I hadn’t imagined that I’d be spending too much time reading during our trip to Japan. After all, this was going to be an epic snowboarding trip (well, skiing for me) to a little-known mountain in the middle of Hokkaido. Our friends, experienced snowboarders (@pacificprizmboardstore @design_detail), had let us in on this special spot and were happy for us to tag along on their holiday, and we'd been counting down the days. We’d be away from all of the other Australians who flock to Niseko and Rusutsu and smack-bang in the bullseye of the famed Hokkaido powder belt.
The book I’d been dying to read would be great for that 9-hour flight, but I figured I’d be way too busy to read during the actual holiday. All that powder… Not a moment to waste sitting inside!
The very civilised Yukku Yukku book café had my name all over it. It's an oasis of calm, peace and civility - a Scandi-style café/bar with soaring glass windows framing a run lined with elegant poplar and alpine ash trees, branches draped heavily with snow. This was a place with comfy chairs, minimalist blonde timber furniture, great coffee and cheesecake. But it was the bookshelves and library-like quiet coupled with Hokkaido wine and cheese that got me. Oh yes, my new happy place.
I found it on the first day of our stay and usually ended up there each afternoon for a few hours with a glass of wine and my book. It didn’t take long to realise that this is just one of the benefits of a longer snow holiday – no guilt about relaxing and just enjoying the view. Until this holiday we’d only ever had short, intense trips to the Australian ski fields – it was just too expensive to swan around in on-snow accommodation in Australia for a whole week. But this eight-day stay in Japan cost as much as a weekend in Perisher, with better snow, no crowds and the peace of the Yukku Yukku café.
I finished my book (guilt-free), enjoyed the local wine and cheese and had time to soak up the incredible scenery and peace of the Japanese snowscape on the other side of the glass.