The way that I travel does not lend itself well to planning ahead. It's really not possible to buy expensive guidebooks to do research and learn everything about multiple cities/countries and I couldn't be bothered anyway. (Too lazy and too cheap.) Instead, my strategy is to trust the other travelers that I meet and find out as much as I can from them about what to do. I was chatting with a mother-son traveling team in Kyoto and that's how I learned there was a MOUNTAIN. IN JAPAN!
Well, duh. They had the Olympics there. I forgot. Whatever. I can't remember everything I ever know. So I rearranged a few things with my loose itinerary and headed up to Nagano on my way to Tokyo from Hiroshima. (It's not on the way.) While I was there I was able to rent a complete snowboarding get-up and borrow a pair of cozy big socks from one of my hostel mates.
|Rented. All but the coffee.
I woke up early and hopped on a free shuttle to the mountain. I buddied up with three friends from my hostel (the socks girl and two Aussies). The girl with the socks had a lesson and so she broke off from our group leaving me with the two dudes. Well, it's not their fault they have no snow in Australia and had only been a handful of times. I regretted my decision to hang with them pretty quickly. I ended up waiting for them a lot and finally had to part ways and spend the rest of the day by myself. After all, I spent way too much money on train tickets and a lift ticket and equipment to spend the whole day sitting on my butt waiting.
Best. Day. Ever.