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December 07, 2006

Return to Echigo Yuzawa

I made a quick getaway to the mountains today. And I mean quick…I left Tokyo at 1:32pm and will return tomorrow morning at 8:30am. I really wanted to get up here before I went back to the US for Christmas and this was the only day I could do it, so here I am. It is a bit early in the season, but there is already snow on the ground, thanks to a storm last weekend, and some of the ski areas higher up are open. So, if you are ready to ski it is all waiting for you. As for me, I am here long enough for a walk around town, a dip in the onsen, and dinner. I will even miss breakfast thanks to needing to catch the 7am train (which gets me to my Japanese class by 9am!)

I am staying at Hatago Isen again – if you read the blog, you may remember I stayed here last March. As expected, it is absolutely fantastic and if you did not take my advice last time on coming here, you should listen now.

Here are some pictures:

A slightly dated Echigo Yuzawa Station…if you look closely, you can see the Tokyo-bound bullet train is in the station. On the right is a picture of the entrance to the ryokan.

Lovely! The coffee shop in the lobby is excellent (I really wish this was within walking distance of my apartment) and I had the good fortune to speak to Baba-san of We Love Snow, who came up and introduced himself when I arrived. (I don’t have time to stop in and visit the We Love Snow office this time, but I definitely will when I am back again).

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Here are a few shots of the town – not much going on, as you can see – but there is snow on the ground and that makes it blog-worthy!

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I should have taken pictures of the dinner, but I did not think to take my camera with me. There was SO MUCH FOOD, I feel like I am going to explode. It was very tasty and I am glad because it is probably the last meal I will have for awhile. I cannot imagine eating again. So...it is 9:22pm and I am either going to:

1) take a bath
2) go to bed
3) sit here and moan because my stomach has expanded so much

in all three cases, there is no need for me to continue writing. See you back in Tokyo.

Posted by Kirk on December 7, 2006 08:15 PM