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Guest Blog from Jenny!

I promised Gabbi to keep the blog updated in her absence. So I’ve put together a little summary from our last couple of days.

On thursday we tried something new here in Japan, something we hadn’t seen as a posibility before : piste! The fact that we’ve managed to ski for almost two weeks straight with constant snowfall makes us seem extremely spoiled, I know, but that has been the truth ever since we got here. So for the first time we just went out to shred some groomers. It was fun, for sure, but also reminded us how much we love that freaking powder snow…
However, the big event that day wasn’t the skiing though, it was the night of the FIRE FESTIVAL!
This is a (for us) weird japanese tradition where 25 and 42 year old men fight. Apparently men at theese ages are vulnareble and this tradition is to show that… Or something similar to that. Anyway, it was fun but brutal to watch!
It goes something like this: A few days before the festival men (yes, only men) drag logs through town to build a massive tower. This while drinking sake (this japanese awful type of strong wine, tastes like vodka with water). On the night of the festival the actual fight takes place.  Villagers rush towards the tower with torches, the younger men fight them at the base and the 42 year olds protect the top of the tower. It all ends with everything burning down in a massive bonfire.

Japow crew is getting smaller… Seven people have become four. Wonder where everybody’s gone?
So on wednesday Gabbi left us. She flew up to Hokkaido with a swedish film team, we don’t know much about this adventure other than that it sounds exciting. Hope to see our friend star in a ski movie ?
Our american fellow, Randy, fell in love with Tanigawakade and decided to go back to shred the snow in Tenjin for a few days before returning to the states. We wish him all the best!
Frida is gone too, her playtime is over and she now needs to go back to work. We had a farewell dinner for both her and Randy friday night (guess what, we ate Italian and it was delicious!). At 4:20 am Frida’s taxi arrived and she began her trip back to Sweden. She arrived safely, but her luggage got stuck in Copenhagen…

Saturday was a travel day.
The crew, now including me, William, Linus and Gabriel, started our way from Nosawa Onsen to Myoko Kogen. We’ve now become quite comfortable with all the trains and transfers, and carrying four people’s ski gear was a bit easier than seven. Our only problem was when to get off from the bus that took us from Myoko train station up towards the mountains. Even though we asked the driver several times ”suginosawa iriguchi??” and had gotten a nodding answer while he pointed to continue further every time, we ended up wrong. Many others got off so William went to ask a last time if this was our stop, now getting the answer ”oh, last, last!”. Ok, so the last stop was ours… Nothing else for us to do than get out and start to walk in the snow storm with all our gear. After what seemed like forever we had gotten about 400 metres and it started to get heavy. Therefore, the sight of a car pulling up and a helpful japanese guy jumping out starting to fill his not too big car with our luggage totally made our day. The english words coming out from his mouth were few, but by now we are real good at bowing and saying ”arregatooooo”.
So we made it to the ski lodge. Got our room, found our beloved wifi in the drying room (and in the drying room only), got some food and during this time the snow never stopped to fall. This of course means an early night, expecting a lot of powpow tomorrow!!

Thanks for this time!

Photos by Linus Ponerup!


Frida shredding in Nozawa Onsen before flying home to Sweden