Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679

    TR: 2019 Hokkaido Car Danchi Food Porn Tour

    After waiting stupidly for a decade to make this happen -- and a 20-page Google Doc of accumulated notes about how to run the best trip, thanks to the many good mags who've posted in this forum in the past! -- a decisive flight booking from TheBear had us committed to going to Japan after Christmas. FINALLY!!! Having hesitated for years after that awesome Nimbus video that first exposed me to a land of endless powder, we were going! I blew all my credit card miles on flights from Boston to Tokyo and proclaimed proudly that this bucket list trip would finally get dusted off the shelf.

    TheBear was being kind to his new wife in not leaving until after New Year's, but, being newly single and with Xmas week off for all staff, I booked my flight for the 27th, put out the call for partners, and soon connected with Dongy, a fellow mag who was going to do the car danchi thing and #vanlife it in Hokkaido for three months. We chatted back and forth, had one phone call prior in which we got excited about being fellow splitboarders who would hunt down the easiest sidehilling, and planned to meet up in Sapporo once Dongy picked up his 4x4 van.

    Attachment 264830

    I flew into Tokyo the night of Dec 28th and then connected to another flight to Sapporo. Being one of the busiest flight routes in the world, the plane used to ferry me on this short, 1.5 hour domestic flight was the same size plane (and just as full) as my intercontinental 14 hour flight from Toronto. I took the easy 40-min train from Chitose airport to Sapporo Station, hailed a cab, and stuffed my board bag on my lap in the back to Hotel Raffinato -- a great hotel with petite rooms with hilarious pre-fab bathrooms (not just the shower, the entire bathroom was one piece of fiberglass), and an amazing continental breakfast for just $50/night. I walked to a neighboring 7/11, bought my first round of convenience store sushi, marveled at its taste, and passed out.

    The next day, I walked three blocks to a different hotel to take a bus to Teine Highlands for my solo day of shredding. There wasn't a ton of new snow, and I was kind of riding like shit, but then some high winds came in at lunch with a little bit of snow, the hill cleared out, and then....



    THE DEEPNESS! All the runs accessible by a short hike off the main quad were filled back in, and with ZERO people on the hill in the afternoon, I had personal faceshots for three hours. Having found what I came to Japan for, I walked down to the parking lot at the end of the day with a big smile, and the bus attendant for some reason ferried me to my own personal Prius taxi, and a white-gloved Japanese cabbie in a pressed suit ferried me all the way back to Sapporo. Service!

    At this point, the jet lag hit me like a freight train, and I ate a granola bar in my room and passed out in my long underwear for the next 12 hours.

    The next morning, I ate about four helpings of the continental breakfast, checked out, paged through a book about hunting Pablo Escobar, and waited for Dongy to secure his van and pick me up while the hotel staff shoveled the walkway in front over and over with the incoming flurries.

    Attachment 264831

    Eventually he made it, and we motored out of Sapporo, up to a closed road (thanks Google Maps -- watch out!) that we had to turn around from, and then eventually got our bearings and headed to Rusutsu. We made it in time to walk through the hilarious Disneyland base hotel with its talking tree and get some night riding in. After riding some trees under the lights that were too flat for how deep the snow was, we found some short, steeper pitches to lap and found we were able to traverse far away from the lights and still see enough to donate copious faceshots to ourselves:

    [APOLOGIES SINCE ALL MY VIDEOS FEATURE MY SUPER AWKWARD EXHALATION SOUNDS :/ ]



    We then grabbed some microwave dinners at 7/11 and retired to the van. We then woke up to the supremely rare clear January day in Hokkaido! Along with tempting proximity to Shirbetsu-Dake, one of objectives for our trip...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20181231_082324112.jpg 
Views:	152 
Size:	280.1 KB 
ID:	264837

    We skied Rusutsu that day, which had the most consistently open and available tree skiing of any place we rode. Huge variety of trees to hit, and in the relatively "low" snow year (this early in the season at least), almost no schwacky bushes to contend with, which would be a factor elsewhere. Didn't take a ton of photos. Beautiful day though, despite the one or two flats we had to hike out of. More talented people here looking to tear it up, so things did get tracked, but we found plenty of leftover tree runs to hit all day:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-3.jpg 
Views:	158 
Size:	339.2 KB 
ID:	264838

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20181231_124602832.jpg 
Views:	158 
Size:	305.9 KB 
ID:	264839

    We also got prime views of both Mount Yotei (left) and Shiribetsu (right), which we would try and hit the next day. That south face is a beaut! I was cursing myself that we had not taken advantage of the clear weather to get on some alpine terrain, but we resolved to make the most of the remaining daylight by crossing back over to the West Mountain, bootpacking the ridge towards Shiribetsu with a fleet of Ozzies without any avi gear and snuck onto a face with a similar aspect to dig a snowpit. We found a little suncrust on the top from the clear weather that day, but otherwise we found beautifully rightside-up snow with no major interface issues. Part of the appeal of a place where it snows a few inches every other hour, instead of all at once!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-5.jpg 
Views:	154 
Size:	225.3 KB 
ID:	264840

