For Her Eyes Only - what can a girl do on a down day in Japan?

snow action team 17.09.2014

None of us mind new hair and new clothes, and although I didn’t get to keep either it was a lot of fun doing the Tea Ceremony day in style, starting with a run down to Kutchan for our hair says Carmen Price.



‘Modern Geisha’ was the look they gave me, while my guide Misaki went for more traditional, but then she’s Japanese and slightly younger. We both looked like dolls in an hour or so, and then it was on to the Momiji Gallery in Niseko for dress ups and tea.
You get to choose from a selection of beautiful kimonos, and they dress you up and tweak the hairstyles with some matching accessories, so come the tea ceremony part we are looking 110%.You learn the basic etiquette of this iconic Japanese tradition – with rituals and history explained, and hands on participation, enjoying the tea and owashi Japanese sweets along the way, all done in a lovely tatami mat room at the gallery. The experience is offered Wednesdays through ski season, up to 6 per session, pre-book with nisekoculturalschool.com


In Asahikawa while the boys had their Big Adventure at Kurodake I got to throw some pots with a local master potter at the Arashiyama Pottery Village (Pottery, Glass Making, Woodwork craft shops), a bohemian enclave of committed crafts people about 20 mins/¥200 bus, or taxi, from Asahikawa Station. It’s a spiritual experience seeing the dedication they put into their craft, the gallery offering masterworks of the father – my tutor for the morning insists he’s still just the apprentice in his dad’s footsteps, but he’s a master for mine. His enthusiasm is infectious, and we got to shape and throw two pots, which are fired and then can be sent on to you at home later. On the way back we stopped by Asahikawa Ramen Village for a cheap and traditional lunch.
The afternoon provided a relaxed chance to shop – the city is big enough to have important stores and variety, but is far less frenetic than Sapporo, never mind Tokyo, adding up to a great alternative for some off-snow time ladies. More info at www.asahikawa-tourism.com