312013Dec

Ramen Alley Junkie

New Year’s Eve, a time when normal people prepare to bring in the new year. Some get dressed up to the nines, breaking out their top hat and head out to drink. Others stay home and live vicariously through the television. And then there’s me, spending as much time possible in Ramen Alley. Visiting all the noodle pushers to see the latest fix. What’s in this bowl? How about that one? Oh you get both king crab and scallops? I need to change my pants. If I could eat here…

302013Dec

Entering the City of Ramen

After our wonderful lunch it was off to Sapporo, the second destination of my trip. It was a bit of a mystery how we got there since there was a mix up on our bus ride. Our pick up was at an adjacent hotel and when a driver came in around the time we were expecting pick-up (there were several buses that came and went), the driver said he wasn’t there for us. This was troubling given the schedule. The 4pm shuttle, our shuttle, was the last one for the…

302013Dec

Sobatei Rakuichi

Before leaving Niseko, there was one place I wanted to try out and eventually write about. And yeah, this place was a No Reservations kind of place. That didn’t matter though, I’ve read so much about the place that it warranted a visit. And as fate would have it, it was up the street, right next to Karabina, the place we went to the other night. Rakuichi sat in the back of a set of three cabins. Not that they were actually cabin cabins. They were all restaurants. Who knew…

292013Dec

Final Runs

What I forgot to put into these posts are the trips to the onsen. Our hotel was equipped with one and we even went to the one in the Vail hotel. And that’s because I wanted to go every day after boarding. Twice wasn’t so bad right? Good enough to keep the pain and aching away in order to get in three full days on the mountain. It was storming once again so the top was once again off limits. However, there was no need to. We kept to the…

282013Dec

Full on Powder Day

The morning started with a nice coat of fresh snow along with a constant dusting. So of course, my buddy understood why we couldn’t wait around to ride with his friends. Coordinating on the mountain would always be impossible. But hearing that it’s a big group, I had a feeling we’d run into them. And just like that, we saw them at lunch. This resort was big, but not that big if you only board the groomers and hit the lodges for lunch. Oh and the top was still closed,…

272013Dec

First Rides and Izakaya

It was Friday and rather than waiting for my buddy’s friends to get into Niseko, we were off to the mountain to ride. There was no way we were going to pass up the powder that’s been dumping all night long. However, the temperature wasn’t holding up and the powder, dare I say, felt like California powder. Not that it was a bad thing but we came here for Niseko powder. You know the light fluffy kind which can get knee high yet still you plow down the runs like…

262013Dec

The Return to Niseko

At the beginning, it was apparent getting to Niseko, Japan was going to be arduous. I was recovering from a very bad sinus infection. It was a week in and all my symptoms got worse. Mental note, see the doctor early when there’s a vacation involved. Stupid me thought I’d be over this in a week. Unlikely. What’s been going around this season has been brutal. And this “sinus infection” was of course, my own self diagnosis. But let’s move on, onto other issues you’re more interested in. Here are…

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