    The next morning, we awoke to calm winds and stormy skies, and skinned up through the waist-deep snow near the Rusutsu parking lot until we found the main skintrack on the south side of Shiribetsu. It was a gorgeous, quiet, snowy morn:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-8.jpg 
Views:	149 
Size:	128.8 KB 
ID:	264841

    We saw exactly one other person on our way up, and re-taught ourselves kickturns as we navigated the 40-degree skintrack through the trees away from the open slopes.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-9.jpg 
Views:	148 
Size:	186.9 KB 
ID:	264842

    Despite the hard work, we topped out faster than we thought, and shared high fives in the zero visibility at the top. Not having anywhere enough visibility to see into the bowl we wanted to ride, we resolved to stay in the trees and play it safe.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-11.jpg 
Views:	143 
Size:	375.8 KB 
ID:	264843

    While the top was punchy, wind-affected snow, as we got a little lower, the wind effect died away, and we found ourselves cackling in some of the best-quality snow either of us had ever ridden. Dongy slaying!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-13.jpg 
Views:	147 
Size:	629.0 KB 
ID:	264844

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-15.jpg 
Views:	139 
Size:	715.6 KB 
ID:	264845

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-16.jpg 
Views:	132 
Size:	685.7 KB 
ID:	264847

    We were making insane noises the whole ride down... it was amazing!!

    Still with the place to ourselves, we crossed the drainage to a shorter treed pitch, did two laps there, then skinned back up and followed the ridgeline to get onto an open pitch I thought would point us right towards the exit of the valley. Tired and beat, we cut off a few small cornices to test the slope, then rode out, mindful of the many cornices still lining the top of the bowl. We hadn't seen any sign for concern, but new to town, we were still skeptical of the hazards. Turns out the snow on this final pitch was even DEEPER than everything else we rode that day, and soon tired gapes turned into giggling cackles again (final run in this video):



    Completely spent and totally overwhelmed with the quality of our day, we split-skied back to the van and toasted cold 7/11-brand beers to an incredible day in the mountains with amazing terrain all to ourselves. We snuck into the Westin onsen a second time, spent an inordinate amount of time alternating between the hot and cold pools with all our fellow naked Japanese friends, and retired for a final night in the van in the Rusutsu parking lot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-17.jpg 
Views:	224 
Size:	528.9 KB 
ID:	264849   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-18.jpg 
Views:	232 
Size:	377.8 KB 
ID:	264851   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-19.jpg 
Views:	227 
Size:	114.7 KB 
ID:	264852   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-20.jpg 
Views:	226 
Size:	228.5 KB 
ID:	264853   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-23.jpg 
Views:	228 
Size:	630.7 KB 
ID:	264854  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-22.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	720.0 KB 
ID:	264855   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-21.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	320.6 KB 
ID:	264856   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-24.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	292.5 KB 
ID:	264858   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-26.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	552.8 KB 
ID:	264861   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-25.jpg 
Views:	219 
Size:	182.8 KB 
ID:	264862  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-27.jpg 
Views:	214 
Size:	593.3 KB 
ID:	264863   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-28.jpg 
Views:	213 
Size:	205.0 KB 
ID:	264865   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-32.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	269.4 KB 
ID:	264866   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-35.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	551.6 KB 
ID:	264867   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-37.jpg 
Views:	204 
Size:	329.4 KB 
ID:	264868  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-38.jpg 
Views:	223 
Size:	230.0 KB 
ID:	264869   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Yotei windy-21.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	132.7 KB 
ID:	264870   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-40.jpg 
Views:	207 
Size:	237.0 KB 
ID:	264871   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-42.jpg 
Views:	209 
Size:	177.1 KB 
ID:	264872   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-41.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	210.5 KB 
ID:	264874  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-43.jpg 
Views:	211 
Size:	327.1 KB 
ID:	264875   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-44.jpg 
Views:	209 
Size:	407.1 KB 
ID:	264876   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-49.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	217.4 KB 
ID:	264877   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-46.jpg 
Views:	212 
Size:	432.2 KB 
ID:	264878   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-20190103-WA0009.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	102.4 KB 
ID:	264879  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-48.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	147.8 KB 
ID:	264880  
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    The next day we got a late start and ferried over to Goshiki onsen, which sits on the backside of the Niseko United mountains and reportedly had some fun ski touring terrain. The summer mountain pass road closes just past the onsen, and skintracks kick out from there headed to all parts.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-17.jpg 
Views:	224 
Size:	528.9 KB 
ID:	264849

