all day and so the powder was soft to fall on when it was too hard to turn or stop on the slope… šŸ™‚ Then he took us down to Hakuba Goryu and we went down the beginners slope outside the Escal Plaza. Snowboarders came roaring down from the black double diamond that joined up with the beginners slope, but we kept on zig zagging slowly skiing down the hill… We didn’t fall over too many times, but the next day we limited ourselves to the same beginner’s slope in Goryu, and another (rather deserted) slope in Iimori that was flanked on both sides by tall, snow covered pine trees.

Evergreen were really good instructors and one of the only English ski instructors in Hakuba. K’s House Hakuba Alps is also highly recommended. Go say hello to Toshi and friends! We stayed at K’s house in Hiroshima as well and really love the clean rooms, great prices, new bathrooms, fully equiped kitchen, free internet and super friendly staff and guests. We could not love and recommend K’s enough!! Go stay there if you’re planning on going skiing in the Hakuba area – there are heaps of other Aussies and Kiwis that stay there so the atmosphere is really cosy and welcoming.

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