(Disclaimer: this post contains language that may offend some viewers. Perusal is at your discretion.)
So we’re in Hakuba. We arrived here on Thursday to find it delightfully cold. It was stupendous. It was glorious. It was a welcome relief from the god damned heat we’ve been facing. I didn’t pack for the heat – I’m going to Europe for christ’s sake, I packed for the cold and then Japan goes and does this to me? Then today I’m reading that Japan has been hit with its hottest summer in over 100 years. No wonder everyone here seems to be far too dressed for the heat I seem to be feeling. They’re just all Melbournites deep down inside, refusing to accept a change or lack there of in the weather. Just like we refuse to let go of our jeans and our black when it starts to get warm, they refuse to continue wearing their summer clothing when it should be getting cold god damned it! Did I mention that I love the Japanese?
Anyway, I digress. So Hakuba. I’m having a love/hate relationship with Hakuba so far. The hostel is awesome, the weather (as I mentioned), stupendous. Even the nature here is so beautiful I can’t believe I’m seeing it. What I don’t like is that it’s a ski area and it keeps reminding me of that. I want the snow, not the bare arse mountains I’m seeing. I want to be riding up those chair lifts to ski back down, not hike back down! Plus, being cold, it lead me into a false sense of security, then bam! Sunburn like a motherfucker! On top of that, they charge like a gazillion dollars to do anything here! I’m talking like $40 to go up the gondola and back. $40!! But the mountains are beautiful – incredible even. Today we hiked so high we were above the clouds and it was spectacular. Absolutely killed me, but it was spectacular. I spent a large part of the hike though, looking at the rocky peaks and imagining them covered with the most beautiful powdery snow you have ever seen. I even contemplated blowing off pasta in Italy for skiing in the Swiss Alps! (Don’t fear, I’ll do both – I need to work off all those carbs don’t I?) Anyway, so tomorrow we were intending to take a lovely bike ride around the lake and then try out a little onsening, followed by another hike on Monday but the weather appears to be turning so the hike looked to be moved to tomorrow instead. That was until we found out about the $40 price tag. Now, it’s biking around the lake again. Monday looks to be staying indoors (I’ve got a fair bit of Son’s of Anarchy to keep me company!) and Tuesday will be the grand trip to see the Snow Monkeys getting their onsen on up near Nagano before it’s Tokyo again baby!
(I also have to apologise for the profanity in this post – I’m knee-deep in Sons Of Anarchy at the mo and it’s clearly affecting my inner voice!)