    Soon after skinning, we spied the summit of Mt. Iwaonupuri, a smallish but beautiful-looking peak with a nice little chute off the main ridge we aspired to hit. The clouds cleared, too, making us mega optimists:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-18.jpg 
Views:	232 
Size:	377.8 KB 
ID:	264851

    But as we made our way up, the weather slowly closed back in. By the time we hit the summit, it was a total whiteout again with hammering winds.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-19.jpg 
Views:	227 
Size:	114.7 KB 
ID:	264852

    We threw puffies on and waited for thirty minutes for the weather to clear alongside a local Japanese skier who was determined to light a cigarette in the pounding wind. After awhile, we decided it didn't look like it would clear, and we bailed back down our skintrack in a whiteout, inching our way down and setting off small, newly-formed windslabs that made us puckered for both ourselves and our friend still at the top.

    Sure enough, we got to the bottom and the weather cleared again. Our Japanese friend center-punched the main bowl in bluebird light and then exclaimed "very cold!!!" when we saw him in the parking lot.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-20.jpg 
Views:	226 
Size:	228.5 KB 
ID:	264853

    Thinking we were going to just call it for the day, we had a beer at the van. Then another sucker hole opened up, tempting us back onto our skins to get a rebate run on the mellow backside of the Niseko mountains. Of course, we skinned up and it closed in again. We waited again, didn't see it clearing, and then rode the mellow pitch back to the car. Considering it a "rest day" at this point, we rolled down the street to the hot spring, which didn't really allow you to take photos but was still super cool (and with real, smelly, hot spring water).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-49.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	217.4 KB 
ID:	264877

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-23.jpg 
Views:	228 
Size:	630.7 KB 
ID:	264854

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-22.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	720.0 KB 
ID:	264855

    Almost everywhere, even individual toilets, has slippers for you to use indoors:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-21.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	320.6 KB 
ID:	264856

    Refreshed, we drove down to Niseko to get dinner. While many Hokkaido ski areas are surrounded by dead-quiet, rural countryside, Niseko had a Breckenridge-style downtown, glitzy hotels, and plenty of kooks and foreigners hamming it up. The only option we could find without a wait was at a food cart village, a rarity in Japan since eating on the street is generally verboten:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-25.jpg 
Views:	219 
Size:	182.8 KB 
ID:	264862

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-24.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	292.5 KB 
ID:	264858

    We then drove off to a nearby mich-no-eki, or rest stop, where you're welcome to car camp. Here we were joined by many other Japanese van lifers living the full car danchi lifestyle, with their selection of comically petite (by US standards) RVs:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-26.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	552.8 KB 
ID:	264861

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-27.jpg 
Views:	214 
Size:	593.3 KB 
ID:	264863

    We used Dongy's portable wifi router to check about a dozen different weather forecasts. The next day would be our last day together before I had to head into Sapporo to pick up two friends from New York, and if we were going to hit Yotei -- the iconic volcano that dominates the Niseko-area horizon -- tomorrow would have to be the day. One forecast called for it to be clear, the rest said cloudy. We went to bed with great anticipation and woke up to... BLUE BIRD!!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-28.jpg 
Views:	213 
Size:	205.0 KB 
ID:	264865

    When I finally stepped out of the van and saw Yotei rising out of the flat farmland around us, I was flippin' ecstatic. We might actually get on top of that thing!! We got our shit together and starting driving towards it immediately.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-32.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	269.4 KB 
ID:	264866

    We arrived at the Makkari trailhead -- the shortest way to the top -- to find a quiet lot... and also that Dongy had left his ski poles back in Goshiki!!! No matter -- having broken a pole basket and remedied it from nature's supplies before, soon I had fashioned two ski poles from tree limbs with branches ski-strapped in an X to the bottom to make a basket, and we were off!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-35.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	551.6 KB 
ID:	264867

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-37.jpg 
Views:	204 
Size:	329.4 KB 
ID:	264868

    With 5,500 vertical feet to climb, we set a moderate pace, and slowly passed soloers and groups on our way up. I'm sure they were super confused by our homemade poles, but no matter. Some light weather had come in, and Dongy and I were both worried our luck had run out, but we just continued to skin upwards without saying anything about it. After about two hours, we realized we were coming level, and then climbing above, the cloud layer, which didn't seem to be moving upwards. We were stoked, and the views were absolutely incredible!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-38.jpg 
Views:	223 
Size:	230.0 KB 
ID:	264869

    By this point, we were the lead group, and alternated turns powering through the new snow following the faint outlines of an old skintrack. As we got higher, bursts of wind would absolutely hammer us, and all you could do was put your head down and hold your position.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Yotei windy-21.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	132.7 KB 
ID:	264870

