Nayoro – Same but different

This weekend saw the epic snowboarding road trip of doom to Nayoro, a small city in the middle of Hokkaido. The mountain there had all sorts of different courses to run and by the end of the day, when the gale force winds had closed the slope, I had tried all and suffered their wrath! And thus I sit here with an extremely sore neck and head after being ‘schooled’ on the advanced course.

Unlike the little country slopes we normally frequent, Nayoro is actually a decent-sized resort with many courses, ranging from a plain straight downhill run to near vertical ‘challenge’ courses. Although the day, and I guess the weekend, were cut short due to a giant blizzard that tore through central and northern Hokkaido, I was able to give most of the course a try at least. The most fun was definitely had on the tricks course, where I learnt to grind along rails, fly off ramps, and slide off picnic tables. Catching some real air is definitely on the awesome side of the fun spectrum. It’s good to know that Nayoro will be offering snowsports well into March though, as most of the nearby slopes are fast-closing as we technically enter spring. The ‘challenge’ course is at the top of the mountain, and comprised of a mostly near-vertical descent which was made more difficult by the extremely bumpy terrain, carefully hidden by a smooth layer of powder. It was difficult to navigate in a completely different way to hitting ramps and doing gnarly tricks. The downside manifested in a particularly violent fall where I cracked my head against the ice, resulting in amazing little lights which danced a little ditty in front of my vision for a while. A monster headache and some severe neck stiffness is now the result, but I am nonetheless pretty chuffed! The third time down I managed to navigate this hell slope without crashing once, whipping inbetween trees and dead branches as if I knew what I was doing!

Staying with the ALT’s in Nayoro and going out a drinking with them was also a grand activity, resulting in drunken karaoke with the local JSDF garrison. Needless to say, upon arrival back home, me and my broken self fell into quiet slumber! The drive home, through some positively amazing countryside even by Hokkaido’s standard, was also pretty special, with the landscape gradually turning darker shades of orange as the sun fell behind snow-covered farmland and forested mountains.

So the blizzard called a premature end to our trip, but Nayoro is a mere two hour drive away so we shall likely return this coming weekend to pick up where we left off! Hitting the ramps and flying through the air is an art I intend to perfect before the snow melts!

In other news, I write this in between classes, we just had one of the students have an epileptic fit in his science class. The nurse was on top of things and the town ambulance got here in record time which, I guess, is testament to their efficiency. Unlike SA, he didn’t even need to bring his own blankets to the hospital!

And that is pretty much that. Aside from school and snowboarding I’m starting to have to think about what I’ll be up to when I get back to the real world. At the moment, Masters sounds like a pretty good idea, but I shall also be applying for the usual range of internships and long-shot apprentice-level positions at relevant organizations. My best opportunity being a spot at the embassy in Tokyo, even if seriously high odds are nobody there will even remember my name, it’s still worth a try!

Written by admin in: Things Japanese |

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