From an extremely fun trip to Hokkaido for some skiing at Niseko and a little exploring in Sapporo, this being on top of Grand Hirafu resort after a small hike from their highest chairlift, classy little single seater.
It was a cold March night in Sapporo and the foggy storm told me it would be interesting to get out and take some shots despite it being late in the middle of the night, so I rolled out of bed with my camera and ended up with a few shots like this.
I was a little tipsy one night after eating out and ended up with a bunch of crooked, off kilter shots, but this decent one was found in that series.
I usually do not mess around with using filters in my post processing, it seems to take a long time for me to get them right. I attempted it in this shot since the sky was ugly as can be reflecting all of the city light in the frozen moisture particles. I think it is an improvement, but it is hard to make the look subtle. I am also thinking about purchasing a Cokin Z-Filter system in the future and switching the 14-24 for the new 24/1.4, mostly so I can use filters in my landscape shots. I’ll test it out on the 70-200 before making the switch; I have never used filters before and 14mm is a lot to lose!
And last, but not least.. I leave you with more snow monkeys. I just cannot get enough these little guys!
After a couple of days of skiing, we headed back to Sapporo to finish our trip. The Sapporo Bier Garten seemed to top the list of recommended things to do while in town, so we booked dinner reservations for two in the Ghengis Khan Hall.
This is actually a beer garden owned by Sapporo beer, but it is well known for one thing, the mutton grilled on the table ‘yakiniku’ style.
Being stupid gaijin, we needed a few tips from the friendly staff like taking the cube of animal fat and gratuitously coating everything before putting meat to grill. One hundred minutes of all-you-can-eat mutton and beer ran us about ¥3,700. We noticed everyone else just dumped all their fresh cookins onto the grill and went to town, so we learned quickly how to maximize our 100 minutes!
I don’t usually like lamb or smokeless grills, but damn, this was a good meal, great beer, and a cool atmosphere. It was definitely worth the 30 minutes of running while lost trying to make your reservation!
Just be sure to bring some breath mints or gum for after the meal. I don’t eat mutton often, but the after taste is… not good!
Please forgive the awkward angles, this shot would have been much better if I had just shot the empty seat at a perpendicular angle, but we were on our way back from the Sapporo Biergarten and I am a lightweight since I rarely drink, doesn’t make for the greatest shots!. Still, I really thought it was neat to find an ENTIRE empty row on a subway in Japan! I could get use to that!
And more awkward angles, but the Sapporo beer was good!