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.
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
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.
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)