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Japan Journal Day 7: Shocking New Year

I just want to announce that I am alive at the moment despite the Earthquake.

We'll get into the earthquake experience shortly. Also, important to mention that my phone bugged out due to the freezing temperatures below zero degree celsius today while skiing so there are fewer photos in action. I lost the picture of breakfast in the morning too but I had a convinient store-bought strawberry daifuku that tasted amazing and a fruit juice box with two mini crossaints.

Ski school started very early so we woke up and got to the school. My brother told me that penguins walked faster than I did and honestly, I don't disagree. It was tough waddling in ski boots that were stiffer than my back.

In any case, this is the slope we climbed up to ski down. My brother took this picture so it had to be one of me falling down from being unable to stop. I'm the one in yellow pants if you haven't figured out.

So yes. The skiis were stuck together and I had to get them untangled. It was so exhausting and my arms are sore. My ankle also craped up badly so we had to get lunch and then go to the hotspring. I'm not going to nerd about the details of what happened at the ski class but my brother was an exceptional student while I was in the bottom 3. I had terrible knees to begin with and skiing isn't a sport that was kind to my defect. Once is a good enough experience.

We found a dingy little place away from the main street that looked cosy enough. There were many skiiers eating here as well so we decided to get inside.

Most of it were in Japanese and it is a family runned business. We entered about 30 minutes before they closed for break and hastily ordered.

Seeing that their speciality is in the noodles, I decided to look into it. The Akakura red yakisoba was a local speciality but I didn't get that.

Instead, I was curious about what the menma ramen was about. Bamboo shoots in salty soy sauce soup didn't taste bad. However, the after taste of bamboo wasn't exactly my thing.

Compared to that, the gyoza set that my brother bought looked more appealing.

So uh, funny story. While I was taking this picture, the man from inside the restaurant ran out telling us we'd forgotten to pay. I admit, I was confused but hurried back in because I wasn't a dine-and-dash person. We're so used to paying before food and ordering from tickets so it slipped my mind here. I was tired, ok? Eventually I did apologise and paid for the meal before leaving to find the hotel with onsen to help with my ankle cramp.

After asking the lady at the information centre, we decided to find hotel Taizan. It was located in the middle of the street with easy access. The fee for onsen per person is 600 jpy but towels are 200 jpy each so remember to bring your own! Soap is provided.

Although the hot spring is inside the hotel, the public could also use it after paying a small fee. I'm not allowed to take pictures inside so this is all I can say. Basically, I was the only one there so it felt luxurious. The hot spring is dirty so after your soak, remember to wash up thoroughly!

Right outside the hot spring rooms were these massage chairs that my brother and I tried. It was 200 jpy for 15 minutes. Amazingly, these chairs measured my height and tailored their massage program for me. It was an amazing technology!

P.S. Japan's Fanta grape has 1% grape juice and the can is 350ml. It's something we tried after the onsen soak that pleasantly impressed us.

After leaving the onsen we went to search for munchies. I remember seeing crepes and decided to order.

What flavour would you choose?

I got strawberry banana and whipped cream. My brother just went for choco banana with whipped cream. They were great snacks but also high in calories.

Apart from selling crepes, they sold a lot of souviners too. I had to take a look to see if there was anything I could get the boys.

Many interesting items but nothing for the boys.

After that, we dropped by the convinience store to try a pizza bun. It honestly tasted like pizza inside but the texuture is 100% steamed bun. I'm so confused!

Another confusing thing is this. It's like yakult mixed with 100 plus. Very refreshing, not a bad taste.

Anyways, while we were walking back, I heard this beeping sound coming from my brother's pocket and I heard the word "地震" jishin which meant earthquake. It was so sudden when it hit us because not even 10 seconds after my brother realised it was his phone, we felt it.

There were many skiiers too and the buildings shook. Things that were hanging swayed so badly and my legs were still wobbly from skiing. It was terrifying for a while feeling the earth beneath your feet trembling and the asphalt roads shaking.

In any case, that was the main quake. After it settled, we hurried to return to the hotel, knowing there would be aftershocks.

My brother's first reaction to the earthquake was to look if there would be an avalanche.

When we returned to the hotel, the sun started to set. While my brother showered and I wrote the blog, the aftershocks were still going from time to time. Honestly, starting the New Year 2024 with a new experience of earthquake wasn't something I planned for. Oh well! I'll take it as a good sign anyway.

My brother got this for his dinner. It was most definitely a value buy.

On the other hand, I got these because there is inari sushi that I didn't get to try at the conveyor sushi restaurant. We ended today slightly earlier so I'd have more time to do my stdy reading and catch up with manga a little.

Tomorrow, we head to Tokyo. There might be train confusion as the earthquake might affect overall operation so wish us luck! I type this just in time for another earthquake warning on my brother's phone. This time, at least we're indoors.

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