I joined a 2 day 1 night ski trip coordinated by the Hyogo International Association to Up Kannabe in Tooyoka City, Hyogo Prefecture in early February. Up Kannabe is a pretty big ski resort located in northern Hyogo. You can also rent everything and anything you will need there, from gloves to skis. I went with only a backpack and I’m good for the whole trip because of their rentals. I had no expectations for the trip and just wanted to go out to experience something new. I’ve never skied before and was promised crab for dinner. I called it a done deal.
I met up with the ski trip group in Sannomiya to take a Shinki bus to Toyooka City. After 2 hours, we arrived at Highland Hotel, which is right next to the slopes! Up Kannabe was very beautiful and scenic. The surrounding residential area gives off the “back-in-the-day” feeling and has vast snow-covered farms. It makes you want to sit back, relax, and sip on a cup of tea while just staring into this winter wonderland. Then after a few minutes of peace, you wake up and dread the grown up stuff you will have to do when Monday comes. I digress, moving on. The hotel seems to be family run and the staffs are very friendly. I was excited to find that the rooms are traditional Japanese-styled rooms with tatamis, futons, and complimentary Japanese sweets and tea. The hotel also has a small restaurant serving various rice bowls. Here’s something mildly amusing there – Oyako-don (Parent and child rice bowl) has chickens and eggs and Tanin-don (Stranger rice bowl) has pork or beef and eggs. I got my fill and set out to change into my battle suit for the main event – skiing or fumbling around like a turtle in the snow.
My group had an instructor and he was teaching us the basics in Japanese – climbing slopes, getting up, triangle form, and all that jazz. I sucked, and after an hour I still sucked. I couldn’t for the life of me slow down and I was afraid of hitting someone so I ended up falling on my face most of the day. Then after my glorious poweress on the snow, my group went back to shower and get ready for the long awaited crab dinner, Kani suki.
It was practically a crab nabe if you ask me and boy was it awesome! After eating the vegetables and crab, we threw in some rice in the soup to finish off this delicious dinner. I eat a lot and this made me full. Needless to say, I was pretty darn satisfied and that’s the end of day uno.
Day 2, the day I was determined to at least show some semblance of skiing. We went to an easier slope today because yesterday’s slope was more intermediate than beginner. I was one of the two who needed extra help and I would say this elderly grandpa instructor is a pro at teaching. He explained better than the other guy and was super patient. So finally…I skied! I can make clumsy turns so I wasn’t that scared of hitting anyone. Out of five times, I made it down to the bottom from the top without falling once. I call that an accomplishment, thank you very much. After a little more skiing, we got back to the hotel and packed for our trip back to no snow Kobe. Overall, I think I got more than I wanted and if you’ve got the chance, you should definitely check out Toyooka City. It got a lot of things to offer!