Monday, May 10, 2010

To Teine and Back Again

14th Jan, 2005 - We're off to see the wizard... the snow wizard who lives atop Teine-yama. Sapporo people are pretty spoilt when it comes to skiing options. Most Australians would be familiar with Niseko resort, however there's a very good mountain just 20-30 mins from T-chan's house (and that's to the ski-lifts... depending on the weather)... Teine-yama... home of the slalom and bob-sleigh during the 1972 Winter Olympics.

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There are two courses - Olympia (the lower of the two) and Highland.  In summer time, there's also a theme park, and you can try your hand at grass skiing. Personally the though of falling over on the snow is more appealing. Access and parking to the ski runs is free, and ski chair passes start around 3,500yen (4 hours) 3,900 yen (6hours), 4,800 yen (full day). A night ticket costs 1800 yen (4-9pm). The runs cater for all skill levels, but the die-hards will most likely head off to Niseko anyhow.

One of the attractions of Teine ski runs is the view (and the proximity to Sapporo). You get brilliant views across the city plains, out across the bay and to the mountains to the north-east. The view changes subtly throughout the day and into the evening.

We stayed there all day, until the sun had started to well and truly set.

There's plenty of lights around the mountain slopes to keep going well into the night.

Night draws closer - and the last light begins slowly to fade below the distant mountain range across the bay.

You may be wondering - where did I learn to ski? Well... there's a very exclusive teacher in Sapporo (though I've heard that she spends much of her time abroad these days) that can provide personalised lessons... down her street. I was borrowing T-chan's ski's to get a hang of proper ski's (as compared to X-country skis) the day before. Hazukashii! (that's sooo embarrassing).
Actually, whilst we have snow in Australia - there's none around Adelaide. So I'm a complete newbie when it comes to real skiing. My experience was that it's most probably best to spend a few days there - but Teine doesn't tend to cater well for lessons for foreigners. It was exhausting skiing all day (and I admit a little frustrating initially). Actually the skiing is fine, what wore me out was the walking back up the slope to try again.

I can't wait to go back and try and again - and learn how to ski properly.

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  1. The view is certainly great, the shot at dusk is breathtaking. Although I snowboard every year, for some reason I haven't been to Sapporo yet, everybody tells me the powder is great. What is your impression?

  2. Gorgeous!! The view from the top looks breathtaking.

    Well, you're way ahead of me. There's tons of snow in Canada but I always end up back on the bunny hills every year. =P

  3. The snow in Hokkaido is VERY nice. Of course, it depends on the day, as you can get crap wet snow as well. Teine is a good all-round ski mountain... The snow is generally good powder snow - but having said that I'll leave the snow report to my wife (stay tuned).

    My overall impression is that that being so close to home, it's the best option for us. There's a range of ski runs around Sapporo. I've not been to Niseko, but I understand it's generally the location of choice. Then again - there's not much to do ther BUT ski (ok...maybe there are other things, but it ain't a city). The mountain itself is just over 1,000 m in height. Not too bad given that it's on a sea-level plain. It's so convenient... but I wish I had made more of it.

  4. Had a chat with T-chan - and she said, "of course it's powder snow... what are you talking about!"... of course, she's not biased. She thinks Olympia is too easy, and therefore recommends Highlands (where we went).

    Another good place around Sapporo is Onze Resort ( Actually a few of the ski runs have closed over the last few years in and around Sapporo. Alternatively there's Bankei Resort (

    Further afield there is Rusutsu resort ( and of course there's always Niseko.