I saw a Kitty-chan snow cave on the weekend….

I started this entry thinking it would be
brief… wanting it to be brief. Oh well. You get this,

So, my weekend went a little like


Left work early. Got back to dormitory to do some panic laundry and
packing. Left the dormitory on my bike at around 8:30pm, and caught a
train to Nagoya around 9:00pm. At 10:30pm, we (Lance and I) met up with
the rest of the group (there was about 30 of us, in total). In a bus
that had chandeliers, we left Nagoya with our sites set for Nagano. Our
first stop was at a konbini to acquire liquor. Almost every one of us
had two seats to ourselves. Introductions were made and all was


Arrived at Kurohime Kogen Snow Park at 6:00am – just in time to catch
the sun rise. The only sleep I managed to get was on the aisle floor
where Suntory whiskey had previously been spilled – a little sticky,
but it was well worth the precious-few hours of shut-eye. We stayed in
a lodge called Kitchen PaPa’s. Earlier, we were told that there were
going to be 4 people per room. All the rooms looked quite nice: 4
western-style beds and hard wood floor. However, the room I was in was
Japanese style and had FIVE (western) people designated to it. Lies!!
Anyways, we had a good laugh about what we were gonna do about sleeping
arrangements (more on that in a bit), and rested as much as we could
before breakfast.

8:00am: Ate a well suited, light-but-filling,
pre-ski/snowboard breakfast, probably made by PaPa, himself. Thanks,
PaPa. It took a while to get organized, but eventually we all got our
equipment and hopped in a bus that took us to the slopes. I was using
rental boots, board, pants, and jacket. Lance and one other guy had the
same rental outfit, so we all looked like we were part of a team, or
something. Team Suck.

A little more prep at the base of the mountain, and we
naturally just kinda split off into groups. Considering I’ve only been
snowboarding 2 times prior, I was not very confident in my abilities…
but I didn’t want to stick around at the base of the mountain while
getting pointers on how to stand, etc. At this point, I met Yoko, who
had similar intentions. As it turned out, we met 2 other girls from the
group, who were better than both
of us. I followed them down our first run and waited for Yoko. Yoko
never came. At this point, I lost Yoko. Yes, that was rather quick. =/
Catching up with the other girls, I boarded with them for most of the

The mountain was quite nice. Instead of tickets, you got a
token that you had to wave across a sensor at the gates before getting
on a lift. This could safely be put in your pocket, so you just had
move your jacket pocket in front of the sensor. The line-ups were the
best part! There were none! The longest I had to wait in line was
probably 4 minutes! Ridiculous! I’ve sat in 45 minute line-ups, before!
Never again…. (not that I can help it).

4:30pm: We all meet at the parking lot and go back to the
lodge… with a couple people missing. :-O (they went night-skiing, I
believe, and thought it was a good idea not to inform anyone). Next on
the agenda was… the ONSEN! Our lodge didn’t have very large
facilities (2 person bath…) so we all piled into the bus, once again,
and headed to a nearby hotel and borrowed their facilities. There was
even a masseuse who gave a quick massage to a couple of us while we
were waiting for others to come out! *adds ‘willingness to give
(sensual) massage’ to list of requirements for girlfriend.*

Dinner at 7:00pm. Corn soup, wine, a couple french fries and
marinated steak – by far, the best chunk of meat
I’ve had in Japan. Reminded me of meals from home… would just need a
big helping of caesar salad. So… dinner was awesome. 😉 Despite the
fact that we all could have slept at 8pm, a night of drinking, games,
and the obvious combination of both ensued.

I already mentioned the sleeping arrangements. By the time I
returned to my room, I saw four futons laid out on the tatami. It was
dark, and I didn’t want to wake anyone, so I chose a bed I was sure was
empty and laid down. Yes, only four beds could possible fit on the
floor (table removed). So, when the next guy came in to go to sleep, I
was going to help him squeeze another futon onto the floor. However,
when he opened the closet, there was a pause….

him: “What the… someone’s sleeping in

me: “…huh? In the closet? What, are you

*Lance groans from within the closet.*
We burst out laughing and head out into the hallway so as we don’t wake
up anyone else in the room.


I finally was able to have a good sleep. Breakfast was at 8:00am. It
was raining, so only one person wanted to go skiing. Almost everybody
else decided to get on the bus, once more. First stop was what was
referred to as a “soba doujou,” where we made soba noodles and ate
them. Then, we did the ONSEN thing, again! This time, different onsen.
After that, we went back to the lodge, finished packing up, and left
around 2:00pm. We made two 20 minute stops on the way back, and arrived
in Nagoya at about 7:00pm.

I had an awesome weekend. I met lots of new people and had
lots of fun. I will try to go snowboarding more when I get back to
Canada. This trip rekindled my desire to travel, and I picked up a
couple Okinawa brochures, today. Anyone wanna come take diving lessons
with me? 😉

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