Niseko aka “Bali on Ice”

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Owen sporting his crusty powder demon beard
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Owen’s blog – sorry, its now invite only – very exclusive ;) – covers my week in Niseko quite nicely, but I will add a few observations & pics.

After a mad, hung-over, last-minute dash to Osaka airport, I was seriously relieved to spend the day mostly sleeping on the plane/bus to Niseko.

I stayed at a lovely little Japanese lodge near the bunny area, & was lucky enough to score my own room (with a view). The pad had free wifi, which was incredibly handy for skype phone calls, weather reports, etc.

Osaka – Club Clapper

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Train-station breaker crew
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“Check my bouncy ride, cracker!”
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Virtually straight off the plane from Sydney, our intrepid snowboarding techno-heads (Al Ferg, Matt Costain, Mikkachops & Colin) ventured out to Club Clapper (say that with a Japanese accent for a cheap laugh). It was in a tiny basement club, with a dancefloor that was totally pitch black except for an single strobe light. You’d have to wait for it to flash so you could find where you left your beer – which it only did every 20 seconds!

Crub Crapper Cam

There wasnt a lot of what I’d call dancing going on – more just shuffling to the beat – but given that nearly everyone on the dancefloor was chain-smoking, this was probably all the effort they could muster. The music was absolutely wicked (it got better than the sample in the above video as the night went on) & I swear I heard some of the best techno & DJing skills I have ever heard! In fact I was enjoying myself so much that I stayed on long after the other lads left (they had to catch an early bus to Hakuba).

Spot the crackers…
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Despite the language barrier, I made friends with all the DJs, live acts, promoter, club manager & all their partners. I was shouted numerous beers & tequila shots, & ended up being the token “baka gaijin” (crazy white guy), dancing like a maniac until 6am! & They even fired up a laser for us at about 4am. What a brilliant night! :)

Link – Breel wasnt playing that night, but he’s a very friendly techno producer dude who, uhm, herbally enhanced my enjoyment of the evening ;) . Breel’s MySpace page.

TO BE CONTINUED…

JapPow 2008

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From untracked powder ridges to earthquakes, Nip-hop DJs to Arm-wrestling Karate experts, heater-less snowboarder squats to dark Osaka techno clubs – the 2008 JaPow mission was a seriously saiko adventure!

So read on, in an upwards blog stylee…

Topographic Tamagochi

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This one’s a beauty for the dedicated snow-geek – topographic maps of the whole Japanese archipelago! It’s in Japanese so pretty tricky to find the ski resorts… I’ve found a couple & will add more if/when my Japanese friends identify some of the locations.

The Map site is here – watchizu.gsi.go.jp.

Niseko is here & partly here.

Rusutsu is here.

& this one is just really cool & craggy looking – I can just imagine Samurai climbing all over it, hunting Kamoshikas!
;)
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