Monday, March 1, 2010

Didn't he go over there to work?

It's me, Allan. Well, here I am as a guest columnist again. It seems Liz is finished skiing for the year and my cousin Jorey was in town (or country, again) and wanted to go, so we went. Last Saturday, we met at the Shinkansen (bullet train) in Tokyo. This was my first experience on the bullet train and it is definitely different from the regular train service in Japan.

It looks sleek and fast, and it is (about 120-160 mph). We made it from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa Station in 80 minutes. I left Yokosuka at 6:30 AM and was skiing by noon. The resort was Mt. Naeba and we stayed at the Prince Hotel.
When we left Tokyo, it was about 45 degrees fahrenheit and raining. Jorey was telling me about a famous Japanese Nobel Prize winning author who wrote about going on the train and "after going through the tunnel and then there was snow". Well, after going through the tunnel "then there was snow"!
When we arrived at the slopes and were getting ready to ski, we met my boss and his family. The skiing was like springtime - slow, mushy and choppy - and a lot of hard work. That night it got colder and snowed about 4-5 inches. That made Sunday really treacherous. Under the new snow - ICE! With a lot of people on the slopes and icy conditions, skiing was difficult. Jorey and I did find some nice areas and had a blast. We skied (I skied, Jorey snow boarded) hard that morning and left the slopes at 1:00 PM.

We were on the train when a colleague sent me an email that the trains going along the coast from Tokyo to Yokosuka were cancelled due to the Tsunami caused by the Chilean earthquake.

Jorey and I took our time in Tokyo and the trains started running again, no problem just precautionary measures. Japan is way different from Florida. Like Dorothy said "Toto, we're not in Kansas any more".

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