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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:12:45 +0900
Dining Articles http://www.hakubaconnect.com/diningout.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/diningout.html  ]]> test@test.com (steve) ROOT Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:28:07 +0900 Hakuba Valley Ski Areas http://www.hakubaconnect.com/winter.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/winter.html test@test.com (steve) ROOT Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:37:46 +0900 Life Sciences http://www.hakubaconnect.com/category-list/3-life-sciences.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/category-list/3-life-sciences.html The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, such as plants, animals, and human beings, as well as related considerations like bioethics. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of specializations and new, often interdisciplinary, fields.

The following is an incomplete list of the life science fields, as well as topics of study in the life sciences, in which several entries coincide with, are included in, or overlap with other entries:

Affective neuroscience Anatomy Astrobiology Biochemistry Biocomputers Biocontrol Biodynamics Bioinformatics Biology Biomaterials Biomechanics Biomedical science Biomedicine Biomonitoring Biophysics Biopolymers Biotechnology Botany Cell biology Cognitive neuroscience Computational neuroscience Conservation biology Developmental biology Ecology Environmental science Ethology Evolutionary biology Evolutionary genetics Food science Genetics Genomics Health sciences Immunogenetics Immunology Immunotherapy Marine biology Medical devices Medical imaging Medical Sciences Microbiology Molecular biology Neuroethology Neuroscience Oncology Optometry Parasitology Pathology Pharmacogenomics Pharmacology Physiology Population dynamics Proteomics Sports science Structural biology Systems biology Zoology

Source: Wikipedia

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ROOT Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:16:18 +0900
Physical Science http://www.hakubaconnect.com/single-article.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/single-article.html Physical science is the study of physics and chemistry of nature. From the materialist and functionalist viewpoints it overlaps the life sciences where ecology studies the evidences of historical facts or evolution. Natural sciences bridge the phenomena in the physical sciences to the noumenon in the life sciences. The following is presented as an overview and topical guide of these physical sciences.

General principles of the physical sciences

The foundations of the physical sciences rests upon key concepts and theories, each of which explains and/or models a particular aspect of the behaviour of nature.

Basic principles of physics

Physics alongwith Mathematics and Chemistry is one of the "fundamental sciences" because the other natural sciences like biology, geology etc., deal with systems that seem to obey the laws of physics. According to Physics the physical laws of matter, energy and the fundamental forces of nature govern the interactions between particles and physical entities (such as planets,molecules,atoms or the subatomic particles). Some of the basic pursuits of physics are: Describing the nature, measuring and quantifying of bodies and their Motion, dynamics etc., The following are some of the most prominent developments in modern science in the last millennium. Newton's laws of motion mass, force and weight Momentum and conservation of energy gravity,theories of gravity Energy, work, and their relationship Motion, position, and energy different forms of Energy,their interconversion and the inevitable loss of energy inthe form of heat (Thermodynamics) Energy conservation, conversion, and transfer. Energy source the transfer of energy from one source, to work in another. Kinetic molecular theory Phases of matter and phase transitions Temperature and thermometers Energy and heat Heat flow: conduction, convection, and radiation The three laws of thermodynamics The principles of waves and sound The principles of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism The principles, sources, and properties of light Basic principles of astronomy Astronomy is the science of celestial bodies and their interactions in space. Its studies includes the following: The life and characteristics of stars and galaxies Origins of the universe. Physical science uses the Big Bang theory as the commonly accepted scientific theory of the origin of the universe A heliocentric Solar System. Ancient cultures saw the Earth as the centre of the Solar System or universe (geocentrism). In the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus advanced the ideas of heliocentrism, recognizing the Sun as the centre of the Solar System. The structure of solar systems, planets, comets, asteroids, and meteors The shape and structure of Earth (roughly spherical, see also Spherical Earth) Earth in the Solar System Time measurement The composition and features of the Moon Interactions of the Earth and Moon (Note: Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, which assumes that people's destiny and human affairs in general are correlated to the apparent positions of astronomical objects in the sky -- although the two fields share a common origin, they are quite different; astronomers embrace the scientific method, while astrologers do not.)

