Saturday, 21 May 2011

Playing With Real Snow!

One sunny day in March 2008, we decided that we should go check out how real snow looks and feels like. So we hopped on the Tanigawa train and went to GALA Yuzawa. A mere one and half an hour's ride on the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo and we were there. The beauty of going to GALA Yuzawa is that the skiing experience is just a gondola ride away from the train station! How cool is that?

The fastest Joetsu shinkansen will take you there in just 77 minutes, if I'm not mistaken.
A view from the gondola we took from the train station up to the slopes.
Two snow "virgins" excited to play with real snow. WOOT!

We rented the amusement set (or something) that included a jacket, pants, gloves, boots and a sled. For Raimie, we even got him a helmet. We didn't plan to do any skiing that day, so no skiing lessons for us. Just simple fun of going sledding down the kids' slopes.
At the kids' slope
A "kuma' getting ready for hibernation. LOL
and then the little "kuma" decided to come out and play. ^^
and made a new friend.

We were there from 10.00am to 3.00pm and returned to Tokyo on the double-decker Max Tanigawa train. The poor exhausted boy; who had somehow managed to get his feet wet and cold while burrowing himself in all those snow, fell asleep almost immediately in the train. Note to self, bring extra socks if we decide to do this again in future.

Arriving our hotel two hours later, he started badgering us for the PSP game-LocoRoco that "Uncle Contamination" had let him play the day earlier. Oh no!


  1. I'm the same!! I didn't get to see real snow until I went to Japan and lived closed to the mountains in Gifu/Nagano.

  2. @Japan Australia,
    Never in Australia?

    So how do you feel after experiencing it year in, year out? Still magical or sick of it? :D

    Nagano makes me think of the snow monkey. :)

  3. It only snows in the mountains in Australia, and the great dividing range is a good 4-5 hours drive from most cities.

    Myself and many others never saw falling snow in our lives.

  4. @Contamination,
    Well, there's still snow then, even if you don't experience falling snow right at your backyard. ^^

    I think the only place that has a speck of something close to snow in Malaysia would be on top of Mount Kinabalu!

  5. My first experience of snow was in Mt Fuji 1983. Nice shots and great view from the gondola. BTW what is 'kuma'? ~;).

  6. @Bananazஇ,
    Whoah! 1983 I was in Std 2. o.O There for study, work, vacation? Climbed Mount Fuji ah you? After that post of yours not supposed to go anywhere on high altitude? xD

    Kuma is bear in Japanese. :)

  7. Oooooh, I sometimes envy people who get to experience snow for the first time later on in life - when you can appreciate it as an experience in itself. Instead of that pain of the butt stuff that comes down and doesn't go away for 3 months...or if it does, goes all dirty and slushy first. ><;

  8. @Ri,
    Yeah, and I am so so glad I don't have to go through it year in year out for 3 months! Or thinking about walking to work on slippery ground and stuff like that. ^^

    I wonder how cold it will be early Dec this year?

  9. I remembered my son's first skiing with us. He played almost as sama as your child at the first day.
    I started to teach him how to ski from the next day.

  10. @minor,
    That's nice. How good is he now with it? :)

    I would love to learn how to ski one day. But I think I needed a lot of time on lessons. ^^

  11. I know GALA and I can go there in two hours by my cay but I didn't go there yet.It is a waist of opportunity.
    Anyway I have never been to ski area since I have children.
    I'll take my children ski area which has kid's slope soon..:)

  12. @cocomino,
    Usually when it's near us, we don't really care to make the effort to go yet. I think it's that way. There are a lot of places I haven't been to in Malaysia. Such a waste too. xD

    Anywhere near your place with ski area?

  13. I understand.
    I guess it's going to be a while until I write about snow.
    The January 2011 snowfall was pretty weak.

  14. Karuizawa, Saku, Kusatsu and Minakami ski area are near to my house.;) All of them are Gunma or Ngano prefercture.
    I can use an expressway.

  15. @Contamination,
    Now, would you want a heavier snowfall in 2012?

  16. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh the first time I experienced snow was in Amsterdam but not as full on as how you've experienced it. I told my hubby that when our baby is at the right age we must let the lil one experience ALL FOUR SEASONS ..ok Summer tak payah as where we are its always summer panas hehe When you mention Nagano it reminds me of a good pen pal of mine who lives there, I hope to see her and her family someday too but for now we always keep in touch via snail mail or email :) mostly snail mail. Enjoy your weekend!

