Week one in Furano passed by just like that and the Emporer’s birthday is upon us. This is the only public holiday here as we will not be observing Christmas as such in Japan. I wondered if the kids here are better off as they don’t have to suffer what most of us would have had to endure when we find out that Father Christmas was a made up character (apologies for revealing the truth, but if you haven’t heard it, you have now).
It is a bit surreal to return to Furano. Not much has changed since the last visit. It is the same quant mountain village just outside a cool little town that I remembered. The toilet seats are still warm, and the familiar low tensile strength on the toilet paper was a gentle reminder that I am indeed back.
My newly gathered family of skiers will be hanging out on the mountain to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. We are hoping sincerely for a white Christmas to top up the snow pack for 2016. It has been an unusual start to the season and it would be nice to be able to deliver on the high expectations of the Hokkaido Powder Belt.
We have just completed 5 days of training and are about to start our AIARE avalanche training. It is so awesome to be surrounded by knowledgeable people who are passionate about backcountry skiing. These last few days I don’t remember talking about anything else other than skiing and snow. I wonder if this is all they talk about in heaven, too. I guess the only difference is there is probably floor heating in heaven.
Sleeping on the floor is pretty easy to get used to. Flipping food with extra long chopsticks instead of tongs, too easy. The insane number of recycle bags and bins finally explains why cookies, cocktail cabanossi and chocolate covered brazil nuts necessitated individual packaging. Green tea Kit Kat – love! And they don’t cost £14 here, as I was once too addicted to them to think clearly and bought a pack from the Japan Centre in Piccadily Circus. Matcha awesome! Umeshu awesome! Great culinary delights, great skiing, the only thing I will complain about is that the snow is just too dry to make a snowman. You just can’t have everything I guess.
Well we are expecting snow all over Japan the next few days, then we can finally be transformed into Japow!
Merry Christmas peeps!