25 Dec 2017
We arrived in Nozawa Onsen skii Town on Xmas day, making it our first white Christmas! When we were booking this trip we were a bit worried there might not be any snow as we are quite early into the season. On the first day, we could see people around town clearing out a bit of the recent snow, just with shovels etc. Two days later, they were using small, powered hand tools, and by the end of the week big trucks and machines were moving it off the street because the snowfall picked up so much!
Erika had never been skiing before and I have a huge 2 days experience, so our first effort on the snow was basically just trying to get used to standing, breaking and turning. It took us a long time to go down the section and back to the lift. Next day we were a bit better and managed a few more runs. On our very last run on the last day, the snow was so heavy we could only see about 5m in front of us, had no idea where were were going and had to make it back to the skii lift before it stopped! There was even an announcement for all beginner skiers to immediately make their way to the cable car, else the only way back to the base of the mountain is a very long, complex run. Would have taken us hours normally let alone with no visibility and the sun going down! 😀
There was a surprising amount of good veggie options in town, including a huge Sumo Nabe (hot pot), and an organic restaurant run by a very friendly aunty. She even had her own wine!