Our view from the hotel.
We were picked up by Forest and Water, fitted for shoes at the company store and then driven about 30 minutes up the mountain to snow shoe. It was a beautiful day.
A tree with moss.
We had two English speaking guides (Yohei and Okapi) that were so kind, helpful, and fun. They made a table out of snow when it was time to eat lunch. Okapi made lunch, udon soup with veggies (my favorite!).
We hiked up to Oyu cave that has hiyoju (ice formations that form like stalagmites).
The way up was fun but the way down was even better. They brought plastic sleds that looked like shovels and we slid down the mountain.
(This is the caption on Yohei's blog under our picture.)
We finished an hour and a half earlier than other people who do the tour so we had plenty of time to go snowboarding. They took us back to the shop, then drove us to the post office to get cash, and then took us to the ski resort and helped us buy tickets, rent gear, and worked out how we would get back to the hotel. All of this for NO TIP.
Japan is amazing.
Since we couldn't tip we offered to take some of the guys out for dinner and drinks (but mostly drinks). I think we said 'kampai!!' at least 20 times that night.
It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Japan, in a Japanese bar with our Japanese guides.
What an amazing trip.