    The last 1,000 feet probably took us two hours to gain... the snow got firmer, the wind stronger, and eventually we switched to bootpacking and traded lead with a Japanese dude who had caught up with us. Punching through the hollow snow was tiring enough that crawling was more efficient. But eventually we cleaned the final roll and I found myself on top of this surreal volcano for a few brief, emotional moments before I turned to shoot Dongy and our Japanese friend as they climbed the final few feet in front of a vista I'll not soon forget:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-40.jpg 
Views:	207 
Size:	237.0 KB 
ID:	264871

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-42.jpg 
Views:	209 
Size:	177.1 KB 
ID:	264872

    Occasionally the wind would stop, and allow us views down into the caldera of the volcano. People were skiing it from the other side, and it looked great, but we would have had to traverse halfway around the rim to get to a point we could drop in, and with time running out before we had to head to Sapporo, and frankly being sick of the stiff wind, we strapped in to head down and get the main part of the run before the growing summit party could think to do the same.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-41.jpg 
Views:	221 
Size:	210.5 KB 
ID:	264874

    We made about five turns before we had to unstrap again and downclimb over some scree, but we were psyched to be out of the wind.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-43.jpg 
Views:	211 
Size:	327.1 KB 
ID:	264875

    Back on our boards, we rode a narrow section of stiff windboard before coming into the main gut on the south side of the mountain, which was our pristine, untracked, sitting-above-the-clouds prize for fighting our way to the summit. It was 20 turns I'll surely never forget. Dongy:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-44.jpg 
Views:	209 
Size:	407.1 KB 
ID:	264876

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-46.jpg 
Views:	212 
Size:	432.2 KB 
ID:	264878

    Yours truly (thanks for the pic, Dongy!):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-20190103-WA0009.jpg 
Views:	215 
Size:	102.4 KB 
ID:	264879

    Surreal turns in an unforgettable setting. Thanks, Yotei!! At this point we transitioned back into the trees -- which were more tracked since many of the groups had dropped early -- and traversed until we found some untracked glades to wind our way back to the car through.



    We were worked by the time we got back to the rollercoaster ski track back to the parking lot, and I happened to fall right where we'd picked up our materials for our homemade poles, and so I left mine then to regenerate into soil or whathaveyou and replenish this place that had just given us so much .

    To celebrate, we drove all the way back to Goshiki and dismembered an entire snowbank at the trailhead looking for Dongy's poles. By some miracle, I actually uncovered one! We called it after an hour of hard digging, and headed for Sapporo after a quick dip in the onsen again. Thankfully Dongy was able to get a warranty replacement in Niseko.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Japan Shred with Richard-48.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	147.8 KB 
ID:	264880

    Big ups to Dongy for being a stellar backcountry partner and great decisionmaker. Stay tuned for Part II when I pick up TheBear and friend in Sapporo and we carry on the adventure!
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,469
    This is the vanlife I can get behind.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Norcal
    Posts
    341
    Such a magical place. thank you for sharing the stoke!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,048
    Killer TR. Doing Japan right!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    11,763
    Trip of a lifetime
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
    Posts
    8,665
    That was super rad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    3,740
    My riding buddy just headed to Japan today.
    Now Iím really jealous.
    Great write up!
    Thank you for sharing!!
    肉豆蔻崔

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,307
    Awesome. Nice work on Yotei.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    526
    すごい!
    ファキンエー!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    583
    Nice work!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,716
    Score.

    Well played.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    278
    Out-fucking-standing!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,968
    Nice!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    52
    I will never live down flying in the evening after Yotei.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBear View Post
    I will never live down flying in the evening after Yotei.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    The timing was inpeccable . Glad y'all are enjoying so far.

    PART DEUX!!!

    So, after descending Yotei with shit-eating grins, and finding a pole in a snowbank, Dongy took the wheel back to Sapporo and we listened to Radio Niseko ("Like a joy to your heeeeeeeart!") and its manic playlist of wildly alternating genres while I put my gear back together in the back of the van. Grabbed a very nice 2019 Outback rental that had more electronic signals than any car I'd been in previously, rolled into Chitose with a marquee that read "KOOKS!!!!" and picked up my friends Mr. Kook (TheBear) and Mr. Kook (Ted). We parked it in Sapporo for the night, got 7/11 late night munchies, and went to bed.

