Teaching In Socks


train pain
March 3, 2009, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

I went skiing this past weekend. I didn’t make it up north to Hakuba or Nagano, where the real choice slopes are in Japan, but I did venture out to the biggest ski resort in Hyogo, Hachi Kita. I get the impression that skiing  Hachi Kita is similar to skiing a half-decent mountain in New England. Hachi Kita wasn’t a hill, but it would have trembled at the size of Whistler & Blackcomb.

I’m not going to complain though; with the degree of difficulty turned down a few notches, I felt a bit like pro on the slopes. It did seem like a lot of people in Japan decided to take up Snowboarding as their New Year”s resolution, but didn’t get around to hitting the slopes until last week. Thus, In addition to my normal skiing, I got to practice a few evasive maneuvers.

Considering this was the first time I had seen snow since last March, I was really savoring the moment. My enthusiasm was also bolstered by the fact that it took quite a trip to get there in the first place.

Normally, one books a tour package that includes lift tickets and a round trip bus fare out of Himeji. However, there is only one bus per day and it leaves at 7:30 am from Himeji and then departs on a return journey from the mountain at 4 pm. From a purely practical perspective one might say it was a logical and wise decision for my girlfriend to book us on this tour. However, a bus departure time of 7:30 am means I have to wake up a make a 6:30 am train to Himeji. This becomes difficult when the soccer game I want to watch starts a midnight.

In my defense, I woke up at 5:45 am….and then again at 6:35 am. Just in time for her to ring my doorbell. Also, I my defense I made pancakes while we made contingency plans.  In the end, and at the risk of sounding like a Mastercard commercial (does Mastercard still exist by the way?) a $150, simple round trip, one day ski junket turned into this:

6:45 – Make pancakes and apologize profusely

7:00 – eat pancakes, cancel tour package for 50% refund.

7:44 –  Take a train to Himeji (30 min)

8:30 – Take a train to Teramae (30 min)

9:15 – take a train to Wadayama ( 1 hr)

10:27 – Take a train to Yoka (closest train stop to Hachi Kita)  (1o min)

Total train fare: $50

Take a bus from Yoka to Hachi Kita Oh wait, the bus company is going out of business and isn’t in operation on Sundays (because this makes logical business sense when you are operating a bus line between a train station and a SKI RESORT! seriously closed on weekends is part of good business model for this industry?

10:45 -Take a Taxi from the train station to Hachi Kita (30 min)

Taxi cost: $80

buy lift tickets: $70

ski from 12 – 3:15.

3:45 Call the bus company and ask if we can still get on the return ride home: success.

cost: cheaper than a taxi.

Total cost of that extra five minutes of sleep: Glad I REALLY ENJOYED SKIING (if you want to be jerk you can do the math yourself, or you can ask my girlfriend because she definitely summed it all together about a hundred times)

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