Coming back here and reading my past updates has made me want to recount more of the trip. Not just for you guys to read but also so i can come back here in years time and read about my adventures and not just have pictures to look at but words to read too.
Now back to the trip.
We had arrived earlier that morning in Hakuba after being delayed due to the previous snow storms. Japan, even on the main island receives incredible amounts of snow fall. Ive been snowboarding for about 7 years now and Australian seasons produce about 1.5m-2m depending on how good the season is. Japans average snow fall is around 12m!!
This is the picture that originally drew me to want to travel to japan to snowboard.
This picture is no lie! Literally some of the roads around Hakuba looked like this! This is the best snow i have ever ridden on. There was so much powder everywhere. I made the comment that that was more powder on the groomed runs in Japan than there is in the back country in Australia. If you ski or snowboard i would recommend going to japan one day.
Anyway enough talking. The next 4.5 days for my girlfriend and i consisted of countless hours of shredding some amazing Japanese snow. Not many pics were taken but ill just pic dump what i have and if some things need explaining ill put a little blurb with those pics.
Where our hotel was situated in the village (right on the snowfield) we just had to walk 200m from the entry and were presented with this each day
Speaking of our hotel. Within it was a Japanese restaurant that we ate at most nights. One of the highlights was the final night when i ordered the full 8 course meal. Everything that was brought out was amazing and so fresh. I was definitely full at the end of that night!
Here is a pic of the menu for the meal.
entrees and assorted extras
main beef dish which you cook yourself at the table
A pork dish from another night brought out on a hot stone slab.
more food related posts but of a different kind haha
As most of you are aware vending machines are everywhere in Japan and in Hakuba its no different. There was literaly little huts with just vending machines inside them haha. Vending machines have two different drink colours on them. The first is blue which represents cold drinks and the other is orange which represents hot drinks. Basically all i ate (well drank) during the days snowboarding were these corn soups in a can. They were delicious and about $1 aud each! I couldnt get enough haha
These hot chocolates were a solid choice as well!
Ill leave it there. I may do another update tonight on our journey to Osaka and visiting j's racing.
We left our hotel in the early hours of the morning to make our way down the mountains to Nagano station to catch our morning Shinkansen on route to Osaka.
With not much sleep the night before thanks to some partying/goodbyes with our friends most of this train trip was spent making up for that lost sleep. The trip from Nagano to Osaka takes about 4 hours with quick transfers so this was plenty of time for us to rest up.
Most of the trip is spent in the Japanese country side passing farms so we didnt miss much haha
Shinkansen pulling into Nagoya station
Leaving the lovely Japanese Alps behind
After a few hours sleep we woke up just before entering into Osaka and i quickly snapped this pic.
A transfer to a local JR train later we were making our way to Namba which is where our hotel was situated.
Namba is a medium sized station in Osaka with only local lines running through it but the place is massive! Even the size of this station makes our lager stations in sydney like central look like their bathrooms. Our hotel was located at the number 23 exit and it literally took us 10 minutes to walk from one side of the station the other to reach it. Upon exiting up to the surface we were presented with this.
See that raised motorway above. That is actually part of the Osaka loop (yep the actual Osaka loop that is famous for all the Kanjo racing). This part of the loop passed right past our hotel. A year earlier a friend stayed in the same hotel and had a room overlooking the loop and actually caught a few Kanjo racing past. Sadly our room was not overlooking the loop (even after asking the front desk to move us haha)
We arrived just before check in time so we were lucky to be able to get our room early to drop our stuff off and head back out.
When organising the trip with my girlfriend i negotiated car related things into it and today was one of my designated car days haha. Coming to Osaka i knew the two main places i wanted to visit were js racing and tactical art.
Both workshops are located in smaller suburbs surrounding Osaka so to travel out to them you need to catch local trains. Js racing was our first stop and is located in Ibiraki. About 30 mins from Namba.
Traveling out to Ibiraki though the different suburbs of Osaka is definitely a cool experience. Seeing all the shopping centres and housing along the train tracks definitely gives you an insight into the way the Japanese live. Upon arriving at Ibiraki station we had to navigate our way through the streets to J's racing. J's racing is about a 10min walk from the train station across the road from the hospital. At one stage we got lost and had to ask for directions. We went into a barber shop but the man who owned it didnt know much english so he got his wife who is a teacher to come help us. When we told her where we wanted to go she informed us that we were going the right way and walked us back outside. We thought she was just going to point which way to go and that was it but she pointed towards he car and told us that she would drive us the rest of the way. This is what i love about Japan. The people there are so kind natured and willing to go out of their way to help you.
Two minutes later and we were outisde J's racing. With many thanks we said goodbye to the old asian lady and my fan boy experience started haha
Being a massive js racing fan boy that i am i HAD to visit the workshop when we were in osaka no questions about it.
i had added hisaaki (president) on facebook a few months before heading over and had talked briefly with him once or twice. funnily enough when i introduced myself he remembered who i was and and thanked me numerous times for making the way all the way from australia to visit the store. (crazy!!!!) There was that Japanese hospitality and kindness again.
We had a long chat, i bought some parts
-j's racing thermostat
-j's racing thermo fan switch
-j's racing ETD heat shield
-j's racing oil filter stopper
-j's t shirt
and i asked about exhausts and other parts for the future and even got to have a look around the workshop at js demo car and another customers car which were both getting prepped for a track day the following weekend. Was an excellent experience and i recommend any Honda fan to visit if they make their way to Japan/Osaka.
Hisaaki was one of the nicest people i have ever met and was totally welcoming and his hospitality was amazing. From greetings to the tour of his workshop to booking us a cab to Tactical Art as we were leaving.
Now for the pictures
Few happy snaps of myself outside J's racing and with Hisaaki and the Js demo car
few of J's racing demo cars/customers cars parked outside. The yellow s2000 is actually a customers car that J's look after.
i love this car and the way the gt bodykit looks with just paint and no livery. Ive always had a soft spot for non livery race cars.
J's demo car (the one from all the hot version videos)
Js racing CRZ
Can you say hyper revs?
Literally every single Honda model hyper rev made. Most of these are doubled up as well!
Was tempted to take a few issues that i dont have
Ill leave it at that and update on the next visit to Tactical Art tomorrow
Japan is really a clean and well developed country that is basically known for its innovative technology. I went Japan in 2013. I was there for an event that was organized by our company named Dazzlemeds.Com. the event was organized in Tokyo the capital of the beautiful country Japan. It was just like a healthcare camp.