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Skiing in Hakuba

28 December 2015

Skiing in Hakuba

At 6.30am on 12th February 2015, 25 bleary-eyed students arrived at The College to depart for five days skiing in Hakuba, Japan…accompanied with five even more bleary-eyed members of staff!

After a three-hour flight and a five-hour coach journey, we safely arrived at a charming chalet that would be our home for the next six nights.  The open fire and takeaway pizza cured us all of our travelling woes from where we watched, awestruck, the gigantic snowflakes fall from the sky.

The next two days were a blur!  A blur of super-speedy Christensens charging down all pistes effortlessly, of young and old beginners taking many a tumble into the super soft powder and of the obscene engulfing of Luis’ pizza at lunchtime.

The third day however was a highlight for all.  There was not a cloud in the deep blue sky, the pistes had been pisted and we all embraced the possibility of the unmistakable “ski goggle tan”.

Of an evening, many spent hours playing Heads Up and Uno around the fire, we ventured to The Weather Report where a competition to trump the World Cup took place around the table football, and we embraced local culture and learned how to make sushi.  We also ventured to Happo to visit the Fire Festival.  Hundreds of skiers skied down to the bonfire bearing fire torches, students were given inflatable snow boat rides behind a skidoo and local food was sampled by all.  To end, of course, Mr Thomas called an Inter-House snowball fight.  Clearly, Combermere destroyed: the dastardly duo of Robert McKim and Jack Pendlebury our secret weapon!

After five exhausting days of skiing, with the ski trip lurgy claiming more victims each day, we travelled back to Tokyo.  Here we spent two nights, the first being legendary.  Hard Rock café hosted us for food, music and mind-boggling dancing.  I taught the girls the lawnmower, the shopping trolley, the water sprinkler and many more.

The sights of Tokyo amazed us all: The Meiji Shrine, the Shubuya Crossing, Bic Camera superstore, Asimo the robot at the Miraikan Science Museum and the Skytree Tower.  Again the weather graced us with sunshine and blue skies and therefore the views were extraordinary.

The final morning permitted the shopaholics some more retail therapy time in Harajuku.  This set the group in good spirits for our journey back to Shanghai (undone rather quickly by us having to negotiate the metro with all of our luggage!)

Many thanks to all of those in the group, you really are a credit to Welly and were exemplary ambassadors for the school in Japan.  Many thanks also to the staff, who made the trip run so smoothly, Mr Thomas, Mr Sleep Miss Chadwick and Mr Shaw.

Here’s to our next ski trip, 2016.