And now the main aim of this trip, SNOW SKING! Hokkaido is known for its winter and ski resorts and amongst them is Mount Teine, one of the ski resorts that hosted a winter olympics in the late 1980s.
Took the JR train to Teine where I clearly remembered checking online for a bus 70 to Teine Mountain. But sadly after rounds of wandering, that bus doesnt exist. We asked a driver on the buses and he said there is such a bus but we need to go to the third berth. We wandered a little trying to check out every bus and that driver, in his late sixties I am guessing, actually came all the way out and off his bus to direct us to the berth. Later then he realised that it was already spring and the bus only operates in winter. Omg the people here are so nice? They seriously go all their way to help you out and arent bitter about it.
In the end we had to settle for a taxi which I really didnt want to because taxis in Japan are expensive. We boarded one and the starting fare was 670 yen ($8.20). Also the taxi has automated doors hahahah I was having difficulty trying to close it. And I’m so thankful that Japanese people have great virtues such as integrity so I dont really have to worry much about being cheated.
The taxi took us up into the mountains and round and round the terrains. The snow in the mountains have yet to melt and it was beautiful. From afar, I saw a high slope and amongst the white snowy canvas, I saw small black specks cruising down the slope. Wooohoooo Mount Teine here we come!
The taxi fare amounted to 2930 yen ($35.70) for a twenty minutes ride. *money flies away* but its gonna be so worth it. Got our skies & gear on and headed for a small beginner slope in the Olympia Zone. I have never skied in my entire life and I was so excited to! I tried to learn it while watching three kids on tv trying to learn skiing with their dad. Also read up some instructions before coming to Japan.
And I did fine! Well, walking or moving about on flat ground with the skis was really tough but skiing down the slopes was fairly easy. I think anyone who knows how to rollerblade or ice skate can pretty much grasp skiing rather quickly. We bought a lift pass (to get up to the top of the hills to ski down) and ambitious me took one of the more intermediate hills without knowing haha. The snow was amazing, like they said, powder snow. It was so soft and white and fluffy!
When I reached the top of the hill I realised how steep it actually was. It looked easy but it wasnt. But thankfully there wasnt much fear because I knew falling down wouldnt be painful. And so I set off. The speed was insane but thrilling. But my skis went so fast I lost control and tumbled down the hill. I managed to sit up somewhere in the middle and had a hard time getting on my feet because everytime I try to stand I ski downwards. Managed to get back on my feet after a while of struggling and continued to ski downhill only to tumble and fall with my skis over my head again. Had a super duper hard struggle this time round because I had to unclip my skis because I was in a super awkward pose where I could twist and break my leg if I moved. Managed to get down to the bottom of the hill but sweared not to take this intermediate course.
Tried another one which looked slightly less intimidating then the one I went. The beginning was really steep and fast but once I reached the second half of the course it was really enjoyable and easy to manage. And I kept going on the lift toget up to the top of the hill repeatedly because it was so fun & addictive. The staff at the ski lift must be thinking “this girl is mad.” I felt like a kid on a slide, running up to the top to slide down the moment the ride ends. The view from the top of the hill was really amazing too. You could see the whole of Sapporo city.
Tried a few other courses and fell on a few as well. Also it wasnt cold at all and in fact I was sweating like a pig underneath my gear. Going to the toilet was a drag because the ski boots were hard to walk in and you had to take off your ski jacket to unbuckle the ski suit-pants.
Time flew so quickly without even noticing, it was half past three. We arrived at eleven. Had a few more rounds before we decided to go because the ski resort was getting empty of people and they were closing at five. Washed up and took the dreaded expensive cab back to the train station. Back at the hostel after a long shop at the supermarket for groceries. We’re so tired from all that work out and our aches are aching so we decided no more walking for today and we made our own dinner.
Twas such a productive dayyyy! I think I have a new sport to love and learn. And the snowboarders looked really cool and it looked fun too, I hope I can return to Sapporo or any ski resorts to learn skiing and snowboarding proper!