Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nozwawa: Like Venice, in hot water. Ski, onsen, marvel

Not a film set, its real.

The ski town of Nozawa is extraordinary. Something about it makes people playful and creative. 

Here are the traditional town goddess and god, watching over the place.

I saw this poster as I clumped up the stairs in my ski boots. 
Gazing down from the poster is the alluring face, quite familiar. 
Wait, isn't that the guy who just now clipped the boots on for me?  
Yes, it was.  
This is a special place,  a town that produces batches of olympians every year, people who have something to do every day that makes them happy.

The colours don't look much like Tokyo.  

Same people, but exuberant. 
This isn't surfing. If you don't live here, you have to pay for snow. 
The contrast between hours of earning and spending probably makes the brightness brighter

Like Venice, in hot Water

In the background, a shinto shrine creeps up the mountain. In for foreground...

A villager cooks her winter greens in 'the cauldron', the public hotspring cooking pot, 95°.
Dont jump in. 

Shy man, with freshly-cooked eggs

The roof of the Local's public bath. There were very pink naked ladies under this roof, if you scroll down. 

Its a 3D town, which wends and adventures along. 

So much of people's character comes from their topography. People don't think straight here.

Balcony garden planters, working with what comes to hand in a skiing village. 

This HotPot elephant was holding some planted plant in its trunk. It will again, come spring, I'm sure.

Snowy menu

Janus SnowCat. Evil cat


The lake doesn't freeze because the snow insulates it. Animals know this by instinct. Drunk snow party people don't, so don't go there. 


This is such a charming way to decline

Someone bothered to place a red berry in this entrance font.  

These boys are happy. On the way out, they scolded their companion for leaving the blue-lidded empty bottle on the table. Thats how thoroughly manners are policed in this country. There aren't really rubbish bins on the street. He will bring it back to his hotel.

Free public laundry, with hot water always ready.

Here is Akira. He owns and runs the best hotels in the town, no wonder he looks so triumphant.
The Sakaya onsen left me enchanted. 

It was small, handcrafted with love and skill, every centimeter.  Free from any design imperfection that would break the spell. 
Sitting in the water reminded me of the sea train in Sen To Chihiro. 

I go all still just recalling it.  


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