Friday, 1 February 2013

Finger lickin' slopes

There's really nothing quite like skiing.

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
Tsugaike Kogen resort, in Japan's Hakuba valley, "proudly" boasts having an outlet for "11 secret herbs and spices" halfway up the mountain.  No drive-thrus here as the only way to reach that bucket of chicken is via a set of skis or a snowboard.

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

Thankfully, once you've downed your nuggets, Colonel Burger or other, there's also some really beautiful runs (away from the J-pop) to enjoy!

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