Oh dear oh dear oh dear. there are only two lifts open... the rest of the mountain is closed due to high winds. i thought things like this only happened in Australia? I'm sitting here in my bed using a laptop looking ou the window at one of the running lifts, the queue of 26 million people at the bottom and the snow plummeting down out of the sky. So that's all good. It means that when i do go back out there and ski, it will be in beautiful beautiful powder snow!!!!!
Niseko is a beautiful little town. There is one set of traffic lights, and it's not too touristy at all. The skiing is amazing... the first day we got here at about 5pm, and skied that night until 8.30pm. You can ski until 9pm every night here.... it's SO cool. You can almost see better at night time than you can during the day. Yesterday was a clear bluebird day with almost no wind, and because it had snowed just the day before, the snow was all still fresh.
We have been eating at a different place each meal... the food here is great, and the restaurant staff are so helpful... almost every place has an english translation (or a nearly english translation!), So i've been able to identify what i'm eating almost all the time. Last night we ate this soup thing, they bring a little cooker out to your table with this big pot on it, and a whole bunch of ingredients in it. They turn the cooker on, and the soup cooks there in front of you. Thing is, they didn't tell us this when they turned it on.... we opened it up and just looked at each other, um... it's raw!!!! Turns out it had to cook still. It was THE most delicious soup i've ever had. ANd it was great because it had lots of vegetables in it!!! For all Japanese food is supposed to be so healthy, there seems to be an awful lot of deep fried food, and not very much in the way of vegetables!!!!!
The hostel we are at is really cute. The room is great, split into two levels, one downstairs and upstairs a little loft thingy... so we really have our own rooms. It's really funny when you walk down the corridor, there are all these pairs of slippers outside every door... the Japanese have different slippers for everything .First off, you leave your shoes in the shoe room at the front door and put on some slippers. Then when you get to your room you leave your slippers outside your door. When you go to the toilet, you swap your slippers for the ones that say "toilet" on them, that are waiting at the toilet door. When you go out onto the balcony you swap them for the "sport" slippers that are waiting on the doorstep (not recommended today, as they are covered in about 4 inches of snow... but you get the idea!!!!).
My japanese is coming along well... I now know about 10 words!! hehe. THey said Hai for so many things... officially it means yes, but it can also mean no, and thankyou and just general aknowledgement that you've said something. Of course i can say hello, konnichiwa, but the thing i say most often is arigato - or thankyou. Also, Domo, which is short of domo arigato, thankyou very much. It's quite funny when you go to buy things in a shop, most of the time the person at the checkout talks to you in japanese, as if you can understand them. It's kind of bizarre to only be able to say thankyou back to them. But for everything here, if you smile and nod, they appreciate it!!! Many of the young people have quite good English, and their ENglish is certainly better than my japanese!!!
Today hopefully i'm goign to go to an onsen... a natural hot spring outdoors that this area is famous for. I juyst have to work out on the map where it is ... i'm not much good at reading the japanese characters!!!!
okay. i think that's about it for the moment. off to stand out in the snow... just because i can!!!