The great expanse of the outdoors, covered in a blanket of white.
The peace and quiet which makes you feel like you are miles from anywhere.
And after you've thrown yourself down the slopes a few times, a pitstop for a hearty meal.
Well... maybe not always in Japan.
A few of the ski fields I've visited this week have done away with that pesky peace and quiet by drowning it out with the latest J-pop songs. As you can imagine, these tunes don't often sound their best when blaring from old, weather-worn speakers attached to each chair lift.
And who needs a hearty meal when there's a KFC mid mountain?
|No drive-thru, but skiers and snowboarders welcome|
While some of the bigger international snow resort towns like Whistler and Vail have fast food chain outlets down in the valley, having an outlet mid-mountain is something else. Just when there was a danger of you actually burning a few calories, Colonel Sanders is there to replenish you with quite a few more.
It's almost as bewildering as watching the Australian KFC commercials with Joel and Benji Madden.
Not content with simply have a store on the mountain, KFC has taken it a step further to really leave their mark. Who else but Colonel Sanders himself watches over the resort from his own gondola. No doubt for fast food aficionados it's akin to a vision of God sitting on a heavenly cloud.
|Colonel Sanders riding high... with an offering of high calories|
|KFC makes its mark at Tsugaike Kogen|