Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hokkaido AcTiON!

The trip from Chitose to Niseko was fun. I ended up catching the JR rail service, with two changes (Sapporo and Otaru). Didn't have a ticket for half the journey but was able to sort it out when I arrived at Kutchan railway station. From Kutchan it was an easy 20min bus up to Grand Hirafu welcome center, and used the internet there to find the phone number of the lodge so they could come and find me.

Waiting for the train
Chitose JR Station
The snows been falling fairly constant since I've been here, with randomly interspersed moments of what some would call 'puke-age'. It hasn't dumped as such, but the two days so far have been spent riding shin to knee deep powder through the trees, with plenty of top ups from the accumulation on the trees and the sky. Its getting easier to get around town too, as many of the roads were dead ends due to snow build up, and the local crews have been working hard to improve access. Last night involved a trip down to the Kutchan supermarket for supplies for the week. I've purchased some pork (I think?), chicken, and other supplies to make a few fresh meals. Its fun trying to interpret the labels on packaging. Imported spirits are cheaper than beer which is odd. Someone said it was due to tax on beer being higher. You can also get powdered green tea here, which I'm going to try and hunt down when back in Sydney.
Outside the Lodge
Looking up the Road (lights in distance for night skiing)
All up a fun few days so far in Niseko!

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