Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nozawa Onsen

A couple weeks ago, Zack talked me into going to Nozawa Onsen. Nozawa is a ski resort. I still haven't conquered my fear of the tops of mountains and activities that can potentially lead to paralysis, so I was hesitant. Zack promised that he wouldn't snowboard and would instead play in the snow with me.

It was the most snow I've ever seen in my life. We borrowed sleds from the ski resort office and sledded around the village.

Showing off the cool snow pants Zack gave me for Christmas.

This was burned at the Fire Festival later.
We were supposed to stay for the famous Fire Festival, but we (and our ride) were exhausted by night fall.  We took a dip in a free onsen (hot spring), got a bite to eat with friends, and headed home.  It snowed hard on the highway, so it was probably good that we left early.

It was my first time at a ski resort.  It was the first time I've ever sledded.  I felt the way little kids who live up north must feel every winter.  Scared.  Exhilarated.  Like the world was my playground.  

Meanwhile, back in Chino, it only snows enough to make life slightly more annoying.  Ice in my shower.  Frozen olive oil.  Ice in the school swimming pool.  There are patches of ice on the road that refuse to melt and bits of snow that never go away.  It isn't very beautiful.  But that's what places like Nozawa are for.

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