It’s safe to say that if you travel, you are bound for adventure.
I’ve had quite a few adventures during my Tokyo trip. I bumbled my way through Kamakura and Hase without a map because the tourist office was closed for holidays. I was swooped by a sea eagle (it’s not funny! Those birds are huge…especially up close) and had to use a public bathhouse in the traditional Japanese-style. However, my biggest adventure during the trip was when I went snowboarding with my sister.
With only two days off work, my sister suggested that we got out of Tokyo and tried snowboarding somewhere cheap. As I have never tried any snow sport (I’m from Brisbane remember), I was totally keen.
So here were my first impressions of our little snowboarding adventure:
1. Overnight bus was squishy and the old ‘get what you pay for’ saying came to mind.
2. Overnight bus took forever. Reason being that we travelled past Nagano…apparently cheap does not mean close-by.
3. It was snowing heavily when we got off the bus and tramped into a small ski cafe. Here we realised two things: that we had gotten off a stop too early and that no one here could speak English.
Togari…and a whole lot of snow
I want to pause here because this made me think about writing adventure stories. (Is that a normal reaction?) What this first impression cemented for me was that characters don’t always want adventure and it’s not always fun.
I’ve read a few books lately where the lead character whips out a gun, kills someone and then comes out with some ‘witty’ one liner. I’m not interested in those sort of stories unless the character also shows some real reactions and emotion. In life, adventure can be hilarious and quirky but sometimes it’s stressful and frightening. I believe that this needs to be reflected in fiction too.
So how did the snowboarding adventure fare? Eventually a shuttle bus found us and after a few more mistakes we were on the ski slopes and booked in for a snowboarding lesson (yes, in Japanese).
I did much better than I thought and I would love to try it again. A few of the staff told my sister that they had been watching us and that we were doing really well. We were also asked by the manager of the ski school, the shuttle bus driver and two friends on holiday if they could take photos of us…
We’re pretty sure we’re the first gaijin to turn up at Togari for a holiday. Who knows? We may go back some time.
(Yes, I’m back home and slowly adjusting to my Brisbane ways.)