I’m so excited to be in Hokkaido – it’s my first time to be up in the northernmost island of Japan! I have traded the first few days of cherry blossoms in Tokyo for the small ski resort of Kiroro, about 75 minutes west of Sapporo.
It’s my third snowboarding trip in as many years, and I love it. Since I’m still technically a ‘beginner’, and having heard plenty of horror stories of things going wrong on the mountains, I admit it’s kind of scary! But the thrill of cruising down a run is not like anything else I’ve done. It’s an exciting sport both to do and watch!
Kiroro is a fairly unknown ski resort near Otaru city. It’s pretty small compared to the other resorts I’ve been to in Nagano. I didn’t really know this before coming as my friend was the organiser so I was a bit bummed at first. But actually as it turns out, the lack of crowds has meant lots of runs all for ourselves and I don’t have to worry about accidentally running into anyone! This is a very good thing. I’d say 90% of the visitors are Japanese which is a nice change from places like Hakuba which are basically an extension of Australia! The only down side to the trip has been that the famed dry ‘powder’ snow hasn’t shown itself. It hasn’t snowed in at least a week and the snowfall has been generally lower than the usual 13 metres per season. The ski season lasts until May in Hokkaido but it’s been very warm, spring-like weather, which is very rare and not what I wanted! Anyway, it just means I’ll have to come back again next year!