    Next day we hit Teine Highlands, this time with calm weather and incredible views of the Sea of Japan, which was totally surreal.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-3.jpg 
Views:	77 
Size:	301.6 KB 
ID:	265247

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-5.jpg 
Views:	80 
Size:	286.8 KB 
ID:	265248

    We had a fine warm up/ cool down (for me) day at an easy pace skiing leftover pow and enjoying the view.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-8.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	712.1 KB 
ID:	265250

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-25.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	355.4 KB 
ID:	265249

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-6.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	210.7 KB 
ID:	265251

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-9.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	228.5 KB 
ID:	265252

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-2.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	206.3 KB 
ID:	265253

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-7 - Copy.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	693.1 KB 
ID:	265254

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-10.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	721.0 KB 
ID:	265255

    7/11 has their own beer over here...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-11.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	389.9 KB 
ID:	265256

    We then rolled back down the hill into Otaru, the old seaport and former capital of Hokkaido, definitely a must-stop if you're going to Hokkaido. Really cool old Japanese city with cool old streets and lots of little nooks and crannies. Stayed at the Grand Park along with many other ski maniacs -- great hotel with great continental breakfast.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-14.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	210.6 KB 
ID:	265258

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-15.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	591.2 KB 
ID:	265259

    We winnowed our way down into some narrow side streets and found some cool walk-only zones and tiny local restaurants -- of which rejected our foreign asses with hilarious displays of crossed arms or an outright but polite "No!" In one hilarious encounter, I mistook a patron with a tie for the server and addressed him for a seat for our party of three, to which he replied "Toilet!" which we were blocking. A man at the bar caught us with his eye and bellowed "Gaijin! Gaijin! Gaijin!" into the restaurant, to which the kimono-ed server looked up and shook his hand, saying "No." There's not the bend-over-backwards hospitality approach as there is in the States, and these tiny local restaurants would rather not deal with foreigners. Fair enough! We moved on, enjoying our newly-accumulated ancedote.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-17.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	536.4 KB 
ID:	265260

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-18.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	606.1 KB 
ID:	265262

    We eventually found our way to a great ramen spot run but a single old cook with a machine you'd click your orders into, spit out a ticket, and which you'd then give to him to cook. It was delicious, as all the food would be.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-16.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	796.3 KB 
ID:	265261

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-19.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	268.5 KB 
ID:	265263

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.4.19_Teine and Otaru dinner-22.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	557.5 KB 
ID:	265264
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    The next two days we spent at Kiroro -- interesting compared to all the other resorts in Hokkaido as they've tried an interesting backcountry policy (since much of the access to the b/c is on private land) where you have to go to a desk in the lodge, indicate were you intend to go on well-marked backcountry zone maps, give all the info. including phone numbers for you and your party, and then promise to check in by 3.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-4.jpg 
Views:	64 
Size:	250.1 KB 
ID:	265269

    In the brief window of clear weather we had when we rolled in, the backcountry immediately surrounding the ski area looked absolutely incredible -- the kind of place that, if they had another set of lifts going the next valley back, would be absolutely unreal for inbounds skiing. Nontheless, it was nuking, so we mostly ended up lapping the treed sidecountry you could lap back into the resort.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-8.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	317.1 KB 
ID:	265270

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-10.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	189.3 KB 
ID:	265271

    Ran into my old friends from the SASS days as well, many of whom I hadn't seen since Argentina in 2011. Stoked! They run guided trips at Kiroro January & February these days. Bastards.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-9.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	229.3 KB 
ID:	265272

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-11.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	181.1 KB 
ID:	265273

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-13.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	838.2 KB 
ID:	265274

    Holy shit, is that Kent Kreitler?!?!? TheBear with a mint pair of Smith Z-bend poles and perfect 1998 powder skiing pole positioning.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-12.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	883.6 KB 
ID:	265275

    Many of the runs were short, deep tree laps that ended in very long, trying exits (for this intermediate snowboarder) above open creeks that had me falling in pretty entertaining places, strapping and unstrapping, and whipping out my poles to negotiate the tricky bits. At the end of the day, we returned to the car, which was freshly covered in snow -- as it would be pretty much every time we came back to it during this trip.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-14.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	621.7 KB 
ID:	265276

    Car danchi wanderers from ColoRADbro:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kioro Day 1-15.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	647.9 KB 
ID:	265277

    We returned the second day determined to avoid the worst of the creek exits and lapped a very enjoyable tree run before going for a tour out of the gates to see what we could find.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-7.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	721.7 KB 
ID:	265282

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-5.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	624.7 KB 
ID:	265281

    TheBear clearly not enjoying himself:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-6.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	548.0 KB 
ID:	265283

    Bit props to both Ted (first time skinning... in Lange plug boots no less!) and TheBear (negotiating steep skintrack switchbacks on back-mounted 200 cm DPS's) for crushing the skin up!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-10.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	248.0 KB 
ID:	265285

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-11.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	196.7 KB 
ID:	265287

    Here we happened upon a beautiful section of steep, continuous tree skiing with waist-deep snow with great spacing.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-12.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	1.05 MB 
ID:	265290

