Skiing is only open in the winter, but during the spring, summer, and autumn there is a twisting alpine slide adjacent to the ski slopes. This provides high-speed thrills that will scare the daylights out of any first-time rider. A self-proclaimed speed demon, my first ride down was nothing short of terrifying. However, by the third time I was hell on wheels, except for that the sled doesn’t have any.
Further down the mountain near Hijiri Kogen Station, there are supermarkets, local shops, and a gas station. Once back up on the mountaintop you will notice that this destination is distinctly separated from civilization, while still being only a little over 200 km from both Tokyo and Nagoya.
Also, we were surprised when, upon inquiry, we discovered that NTT offers fiber optic Internet connection here. So, for the modern teleworking executive, you really get the best of both worlds.
Since the building was built in 2002, there are no immediate repairs required. They do, however, plan to make minor cosmetic renovations.
Once down the mountain, we were confronted with another great surprise: The mighty Sai River, winding through the mountains up to Nagano City, was a crystal blue sight to behold. Apparently, there were a few fish in there too, judging by the dozens of fishermen we saw up and downstream. Casting their lines from the middle of the river, these Bass Pro bois were all wearing the same sort of full-body wetsuit you know at the end of a long day must smell absolutely rank and disgusting.