Last weekend was a three-day weekend in Japan; we had a substitute day off for National Foundation Day (建国記念の日), which fell on a Sunday. Despite being a few hours away by train, my friend Nikki and I decided to go for a day of skiing in Tanigawadake, Gunma Prefecture!
Well, skiing for me, and snowboarding for her. I once tried snowboarding for half a day, and I fell down so many times that I could hardly even get off the couch the next day to eat Rice Krispies. I used to go skiing with my family once a year or so when I was little, so that I can do.
The route I took totaled around 4 hours to get from my apartment to Minakami Station (水上駅), from which we were going to meet Monday morning and take a bus to the ski place. I tried to break it up by staying in Takasaki (高崎) the night before, and going the last hour of the trip in the morning. We spent the day at Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort (天神平スキー場).
It was snowing throughout the day, and it got to the point where I couldn’t even fully see the snow I was about to head into, even with goggles. It made skiing difficult. I always forget how cold skiing here is. I used to ski in California, but it could get really warm, and I remember even taking off my puffy winter coat once and skiing in just long sleeves.
My mom always used to pack everything for our family, like gloves, sunglasses, coats, ski pants, tissues, and beef jerky for a snack. I haven’t skied in a while, and so I got to the ski place this time and remembered all the things you can’t rent, like snow gloves and goggles. I had to buy them, and so I have a nice starter set for my next trip to the snow now (haha).
But although it was really cold, to warm us up there was a wonderful lunch set menu to enjoy in a cozy break room with plenty of windows to watch the skiers and snowboarders from.
Towards the end of our trip, the snow started to come down harder, and the hill was closed. We originally took a gondola up the mountain to reach the skiing hills, but there’s an advanced skiing trail you can take all the way back down to the bottom.
That was our trip! I already want to go skiing again with my new goggles.
♪ Tchami, “Adieu“