  17. @cocomino,
    That's great. I've been to Karuizawa but not for the snow resort but for the premium outlet. ;p

  18. @cuteandcurls,
    Amsterdam ke? Wah! Bestnyer... I tak tau bila nak sampai anywhere near Europe! LOL

    Nagano reminds me of our stay at Bessho Onsen. Lovely experience, that. ^^

    Hahaha... yeah yeah we have perpetual summer here. But then, summer can feel different elsewhere in the world. For instance, summer in Beijing mak datuklah panas & keringnya. At least our summer is not as dry. Although come to think of it, the past week it's been hot & dry here,kan?

    Snail mail. Been such a long time since I correspond with anyone with a letter except when sending gifts and stuff. xD

  19. It's been over two and a half decades since the last skiing in Nikko... I am not good at skiing and am not a big fan of snow. But when I was little, like your adorable son, I loved it.
    Great post and have a wonderful Sunday.

  20. @Yoshi,
    Snowy days must not be a good weather for you then.

    I think everyone would love playing in the snow when they were small. Myself included. Now - just walking up that kiddie slope felt like too much exertion! LOL

  21. visited here with a smile... =D

  22. snow is fun most esp on a sunny day, you'll hardly feel the cold

    just like your kuma, my little white bear fell deeep asleep too after playing

  23. When I lived in Tokyo I went there several times. It was really convenient and fun too - when it wasn't too crowded.

  24. @Mr Lonely,
    A smile back at ya! ^^

  25. @Ayie,
    And we got the perfect weather that day. It was sunny and we were sweating in no time!

    Snow play sure can be tiring. Lots of fun but tiring. :)

  26. @sixmats,
    Not to mention very tourist friendly. Foreign tourist friendly. :)

  27. I remember my family and friends once made fun of me to know of my travels all the way to Europe and yet parts of Asia I have not been to but now I have covered some of Asia, Jepun, Mongolia, Nepal camtu belum nanti je lah tu :)

    I have noted Bessho Onsen for Nagano for future references hehehehe ^_^ Mak Oi!! Summer in China is terrible lah, i remember how panas and kering it was kat sana, to cool off asyik makan McD ice cream tu sampai kena sakit gigi hehehe i told my hubby if you want to go to Shanghai again please please please either Spring or Autumn never again Summer ..did you ever see the weather girls who had to report the weather during the monsoon season? It happened during that one summer we were stuck in our room due to that monsoon rain. Past week was too hot and dry kat sini, I can barely go out due to the heat.

    Sometimes its nice to receive snail mail kan? :)

  28. @cuteandcurls,
    I selalu kena perli asyik gi Jepun, tak insaf2 lagi nak naik Haji. Lagi haru kan?

    Anyway, regardless of which part of the world we've been to and like to go, why should it be anyone else's concern - that I'd like to know. Each to its own. Right? Hahaha... tersensitip lah pulak. xD So bila nak gi Nepal tu?

    Don't go China in winter too! Beku siol! Wakaka I seem to always know the worst season kat sana. China is now banned from being in my travel list by hubby. Not that I really want to return anyway. ;p

    Bessho Onsen is totally nice. In such a small area, there are many places to visit. So, even with a 2D 1N stay, you get a whole lot of old Japanese to experience there. I love the electric train there too. :) We would've covered more places there if not for the rain last year. :(

  29. @darul,
    Wow! You really post this up everywhere and anywhere, don't you? Have the decency to feign interest in others' post before you start promoting about whatever you are promoting and readers may click without you being in their face. Sheesh!

  30. Ah, of course, the first time is always so special and memorable!
    When I lived in Edinburgh, it started to snow in November.
    Here in London, it usually snows in February.

    >How is Cuban food? Are you going to post about them soon?
    I have had Cuban before, not that particular restaurant.
    Don't remember much though. Ate lots of beans.

    How was your weekend?
    I went to New Forest in Hampshire. Saw lots of wild ponies. :)

  31. Thank you for your BM correction. :)

    I don't remember which is the right one for "kertas" now.
    Sekeping? Sehelai?
    I remember my cikgu BM kata "sehelai kertas"?!
    Alamak.... getting old cannot remember well.

  32. @London Caller,
    Kertas is sekeping. Sehelai baju. Sehelai kain. :)

    Wow! Wild ponies. Posting up photos of them soon, I hope? I had a pretty relaxing weekend. Just making up lost time doing my running rounds on Sat & Sun and made sure I ran for more than 1 hour. ^^ Felt good. :)

    Hmm... beans. I would've gotten plenty of gas if I eat Cuban food then. xD

  33. I have never played with snow before!! Boohoo!

  34. So nice to be playing snow! But I am not sure I can stand the cold, cos last time visiting the snow house in Mines Wonderland also my hands all numb and started having runny nose!

  35. @foong,
    Eh? Play with snow at Mines Wonderland didn't count ah? ;p

    Different feel lah, play at Mines or Genting or iCity than playing with them under the bright sun. I took off my jacket after a while because I was HOT!


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