Jan 19, 2011

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

we are officially over living out of a backpack for six months. the novelty has well and truly worn off. i have begun slyly booting my backpack on occasion and kurt now lovingly refers to his as a 'smell crack pack'. the change from lugging summer gear to winter gear has seen our packs take on new shapes, mine is now quiet curvaceous while kurts will some days be extremely tall, or skinny, or both. we now have less than two weeks until we touch down on australian soil, however there are enough aussies in niseko for us to feel like we are already at home.

osaka was interesting... and had a very different vibe to that of other japanese cities. it is very much a working industrial city where the people are constantly on the move, and not overall that friendly, but still obligingly hospitable when it came to us needing help. we hit up the food markets and had some wonderfully creative local dishes, toured down town, hit up the osaka aquarium and took to the sky at the umeda sky tower. it was, as i said, an interesting experience however it won't be high on our return-to list, unless we opt to fly out of their international airport.

(the journey from osaka to niseko was exhausting. a nine hour overnight bus trip to shinjuku, two local trains to the airport, a two hour flight to hokkido and then a three hour bus to hirafu. it wad a sleepless thirty plus hours that was made a little better by a stop at mcdonalds where we indulged in an ebi-tempura prawn burger, double-decker texas beef and bacon burger, fries, cokes and oreo mcflurries. hungry much?)

back to the trip...as soon as we made it through the cloud cover we could see how niesko gained it's reputation as the second snowiest resort in the world. the land here in north japan is white. blanketed fluffy and white with endless snow. it was snowing when we landed on the plane and has literally not stopped since. apparently is had been snowing non stop, for the past 11 days, variation-ally (light, moderate and heavy). we hit the slopes today for a few hours and all i can say at this point is that we are in a powder playground. we couldn't have wished for a more epic ending to our six month trip...

pics. osaka food markets (local puffer fish and spider crabs), some local fly-girls busting a move at the osaka train station, the osaka aquarium, the view of osaka from the sky tower and flying in through the clouds.