Whether I am scheming to get an overweight and oversized bag past the airline check-in counter, squeezing onto a subway car in Tokyo rush hour, or wedging myself between a web of ptex and metal edges to fit in a gondola cabin, I can bet that the transportation I am on in Japan will be undersized.
I thought it was strange that the little baggage car towing, golf cart-like, vehicle-etts had snow plows on them when I first flew into Sapporo. I was in a funny but exciting country, and I dropped all expectations I previously had of the weeks to come.
We stopped at APPI for a few days while we made our way north and ultimately to Hokkaido. I turned out to be a good stop and a surprise storm dropped too much snow for most of the APPI terrain and closed ll the upper lifts. We hid in the trees and lapped these little corridors.
Rusutsu Resort - Walk outside and hop on the gondola, then ride up another chair, get some face shots on a cleared run or navigate a tree line. Make sure to bundle up because the cold air blowing off Siberia will frost bite your nose and freeze your face. But Siberia has also has brought the lightest snow you will ever ski. Only in Hokkaido.
Hakuba Cortina is a one-stop skier's paradise in Japan. Stay in the hotel at the bottom of the lift that will deliver you the snow you see here. We played around with a new high-speed camera during the winter of 2013 while filming their promo video
An oldie but goodie. A few years ago we stumbled upon one of the local Sapporo ski areas called Teine. It turned out to be a hidden gem with quick and steep sidecoountry laps that lead right back to the lift. You’d think that with 2 million people just 30 minutes away from Teine's parking lot that the resort would occasionally be tracked… Think again.
Rusutsu's Freedom Park is very fun to play around in, especially at night. A great way to end a day of Powder skiing, on a few un-intimidating jumps and rails that allow anyone a chance to up their park game.
APPI All Season Resort is a family resort, with the motto “Don’t worry be Appi!”. APPI is great for mom, dad and the pups! Explore the mountain and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. There's zero crowds and everyone is laid back. When we have kids we're taking 'em here. Not to mention, it has been known to snow here... A lot.