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Crazy Traveling through Blizzard

Last night we went on a crazy road trip looking for a seven eleven (which is like the only place here in Japan with ATMs that work with foreign cards) but we eventually realized, after going back and forth a few times, that no one actually knew where it was located… Tim aka the Powder God – a British web developer working and living at the lodge for the winter drove us around in the brutal snowstorm. We stopped by a random ski resort we passed (there are so many small ski areas all over this part of the country) and asked for directions – the girl at the lift ticket counter did of course not speak any English at all but she drew an amazingly nonspecific map for us. Deklin, a super friendly and cool Canadian rasta-dude working at the lodge this season together with his fellow Canadian citizen Keenan) interpreted the map saying: ”Well you zig and then you zag and then there’s some more ziggin and zaggin and then you’re like there….”
After asking for directions a few times we eventually found it!! We rewarded ourselves with getting some ice cream, and even though some of us (hehe me, Gabbe and Frida) are pure ice cream lovers it seemed like Tim was the one most excited about it!

During the whole night that storm just continued to dump huge amounts of snow so unfortunately our plans to go for a run or two this morning before leaving for Nozawa Onsen had to be abandoned.. Instead we rushed to get all our stuff packed to make it to an earlier train – things got a bit hectic and tight time-wise but we managed to make it in time thanks to Kieren and Tim’s driving and car-loading skills…
It’s very interesting to travel by train with this amount of baggage! There’s barely any space for luggage on most of the trains and they won’t wait for you to load all your stuff and screw up their perfect timing records… Everything went fine and pretty smooth actually (except from carrying all the gear up and down lots of stairs to get to the new platforms) but at we arrived at the station of our last transfer we found out that our train had been cancelled for some reason in Japanese that we did not know how to translate… So now we have to wait for the next one that’s in three hours and hope that one doesn’t get cancelled as well!


The travel crew! From the left: Gabbe, Frida, Wille, Lajne (Linus), Jenny, Me, Deklin, Keenan and Randy!


And this is Tim! The self-proclaimed Powder God (we heard him from the lift!) and driver.


Lots of luggage at a small local train in the Minakami area…


Gabbe posing with the mountain of skibags


Japanese people apparently have short legs because there’s far from enough space to sit opposite to each other with this distance between the seats!


Stuck at Tokamachi train station… Let the circus begin!


Randy – the selfie-master himself!