As our first snow destination in Nagano, we went to Hakuba. They had the olympics, so like squaw, it must be great :)
Hakuba has multiple snow resorts, Happo One being the most central and famous since it had the olympic facilities. The first day however, we went to visit Hakuba 47, another big resort a short distance away, joined to Goryu, but sadly they were very strict, would stop the lift if I even dared to try to get off the lift bound in with both feet (which I do for safety and the welfare of my knee which can't take torquing from riding on one leg), and then they had this tree zone, the only place off boring groomers, where you had to be a member to ride. I figured that since all I do is ride trees and off piste, that would make me an honorary member, but turns out ski patrol disagreed, go figure...
Goryu was adjacent to Hakuba 47
Japan likes gondolas, way too many for my taste
The next day the plan was go to to Cortina, another further north resort known for actually allowing riding off piste, but sadly the rain falling was actually rain at lower elevation, the conditions at cortina were supposed to be horrible, so instead we stayed in our room a bit longer until the temps got lower, and we went to Happo One for a half day of skiing at the top elevations where the snow wasn't too bad, even if the visiblity was near 0. Not too many pictures as a result:
tree riding zone, that's for me, right?
The 3rd day, we got luckier, and all the snow that fell overnight was actually snow and Happo One's top was excellent powdery conditions. We went all over the top of the mountain and enjoyed the fresh powder very much. As a result, we never got ot see Cortina, but since it was a warm storm, staying at Happo One was the right decision for snow quality. We then had to leave the resort not too late to catch a bus to Nagano and take a train to Shiga Kogen
at the time, it seemed like a great idea to go between them and enjoy the fresh snow, Arturo told me otherwise :)