Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ski Jump Re-loaded - Last Days in Sapporo!

15th Jan, 2005 - It's our last hurrah!... our third trip to Japan is coming to a close *sigh* and so we made one last trip to the city to catch up with T2-chan at the Ookurayama Ski Jump... but unlike our trip here in 2003, today was a competition day. The ski jump is a 90 metre jump, and it's high, and it's steep. Better them than me, is what I say!

It's a strange sport where the goal is to jump off a perfectly good hill... which you had to climb in the first place. Yet the ski jump has a very special place in the hearts of Sapporo people, as this was the first place where Japan won medals in the 1972 Winter Olympics.

And the competitors still take it just as seriously - as this is a qualifying competition for the next winter olympics.

The mark to aim for is known as the K line (or calculation line) which sets the par for the jump. In Ookurayama the K line is set at 120 metres. The record on this mountain is 144.5m!

Whilst it's not a sport that I had thought to get into - it's infectious when you're there as the noise and crowd - not to mention the speed and danger - all work on you to get you excited!

And with that, T-chan and I (and T2-chan) took our leave of the cold but fun Ookurayama Hill, and made our way back to Sapporo where we enjoyed one last night out of Karaoke and one of my favourite places to eat - Bikkuri Donkey. This place is great for a saucy hamburg delight... lashings of cheese and 300g of good quality minced beef! How could you go wrong with that?

 After a night of fun and frivolity (thanks T2-chan) we set off home in the early morning... ok... it wasn't so early in the morning. It was a strange but good way to end our trip... and whilst it was a very different trip this time around, I have to say that winter is one of my favourite times to visit Sapporo. It really is a winter wonderland. 

This trip brought much happiness (Christmas and New Years), but also brought much sadness. One of the differences with visiting a place as a tourist, and travelling to Japan with T-chan is that for her, it's coming home. The ties with family and friends remain even after we come back to Australia.

It's always a sad time to leave - and there's always many tears between T-chan and her parents. It's at times like these that I feel especially the responsibility of sharing my life with T-chan... in Adelaide, Australia.

So ends our third trip to Japan. Little did we know that this was going to be our last trip to Japan alone. But that's a story for a later blog.
Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment