Much like every obsessive skier or snowboarder, I watch videos from past winters to keep from going crazy in the offseason (sometimes it has the opposite effect). There's always footage of epic days and mind-blowing tricks, but more often than not, it's the segments from Japan that make me want to ski most. I always thought, there's no way a place like this could exist. It just can't be as good as it looks in the movies. After a long, hard look at personal finances, my friends and I decided we could not let another season pass without experiencing this alien world of awesomeness. We did not regret it.
Here are a handfull of reasons why you need to experience Japan some day:
1. SNOW. It's in caps for a reason, the North Island of Japan (and parts of the Main Island) get ungodly amounts of the lightest snow on earth. It snowed at some point during every day of our two-week-long trip.
2. Food. Amazing. Noodle soups, curries, sushi, and more. You'll definitely end up eating things you've never heard of from the ocean.
3. People. The most respectful and polite people I've ever met were in Japan. Smiles and kind gestures bridged the language barrier.
4. Cities. Set aside some city exploring time. There are 128 million people living in an area smaller than California.
5. Daily surprises. Knowing what's coming is boring and dull. If you can't read or speak Japanese, you're bound for spontaneous adventure.
6. Transportation. Many options, in our trip we used planes, trains, automobiles and a ferryboat.
7. Convenience. I have never seen so many vending machines in my life. Endless varieties of drinks and sometimes even hot food, all easily accessed with the push of a button.