It seemed to blend into the sky. The snow reflecting blue light into my eyes was a really dreamy sight.
The top station at Hakkoda. Things have changed - there are now numerous screens with more information and photos than there were before. No shop selling cheap souvenirs anymore. Outside is still the same though!
The entrance to Fukuzawa Onsen. Rustic to say the least.
I just had to have my photo taken with the old boy who runs the place. Neither Chris nor I had ever been here before, and we were both impressed by how stuck in time it was. There were stuffed animals all over the place, and when asked by Chris if they were the rewards of a hard days hunting back in the old man's more vibrant days, he replied that they were simply road kill.
Aki clearing the snow.
The jikka (family home) where we are staying now.
The following shots are of the Hinasama display that Aki and I put together the other week. They are dolls, which probably have far more significance than I'm aware of, and they are brought out each year as part of a festival for girls.
Man with fan.
Men with instruments.
Bearded man with bow and arrow.
Just some old oyaji.
Now we've got to pack the whole lot away tomorrow!
Apart from what there is in the pictures, I can tell you that it's still snowing, and that the forecast shows snow for the next week or so. It hasn't been heavy in Hirosaki, though Hakkoda had a metre of fresh the other day and we had a great day on the mountain with cracking weather. The snow quality was a little heavier than what I remember though, and it left me wishing that I had managed to get a bit of the real cold stuff that fell in January. Still, I'm just happy to be skiing into March!
We had a party at Aki's home on Saturday night which left Chris and I in a less than motivated state for Sunday's session at the climbing wall. It really sucks to go back there after four years of not climbing and find that you are not able to do the really easy routes that were once a walk in the park. I am resolved to start climbing on a fairly regular basis in Utsunomiya though, and there looks to be some good wall centres there too!!