I just returned from my powder filled travels to Japan with TGR. I traveled there with my a ski bag, a wallet full of yen, and my two good friends John Collinson and Colter Hinchliffe. We spent the first week in Niseko and then had a road trip with the crew to Kiroro where we spent the majority of our month in Japan. It was nice to start the trip off in the centrally located town of Niseko. Getting settled in was necessary since a large amount of our ski season was going to be spent exploring the north island of Japan. The constant snowfall was probably the biggest perk of our trip to Japan, so our biggest worry was what to have for dinner. Hot ramen noodles, Sushi, and the Japanese grill were the most visited locales. Our other favorite outing was hitting up the closest 7-11 and buying all the interesting snacks that don’t exist in the USA. I forgot to apply for an international drivers card before I left the USA so I was never behind the wheel (which is on the opposite side of roads in the west). I think that might have been a good idea looking back… I am not the best driver, but our Toyota vans did handle well on the winding roads that were perpetually covered in a thin layer of ice and snow. Big ups to the snow removal crews of Hokkaido that no-joke work 24/7 everyday of winter clearing the roads. Also thanks to Kiroro Resort for setting up the TGR crew at the Hotel Piano at the base of the resort. We were more than happy with the amount of terrain accessible from a 15 minute gondola ride which took you to a network of bubble quads. The TGR crew is more than just the 3 athletes. There are 4 production members along with our photographer Chris Bezemat which makes for a crew of a few, 8 to be exact. Teton Gravity also did a blog on tips for traveling to Japan as well as a recap of our trip that is probably more interesting than the one you are reading!
It was a great experience traveling to the North Island where the snowpack always seems to stack up in January. I am looking forward to returning and trying some resorts on the south island of Hakuba. It was fun to travel with Johnny who had been to Japan before, but for Colter and I it was our first time skiing in the land of the rising sun. Make sure to check our Instagram feeds to see what our trip was like, It was a trip of a lifetime and I am really happy I got to ski and travel in Japan!
We will start the blog where we ended our trip, in Tokyo! Standing with Colter and Johnny.
We didn’t ski in the trees the entire trip… here is a rare moment above the forest.
Turning a downed tree into a jump, why not.
Making friends in Otaru!
This house is wearing a toupee.
Jump sessions in Niseko. Photo: @colterjh
Navigating the maze of trees. Photo: @dutchsimpson
Johnny Collinson in the mix.
Jumping on pillows in the forest is a common activity. Photo: @dutchsimpson
Goodbye Japan, location the Sea of Japan! Photo: @colterjh