We arrived in Kusatsu, Gunma the night before, a 2 hour drive from Takeshi’s parents’ house in Takasaki. Takeshi’s elder sister is a school teacher here and owns a personal log house of sorts where we stayed in for the next 2 days. Temperatures dropped to a mind numbing -5°C ; the coldest place I’ve ever been to; even indoors we were still exhaling copious fumes of water vapour.
(above) A view from inside the log house in the morning. (below) Shortly after we woke up and had breakfast ( left over Mochis from yesterday ), heavy snowfall began falling, blanketing everything in a thick sheet of fine, powdery snow, transforming the landscape completely in a matter of minutes.
(below) Enroute to the ski resort area.
Once outdoors getting good pictures proofed to be quite a challenge -the snow was bouncing so much ambient light all over the place, not to mention the freezing cold numbing my fingers and having to shield my camera from falling snow all the time.
(above) One of the bigger ski resorts in Kusatsu. We didn’t actually ski here and settled for a gentler sloping, less populated spot somewhere. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of us in action; By the time the four of us swung into full skiing gear we could only flap around awkwardly like penguins.
This was my first skiing experience and I was struggling not to fall for most of the time and rolling in the snow for the rest, but it very quickly daunt on me that once I let go of the fear of falling and took my mind off the intimidating slopes I started to enjoy myself much more. Fortis fortuna adiuvat !