Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Did somebody say “Super stylish and cool British guy”? I didn’t. Oh. Try and keep up. Ok I’ll try. So it’s a cold but beautiful winters morning in early March and it’s 6am in the morning. I don’t know why these videos always have to start so early in the morning. And we’re heading into the mountains of north Japan, deep into the heart of Tohoku. I’m joined by Ryotaro. Hi everyone, Ryotaro again and its early in the morning. I really need something to wake me up. Maybe a coffee. Coffee time. That’s right. So where are we going today? So we are now driving to a ski resort which is one of the biggest and one of the most popular ski resorts in the whole Tohoku area - in northern Japan. And we’ve got so many things lined up to do. Like what? No it’s a secret. A secret? A secret yet to be revealed. Yet to be…Oh my god. I’m terrified. No you won’t be. You’re going to have fun. Lots of fun. But before we have lots of fun, it’s coffee time. 7/11 over there. Alright. I would be nothing without my morning coffee. Nothing would happen up here without my morning coffee. What did you get? Alright, so 7/11 doughnut. 7/11 doughnut. Yeah like a caramel crunch or something. Is it good? I think so. I need to try it. It’s alright. 1 to 10? 5. 5? 5….that’s awful. Many people are often surprised to learn that, Japan has some of the highest snowfall on the planet, making the country an ideal ski destination, with an abundance of fresh powdery snow. The ski resort we’re off to visit, called Gran Deco, lies in the centre of Honshu, Japan’s main island and within an area with a particularly cold climate, meaning it’s possible to ski from late November around to early May. And in the mountains of Japan, there’s always one group of animals that you’re never that far away from. Snow monkeys. Snow Monkeys. See in Japan… In Japan you drive down the road and spot monkeys. That’s right. And it happens to be that Japan is…for monkey to live Japan is the most north. Japan’s the most northern country….the most northern country where monkeys live. That's right. And here they are. They are gone now. Already disappeared. Off to the snow. Stretching. Stretching. Have you been exercising recently? I haven’t exercised in like 7 years. So this is…this is quite scary. Oh my god, be careful. No I haven’t done any exercise this year at all. Because we are going up to the top you see. Okay. I think I’m ready. They’re very small. Yeah it’s called fun ski. No it’s not children’s size. It’s adult size. But it’s really nice because you don’t need poles. So you ski without poles? Yes we do. So you’re pretty hardcore? No I’m not hardcore but… I’m not really hardcore. Are you? I’m not hardcore. Did somebody say super stylish and cool British guy? I didn’t. Oh. Ok Chris have you done skiing before? Yeah I’ve done it about 5 times. 5 times. 5 times. I can count on one hand. Where was your first place you skied? Well the place I learnt properly to ski was in France - Val Thoren I had a French ski instructor called Jean Pierre. Jean-Pierre. He actually was called Jean-Pierre. With a moustache? He had a moustache. He was good. He was strict, he was blunt… He was French. But he was a nice guy and he was a really good teacher. He taught me everything I know. So meaning that… But that was 4 years ago. And I’ve kind of forgotten everything he taught me. So… But can I just expect you to ski really good? With Jeanne Pierre’s special training I guess? You’re going to be blown away mate. Blown away. Oh my god. Cool. We’re at the top. It’s about 1,400 meters. Let’s check out the snow quality. That’s good quality snow that is yeah. Yeah it is. Cool. Have you seen the James Bond movie the Spy Who Loved Me? -Oh yeah I think I’ve seen it. -He skis off mountains. Right, right, right. That’s like me. I’m that good. Ok so show me. Show me what you can do. Alright. I'll show you. Try and keep up. Ok, I'll try. It’s probably not a good idea to brag about your skiing, when you still don’t know how good your friend is first. Especially, if you’re not even that good. So long! What a show off! What a show off. Chris is coming. There he goes. Oi! Come back here! Hello. James Bond huh. Shut up, I have a bad leg. What happened to Jean Pierre’s training? Jean Pierre would be ashamed. But next time I’ll beat you. Alright. -You wait and see Ryotaro. - Alright.Good luck for that. Look at that view. This is the best thing about skiing is getting to see a view like that. Absolutely beautiful. After a good few hours of skiing, it was time to go down and grab some lunch in the form of a delicious, healthy salad. Delicious….delicious salad. Yeah nice salad there. But what is this sizzling sound…though I hear? Nah, it’s the sound of the salad. Salad? Well I see something else… -No you don’t. -In my sight. I do…besides salad. And that salad bowl is too small for you, you know. I mean you’re a big guy. Can I just