Friday 19 March 2021

Japan 2.0... 2.0

 Almost like a blind obsession, I was focused and determined to return to Japan in 2020. And 1 year after our first visit we took the new ANA direct 10 hour flight Perth to Tokyo. January 2020 seemed fine. I mean we weren't to know the travel restrictions to come just a couple months later, but I'm forever grateful we took this trip and managed to get home just days before the first of many COVID lock downs began. 

The trip, like the first a year earlier did not disappoint, although I'd be lying if I didn't say we could have done with more snow. Myoko region is known for its high snow fall, however 2020 was not the best season. That said, we skied every day and all the fields remained open. Just not fresh powder. 

Myoko is a stunning region, about 5 hours drive west of Tokyo. We arrived in our hybrid rental car at our AirBnB cabin late on day 1 and it was typical Japanese greeting. The host came out to greet us in the early evening fog, helped us into our house and half an hour later, delivered bowls of hot Ramen to our door. His kindness and friendship sustained throughout our entire 2 weeks. I love Japanese hospitality. 

The first few days we skied at the Kurohime Kogen Snow Park in Shinano-machi Kamiminochi-gun. It has one of the longest runs in Japan, around 9km. 

We negotiated a good deal for boards and equipment at the base ski shop and after briefly reacquainting ourselves on how to snowboard we went straight to the top of the mountain. The boys were jumping out of their boots with excitement and as soon as we got off the lift the quickly descended away from me as slowly I ploughed down the incredible slopes. 

These trips to Japan with my kids in 2019 & 2020 will be memories I'll cherish forever. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I happen to achieve these adventures before the pandemic came. Opportunities like this are rare and as we've all learnt in 2020, we can't take anything for granted anymore. 

Myoko Akakura Kanko, Niigata



Monday 8 March 2021

Local travel 1 - Nannup festival followed by Hamlin Bay

 With the pandemic and all restricting international travel, I took a few local holidays which in every case turned out to be more interesting and rewarding than I was probably expecting. 

First stop Nannup to the annual music festival. On arrival we learnt just how close this event had come to being cancelled just hours before it kicked off, however it didn't - and we were lucky enough to have not only our first holiday in a while, but also to be at a (small) music festival and enjoying live music again!

The line up was mixed, with a range of folk and acoustic acts, some real bush rockers who usually played at the Nannup pub rear garden venue and a finale' featuring our favorite band of the event, Alter boy.


yee ha

The natural amphitheater 

The pub
The rock garden

When the show was over, we drove  couple hours west to the Augusta coast and chilled at the amazing Hamlin Bay for a few days. This location and the caravan park situated right behind the dunes is amongst my favourite camping places... anywhere really!