For or me, Japan was a dream. I’d always seen snowboarding videos with so much snow, something we lack in Spain. So I saved money and went with a great friend. We stayed 15 days in Hokkaido, during which I made the above video. For those of you who’s like to do the same, here are a few things we learned on our trip. – Miquel Soler.

Getting there

We flew into Tokyo and rented a car, which we reserved online.

Kit

We brought specific powder boards, which I’d highly recommend.  In my case I had two powder machines: a Burton Retrofish and a K2 turbodream.  Hopefully won’t encounter any avalanches, but a beacon (arva), probe and shovel are 200% necessary for prevention. And wear warm clothes! The temperature was around -10 ° c or 14 degrees f.

Stay

We were lucky to have some friends from Barcelona who worked in Japan, so we slept on their sofa! But we also got in touch with a local company, SkiJapan. They found us hotel accommodations in Furano and an incredible apartment in Niseko. The people were awesome, and love help out people from around the world.

Eat

We ate ramen and onigiri. Ramen is a fantastic soup to avoid the cold and it also gives you a lot of energy. Onigiri is a common rice triangle with tuna or other fish inside. It’s superb. We also tried many things we’d only seen on TV, such as dragonballs and doraemon! I would not recommend eating dorayakis, which are filled with red bean, and were too strange, even for me!

Drink

People drink beer and sake, mostly.  And in the vending machines on the street, you can buy all kinds of drinks, even alcohol.

Hook up

People speak little English, so you have two options. Use Tinder to the top (my friends got more than one date with Japanese girls) or try your luck in the pubs/discos.

Party

We only went out one night, since we wanted to snowboard daily. We headed out on the town in Niseko, where there were many people, but mostly Australians. Though we didn’t find ourselves in any karaoke rooms,  I’ll be back this season, and it’s a must!

Final Thoughts

Japan is fantastic! Forget the rumors that it is an expensive country, my best advice is to just go and enjoy.