Bryan Fox: Asadachi

Early January I always start looking for places to go, tracking storms and texting friends. I talked to a buddy in Japan who said it hadn’t stopped snowing in weeks. I was talking to Foster that night and asked him if he wanted to rent a van and travel around the north island of Japan, ride some resorts and do some hiking. It’s a really good place to go early season and get the legs warmed up. The island is very exposed and has large mountains very close to the coast, so when big storms come from Siberia, they pull a lot of moisture from the ocean right before depositing heavily on the mountain ranges.

Foster operates on his own program, he does what he wants. Odd jobs, passion projects, builds shit, takes photos and makes videos. A renaissance man. He hates it, but he’s instagram famous. Either way, I knew Foster would be down for a trip to Japan, he was, and we bought tickets 10 minutes later. We flew into Sapporo and rented a van, and drove around for the next 10 days. We didn’t have plans or any real objective. Just snowboard every day and soak in onsens (hot springs) every night.

Japan is a special place, the people are extremely kind and have a real affection for nature. One morning, Foster and I were hiking through the woods and ran into three local guys. I knew who one of them was, not his name, but I knew his likeness. He wears all orange, I just knew him as the orange guy. We got to talking, they invited us to go on a hike with them, or maybe we invited ourselves. We ended up hanging with these guys the next two days. The orange guy’s name was Yama, he explained that the orange was a head nod to the monks who wear all orange to simplify life, less time thinking about clothing. Always cool to see people completely committed to snowboarding, not for fame or money, just for the enjoyment.

We rode deep, dry snow every day of the trip, randomly met up with a couple friends in the middle of their travels and spent days exploring new zones with them. Not sure if by going there you immerse yourself in the Japanese culture or if the stars have just always aligned, but every time I’ve been to Japan, it has been magic. That’s pretty cheesy to say, but it’s the truth, I always leave with a clearer mind. In this case, I didn’t leave, Foster flew out and I stayed. When it’s good somewhere, don’t leave.