Source: Wikipedia

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ROOT Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:16:18 +0900
Hakuba's Downhill http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/16-downhill.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/16-downhill.html Beep,- beep,- beep – No it’s not the obscenities coming from my mouth, or my heart beating like it’s going to explode, it was the beeps that signal it’s 5 seconds to go time at the start gate of Hakuba Happo-one’s famous Reisen Slalom race.

When Happo-one ski school, one of the most respected in Japan, gave me a call and asked me if I would like to try my hand at one of Japans most famous and oldest races I thought that turning around a few poles can’t be that hard ariesennd I responded with a loud “hai”, Japanese for yes. I was to learn that it was harder than I thought.

Before the big race I go for a ski and run a few gates with Shayne Coomber of Allure Alpine Academy (AAA racing) who coaches athletes from all over Australia and New Zealand through the “down under” off season. After skiing down a few times Shayne advised me that a straight line between the gates is not the fastest way to the bottom! The idea is make the tightest carve turn around the gate that you can without skidding so that you can spend as much time gliding as possible. If I ski too straight at the gates I need to turn sharper than my skis are able and by ‘skidding’ I am ‘braking’.

So the prescription to cure my racing ill’s is practicing carving as tight as possible (which means laying it over and having a lot of fun) out on the hill and working on learning what my skis can do in the gates. Easy hah???

I turn up on race with my “best” non-powder skis and receive my race bib – 723. Surely, I thought, there can’t be 722 ski racers flying down the course before me, as I am not the greatest mogul skier in world! It seems I am in category 6, over 40 with a slot number of 123. Now that’s more like it.

First we “slip” the course. This serves two purposes. Firstly it is so we know where the course goes and apparently, Shayne says I am supposed to remember the whole course and visualize where I need to go between the bottom and getting back to the top… the second is to take all the soft fresh snow off the top, which is sounds not good, as hard snow hurts when you fall, just ask any Australian skier! I get a bearing where the gates are positioned. One red and the next one blue and so on. It is now I am thinking that my idea of a slalom course which is basicaly short turns is in fact more of a World Cup downhill race course. I cast my mind back to the 1998 Nagano Olympics held at Happo-one, where downhill race legend, Herman Maier had his spectacular wipeout, I hope I don’t follow the same fate! Though it has to be said that Maier won 2 gold medals later that same week.The race starts at the top of the Reiesen course at Usgaidaira Gondola station and doesn’t finish until you get to the bottom of Nakiyama base area home to Happo-one ski school.


The race now in its 66th year Riesenslalom is actually the German word for Giant Slalom, which is really funny, because the as I mentioned the Hakuba Riesenslalom is actually more Like a downhill course! The event is held over two days and features many ex- Japanese Olympians.First to go are the over 60’s,wow these guys attack the course like they are 40 years younger. At the final gate I see the exhaustion etched in their faces. Many are unable to stand because of wobbly legs and literally fall over after passing the finish line.


I watch my good friend Tetsu Fukushima, owner of the Meteor group of lodges. He is dressed head to toe in lycra ski racing suit, commonly known as a cat suit in the racing industry. His time is very competitive and now I know what time to beat for bragging rights! Tetsu explains to me that this is his 15th race. He mentions that during the ski bubble of the late 80’s early 90’s the course inspection would commence as soon as the first light of dawn showed over the mountains and that racing would begin at 6:00am and not finish until the lifts closed. Nowadays a more sensible time of 09:00 starts the race.As I make my way to the start gate, a little voice in my head cries to me not to be afraid – it’s only a 600 meter vertical drop on nearly sheet ice, the snow is long gone!I am counted down with the final beeps and with a little push I’m off! A little push as I want to get my bearings before I reach these breathtaking speeds of over 60km per hour. I reach the first red gate in a matter of seconds, though it feels more like milliseconds. I try to think back to what Shayne drilled into me, not to go straight at the gate and to take my time and carve, no panicked throwing the ski sideways easier said than done when you are edging as hard as you can on sheet ice.I find myself in a good rhythm and getting into the tuck or crouch position between turns. I hurl myself down “The Wall” the steepest slope on Happo-one at 38 degrees, my legs are starting to tire but I can see the finish line ahead. It looks like about 200 people have turned up to watch the final turns. I can’t fall now. I won’t fall now.I pass the finish line in a blur of speed and do my best stop in front of the polite clapping crowd but in my mind they are cheering loudly. My legs are wobbly but I don’t fall over and more importantly I have a grin as big as Happo mountain!My time displays on the board 1.53.06; not bad for a first timer and finish 50th in a total of 130 racers.


