Our lodge sits at the foot of at Ishiuchi Maruyama ski resort. So this morning we woke up at 7:30, had a leisurely breakfast at 8, and hit the slopes.
A snow gauge showed a depth of about 1.5 meters, all of it natural. I didn’t notice snow making equipment anywhere. Last night the hotel owner mentioned that there’s usually 3m or more by now, which I can’t even imagine.
Several years ago I took lessons from a ski instructor who told me about his approach for getting his kids to love skiing–make it a party. Let the kid decide where to go. The second anyone gets tired, stop for hot chocolate.
That’s how we ended up with a a mid-morning break, lunch 90 minutes later, and an afternoon break 90 minutes after that.
At lunchtime we found the choices much more varied than at the other two resorts that we have visited. Tessa got a mini ramen and ate the rice from my lunch. I got the karaage chicken lunch set, an enormous amount of food for 1000 yen or about $8.
Several times throughout the day we plopped down in the snow and just relaxed for about 10-15 minutes. The first time Tessa landed she said, “It’s like a throne!”. I called her Queen Tessa, and she immediately did a queen wave and said, “What’s up, my snow people?”. She cracks me up.
Tessa cajoled me into trying the half pipe, a trough-shaped run that you’ve seen in the Olympics and X Games. I “did” the half-pipe in that I did not ski straight down the middle. After my run I saw neither ski patrol with a stretcher nor a publicist with an endorsement deal waiting for me. Good enough!
After another snack….