a blog about seeing the world

Hello Hokkaido!

After more than a year of planning, endless last-minute errands, and a few midnight meltdowns, we arrived in Japan this morning.

Our first impression after stepping off the plane in Tokyo: Japan is incredibly clean and welcoming, the people are super friendly, and the signage is awesome. We were able to find our way through customs and onto a shuttle bus to catch a tight connection with no problem. Imagine trying to navigate New York’s LaGuardia (worst airport ever?) as a foreign tourist! We could barely figure it out ourselves during our layover there.

Between Vermont and Japan, we stopped in Seattle for five days, seeing some good friends and taking an avalanche course through Mountain Madness. We spent two full days at Steven’s Pass, learning to use our avalanche gear, choose terrain wisely and look for instability in the snowpack. I wouldn’t say we feel totally confident in our abilities to determine whether or not a slope is safe, but I think we learned to be a lot more cautious and deliberate in our decisions.

The flight from Seattle to L.A. to Tokyo made for the longest night we’ve ever seen, since we were running away from the sun the entire time. It finally rose as we were leaving Tokyo, ending our 20 hours of darkness in the Land of the Rising Sun.

We took a flight to Sapporo, Hokkaido from there, and a bus to Rusutsu, where we plan to stay for six nights. Aside from some confusion about which bus would take us there and breakfast sandwiches where the egg turned out to be an egg-sized swath of mayonnaise, everything went smoothly.

Flying into Hokkaido. January 12

Now that we are here, it’s pretty exciting to be starting the trip we’ve planned for so long. The weeks leading up to our departure were mostly stressful and sad, saying goodbye to all of our family and friends.

But, it’s currently dumping here in Rusutsu, and we’re excited to ski tomorrow!

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9 responses

  1. Callie Brynn

    We’re so glad to hear that you finally made it! The long days of travel sound exhausting but rewarding to arrive in such a great place. Its so exciting. It’s chilly here in ol’ VerMont, but we have some light fresh snow, great for xc, certainly not Japan. I found some trail mix this morning, left over from our night at Sleepy Hollow (apparently we are still unpacking) Cam is finishing it up today with you in mind. We miss you both but look forward to seeing your future adventures. Safe travels friends!!!

    VT Love,
    Cam and Callie

    January 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    • Thanks! We miss you, too! The snow is amazing here, keep an eye out for pictures and videos soon.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:04 am

      • I’d venture that this article has saved me more time than any other.

        May 18, 2015 at 7:37 am

  2. Jess

    “My cat is GOIN!!!”

    I’m so glad you’ve made it safely to the other side! Now ski safely while having reckless fun!

    January 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    • Ha! There was actually a cat on one of our flights out to Seattle.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

  3. Kaitlyn

    Yay! Living vicariously through you guys. I’m sure the snowfall there is much more exciting than here in Burlington 🙂

    January 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

  4. Kiesha

    Its dumping here in VT as we speak! 7-10 inches today and 3 more tonight! Have fun guys!

    January 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

  5. Grandpa Arnie

    I hope to see pictures of this trip sometime! I’d probably have to spend a week out in Vermont to see it all – you’ll probably have “rolls and rolls” of film! (Though I guess they don’t use rolls any more!)

    January 13, 2011 at 3:19 am

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