Sapporo’s Famous Snow Festival (雪祭)

Side viewEvery February, Sapporo holds it’s biggest event: the Snow Festival. Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and is famous for two things: snow and open space. It’s no wonder artists from around the world spend a whole month working on these massive masterpieces of snow. The main stretch of the park had huge snow carvings, one of them was even a life-size replication of a Thai building. Every year the festival attracts millions from around the world to see the amazing creations, then go skiing and enjoy famous Hokkaido food.  Continue reading

Just One of Those Days

DrivingYesterday, a group of friends and I decided to take a trip two hours north to our nearest ski slope, Hunter Mountain. As we drove, we noticed bad weather was moving in, but decided to give it a try regardless. Up in the mountain pass, my little car wasn’t cutting it, so we took a cab the rest of the way. This should have been our first sign.

We had an awesome time skiing, despite the bad visibility and somewhat icy slopes. Around lunchtime we saw friends posting pictures of our home towns further south covered in snow. Our second sign.  Continue reading

And She’s Back!

The "Florida girl" playing with snow

The “Florida girl” playing with snow

After two weeks of Christmas, New Years, Hokkaido, Tokyo, Shirakawa, snow, skiing, ramen, world heritage sites, fancy hotels, and making progress on that bucket list, I’m finally back where I started: good ole’ Ibaraki, Japan.

As if my lack of posting doesn’t tell you how much fun I’ve had, I’ll be sure to show you pictures from the whole journey. Apparently, I was pretty good a skiing back in the day! Apparently snowboarding isn’t like riding a bike! Apparently, I don’t know any French! Ok, well I already knew the last one. But still! Hope you’re ready for a week of catching up.

Akemashite omedetou! Happy New Year!

Let it Snow

white christmasBright and early Saturday morning, I’ll rise to the first day of winter vacation. Actually, the plan is to pull an all-nighter at the airport, but let’s imagine, shall we? Regardless of starting position, I’m stoked. Somehow, I’m more excited about winter vacation that I was about summer vacation. This might be because this Florida girl is gonna have a white Christmas. Of course, I’ve lived in both Vermont and Colorado, but snow is still a magical thing to me.

(Those of you who grew up with snowy winters, I can hear you laughing)  Continue reading

In Search of Snow

In Search of SnowSunday morning, after a night of battling with lanterns (I promise to write about it as soon as I get pictures and videos up), Kris and I were faced with our usual problem: what to explore. We talked about many great spots in Tokyo, a spontaneous road trip, or flying to China. Unfortunately the latter would require becoming mysteriously ill for a whole week, thus rendering both of us “unfit for work” temporarily. As generally honest people, we crossed China off the options list.

After debating over a fantastic homemade breakfast (admit it Kris) we landed on going for a random road trip in search of snow.  Continue reading