From quiet country town to the heart of Tokyo

We had a slower start this morning as we didn't need to be ready for first lifts. It turned out to be a good day to leave - the forecast was for high winds so they closed the gondola and only had a few lower lifts working. We got big hugs from the Villa staff when we left, it really was like being part of their family for a week. It…

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Fresh Snow

Every morning we get a yummy breakfast and a weather update from Gab (a Swiss ski champion who manages the Villa along with his Japanese wife Kyoko). This morning Gab brought the news that everyone wanted to hear - 5cm of fresh snow overnight. A pathetic amount by Japanese standards, but we were grateful for it anyway. We were up at first lifts, ready for our 6th consecutive day on the…

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Skiing, a sushi train and snow monkeys

The weather changes fast in this place. This morning we woke to cloud which soon turned to drizzle. The kids were keen to get up the mountain at first lifts and get a few runs in before our afternoon tour to the Snow Monkeys. The Villa turned on a favourite breakfast of omelette for Andy's birthday, the rest of us stuck with the continental breakfast. The gondola opens at 8:40 and…

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Skiing and a soak in the onsen

Up until now, the Villa has been a pretty calm place. Most of the residents are families from a variety of countries. This morning we had some new arrivals, a large family group of very loud Gold Coast Aussies. We shudder to think how many cultural faux pas they will commit while in Japan! The shuttle bus was delayed about 20 minutes this morning as they just couldn't get organised. The…

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Summer on the mountain

The forecast overnight snow didn't happen. We are finding weather forecasts here to be about as reliable as what we are used to back home! After the cloud and light rain/snow of yesterday, it was back to perfect bluebird conditions today. Today was the official start of the spring ski season in Nozawa, which meant many of the lifts have retired for the season. The 23 lifts was reduced to around…

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Second day on the slopes

We're slowly adjusting to the time change, managed to sleep until 5:30am this morning. After another great Villa breakfast (banana pancakes today!) we headed up the mountain again. We had a couple of quick runs down the bottom where we skied last night (hugely improved after a visit from the night groomers), then headed up the long gondola. We explored some runs that we had missed yesterday between the top of…

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