Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kiroro - Day 2

I am going to rely on pixels to tell the story of Day 2 Kiroro.

To be clear, the intention was to spell out "Kiroro" in the following picture.

Oh and YATTA! Success with the 100 yen anpanman machine. Not only did we get the red bean man himself, we also scored the 50th anniversary edition anpanman in a cake! Sugoi! Let's not mention that we managed to empty out the machine, and the fact that we were desperate enough to ask the hotel staff to open up the machine for us. But it was fate and destiny . Hotel staff didn't have the key, and the very next spin gave us the elusive anpanman. My holiday is now complete.

I shall leave you with Kiroro carnage.

Kiroro - Riding - Day 1

First day of riding today; snow condition was abominable for Japan standards. Some sections of the mountain were, dare I say it, Thredbo-like. Eek.
On the upside, the runs were empty and queues were non-existent. In fact, the only people en masse we had to contend with was at the breakfast buffet. The runs are long and wide, and there were still sections of the mountain with decent snow. My new boots held up well. Not sure how my toenail-less big toe held up though. It could be suffering badly under the 2 layers of sports tape and 1 layer of bandaid. I might muster the courage to open it up tomorrow.

The litter of beer vending machines strategically positioned at popular (or should I say popurar) rest stops is also a luxury to most, and a necessity to some (we call the latter drunks).

Dinner was, surprise surprise, a buffet. The cold dishes (raw prawns, snow crab, salmon sashimi, squid etc) was oishii! Queen of buffet YDG yet again brought her B-game(i.e. Buffet Game). She murdered the buffet.

My quest for anpanman magnet continues. I have added another 3 to the collection since the following photograph was taken. I'm starting to think that there is no anpanman is that dodgy 100 yen machine. I'm about to clean it out!?!?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kiroro Snow World

We actually found the auction room at the Fish Markets (too) early this morning. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay for the actual auction since we had a domestic plane to catch ... bound for Kiroro Snow World.

We are staying at the Kiroro Mountain Hotel. It is a ski-in-ski-out resort hotel. This is my first ski-in-ski-out experience. Amongst many other advantages, we can now spend longer loitering around the breakfast buffet. I just have to get rid of this gastritis first - azuki bun waits for no buildup of gastic juices!

However, resort hotel means resort prices. A half a litre can of Asahi has inflated from 320 yen (~$3.50) to 420 yen ($~4.50). Guess you win some and you lose some.

Story behind pictures:
1) Massacred tuna @ fish markets
2) Signs designed to confused tourists
3) Anpanman drinking Fire coffee - read the description
4) Anpanman at Kiroro

Sent via BlackBerry® from Telstra

Friday, February 26, 2010

Annual Japan Snow Fix - 2010

After a sleepless night (basketball finals plus celebrations drink plus last minute packing equals no sleep) and yet another Jetstar debacle - they actually cancelled our 6am flight; no warning, no prior announcment, nothing! - we arrived to 15 degree weather in Japan.

I do love Japan. She excites the sense, yet brings order to chaos. She is a living, breathing example of juxtaposition at work.

We are heading out at 4am to visit the Fish Markets in Tokyo tomorrow, then is onwards to Sapporo.

A few photos to finish off.

Being in Japan means the revival of anpanman references:

Warning - the following content may be offensive to some viewers
Haven't even hit the mountains yet, and already injuries to report.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Metaphysical Studies

2010 is the year for me to indulge in metaphysical studies - these were the instructions from a bona fide, for real feng shui master; thanks YDG for the freebie, bulbous fruit (because they are lucky) filled seminar invite.

In fact, my foray into metaphysical studies had already begun prior to this edict. For some subliminally unknown reason, one of my 2010 resolutions was to dabble with yoga and meditation.

So here is the running list (accompanied by trivial commentary) of kooky activities on my check list so far:

The amount of clothing you wear is inversely related to your yogi-seriousness level, i.e. the more clothing the less serious you are - I fall in this category). Full-on yogis seem to wear next to nothing. There is always one (male) groaner in the class. The male yoga instructors have the best physiques ... one in particular, and he knows my name! Now that's incentive to keep turning up to class.

Feng shui
Year of the metal tiger. The best advice is to stay away from people born in the year of the monkey (that's you 80's baby). Oh and fill your rooms with salt lamps and air purifiers.

Meditation book sitting on my best side table - thanks Gregan.

Apparently I eat too many carrots? And my chronic neck/shoulder pains is actually a manifestation of some deep seated mental blocker that may or may not have happened 4 years ago. Duh. Isn't everything related to mental instability?

Blue Moon .. and Mars in Opposition
Yup you could really delve into that header, but to be clear, I mean Mars the planet. Here is my digi cam photo of the rare event that occurred on 30 January 2010. The blurb from astroblog: "This Saturday Mars is at opposition, where it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. It is also the night of the "Blue" Moon, and the Moon this night will have the largest apparent diameter of the year. So all in all a good night." You might have to look really hard (potentially with the help of a microscope) to see Mars in my picture. It is to the left of the Blue Moon.

But guess what, there will be another Blue Moon on 30 March 2010. Perhaps it will be a cosmic year after all.

Annual Japan trip coming up next week, this time with added company of KS-personnel. Can't wait to get boozy every day on those $2.20 Asahis. Oh the snow will be nice too. W00t!