show what I see in my sight…what is that? That’s…. What is that? That’s the….that…that came with the salad. I had no choice. That came with the salad. Oh my god. I genuinely can’t feel my legs. -It’s painful isn’t it? -It’s painful. I’m going to need to lay down for like two or three hours now. No but I’m sorry. I’m sorry Chris. We’ve got things lined up for this afternoon. What do you mean things? Things This is it. This is awesome. My hands are freezing. Truthfully I’m not sure what was more entertaining… Being dragged across a snowfield in a rubber dinghy, or witnessing Ryotaro’s reaction. It turns out there’s a better way to travel across snow - that isn’t a rubber dinghy. As someone who truly despises driving on snow and ice, it feels perversely unnatural to be able to glide so effortlessly. Its almost like entering a cheat code into a video game except the cheat code is a snowmobile and the video game is er….life. And that definitely makes sense. So Chris. It's your first time? First time. What did you think? Fucking brilliant. Yeah, it was, wasn't it? Now, I want it for Christmas. There’s no better way to start your day than with a buffet. And in Japan the word for buffet is BAIKING in reference to a Swedish buffet or Smorgasbord, as enjoyed by the Vikings. But as well as the word BAIKING being an interesting example of how the Japanese language borrows words from overseas, it’s also an excellent opportunity to annoy Ryotaro. Why do they call it Baiking? Baiking. Well actually the buffet style comes from Sweden. And because of the pirates of Sweden used to be Scandanavia. used to be called pairates. Pirates yes. What pirates? -Pirates -Of Sweden? Yeah Scandinavian pirates. Scandinavian pirates? You’re making this up. No. No just look it up. You’re making this up. -Just look it up on Wikipedia -Swedish pirates? Sure. I’m pretty sure there’ll be lots of people commenting on this for sure just to prove I’m right. Let’s go and get breakfast Mr Swedish Pirate man. This is quite the breakfast you’ve got. Yeah. Fish, sausages, bacon, chips. And fish eggs. -A Mixture of Japanese and Western food combined. --That’s right. We’ve got everything here. Look at that. Very good. How multinational is that? A multinational breakfast for a multinational man. After enjoying a multinational breakfast fit for the pirates of Sweden, we headed on down to a huge frozen lake, - where it looked like dozens of people were working to excavate a giant alien space ship frozen beneath the lake. Fortunately and surprisingly, I was wrong. Look at this. This is actually a lake. And its frozen. And you see the little houses there. People are actually fishing inside. People are fishing in those huts over there? And we’re going in there into one of those houses and we’re going to fish. We'll catch some fish. It’s really warm inside. Despite the freezing temperatures the hut had a small heater meaning it was surprisingly warm and cosy inside. And we’d be trying to catch a tiny fish called a Wakasagi, with the aim of having the many fish we would catch deep fried for us, for our dinner. And it was just a few minutes before experienced fisherman Mr Yuya pulled up his first catch. Japanese Wakasagi. Japanese Wakasagi! So here we are sat on 40 cm of ice waiting for our fish. 1, 2, 3. And then you wait five seconds. So we’re waiting for this to start moving. And when you actually see a small movement. When it moves you pull it. When it moves we’re in business.. It took about an hour before Ryotaro started to lose his mind. Ice fishing. Ice fishing. Ice fishing. Just a little patience… yeah. You look like you’ve gone insane. I don’t know why he got the fish and we didn’t. Yeah because we’ve done the exact same thing. Maybe he secretly put the fish on the end of it, stuck it in and went “look what I’ve caught.” Showing off…yeah. So it’s been down there for an hour now and there’s been no movement on the line. So we’re just going to pull it up and see. Maybe there is a fish on it. Yeah? Alright, let’s see. Woah… Seven meters. Nothing. It’s official. I don’t like ice fishing. Whilst we failed to catch any Wakasagi fish, thanks to capitalism we were able to go to a nearby restaurant and buy fish that somebody else had caught. Alright so… What you couldn’t catch. Right. I thought we had one though. But it turned out to be 60. It’s Jesus. Jesus showed up. That’s true. Jesus showed up. That’s true The feeding of the 5,000. Great! It looks good though! It’s deep fried Wakasagi. Oh yeah. Fish and chip. Oh, yeah. It's good, yeah? This is really good. I wanna try. No. Lovely. Its so good. Really good. I don’t normally like eating fish whole but these… Yeah this one here. Definitely. Regardless of whether or not, you have Jean Pierre’s special training, Japan really is as an awesome place to ski. The resort we visited, Gran Deco, is only 3 or 4 hours north of Tokyo and it’s pretty easy to reach for a weekend of skiing.