Be careful what you wish for ... we wanted more snow but not + wind. Very trying conditions today.
Mid morning we drove up Mt Asahi. Martin had permission for us to walk up the side of the ski field. That was a bit tough in itself although we didn't go too far. Naturally there were rules about safety and not getting in the skiers/boarders way. It's a picturesque mountain & would be brilliant to ski there, not busy by NZ standards, fluffy powder probably at least 5 metres deep, And cheap; about $70/day adult price. It was very cold though, -17 up there, snowing & with a wind blowing. Very difficult conditions to make meaningful photos and we couldn't wander at will. We had the skier hazard on one side and if we stepped off piste we'd disappear under metres of powder. Well I would anyway. It was also hard to gain any separation between the subject and background and difficult to focus with snow swirling between us and the trees we wanted to shoot. I really only managed 2 worthwhile photos.
Still, the drive up the mountain was stunning. Snow covered trees, thick snow on the road. No chains required, everyone here is used to driving in snow and vehicles have snow tyres. It's a lovely big wide road not narrow winding jobs like we have in NZ. The road was not wide enough to park a large bus on though so we couldn't stop except at one plowed layby. We got out but the trees weren't up to much at that particular spot, typical! We have 1 guy from Malaysia with us who has never seen snow before so I did a snow angel to show him. And took a shot while I was lying there - the spots are unavoidable snow flakes on the lens & I don't have time to edit.
There is always funny things happen to make you laugh along the way:
We were lined up on the side of the road cameras pointing in various directions, as you do, when this man arrived (with his cellphone) and started shooting in the same direction. He then stopped by Geoff, who was next to me, & said "I Korea", virtually pushed Geoff out the way and looked at his image on the back of the camera. After my next shot I could feel him breathing in my ear wanting to look at mine, I refused and just said "I New Zealand". He just beamed at us, waved his cellphone shot around as though proving he had much better photos and buggered off.
This morning we were in a 7 Eleven to buy water, snacks etc. The other Geoff (a big bluff Devonshire bloke) picked up what he thought were tissues. Turns out he was buying sanitary napkins to blow his nose on - we are not letting him forget that.
We are very spoiled, there is 9 of us in total and we have a 125 seater bus to spread ourselves around in.
We move up the coast tomorrow to a fishing port called Haboro.
I'm off for my onsen now - it's extra hot tonight apparently.