Got naked and had a bath in the snow with some Asian ladies ;)
10.01.2014 - 11.01.2014 -2 °C
Well before I start on today, here is a quick recap of yesterday....
It was our second day at the Happo mountain across the road from us so we were all a little more confident on which runs we enjoyed and were capable of (not to mention the perfect sunny weather which meant we could actually see more than 3 metres in front of us!) so we set a few meeting times and places so we could check everyone was alive and then split up for the day. I got my board waxed first because it was in need of some TLC and then did a few of the intermediate runs before accidentally ending up on a black run. Wasn't too scary but had a few metres of very slow falling leaf style!! Everyone finished up at different times and then at 3pm Zac, Marc and I went for a walk back down to the super market (so long!!) to get some snacks while Nick and James had a game of chess. After some down time in our room we headed out for dinner at a little place down the road and then came back with the intention of heading down the the bar at happy hour (8-9) to grab a drink. What actually happened was that we all got too comfy in our room and fell asleep before then while Marc and James stayed up playing Pokemon... I know what you're thinking, and yes we are that hard core!
Zac had a pretty bad cold when we woke up in the morning so we decided on a rest day for everyone to recover. I suggested going to some onsen and the boys wanted a massage as well so they caught a taxi to the massage place while I went for a walk to the closest ATM and then up to Wadano to find the onsen. There I met the boys, who had given up on waiting for a massage and come to the onsen instead, but unfortunately it was closed for cleaning for half an hour. So we split up again and the boys went to find another onsen while I went for a walk to find a cafe further into the next village. It wasn't too cold outside but was lightly snowing and sunny skies so it was the perfect day to wander along the little paths between the villages and I definitely started to feel like I had found Narnia! During this walk I saw 3 people ahead of me and as they came closer I heard them yell out, " Hey that's Claire!" It took me a while to realise who it was because of the sunnies and beanies but then I realised it was Amy and Emma, who are over here for a few days as well. Was crazy to run into them on a random little road in Japan! After catching up with them for a little while I found a cool cafe where I had some hot milk and baileys before heading back to a hotel called The Ridge where I had been told had awesome massages. I booked a massage for a few hours ahead and then went back to the onsen to try it out.
As I walked in, right at the split between the male and female ones, I heard some loud voices interrupting the peace and quiet of the area and then realised it was the boys.... They told me afterwards though that they were the only ones in there so it was ok! I went into the ladies one where I was not so lucky. There were a number of other guests, all of which were naked and walking around, so I quickly and awkwardly stripped off before sitting down on the little stools at the shower area where you have to totally clean yourself before getting in. A little bit weird sitting on a chair to shower, but all part of the experience! I then went outside where a cute little bath built in the rocks was waiting and I slid into the extremely hot water where I sat for ages with the snow falling onto my head and shoulders. After I while I was getting ridiculously hot so had to sit up on the rocks for a bit before passing out. Bit weird to be sitting outside in the snow, naked, with other people watching.... But actually not as awkward as you would think!
After about 45 minutes in the onsen I dried off, got dressed and headed back to The Ridge to have my massage. I got there a bit early so he made me a free cappuccino (actually the best I have had in Japan so far!) and when he was ready he brought me down to the massage room and I got sorted and told him where was sore and which muscles were tired. It was such a good massage and I was feeling really relaxed and much better until he decided to massage my legs. This started off awesome but then he was massaging quite far up my leg which was a little awkward, but then even worse he started massaging my feet which was sooooo not cool!! Then he started pulling my toes, one by one! He very nearly got a kick in the face before realising that I obviously was not feeling relaxed by that, had a laugh about ticklish feet, and went back to massaging my shoulders which he said had ridiculous amounts of knots. So for those of you who know how I feel about feet, I hope you enjoy that story!
By the end of the massage I was feeling very relaxed and sleepy so I walked back to our lodge where I found the boys chilling in the room, Zac was feeling a little better after they had been to the onsen, so we took a pack of cards and headed down to the restaurant in our lodge to get some lunch and play scumbag. We went out to dinner after a while and ran into the Patterson group again (apparently Hakuba isn't as large as it seems!) had some really good sushi, came back for a drink at our lodge for happy hour, and are now back in our room, about to have an early night so we can get up at a decent time in the morning for a day on a different mountain. Shuttle bus is free from our lodge and our passes cover 9 different mountains so we decided we would have a look somewhere else while we are here.
Hope you guys are all having a great weekend!!