    All smiles, we skinned back out to the resort boundary, checked in to the b/c people late (whoops) and then crushed delicious grocery store sushi and the very cheap, VERY drinkable Japanese whiskey while the sky opened up once again.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-13.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	729.2 KB 
ID:	265291

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 2_-14.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	608.0 KB 
ID:	265292
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    We also had some fantastic sushi in Otaru, another amazing dinner the night after of the famed local fried chicken, a bit of a throwaway few hours at Teine the next day (we were beat from the three previous days) skiing leftovers and then transferred inland to Furano.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 1_-22.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	663.2 KB 
ID:	265294

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 1_-19.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	585.1 KB 
ID:	265295

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 1_-25.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	773.0 KB 
ID:	265296

    HAL 9000 in the parking garage!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 1_-26.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	547.6 KB 
ID:	265297

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.5.19_Kiroro Day 1_-24.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	292.2 KB 
ID:	265298

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-2.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	686.7 KB 
ID:	265299

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-1.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	493.3 KB 
ID:	265300

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-4.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	940.2 KB 
ID:	265301

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-5.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	717.1 KB 
ID:	265302

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-9.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	326.3 KB 
ID:	265303

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-16.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	156.0 KB 
ID:	265304

    Also, more great food once we landed in Furano, although it required traditional Japanese seating that was none too friendly to these stiff-hipped gaijin:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-12.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	860.7 KB 
ID:	265305

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.7.19_Teine and trasnfer to Furano_-11.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	835.7 KB 
ID:	265306
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    We checked into the Hotel Hitohama (great option, walking distance to the lifts at Furano, in-house onsen and free laundry) and next day drove the hour and a half to Asahidake -- a single tram with two cat tracks, no ski patrol, and all off-piste skiing. It sits at the end of a dead end road within Daisetsuzan National Park and is mainly there to offer access to hikers in the summer to Asahidake, the highest peak in Hokkaido and an active volcano you can tour up to. You need clear weather for that mission though, and while it was quiet in the farmland that took up most of the drive, as we ascended the access road, the snowbanks grew quickly and by the time we hit the parking lot at nine, it was nuking snow and we were only the second car in the lot:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-14.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	430.4 KB 
ID:	265308

    The tram leaves about every 20 minutes, so we grabbed our tickets (cash only), I bought one of the totally awesome and overpriced lifties' hats, and we boarded. There were maybe 30 people there, and we'd all seemingly board at the same time, running into each other periodically on the descent. Definitely a place it helps to know where you should go, as massive flats await hidden behind tempting turns...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-1.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	766.1 KB 
ID:	265309

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-3.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	754.2 KB 
ID:	265310

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-4.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	406.7 KB 
ID:	265311

    After riding the first, more open 1/3 of the mountain in a complete pea soup whiteout following the staked edges of the cat track, we veered off to a tempting tree line, skied a half dozen turns of waist-deep, Wasatch-quality 5% blower powder, and then found ourselves stuck in a massive flat that took us 45 minutes to skin out of.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-6.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	213.6 KB 
ID:	265312

    None too perturbed, we alternated sidestepping, post holing (for me and Dongy, now back with us for the day), and skinning through crazy deep snow. It was very obvious that it snows a TON here, and the forest was magical for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-7.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	473.8 KB 
ID:	265313

    Back on the main cat track and pretty gassed from our effort, we took a few more laps, found some more continuous trees with manageable, tracked exits (along with some blind cornice drops in the pea soup that were pretty hilarious to watch), and then retired to the parking lot to witness the hemorrhaging sky and make our way down the street to one of the many onsens. For visiting snowboarders, it's not a bad place to have poles with out and out at all times, since there always seems to be a flat section that you need a little nudge to get through -- at least when there's zero vis.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-8.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	115.2 KB 
ID:	265314

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-10.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	433.1 KB 
ID:	265315

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-15.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	449.3 KB 
ID:	265316

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-12.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	466.2 KB 
ID:	265317

    Local dude turning that hilariously tiny pickup you saw higher up in the TR into a custom #vanlife dwelling:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-16.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	461.9 KB 
ID:	265318

    Beautiful onsen down the street. Met a Japanese snowboarder who owned a slew of Michelin-star ramen joints in Tokyo (and in PDX) who said "I think you foreigners have better information on where to ski in Japan than us Japanese do." Good job, TGR!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Asahidake_-17.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	542.6 KB 
ID:	265319

    We took the mellow drive back to Furano and had dinner at Masaya -- one of my favorites on the trip. It's more hearty and meat-based in interior Hokkaido, and we had one of those sweet Japanese pancakes, some great lamb, and an awesome egg dish. The staff (sit at the bar) are gaijin-friendly, love to chat, and totally ham it up with their performance.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-2.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	781.0 KB 
ID:	265321

