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Never Say Naeba Again

I had never been to Mt. Naeba before (although I've been to Kagura, which is linked to it via the Dragondola), and I don't think I'll be going back.

The mountain is dominated by a mammoth Prince Hotel at the base. Packed with families up for the three-day weekend, it felt more like an international airport than a ski lodge. They even had those little airport luggage carts to wheel your stuff around.

The mountain itself wasn't anything special either. The trails were either bump runs, beginner switchbacks or flat groomers -- no cruisers, glades, or bowls. Like any gaijin snowboarder worth his salt, I'm used to ducking ropes, but despite massive snowfall, very little was easily poachable off-piste. There was a terrain park, but it was closed. And there were so many people on the mountain, each run was like navigating through rush-hour traffic.

I'm out of shape and not a kid anymore, so after two days of boarding, my legs and back were really paying the price. I was only too happy to bail out a little early on Day 3 and avoid the massive evening crowds heading back to Tokyo.

Plus, is it me, or does their rabbit mascot, shown below, look like Hitler?

7 comments:

Kenneth said...

Yes, the rabbit is Hitler.

How culturally insentive to all the Jews in Tokyo.

:P

GaijinBiker said...

I can't tell if you were being serious or not about the rabbit.

For the record, I was not.

Kenneth said...

I know you're kidding. But if we can't laugh at Hitler, what can we laugh at?

GaijinBiker said...

My point exactly.

fasteddie said...

hey, what happens if a Japanese ski patrol catches you cutting ropes? pull your pass? Guess I won't redirect my next ski vacation from Summit County to Japan.

on other thing. just was watching the Matrix Reloaded again. Remember the jumping the Ducati off the front of the semi? Well does that seem physically possible? I'm not science guy remember? It doesn't seem the bike would be able to get the speed up enough to go from standing still on top of the truck, to fast enough to jump far enough ahead to not get hit. Opinion Gajinbikedude?

GaijinBiker said...

Sometimes they pull your pass, sometimes they don't. The best strategy is not to get caught. Also, some mountains like Niseko are experimenting with limited "off-piste" access.

On your other topic, Matrix movies don't count because they take place in virtual reality.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of furry floppy-eared fascists, there is at least one old black-and-white cartoon that you might want to track down. The man who created "Atom Boy" and other Japanimation classics (unbelievable I'm spacing on his name now) was essentially shanghaied into the propaganda department during the war where he helped produce a fascinating but creepy propaganda cartoon of animals in Japanese Imperial army garb parachuting from planes, reading proclamations to subject animals, and generally furthering the nationalist cause. I've never seen it in its entirety, but occasionally it crops up on TV. 

Posted by Comrade_Tovarich

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