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January is without a doubt our snowboarding month. Much of our money and time is spent on trips or planning them, and we tend to go most weekends of the season if we can. This year Kenji and I started out with slowly with Tambara. We have actually gone to Tambara before, during the spring, because it is also a lavender park. I really loved it then, and it was also pretty nice for snowboarding, if a bit small.


Up the second lift at the main area.

You can see the lake since it is clear!

Tambara, while small and simple, was pretty fun and not very crowded, so it was a good intro into the season!

Next up was Ogna with Brandt, Mizuki, and many of our basketball friends, including Katsu.

Brandt and Mizuki

The view

A cute shrine at the bottom

Kenji and the group. Sorry my head is in the way!

And a rather long video of me filming everyone! (Click to view)

We all really like Ogna, so we had a ton of fun!

The next trip was to Hakkaisan, also the name of a famous sake in Japan. Hakkaisan was nice, but the day was cloudy and foggy. Hakkaisan, like many places in Niigata, uses heated spring water to melt the snow off the roads, which result in these amazing mini lakes.

Anyone got a boat?

Bottom of the mountain

And looking up the other way

I didn’t actually get many pictures because it was so foggy the visibility was really bad. It was actually a little scary at times, it felt like you were skiing through Silent Hill or something!

The drive to an onsen, so much snow!! (Click to view)


The onsen had really neat suits of armor on display. After that it was ramen, and home!