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-3.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	577.9 KB 
ID:	265322

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-4.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	825.9 KB 
ID:	265323

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-7.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	763.6 KB 
ID:	265324

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-10.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	574.2 KB 
ID:	265325

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-11.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	829.0 KB 
ID:	265327

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-12.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	754.5 KB 
ID:	265328

    Both our hotels featured great lounge wear, also.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-13.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	563.7 KB 
ID:	265329
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    The final two days of skiing we stuck to Furano, which ended up being our favorite resort of the trip. Compared to other hills in Hokkaido that we skied, it's much more Western-style: taller, steeper, more fall-line skiing you could take right to the lift, and great sidecountry that reminded me of a smaller version of Rock Springs off JHMR.

    Naturally, it snowed every night and day we were in town, and we had amazing conditions, Wasatch blower pow, and very few people.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.8.19_Asahidake dinner_-1.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	688.0 KB 
ID:	265331

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-1.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	578.7 KB 
ID:	265332

    DAD????

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-4.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	447.8 KB 
ID:	265333

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-2.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	360.3 KB 
ID:	265334

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano_3-1.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	446.0 KB 
ID:	265335

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-7.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	882.4 KB 
ID:	265336

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-16.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	563.7 KB 
ID:	265337

    Your truly gettin' his, baby! One of the best runs of the trip:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-8.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	600.6 KB 
ID:	265338

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-9.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	473.7 KB 
ID:	265339

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-10.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	471.6 KB 
ID:	265340

    Great ramen spot by the tram, too:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-13.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	501.9 KB 
ID:	265341

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-15.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	567.3 KB 
ID:	265342

    2:30 untracked inbounds pow under the lift? Don't mind if I do...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 1_-19.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	631.9 KB 
ID:	265343

    The last night we had hot pot in the town of Furano, leading to a hilarious exchange where they wanted to be sure we were walking to our hotel and not driving before confirming our order... as we had intentionally ordered personal bottles of sake as well as beers.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-3.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	358.9 KB 
ID:	265344

    One one the last laps of our final day in Furano, we ran into my new friends from Maine from earlier in the trip, who had just stumbled upon an excellent chute they demanded we come ski. We obliged. Garrett here getting stellar second tracks:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-8.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	609.6 KB 
ID:	265345

    Down lower in the trees it was somehow, again, deeper than almost any other run on the trip. Lots of woods cackling to be heard:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-9.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	389.2 KB 
ID:	265346

    Met up with TheBear again at the bottom, we took a few more laps that included me getting horribly snowboard-stuck in a flat again and TheBear hearing a cry of "WHY?!?!?!?" from deep in the woods, and then we rode to the parking lot, hugged, and celebrated a week of outrageous pow and not ONE person getting injured, as has been our tendency when we've met up to ski.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-11.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	231.4 KB 
ID:	265347

    Quick highlight video from Furano:



    After a wash-off at the hotel, we took the road to Sapporo. I surprised everyone by mentioning late that our tank claimed to be completely empty, and so we navigated the rural farmland around Furano looking for gas and finally finding a spot for a casual $80 fill up (gas & tolls are pricey).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-14.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	82.1 KB 
ID:	265349

    We enjoyed the many immaculate tunnels taking you under mountains in this part of Hokkaido -- serious infrastructure despite the complete lack of traffic and remoteness of the area. If Jackson Hole were in Japan, there would absolute be a tunnel under Teton Pass already.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-15.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	380.8 KB 
ID:	265351

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-16.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	344.4 KB 
ID:	265352

    We dropped the car and grabbed our flights to Chitose, leading to a fun imprompto pic of airport lights as we taxied:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.10.19_Furano Day 2-18.jpg 
Views:	50 
Size:	521.2 KB 
ID:	265353

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 2_-22.jpg 
Views:	50 
Size:	629.4 KB 
ID:	265354

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.9.19_Furano Day 2_-23.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	155.2 KB 
ID:	265355
    Last edited by WaistDeepGroomers; 01-21-2019 at 02:11 PM.
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    The final three days of the trip we spent in Tokyo, gorging on a mix of food, sights, sounds, owl cafes, and video games, while enjoying the Tokyo Metro -- the easiest-to-navigate transit system I've ever encountered in the world.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-12.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	990.6 KB 
ID:	265356

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-6.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	678.0 KB 
ID:	265357

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-24.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	572.8 KB 
ID:	265358

    While the majority of Japanese beer is just some form of Sapporo, Hitachi had the best variety and samples we found. Good stuff!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-23.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	667.1 KB 
ID:	265359

    Had to try a little conveyor-belt sushi:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-29.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	548.2 KB 
ID:	265360

