Gala ski trip

We went skiing yesterday to a place outside Nagano called Gala (sounds a bit like Gara in Japanese). We took the shikansen at 8am and around 2 hours later we arrived. The ski lifts are just outside the shinkansen stop, so it’s very convenient. I booked my skis/boots in advance over the internet, so all I had to do was drop by, pick up the things and away I went. 5 of us from the office went, Koga-san, Ichikawa-san, Okamoto-san, Staffan and myself. Everything went like clockwork and by around 10:30 in the morning we were on the slopes.

When we arrived we were a bit worried because outside the station there was absolutely no snow! A few patches of white were to be seen, but in general, no snow!

Anyways, by the time we got to the top, there was enough snow to ski on. There wasn’t a whole lot, but the skiing was pretty good. It was also much colder up top. On the monday, apparently it had been raining!

Anyways, we had some good runs and all the guys were really good skiers! Koga-san did really well on the moguls too. Okamoto-san was the only one of us who snowboarded. He was really good – much better than I could have done.

Around noon it started to snow and we had some food in the restaurant. I ordered a _huge_ katsudon in this massively wide, but quite shallow bowl. It looked cool at least. A nice beer to rinse it all down! Yum!

After lunch we did some more skiing and my trousers started to get wet because the snow was melting on me, and the wet trousers meant that even more snow would melt. I had a second pair of trousers underneath the ones on top, but I was still getting cold.

The snow got heavier during the day and near the end of the day there was at least 10cm of fresh, dry, fluffy snow! It was really good condition! The skiing at that time was great! During the last few runs, the snow stopped and it was lovely weather.

We never had to wait in queues (being a Wednesday) and even the gondola trip down didn’t have a queue. In all, there were more snowboarders than skiers actually, and when we stopped at the top of the hill waiting for Okamoto-san to put his boots into his board, it was so often than one could hear lots of laughing. Very cool!

After the skiing, we went into the onsen and relaxed. The water in the onsen was _really_ warm – almost too hot. After getting really cold legs from the wet trousers, my legs were quite itchy and all from the heat! There was a jacuzzi outside, which was very nice and a fairly big pool to relax in, along with water jets to relax those muscles. It was great being in the hot jacuzzi with snow-covered trees all around.

We finished off the day with some food (pizza) and more beer on the shinkansen ride home. In the end, I think I got home around 10pm, right around the time I’d normally come home from work! That was much better than work!

Here is a photo of the crew!

Skiing in Gala

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