Around a year ago, a friend of mine told me he was going to Niseko, Japan. After discussing the trip logistics, it inspired myself to begin working towards my own trip for the following season. I began planning it out that following week, however I planned my own stay around the Hakuba portion of the country. For month's following, I continued chipping away, planning out the little details. By the end of the summer, I finally had enough money to purchase my plane ticket.
I realized at that point, why not do it by myself? I knew I wanted to create an edit from this trip, and figured it could provide unique challenge for myself. Shortly afterwards, I bought my flight to Tokyo, and booked my reservations. The following months I continued to plan, and determined which area's would be best to ski at.
With questions still unanswered and my expectations unintentionally formed, I finally set off on my trip. I arrived in Tokyo the night following, with all of it's lights, noises and people busily hurrying about. Not knowing a single person on that side of the ocean, I hurriedly travelled towards my place for the night. From there, I continued my trek towards Hakuba on the shinkansen, (Japan's speeding bullet train), and arrived the afternoon following. I had heard from numerous sources that the winter had been surprisingly drier then usual. Stepping off the bus, I wondered what a good year must look like. Huge mounds of snow, with a thick blizzard already set in motion.
Finally, it came time to ski. I hit up the first resort of many during my stay, and found the snow to be generally lackluster. I knew at that point, I'd be spending most of my time in the park, which is no different then back home. I followed that day with plenty more sunny, warm days hitting rails. Filming was a challenge. I'd set up my camera, hike up, hit the feature then be forced to hike up again to retrieve my camera. It was easy to get tired out quickly, and not have enough energy to actually get the desired trick. After a large failure to success ratio, I came to the realization that this edit was going to be difficult to make. I kept at it though, and ended up with a few mellow on mountain clips.
After almost two weeks of being constantly lost with only Google maps to help, skiing a broad variety of conditions and exploring the country, my time was up. Japan doesn't need to be "steep and deep" to be a crazy cool and great experience. Even though it didn't snow consistently whatsoever, I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Somehow it all worked out, and the edit turned out decent overall. If you're planning on going at some point and have any questions, I'm sure I could give some valuable insight. I know that would have helped me out!
Tldr; went to Japan, got lost, didn't snow as much as usual, had a great time, made a video.
Thanks for reading, and here is the edit I made. It's a short part which best captures the experience, and will hopefully be part of something larger in the future.