Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A HAPPY (and busy) NEW YEAR!!!
Hello Everyone!! Wow....it has been a long time since we posted something here! Needless to say, we've been busy. In December, school/work was hectic and there were many bonenkai's ("forget -the-year parties"). Toby had joined many clubs this last year so he had more bonenkai's than normal. The winter started with a lot of snow in December, too, so Toby was skiing during any free time he had. And then Maiko and Toby (pictured above) went to Niseko for New Year's. The above was taken at the Annupuri Ski Resort around 11:45pm, 15 minutes before the countdown, where Toby and Maiko participated in a torch parade on skis down the mountain. This was our 3rd time to do this and we had a blast doing it again this year!
After a countdown to 2012 and a few drinks to celebrate, we got a few hours sleep before waking up early to be on the "First Run" at the Annupuri Ski Resort gondola. On our 2nd run of the morning (which started at 7am), we watched the first sunrise of 2012 from the gondola (see below picture). The mountain is Yotei-zan or "EzoFuji" (The Mt. Fuji of "Ezo" or Hokkaido as the local Ainu call this island).
After returning to Square One on January 2nd, we celebrated Maiko's birthday (see above picture) and then we had a few guests up from Tokyo to entertain. On a non-ski day, we all went to Otokoyama Sake Brewery (see picture below), as well as many other local sights.
The day before our friends from Tokyo left, our old friend, Ben Logsdon, arrived for a visit from Boston. We were able to hang out with Ben for about 10 days and Toby & Ben spent many of those days up on Asahidake (see picture below).
It was a great winter vacation and we enjoyed the visits from both Tokyo and USA. After short weekend to ourselves in mid-January, school started again and we have been a different type of busy as we find the rhythm again of our daily schedules. One thing we need to get back on a regular schedule with is blog posting and we'll do our best to get the next one to you really soon!
We hope this finds you well and your 2012 starting out on a wonderful note.