Will I be back next year? You bet I will, but this time I will be decked out in a full racing suit and racing skis – now where did I leave my credit card.

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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:44:59 +0900
Dive into Canyoning http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/17-canyoning.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/17-canyoning.html canyon tours in Japan 02The concept of canyoning, or canyoneering as it is known in America, is to use various skills such as walking, scrambling, swimming, climbing and occasionally abseiling, in order to travel down a canyon. As the word 'canyoneering' suggests, it combines skills used in mountaineering, such a rappelling, with swimming or walking – depending on whether or not the canyon is dry or contains water. This exhilarating endeavour is neither short of adventure nor adrenalin, and manages to combine action with nature at its best.

Generally, as water and time flow together, a passage is carved into the bedrock creating narrow gorges of sculpted walls and pristine pools. As the water continues downwards, the canyons are usually scattered with chutes and waterfalls, providing fantastic water-slides and cliff jumping opportunities for us along the way. This fantastically fun activity can be enjoyed by most ages and skill levels – you need not be a great swimmer or athlete to get the most out of it, as specialised equipment has been designed to keep us safe, buoyant and somewhat warm!

The notion of this sport may be relatively new to you, and that is largely due to the fact that it is, indeed, quite a new activity. The origins of canyoning as a sport came from groups of intrepid adventurers in the regions of Southern France and Spain in the early to mid 1990s. Finding themselves captivated by arcane adventures in these weaving waterways, they began to develop methods of negotiating the pools, drops and waterfalls safely. It was soon realised that by using equipment such as ropes and harnesses, a person could continue their journey downstream - whilst having gallons of fun in the process! This culminated into the formation of the Commission Europeene de Canyon, evolving to the 'CIC' as it is known today, which provides guide training, sets international standards for canyoning operators and thus put the sport on the map worldwide. Undoubtedly though, bushwalkers and explorers would have been using similar methods to navigate the canyons years before it was established as a sport.

It was not long before canyoning made it's way to Japan, an ideal place for it due to the large volumes of winter precipitation and mountainous landscapes. Far from being a foreign concept - walking through ravines is a common past-time here. 'Sawanobori', or 'Shower Climbing', is a well established activity with over 100 set routes. Traditionally, the journey is an upwards one, and is generally considered tamer than canyoning - with less fast-moving water, chute-sliding and rope assistance. As each year comes and goes the popularity of canyoning increases as people discover for themselves the excitement that can be had.

Hakuba is home to our 'Kamoshika Canyon', nestled in the base of the Northern Alps. The ravine's water runs fresh from the snowfields above it, providing us with beautifully blue basins as well as much needed cool-downs in summer's sweltering heat. The smooth swirls of the rock have been etched from volcanic basalt and as the water has travelled it has eroded multiple features for us. With water pouring over 10 meter waterfalls and plunging into pools below, combined with the numerous slides and chutes, the opportunities to abseil, zip line, swim or jump are plentiful.

I believe that in the years to come the industry of canyoning will continue to blossom and develop as more people discover the magic that is to be found hidden in landscape around us. It is an experience unlike most others, far removed from the background noise of urban life, into a place of sublime exhilaration. It is a brilliant blend of stunning surroundings and adrenalin-pumping action: an opportunity to dive into Mother Nature's wild and beautiful playground.

By Nadine Wilding
Evergreen Instructor/Guide

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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:17 +0900
Two Wheels http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/18-twowheels.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/18-twowheels.html bikeWhether you like fat tyres or skinny ones, the Hakuba Valley has plenty of opportunites for two wheeled adventures or just a lazy ride around the streets. The valley is bike friendly, so either bring your own or rent, grab a map and away you go.

Minekata Trails

Locals know them as the Minekata trails but are sign posted as Kikori-no-mori trails. There is a choice of three and all are supported and well maintained by the Hakuba village. It's a long ride up the forest road but you are rewarded with beautiful scenic views along the way. Arriving at the top, give yourself a few minutes to look at the amazing views of the northern Japanese Alps with the village far below. From the top choose A, B or C or 1, 2 or 3 depending on who you ask. The descents are on singletrack and flow very nicely back down the valley.

