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Hakuba – Part 1

hakuba ski jump

We did our first, overnight excursion in Japan as a family last week. We took an 8 a.m. bus from Shinjuku to Hakuba in Nagano Ken. The difference four and a half hours on a bus can make in your environment is incredible. Hakuba is absolutely deserted this time of year.

The above photo is of the Hakuba Ski Jump which was built for the winter Olympics held in Nagano in 1998. We had a great view of the jump site (and the Japanese Alps) from our hotel. The plants getting in the way are called susuki (薄 or 芒 or Japanese Pampas Grass). We were supposed to walk through a field of susuki in Hakone but ran out of time and had to just see it from the bus. We got to walk through lots of susuki in Hakuba, though, so missing out on the experience in Hakone doesn’t feel so bad anymore.

lake aoki aokiko hakuba japan

On our first full day in Hakuba we did a tour which included canoeing on Lake Aoki (Aokiko or 青木湖) and mountain biking. Our guide, who has been canoeing and kayaking on this lake for years, said he had never seen the water so calm. There was no breeze, the sky was mostly blue, the temperature was a pleasant sixty something degrees Fahrenheit (about 18 degrees Celsius), and the leaves were turning colors on the trees (紅葉). We were the only people on the lake. Needless to say, you will be seeing more pictures of this incredible lake in future entries.

2 Responses to “Hakuba – Part 1”

  1. 1

    That is one incredible photo of lake Aokiko…I have no words to describe how beautiful it is. The color and reflections are pure magic…

  2. 2
    emily michelle:

    Gorgeous! I love the top picture, especially, with the grass in the foreground.