Photography by Jesper McIlroy
A magical white Christmas is what dreams are made of. It is what we grow up watching on television and in movies, and I’m sure it is everyone’s dream to at least have one white christmas in their lifetime. For me it came late in my life but for my two little girls their white christmas wishes were answered early. Knee deep snow dreams are made a reality in Kiroro. Not just any old snow either. Fluffy, powdery snow that feels as soft as you imagine all snow to feel. In reality, most of the time snow is just wet, cold, icy sludge.
Kiroro is an area or resort about an hour drive from Sapporo international airport. The drive is extremely beautiful and petrifying in a snow blizzard. When you are from the beaches in Australia and your husband is practically a living, walking breathing snowman your ideas about what is scary or awesome can be quite a different reality. If you ask Jesper, the drive was the most exciting of his life because it meant the mountains were going to practically be his heaven on earth. Filled with meters of snow. I on the other hand was very happy to see the resort alive.
Once we made it safely I was able to embrace all of Kiroro’s beauty without holding my breath.
The view from our room was spectacular. I had never seen anything quite like it in my life. I could happily sit by that window and watch the snow pour down onto the mountains for hours, and I did. The room was massive, and felt very homey -more then comfortable to have a family of 4 in there. To be honest we could have squeezed another 3 and still been totally fine.
The food that we experienced in the resort was primarily Japanese which is to be expected, I suppose, but if your are travelling with picky little eaters like mine, I suggest you bring lots of snacks and food with you. We were not prepared for this at all, so Freija and India had to learn how to eat raw sushi pretty quick. India managed to develop quite a love for raw shrimp, which is kind of disturbing and awesome, while Freija pretty much went on a solid diet of that sweet Japanese egg stuff and hokihdo milk ice cream. Protein protein.
Due to our tight schedule, I only managed to fit in a quick skiing lesson, and my only regret is that I did not have my mother or helper with me to babysit so that I could actually learn properly, without my babies freezing their little butts off watching mummy hahah.
My ski instructor was really amazing, and despite how short my lesson may have been, I still feel like I learned the basics and managed to have a great time. I believe the conditions of the snow in kiroro are perfect for beginners because the snow is forgiving, and the mountain terrain is quite mellow. There are also many other family friendly snow activities such as snow Segway, snow buggy and banana boat ride.
One particularily great thing about this resort is that within an hour there are some great little towns. Perfect for those that want to see something more cultural or for those that are not only about skiing or snowboarding, like me. I really enjoyed these day trips, exploring the surrounding towns, and because of the cold weather all you do is eat -pretty perfect in my opinion.
Overall my experience in Kiroro was truly awesome. It is a must see for anyone that loves japan, its food and culture, and especially those of you that love those winter sports and powdery snow as far as your eyes can see.