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editorials>>Japan Overview 2002-2003

So why was I in Japan in 2002? Well, I was thinking it had been almost a year since I returned home in late 2001 and I wanted to go back again. I had been planning this trip since before I returned home in 2001, and although some changes were made to my plans along the way, everything worked out great in the end.

What I did was spend a month in the city I had previously lived in, accommodations provided at no cost to me by friends and the apartment building in which I had lived the previous year. The first month was spent meeting up with friends I hadn't seen in a while and partying (though not as much as I expected to, due to lack of funds).

After that first month, I moved on to Hakuba city, in Nagano Prefecture (best known as the site of the '98 Winter Olympic Games). I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a job by a friend (who I had worked with the year before) who was working at a ski-lodge across the street from Happo-one, an olympic-course mountain. The next month and a half was spent snow boarding everyday (for free), having my room and three meals a day provided to me at no cost, and working. The ski lodge was what is called a 'pension', where you get a set wage per day (if there are customers), and you basically work for your room, food and free ski pass. Although the Christmas and New Years season is the busiest time of the year, and I definitely worked some 14-16 hour days there for a while, overall it was quite the good hookup.