I think the title gives it away but I'll type it again just for fun, I'm getting married!! Yipppeeeee
Little did I know that Ryan was planning on popping the question on our Japanese adventure. (I literally did not see it coming) Friends and family thought it was coming, we have been together coming up to 5 years now, live together and of course I love him to bits, still I was genuinely so surprised when he told me to shut my eyes and when I opened them he was down on one knee. So I have so much more to tell you about Japan, now that my exciting news is out there- here are some of the details you must know about the snow.
1. Make sure there is snow! The first day we arrived, looked around the small cute village, umm where's the snow?? Luckily the mountains were covered in the stuff, so we could still ski, it just meant there was no beginner slopes open down the bottom (lucky me, not). My confidence had to improve rather quickly, with intimidate runs, advance and expert being the only options. The last 2 days of skiing were amazing the snow had started Christmas Eve so by boxing day the village, the trees and cars were all covered with the stuff, making everything around look magical.
2. The transport to get there is synch! You can buy the unlimited rail pass-which I mentioned in my last post is great; gets you around most places with that. Another option is to just buy a single or return train ticket on the day depending on your plans. It's a good idea to reserve the seats a few days in advance- not wing it like us on New Years Eve and try and get back to Tokyo (that was a mission). From Tokyo it is about 1h40m to get to Nagano station. You can stop here have lunch, walk around, shop, there's things to do and see, or just jump straight on a bus to head to the slopes. The busses here go to quite a few different ski areas in the region, and most run on the hour. Hakuba covers a large area of mountains and village at the snow, so make sure you know what spot yours is, so you get the right bus. Our stop was the last at Happo bus terminal, right near the Happo gondola and ski slopes. This was an additional hour from the station. Once we arrived in Happo Hakuba we were a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal, at Hakuba Springs Hotel. So within 3 hours we were in the snow and ready for some action.
3. Pre-book your restaurants once you get there or even before you arrive! There is so much information online that you can plan ahead. This time I didn't because I didn't know what to expect, which meant we had to book things last minute, so we missed out on a couple of hot spots in the area. Although every place we ate at was excellent too, Japan really does food so well. Recommendations include: Mimi's and Sharaku
4. Rent ski gear-depending on how much of an avid skier or snowboarder you are will affect your choice but the equipment including googles, jackets, boots etc, were really reasonably priced in the area. We thought it would be extortionate like places in Australia are for skiing, so we brought jackets, pants, boots etc, but we really didn't have to. You can travel so much lighter if you don't, which is awesome if you are moving around different parts of Japan.
5. Get your partner to ask you to marry them!! It truly was such a special occasion, like everybody says. Wherever you get engaged is going to be special and I love that mine was on Christmas morning, with the snow finally starting to fall outside, still in my pyjamas, just the two of us :) I am one lucky girl taking my sparkly snowflake with me on my finger forever.
My life really does revolve around food! I love learning about produce, reading new recipes, trying to create my own. Here are some of my food, travel and creative journeys, I hope you find them interesting or just delicious!