japan tripmtn

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around japan

with alex chabod, florian bruchez

back to all life

A few weeks ago Florian Bruchez & Alex Chabod chased some deep snow on the other side of the world, a place which could probably be the mecca of powder – Japan. By their side one photographer – Christophe Voisin and one filmer – Dario D’Antonio responsible to immortalize the full trip and all the discoveries.

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The main three stops where the boys went riding

On Tuesday 24th, after a 20 hours trip, our crew of four people arrived at Narita airport – Tokyo. The flight went pretty smooth as we invested 10 in drinking red wine with little Dario, we had to taste all the wines… Once all luggage were picked up, we had to find means of transportation to go around the Hakuba Valley ski resort. Contrary to popular belief, it is really simple to understand the different means of transportation available for traveling around Japanese cities. As for us, considering we each had two big suitcases, the most obvious solution was a direct bus from Narrita to Hakuba.

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the squad on its way to the mountains

Five hours later, we finally arrived to the Kodama Lodge, our stop for the next 4 days. After a good night sleep, and no wasted time, we got down to business: starting by sake and an exploration of the close-by Norikura domain, only three minutes away from the lodge.

A small and picturesque domain with a cornucopia of possible hikes for the crew. Unfortunately, I think we picked the worst day to do a hike 😃. Gusts of wind so strong that we could barely stand up, falling over constantly haha. Since the hike itself was short, we still managed to see the summit, all in all, the run was great so no hard feelings!

The view from the valley.
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Florian Bruchez on the top and SUPER EXCITED & HAPPY

The following days we skied at Cortina and Happo One. Cortina is 10 minutes away from Norikura in buses, also a nice and small resort. Nevertheless, kudos for Happo One, a personal crush, which is bigger and offers a much wider range of freeride experiences … if good weather.

On our way to the top and in the meantime spotting some natural hits and lines
On our way to the top and in the meantime spotting some natural hits and lines
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how can you not be jealous and beg to be there right now?

Breathtaking snowy scenery with beautiful mountains and amazing slopes … a real jewel. Four days of riding and exploration with the Swiss owners of the lodge – Simon, Geraldine and a helper David. Four days of learning about Japanese cuisine… which actually isn’t without risks! We stumbled upon the famous Russian Roulette Takoyaki (octopus filled takoyaki balls) where one of the five takoyaki balls is filled with wasabi. After a few beers, we spiced up the game: four-wasabi filled and one-octopus filled balls. Fair 😃! Then we finished the night at the local nightclub with our friend and jester who acted up as the drunkest man on the face del mundo when someone would come to talk to us hahahahahaha – ‘Whaaaaat’s uuuup Giorgioooo?’

We are in japan damn!

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definitely how we have expected and how Japan should be

These four days flew by so quickly, we then headed to Myoko Kogen resort! a four-hour trip from Hakuba in public transportation. The weather was drastically different haha, imagine snow walls of four metres high on each side of the road, and rainfall every night WE ARE IN JAPAN DAMN!

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way to easy to walk in all this snow

This time we are staying in a lodge held by an adorable Japanese family! The Japow House is held by Kimmy and his wife. We have skied most parts of the Akakura Onsen station, 10 minutes from the lodge. So we hiked, enjoyed natural sports, that is, put ourselves in the most dire situations in unlikely places, while we came back every night soaked wet … since it was constantly snowing. As a result, it was hard to make videos or photos as the equipment was getting wet very quickly. But thanks to our amazing photograph Christophe Voisin we still managed to take some incredible pictures. Dario, also, captured the wonder of the place with his videos. Unfortunately, these beautiful pictures are currently unavailable. We wanted to do four days in this station and then leave for Nozawa Onsen but since we did all in last minute style, it didn’t always work out as planned… We ended up staying four more days in the Japow House which turned out great since we had ever more snow than before!!! Kimmy made us discover his favourite resort (Seki Onsen), a really small station owned by a local family (two lifts, one double chairlift and one single chairlift), where we had the best free ride days for the entire crew: from 9 AM to 4 PM nonstop in 70 cm of fresh snow!

Unfortunately, these beautiful pictures are currently unavailable. We wanted to do four days in this station and then leave for Nozawa Onsen but since we did all in last minute style, it didn’t always work out as planned… We ended up staying four more days in the Japow House which turned out great since we had ever more snow than before!!! Kimmy made us discover his favourite resort (Seki Onsen), a really small station owned by a local family (two lifts, one double chairlift and one single chairlift), where we had the best free ride days for the entire crew: from 9 AM to 4 PM nonstop in 70 cm of fresh snow!

 

The ski-scapade ended there and we finally came back to Tokyo longing for discovering the city. Pure bliss … but expect a crowded city, like a Saturday shopping crowd, every day of the week. Loads of stuff to discover such as temples, disparate Japanese boroughs, exotic culture, exquisite gastronomy (Kobe beef), bars, capsule hotels, fish market, Giorgio … and so much more to do for any cosmopolitan city enthusiast. Here you go, that was our trip to Japan. No, we don’t have incredible night-out stories to tell … we might be getting older hahaha … well maybe one! We ended up one night in a heavy metal bar, and while none of us listen to that kind of music, the place itself was so entertainingly bad that we stayed all night long. From 70s trash movies to Texas Chainsaw Massacre broadcast in loops, bloodied wax babies nailed on the wall, fleshlights, fake chainsaws … many stupid stuff scattered around the place hahaha and the most entertaining of all: monster masks which after a two-hour binge inspired us so much that we could not resist the urge to wear them, and then, start jump scaring people on the street… It was a really stupid night out and as we ended up drunk and we all went back to the hotel to have a bath in the gigantic communal bathroom (seated one next to another on a small stool, naked, bathing next each other) we stated acting wild again! And that was it! On February 9th, we flew back home! awaiting new adventures.

Here you go, that was our trip to Japan. No, we don’t have incredible night-out stories to tell … we might be getting older hahaha … well maybe one! We ended up one night in a heavy metal bar, and while none of us listen to that kind of music, the place itself was so entertainingly bad that we stayed all night long.

 

From 70s trash movies to Texas Chainsaw Massacre broadcast in loops, bloodied wax babies nailed on the wall, fleshlights, fake chainsaws … many stupid stuff scattered around the place hahaha and the most entertaining of all: monster masks which after a two-hour binge inspired us so much that we could not resist the urge to wear them, and then, start jump scaring people on the street… It was a really stupid night out and as we ended up drunk and we all went back to the hotel to have a bath in the gigantic communal bathroom (seated one next to another on a small stool, naked, bathing next each other) we stated acting wild again! And that was it! On February 9th, we flew back home! awaiting new adventures.