I’ve a day in Sendai and I feel awful. I’ve picked up a flu bug from one of the team and the last couple of days have required ‘additional effort’. Trail breaking in deep snow with a fever really isn’t fun.
Down town Sendai has nothing to offer but shops and I have a strong dislike for shopping. There’s hardly a foreigner in sight contradicting the article that I have just read on tourist numbers. Apparently the Japanese Government would like to reach 40 million foreign visitors a year by the time of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
I’ve certainly noticed rapidly increasing numbers of foreign skiers over the years particularly in the Nirvana that is Hokkaido in the month of January. This increase became an explosion a year or so ago. One piece suits, GoPro adorned helmets, ABS bags and fat skis are now all over previously little known ski touring spots and are crowding out the popular resorts. Skinning and skiing with other groups when one previously enjoyed the mountain to oneself stir a complex mixture of emotions!
‘What to do,’ as my Russian friend Alexey often says. Well quite simply we try and stay away from the crowds which in Japan is not too difficult as 80% of the country is mountainous. Thankfully there are still plenty of places where one can enjoy putting down fresh tracks and a fully authentic Japanese cultural experience.