We don't want to leave Shigakogen

Whatever was in those mysterious Japanese pills seems to have helped, because I have been feeling better the last 2 days. Plus, I found that if I actually sleep all night with my mask on it helps with the sore throat. It helps to keep in some moisture because the air is so incredibly dry here (seriously, we hung up sopping wet clothes and they were bone dry by morning).

Our little room is cozy but dry!

With my energy levels back up, we skied our little butts off. Shigakogen has 21 different ski areas and 71 lifts and we skied all but 1 of them (you have to take a shuttle to get there and we didn't want to waste time on the bus).

Our hotel, Khuls, is perfectly situated in the middle of the various areas. We can ski right out the hotel door and be there for the first lift up in the morning.

selfies on the gondola
The terrain and the powder just go on and on. We never saw a single patch of ice.

Our rentals were included in our room rate. Both of our skis were great, and they even managed to find boots in a size 14 for Rory. My boots were back buckle boots straight from 1985. This is a terrible design for a person with huge runner calves, but small feet. Even when they were unbearably tight in the calves they were still way too loose inside the foot bed. Between the marathon and 3 days in those boots, I may not have any toenails left for my traditional celebratory pedicure when I get home.

We've been skiing hard, but also eating pretty well. We have settled into a routine with the Japanese breakfast buffet at our hotel. I go for a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice which I top with an egg, seaweed, and some picked veggies. Rory goes straight for the fish- he says the salmon is amazing- and then rounds out his plate with eggs and meats.

Can you guess what we've had for lunch every day? Noodles! Yesterday we both got the Ankake noodles at Takamangahara Mammoth. They were very thin crispy noodles topped with a stir-fry of shrimp, cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots. We got to watch the chef prepare it in a giant wok. Today we we went for our favorite udon noodles with tempura at Mt. Nishidateyama. Generally we find the food on the slopes to be way tastier, healthier, and cheaper than at home! The dinner buffet at our hotel changes slightly every night, but it is always amazing. There is always a mad rush for the sashimi, which is understandable, because the tuna is so fresh and flavorful. And the rice! At home I couldn't care less about rice, but here I eat at least 2 bowls a day. That sticky rice is just so darn good. We can't wait to enjoy one last feast tonight.

Tomorrow sadly we have to head back to Tokyo and then we leave for home Saturday morning. We would highly recommend everything about this portion of our trip: the Hotel Khuls, the village of Ichinose, and Shigakogen ski area.

Now if you'll excuse me, we have a bottle of sake we need to finish.