Today a group of us caught the Shinkansen to Yuzawa, so that we could go snowboarding! Given that I have all the dexterity of drunken troll, coupled with the circulation of a dead lizard, I was not expecting much, but was immensely looking forward to a day in the snow. Keeping it simple, my two objectives for the day were simply: 1) to avoid a serious mauling; and 2) to keep frostbite at bay. Given, staying in Tokyo would have been a lot cheaper, and would have made these objectives eminently more achievable, but that’s hardly the point.
Upon arrival at the ski resort in Yuzawa Gala, things did not get off to the best of starts. The guy at the snowboard rental place refused to believe that anyone could have my body shape, and so spent a country age readjusting my bindings. I began to have misgivings regarding his finesse when he went off in search of a hammer, but thankfully his supervisor was on hand to rectify the situation. When it came to the snowboarding itself I amazed myself by not being absolutely terrible! By my fourth attempt I was able to get all the way down the beginners course without bailing. My one problem seemed to be that I was unable to go slowly, which meant that I had no choice but to bomb down the mountain as fast as possible. After hitting the intermediate slope, my laissez-faire attitude meant that I was actually far more of a danger to everyone else than I was to myself, whilst the fact that I spent all of my energy trying to avoid killing anybody meant that I just didn’t have time to worry about the cold (which in my 6 layers was just about manageable). In fact, the most difficulty that I encountered during the whole trip was in removing my damn ski boots, a sight that delighted the many onlookers in the middle of the resort.