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  • Did somebody saySuper 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 were 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 weve 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 beOh my god. I’m terrified.

  • No you won’t be. Youre 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 were 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 youre 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 isfor 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 isthis 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.

  • Theyre 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 youre 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?

  • Youre going to be blown away mate. Blown away.

  • Oh my god.

  • Cool. Were 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 youre 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 soundthough I hear?

  • Nah, it’s the sound of the salad.

  • Salad? Well I see something else

  • -No you don’t. -In my sight.

  • I dobesides salad. And that salad bowl is too small for you, you know. I mean youre a big guy.

  • Can I just show what I see in my sightwhat is that?

  • That’s….

  • What is that?

  • That’s the….thatthat 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. Weve 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? Youre making this up.

  • No. No just look it up.

  • Youre making this up.

  • -Just look it up on Wikipedia -Swedish pirates? Sure.

  • I’m pretty sure therell 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 youve got.

  • Yeah. Fish, sausages, bacon, chips.

  • And fish eggs.

  • -A Mixture of Japanese and Western food combined. --That’s right.

  • Weve 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 were going in there into one of those houses and were 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 were waiting for this to start moving.

  • And when you actually see a small movement.

  • When it moves you pull it.

  • When it moves were 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 youve gone insane.

  • I don’t know why he got the fish and we didn’t.

  • Yeah because weve done the exact same thing.

  • Maybe he secretly put the fish on the end of it, stuck it in and wentlook what I’ve caught.”

  • Showing offyeah.

  • So it’s been down there for an hour now and there’s been no movement on the line.

  • So were 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.