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-28.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	533.8 KB 
ID:	265361

    And then Electric Town arcade madness:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-31.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	702.8 KB 
ID:	265362

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-33.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	187.7 KB 
ID:	265363

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-41.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	922.9 KB 
ID:	265364

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-27.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	293.8 KB 
ID:	265366

    Super Potato is a GREAT old school video game shop that has every retro/vintage video game platform ever (Family Computer??):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-36.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	972.1 KB 
ID:	265365

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-37.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	398.2 KB 
ID:	265367

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-38.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	796.8 KB 
ID:	265368

    TheBear going A-B-up-down-left:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-39.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	998.1 KB 
ID:	265369

    Great dinner at Blind Donkey, can't remember the 'hood:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-42.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	861.9 KB 
ID:	265370

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-43.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	569.3 KB 
ID:	265371

    Found some classic Japanese snowboard vids on VHS for free at random!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-35.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	725.4 KB 
ID:	265374
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,679
    The second day I slept in while TheBear and Ted rallied at 6 AM to go watch sumo practice (for 20 mins through a window from the sidewalk) and go to the fish market (great sushi, obvi) and we met up for an amazing Kobe steak lunch and then I poked around the Jobucho area looking for prints to bring home. All kinds of cool book stores in this area:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-13.jpg 
Views:	59 
Size:	933.0 KB 
ID:	265375

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-14.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	859.4 KB 
ID:	265379

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-10.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.02 MB 
ID:	265380

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-15.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	886.0 KB 
ID:	265382

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-12.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	895.6 KB 
ID:	265384

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-16.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	719.9 KB 
ID:	265385

    Our final night we ate at Shirosaka and did the tasting menu, which had to be some of the best food I've ever eaten. After starting the trip eating out of 7/11 from a van, the city kids made sure we classed it up before we got out of dodge:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-21.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	962.5 KB 
ID:	265387

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19 Tokyo Day 2-24.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	264.0 KB 
ID:	265389

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.12.19_Tokyo Day 2-26.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	598.9 KB 
ID:	265390

    Our final day, at my stingy insistence, we hit the metro to try out two classic Japanese fast food favorites: Mister Donut (started in Boston of all places) and Mos Burger. Both delicious!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-8.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	227.9 KB 
ID:	265392

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-4.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	439.3 KB 
ID:	265391

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-14.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	750.6 KB 
ID:	265393

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-16.jpg 
Views:	51 
Size:	484.3 KB 
ID:	265394

    We also voyaged to the Yasukuni Shrine, which is both a memorial and a war museum, showing the Japanese side of the story from the 17th century all the way through WWII. It's been a controversial museum for its notable omissions of a few distinct war crimes, so it was very interesting to see how things were framed from the other side of the story. No doubt foreigners have a similar experience in US museums, I imagine.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-13.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	649.0 KB 
ID:	265396

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.11.19_Tokyo Day 1_-19.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	628.5 KB 
ID:	265398

    The museum is free, and the famed Zero was in the lobby, which as a history/war nerd was a trip to see. One of my grandfathers flew P-51's in the Pacific, and these were his adversary. You couldn't take pics in the rest of the museum, which was very interesting and, for Americans, crazy to see how many different suicidal crafts the Japanese put out, from one-man submarines that were basically giant torpedoes to small boats to jet-powered gliders to dive suits with stick bombs designed to blow up landing craft. Wild.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-12.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	600.5 KB 
ID:	265400

    Then it was time to pack up our gear, head to the airport, and for Ted and I, squeeze into middle seats for the trans-Pacific flight back home.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-20.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	589.4 KB 
ID:	265401

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.13.19_Tokyo Day 3_-27.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	610.0 KB 
ID:	265402

    What can I say but that this was a trip of a lifetime, and one that met and exceeded all realistic expectations. I can't remember the last time I skied 13 days in a row, or a trip when it snowed 85% of the time, or one that gave us weather windows at exactly the right time we needed them. It was surprisingly affordable once in-country, and there were no crowds, lost bags, shit snow, bad weather, broken gear, bad vibes, or injuries to hamper our stoke. So beyond grateful for the chance to check this off the bucket list in supreme style, and for everyone that made it happen -- including all those here who passed along excellent beta that helped make this one for the books. Kanpai!
    Last edited by WaistDeepGroomers; 01-19-2019 at 01:04 PM.
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    OOTAH
    Posts
    2,447
    Now THAT is how a trip report is done ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    583
    Nicely done!
    I really wish i had taken more food photos on my trips (on all my trips tbh) but it was generally down my throat before had time to pull the phone out.

    Did you wish you skied the last 3 days or stoked to be in Tokyo???

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    34,888
    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    すごい!
    ファキンエー!
    X2 i hope

    nice looking journey, r!
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •