Skiing in May /June ?! – A day of Skiing and barbeque at Nakayama Toge
While Honshu was getting hit with a wave of unseasonably hot weather, winter was still hanging on in Hokkaido through the end of May. One ski slope was even open into June.
You’d think slopes open this late in the season would have to be deep in the heart of the mountains but, believe it or not, you’ll find them a mere 60 minutes outside Sapporo city at Nakayama Toge (mountain pass).
With the combination of this year’s heavy snows, spring’s unseasonably low temperatures, and a deep snow base, we’ve had a record-long ski season. Record numbers of skiers and snowboarders from all over the country have come to visit Hokkaido this year and as Nakayama Toge is the only place open this late in the year, so many skiers and boarders have come out to enjoy the last few days of winter.
The surprising thing about skiing at Nakayama Toge is that the smell of barbeque hovered in the air. For just a 1,000 yen, visitors could enjoy a delicious yakiniku (grilled meat) set adding the perfect complement to a day on the ski slope.
On the day I visited the mountain, there were loads of patrons enjoying both the slopes and barbeque in short sleeves. What’s even better is that even though most of us have already switched out our winter tires, the snow in the parking lot had completely melted so there was no worry about slipping or getting stuck.
Aside from the barbeque, the mountain has a mogul course as well as a terrain park to entertain all types of skiers and borders.
With clear skies, a cool spring breeze, music playing, and weather warm enough for short sleeves, even just a ride on the lift feels great!
Add in a fantastic view and some great runs on the mountain and you’ve got a perfect spring day.
A season like this is blowing new life into the culture of spring skiing. With a little bit of luck, this business can become a bit of a tradition and we’ll have the same chance to ride the slopes next year.
Nakayama Toge Ski Slope
Address: Hokkaido Abuta Kimobetsu Kawakami 345, 004-0223
( Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer – Jun Yamashita )