Monthly Archives: March 2013

Japan Ski Trip 2013

After feeling pretty sad about not being able to participate in the 5th annual Orford ski trip, I started planning a smaller Asian ski trip. After considering Northern China and South Korea, Japan ultimately won out. We centered on Myoko Kogen, a small town about 4 hours northwest of Tokyo and only about an hour from Nagano (site of the 1998 Winter Olympics).

We were attracted by the crazy amount of snow that falls in Myoko Kogen area – 13 meters in an average year (last year they had over 26 meters)! We were certainly not dissapointed when we arrived:

Road into Myoko Kogen

We skied for the first two days (out of 3) at Myoko Akakura. They had just received a meter of snow over the previous couple of days. The temperature was slightly above zero and sunny. Outside of ski-school, there were maybe only a couple of hundred people on the entire hill on the quiet weekday. We didn’t wait in a single lift line at all!

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen

The third day we switched it up and skied over at Myoko Suginohara. The conditions were a little worse than the previous two days (more people – it was Saturday – although it was still deserted by Blue Mountain standards, a little colder and a ton of fog), but it was still a great time:Myoko Kogen

We followed the perfect ski routine for all three days:  Wake-up and breakfast at the hotel, hit the slopes by 9, ski until 4, back to the hotel for the private onsen (hot-tub – maybe the only great thing that Orford was missing), supper at the hotel, drinks at Skater bar (the only real bar in town that had a small skate-park inside).

Check out the rest of the pictures on Facebook: Myoko 2013

Weekend to Macau

We originally had very high expectations for Macau, thinking it would be comparable to Las Vegas. Before our trip, friends who had visited lowered our expectations to a reasonable level. There are some big hotels and casinos, but isn’t that much more. We were able to explore the old town – the Portuguese settlement which was pretty cool. My standard jumping shot is taken outside of Ruins of St. Paul’s:

Ruins of St Paul's

Vid and I also took a more normal shot:

20130126_183317

One of the highlights was the pretty fabulous Bakkwa (flat, salted-dried meat) available on the streets. Name the meat (chicken, pork, beef, lamb….), it is available in a flat sheet:

Rakkwa

The hotel itself was very impressive; apparently the Venetian Macau is larger than the Venetian in Las Vegas and is the larger hotel in Asia. Our room, at over 1700 square feet, certainly reflected this:

Venetian Hotel

You couldn’t even tell the difference between the Canals in Vegas and Macau:

The Canals

The rest of the pictures are on Facebook:

Macau 2013