January 1st last year was white, really white blower pow. We had been in Japan for about two weeks, and Japan had welcomed us with at least a meter of pow in our first 3 days, and the sky had not really been clearing since. AWESOME!
The rest of the season didn`t change much, it dumped, we rode, it cleared, we rode more, and that all over again, and again.
Japan is the country of endless snow showers, daily fresh tracks, snowmonkeys, chopstick dinners, onsens, heated toilet seats, vending machines and much more. The one thing even more epic than the other, obviously we spend most of our time enjoying these endless snowshowers and putting in those first tracks. But how good is spotting a monkey on your way out of the backcountry? And what about the freshest sushi at the end of a good touring day? Not even mentioning all the other goods the Japanese cuisine has to offer. Relaxing your muscles in one of the many beautiful Japanese onsens, while picking your lines for the next day. And being able to pick up icecream, beer, coffee/ hot chocolate, soda and soup all out of the same vending machine?! Pretty epic, letting myself not get in detail about the heated toilet seats. And now I haven't even mentioned how kind, friendly and welcoming Japanese people are.
This is why we're in Japan!
This year, January 1st looked a little different. Although we`ve been touring in about 40cm of freshies (up high) the snowpack is a little disappointing. We're finding the goods up high, but the valley still looks pretty green and rocky and we're downloading the gondola and the end of our days, most days.
But besides the missing snow, everything else is still here. The good vibes, the mountains, the snowmonkeys, chopstick dinners, onsens, vending machines and heated toilet seats. And this is why we stay, and wait patiently.