Mount Rising Sun
I happened to live in Japan a little more than a year. In September 2000, receiving a grant of the Ministry of Education of Japan, I went to this country to study her language and culture. Closed country, faithful to its traditions and customs, "White collars", In the same suits, hurrying to offices, schoolgirls in white thick golfes, arriving strictly on schedule overcrowded train, organized queues for landing in transport, implausible polite employees of the social sphere. All this and much more was to see and find out. Including the mountain skiing – perhaps the most popular winter sport in Japan. You can ride in the mountains from November to May, and do it, in my opinion, everything, from Mala to Great.
Snowboard me to ride my friends-Japanese. Skating experience and even standing on the board I was not there, but I really wanted to learn. Winter holidays arrived, and we were a group of five people from Osaka to Tokyo, and from there to Fukushima Prefecture, which is north of the capital. There we have subscribed a car. "Honda Odyssey" Easily accommodated us and all our equipment: Three snowboards and five backpacks – and risen to the snow-covered slopes. Ride us was to be on Mount Bandaysan. This is a sleeping volcano height of 1819 m, his last eruption was in 1888. Five ski slopes of all categories with a total length of 10 km are laid on its slopes. The longest – 1400 m. Height difference – 300 m. Maximum height where you can get on the lift – 1200 m. One of the main advantages of this resort is a relatively small number of tourists even in the peak of the season.
We stopped in a small hotel, located directly at the resort, and although there was no stars on it, it was a cozy hotel in the European style. In the hotel there are two restaurants, and both are Japanese (in this just there is nothing surprising). By the way, during the whole of our five-day stay at the resort, I did not meet there a single foreigner.
When height 170 cm I wear the 40th size of the shoes and worried a little, I can pick up the equipment and the board at the box office, because the Japanese are mostly low and with miniature legs. But I not only found everything you need for riding objects of outerwear, but also suitable shoes, and an increase in growth.
It is also worth mentioning that both equipment and equipment of the best firms in excellent condition and in sufficient quantities. One of five descents is completely gentle. On him, I was to fill my first bruises. But now they remember much less than the resort itself. Three chairlifice lifts, very good lighting of the track – and in heavy snowfall, and at night you can ride without having difficulty. And even the next morning after heavy snowfall, all the slopes are cleaned and tamped. Only white caps on pines are reminded about snowfall. Here are the workers. And when they only have time? I never noticed ragnets and snow removal. But constantly on the eyes came across a snowmobile with the inscription "Rescuers".
The slope of the mountain is extremely wide – it seems that it was chosen from the top to the foot of a very wide machine. Mountain on one side is absolutely bald. Little barriers during descent – lift supports and gazeing skiers. Supports are protected by shock-absorbing pillows, but resting, sitting on the slope, snowboarders had to go around. And if on the first day we were very lucky with the weather: it is clear and not a single blow of the breeze, then on the second blowing a strong wind, who also did not meet the barriers on his way and did not give it to slide in the right direction.
When I was told that you can ride on these slopes until the end of May, I did not believe. However, this resort is really open annually until mid-May, and in 2001 the season ended here on May 25. All routes on Bandaysan are equipped with snow cannons and are protected from direct sunlight, so the snow and keeps so long. In early May, the Japanese, like many Asians, rest practically a whole week, which is called Golden Week. Everyone seek to spend this week outside the house. This is the second peak period in ski resorts – and Bandaisan is no exception. But there is no many people. Suffice to say that I never had to wait to get to the lift. Snow cover state on tracks? Well, what can you expect in mid-May? In general, cover on "Troika" (There are small protanes).
Walking on holiday or for lunch, we left our boards on the street. And everyone was always found on the same place where it was left. I was pleasantly surprised me.
High-speed train "Sinkansen" I was home from Tokyo to Niigata Prefecture for 1 hour 15 minutes. Niigata Prefecture is 200 km north of Tokyo. And every year there is a lot of snow without exception here, permanent snow cover is installed very quickly. The ultimate goal of our journey was the town of Yudzawa. Our choice fell on Gala-Yudzava – Heart of 19 ski resorts. We also deducted in special literature about small private hotels"Japanese-style windows, which are there a great set, and about ski bases with ONSEN (Onsen is a hot thermal source-bath). From R"Okan We traveled to the ski base on a free minibus, which regularly climbed around the town. It is impossible to make a mistake of the bus: each details indicates the following route.
I am always struck by how the Japanese think all to the smallest details. Especially what concerns convenience and coziness. The dressing room was bright, spacious and unusually comfortable for public dressing room – disposable slippers at the entrance, soft sofas along the walls, the ottomans at the mirror, mats, lockers with a smart locking mechanism, toilet seats heated, comfortable shower and even Onsen. In general, I changed out for a long time and remained impressed by what.
Night skiing organized twice a week (from 23.00 to 5.00), the tracks are illuminated by spotlights. Light as day. The highest mark that can be reached on the lift, 1181 m. The slope has a bizarre form: a rather cool break is replaced by a long gentle descent, which ends with a cliff. All runs wide minimum width 200 m. Maximum extension – 2350 m. Especially for snowboarders are preparing a multi-level springboard.
To ensure the safety of riding almost everywhere, depreciable barriers and grids that impede the random congress from the route. Lifts 11 – Chair two-, three-, and quadruple, as well as two- and six-seater closed cabins. Moreover, open booths rose only to the first mark, and above – only closed, not blown cabins. Riding a lot (parking was filled to failure). However, the crown of the lifts I never saw: Organized Japanese are patiently waiting for their turn. Everyone is resting. Japanese pops sound from the speakers. Circle Japanese speech, foreigners are very little – except for me there was still three.
Cafe many, kitchen everywhere Japanese. Although the choice of dishes is not very big, but everything is preparing in a literal sense in a matter of seconds, it is fed hot, and extremely tasty (of course, for Japanese cuisine lovers): Rice-curry, noodles-Raman, Udon noodles, and so. In the automata standing at every turn, you can buy hot drinks in banks and bottles.
In addition to the usual skis, ski for freestyle, snowboards for rental, you can take a large size inflatable cameras, snowmobiles, snowshoes and other devices for snow fun. And after skiing plunge into a hot source. Onsen on Gala-Yudzava was an open-air bath, which is called Rotenburo. From it at any time of the year there is a beautiful view of the mountains. Every ONSEN in Japan is unique and does not look like a different composition of minerals and gases, as well as landscapes that are important for the Japanese no less than the healing properties of the source. Baths with mineral water can be burrowing and massage; Salt, sodium, alkaline, sulfur; overlooking traditional Japanese gardens, mountains or ocean.