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One thing about me that confuses everyone I know, is how much I love snow. The main reason being my utter distaste for any day under 70 degrees. But even still, when I was a child I would shout out in joy with even the smallest snow flurry, and on days with heavy snow fall I’d challenge my father to snow ball fight (which I would always win). And on other days I would make a small ball, and hide it in the back of my freezer for a until many months passed— and I could catch my dad off guard with a very one-sided summer snow ball fight.

But even with my intense love for the snow, I am what the Japanese call samu-gari, which more or less translates to absolutely, always cold. And so all ventures for me in the snow, were generally momentary and never lasted longer than my adrenaline could keep my tiny body warm. And so as you can probably imagine, I had never even dared to try any winter snow sports.

Or at least that was the case until I came to Yamanashi. In Yamanashi there are quite a few places where one can enjoy snowboarding, for example in North West Yamanashi there is the Sun Meadows Kiyosato Ski Resort (which you can read more about in the 2019 issue of the Yamanashi Grapevine), and the more famous Fujiten Ski Resort in the South East. When it comes to skiing in Japan, the more popular places tend to be colder regions such as Hokkaido and Nagano Prefecture and are thus the courses tend to be aimed more towards pro-skiers and snow-boarders. Yamanashi on the other hand, is not cold enough for natural snow-sports level snow to fall. And so, most of the snow is artificial and many come to just to enjoy the views (because doing anything besides Japan’s number one mountain just feels that much more awesome).

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For me, because the snow is artificial I was able to avoid my number one foe: the cold. Of course the snow was still cold, but because my surroundings weren’t freezing (it was actually fairly sunny providing excellent views of Mt.Fuji) and I was moving around a lot I was able to keep my body temperature up—- and very soon regret attaching about 10 different heat packs to my body. When I did take a break for a while and stopped for some hot cocoa I did find my body cooling down a bit but the hot chocolate kept me nice and warm. It was also absolutely delicious!

 

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Other great things to mention about Fujiten is that they were very serious about their coronavirus measures. Not only was everyone required to wear masks even while snowboarding, but there were also temperature checks, plenty of hand sanitizer and all in door facilities were both sterilized and regularly ventilated. It’s always great to have this sort of peace of mind while you enjoy yourself.

After having my fun in the snow, I decided to rest my tired bones in the waters of Yurari Onsen. I had come early 2020 with a few coworkers before corona had started but didn’t really have much time to enjoy myself. But this time I had vowed to do nothing but enjoy myself and that was certainly accomplished. With more baths than your average ryokan or sento a good amount of time was required to enjoy myself in all of them. From the four different outdoor baths, with great views of Mt. Fuji to the three calming inner baths plus sauna rooms and the like, when I left I could barely even tell how sore my tired muscles were from all that falling off my snowboard just an hour or two ago. For those who are interested in the wonderful place that is Yurari I highly recommend checking out my article [here] from our first visit.

While the snow begins to melt in other prefectures theres still plenty of time here at the foot of Mt. Fuji so come enjoy yourself today!

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Fujiten is open from Mid Dec~Early April and there is Rental Gear available. English speakers and Muslim guests welcome (they have a prayer room + Halal menu options).

To help plan your trip to Fujiten please see their website [ here ].

For more information on the best places to stay within Yamanashi please visit our Instagram page WelcomeToYamanashi( External link ). Updates are made every week in English, Portuguese, and French!

Published on

  • March 2, 2021

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