08 Oct October Update
Previously on Snow Country Instructors…….
Our intrepid band of coaches has been scattered across the globe due to the pandemic, but as winter draws closer a small band of determined instructors is gathering in the mountains of Japan to continue the pursuit of snowsport enjoyment. The shadow of travel restrictions and the virus looms over them, but the snow must go on….
Just a quick update from us from the mountains of Yuzawa. Cooler fall temperatures here and the trees are just starting to change color. It has been a wet year this green season which has affected the rice harvest (pro tip: get your koshihikari stocks in early this year!), but the farmers are saying that this pattern often leads to heavy snows in winter. We’ll have to see what the insect population have to predict.
We have a slightly smaller team of ski and snowboard instructors this winter but should still have plenty of lesson available. Bookings are always open so drop us a line if you are thinking of hitting the slopes this winter. All our team have been in Japan over summer doing various jobs in Yuzawa, Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Tokyo, so plenty of familiar faces around.
October is traditionally a good time to buy early bird discounted lift tickets – both season passes or day passes. Check out the website for your favorite resort or there are sites that cover many areas. The early bird gets cheaper skiing/snowboarding.
For those of you overseas and dreaming of a Japanese snow vacation we have no real news. There is a general election at the end of this month, so hopefully after that is all resolved we will get a bit more information about the possibility of the easing of travel restrictions. There is a rumor going around about a soft quarantine which would allow visitors from overseas to travel from the airport in private transport and complete their ten day quarantine at the same address, but being able to go out during the day. This would mean you could come to Yuzawa by car or taxi, and quarantine in one place while skiing every day. Fingers crossed that this rumor is true, or some other solution materializes to allow international visitors to ski and snowboard in Japan this winter. We would be all for a snow quarantine or ski quarantine!!! The ski towns and resorts would love to have their overseas guests back this year, or they could go the way of many other defunct resorts that litter the history of snowsports in Japan (check out Snow Japan History to see some of these casualties.)