- The ¥11,500 yen taxi to airport cost me one-third of my plane ticket price!
- The ANA check-in lady asked me if I want a window seat. Then after X-raying my baggage, she told me it's snowing in Sapporo so the flight might be diverted to Tokyo!
- Next the personal X-ray machine beeped and I had to put their slippers on to re-enter the X-doorway - meanwhile, I'm sure they are retracting the boarding bridge!
- Finally I managed to get on the plane that was heated to well over 30 degrees and yet still some passengers were wearing their beanies and jackets.
- The flight over the sea suddenly changed to a big white island...
For night skiing, the mountain is lit up like a Christmas tree. The bus dumps everyone into the dark cold night. A Welcome Centre staff, Emiko, was knocking off for the night and offered me a lift to Yubokumin. Rather lucky for me as I had no map and calling the hostel was a communication challenge.
Dinner the minute I walked in the door. I turned down the offer of a lift to the local onsen and searched for my Aussie mates instead. Aussies dominate the entire village, so it was a little like finding needles in a haystack, but they were in Hank's bar. A beer and a chat followed by a visit to the enigmatic Seicomart before we called it a night.
¥10,000 yen later and I've got my lift ticket for the next 3 days sorted. The 2 meals and accommodation seems like a great deal, staying with friendly Japanese people who enjoy knocking back a bit of sake or shochu at night. Finally my dream holiday is happening...