From the Editor
The Farmer’s Almanac says temperatures will be lower than average this winter and farmers in Japan, measuring the thickness of onion skins and the size of earth worms, seem to agree. Skiers and boarders tend to be overly optimistic by nature, while ski town businesses and gear makers pray they are right.
I love this time of year; unlike any other season, it’s filled with anticipation. Autumn leaves always change, summer is always hot and the cherry blossoms eventually bloom – but the snow gods, they aren’t nearly as predictable.
Yet, it’s mid-December and the forecast is for a cold period of sustained snow from next week. The buzz is in the air and the list of places I want to ride already exceeds the number of winter weekends and yen in my wallet. At least I know I’m not alone. In “Confessions of a Powder Addict” , you’ll hear from people who have learned to live with their condition, one cold winter day at a time.
Also inside you’ll see who’s pushing the limits of an old style of skiing, a local’s guide to Happo Village in Hakuba where to find the best “ice candy” and an introduction to some real adventure travel to places well off any tourist map.
And just in case you haven’t got your hands on our annual Winter Sports Guide - full of resort info and coupons - we’ve included an expanded list of winter events and specials at ski resorts and ski resort towns, including Outdoor Japan’s annual Snow Splash events; two weekends you’ll definitely want to be on the mountain this winter.