Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hype doesn't wash when it doesn't snow

I never really wanted to go to Niseko.

Everyone goes to Niseko, and raves about the powder. And I mean everyone.

That's kind of a red flag to me. Everyone goes to Queenstown, everyone goes to Bali, you see my drift? So as the bus drives through Hirafu, the largest resort area at Niseko, my expectations are met. Looks like Queenstown: full of pubs and restaurants and westerners everywhere. I stay on the bus and keep going to Ann'upuri where I have booked my accommodation for 2 nights.

It's quiet over there, just a bunch of pensions and chalets, and not much of a walk to the gondola. There's also a really good pizza joint!

But how's the skiing? Well there hasn't been any snow for a week, and the temperatures have been higher than usual, so instead of powder, there's hard, crusty conditions. Like New Zealand but with better coverage. No rocks or tussocks, but no tree skiing either, that's all well and truly tracked out, it's almost moguls in there!!

I skied one day only, deciding not to waste my money on a second day. Instead I caught up with friends.

With Akane I had pizza and kebabs and a few beers.

With Mariko I had ramen and coffee, and ran into Brian at the coffee shop!!

Then I jumped on a bus and headed back to Sapporo airport and took a plane to Kyoto.

That's next.

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