After road tripping with my parents, I met up with M to go to Hokkaido to go ski in their infamous powder mountains. It did not disappoint.
Right off arriving st the airport we bought train tickets directly to Sapporo Teine, a local ski resort. We spent 4 hours boarding and there was such fine powder! Tree runs were a joy because falling just felt like landing on clouds or feathers. But we were hungry and wanted to check out the Sapporo Snow Festival so we left for the city.
Walking to the Festival I slipped on a patch of ice on the road and broke my fall with my left hand. Sadly this resulted in me having a badly sprained wrist. Regardless we countined to check out the Festival which had lots of giant snow sculptures and street food and girls performing in miniskirts even though it was -10c out. I should have taken more photos of the festival but I was fairly distracted by my incident and my mood was drastically falling.
I didn’t realise how bad it was until I couldn’t sleep from the massive swelling and pain. This was very worrisome because we had bought tickets to snowboard at Niseko for the next day but I could barely bend move my fingers!
So we woke up at 6am after minimal sleep on my part. After some thinking we decided we should at least go see Niseko even if I couldn’t board since we paid for the tickets. 2.5 hours later we arrived at Niseko and my hand regained partial movement so I started thinking ” I am in Niseko, the best snow mountain in Japan”, we found a drug store that sold pain killers, wrapped my hand with tape and covered with a wrist compression strap… Off we went snowboarding. YOLO! I couldn’t even put on gloves or zip on my jacket without M help. Haha.
So we borded, and I snowboarded but very carefully to minimise the risk of falling on my wrist. Luckily everything worked out and we had a great time as the snow was good and the view was amazing. No regrets in snowboarding that day!
Around mid afternoon we ended our excursion and took the very very slow train back to Sapporo. Extremely tired but. We found a great BBQ restaurant to end the day with and promptly passed out right after.
While I really enjoyed Niseko I enjoyed Teine more due the it feeling more local. Teine attracted a much more Japanese crowd and was generally more run down in terms of gear rental but it felt like I was in Japan. Niseko number one language was English and about 80% of the people there were Australians, HKers, etc. Other than my lunch choice being decidedly Japanese , I could have been anywhere else in N. America. Next time I will choose to visit to smaller ski resorts.
Our final day was really warm. 8c in Sapporo and raining on all the mountains ( hence the rush to go board on the first day). So we had a slow morning, checked out the Sapporo Beer Museum which was unfortunately closed for renovations. But we did drink at their beer garden and sampled most of their draft beer.
Then we wandered and did some tax free shopping before heading back to the airport. Unfortunately due to the warm air the entire airport was shrouded in thick fog. The check in counter (SkyMark) warned us our flight might be cancelled and they would do nothing but compensate for money as all the flights were booked full the next day and they don’t assist in any other way such as helping to look for other flights or provide accommodation. So we went to eat at a famous ramen shop at the airport while we fumed about budget airline policies.
By our lucky stars the flight arrived 45 min delayed and we were OK to fly. Thank our lucky stars. Hokkaido is amazing, the skiing is better than Whistler due to the powder and even cheaper. We will be back in the summer to road trip for my mothers big 6-0.
Back in Hong Kong, I got an X Ray done of my wrist, turned out I fractured my scaphoid bone and was put in a cast for a month.