Hakuba 47 Ski Resort

Ride the gondola to the middle section of Hakuba 47. From here there is a chair lift to keep you going throughout the day. Enjoy fours trails from beginners to advanced. Bike rental is available at the base area.

The Three Lakes

At the southern end of the valley in neighboring Omachi, you will find the three laskes of Lake Aokiko, Lake Nakatsuna and Lake Kizakiko. The road out of Hakuba has a little climb that will get the heart rate up, after that is a sweet ride around the lakes. Be careful on the northern side of lake Aokiko, the road becomes narrow with some light traffic coming the other way. The course is about 40km long.

Tsugaike Nature Park

This route is not for beginners. The route starts out at Hakuba-Oike station on route 148. It is a grueling 9 percent grade road climb and is popular for cycling die-hards. The route is 17km up and then a free wheeling 17km down. The pros can do it in under one hour, but realistically give yourself at least two or more! You can experience a guided MTB or cycling tour of what the Hakuba valley has to offer. Guided rides are perfect for those who may be new to the sport or who are interested in getting the lay of the land from a local professional. Hakuba Connect recommends Sweetriders www.sweetriders.com. Detailed maps of the trails and terrain can be picked up at the local tourist offices.

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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:59 +0900
Hiking & Trekking http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/19-hiking.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/19-hiking.html Hakuba HikingAfter spending much of the last summer exploring the local trail throughout the Hakuba Valley, I have tended to my blisters and compiled the following list of Hakuba’s favorite hikes based on how much time or fitness you may have.

Short Family Walk

Located about a kilometer or so to the east of the main Hakuba train station this short walk or stroll mixes a sense of history as well as affording some awesome views of the Hakuba three peaks. Start the walk at the at the Oide suspension bridge parking area, where there is also a small ice cream shop for your treat when you return. Cross over the Himekawa River, aptly named Princess River in Japanese, and walk up through the forest keeping the river to your left. There are a couple of viewing points on the way up so don’t forget to bring your camera. At the top of the forest road there are steps that lead back down to the river, I forgot to count them but there must be a few hundred. Cross back over the river on another suspension bridge and then it is a short stroll back to the parking area – passing Oide Water Wheel which is still in use. Now it’s time to enjoy that ice cream. Gondola Accessed

Short Walk

This walk is for those who would like to have a stroll as well as having the thrill of a gondola ride then head over to Hakuba Iwatake Snowfield. In summer the snow is replaced by thousands upon thousands of brightly colored lilies. After the 8 minute ride to 1280m enjoy the beautiful 360 degree panoramic views of the Hakuba valley and mountains. There are a couple of loops you can try depending on your fitness and time available. The easiest one is a 30 minute stroll around the peak. You will walk through the lilly park, pas the dog run and then back to the top of the gondola. For a longer walk of about 90 minutes head to the left as you look up the mountain. This sign posted route will have you enjoying the “Natural Power Spot” of the forest – so says the guided literature! Enjoy local soba buckwheat noodles at Sky Arc café as you make your way back to the top of the gondola. Iwatake Snowfield lifts are open from 8:30 to 16:30 Season is from July 13 to September 2 Adult 2600yen Children 1460yen Tel: 0261-72-3280

Half Day

Perhaps you have an entire morning or afternoon to adventure, if so then upload on the Tusgaike Kogen gondola and further upload on the Tsugaike Ropeway to 1829m to access the high alpine Tsugaike Nature Park. The path around the nature park is on elevated boards so you don’t need to have hiking boots – normal sneakers will suffice. There are a few loops all linked together with the longest being about 6km. In the summer there are an abundant of alpine flora, and in the fall there are some of the best autumnal colors you will find in the Hakuba Valley. Most walkers stroll around the course – please give yourself a few hours for a complete circuit. There are few restaurants at the entrance serving the usual hikers fayre, including my favorite “katsu curry” pork cutlet on curry and rice. And seeing as you have earned it why not treat yourself to some mountain grape flavored soft ice cream. Tsugaike Kogen lifts are open from 8:00 to 16:20 Season is from June 1 to November 4 Adult 3,300yen Children 1,750yen Tel: 0261-83-2255

Full Day

Should you be both fortunate to and adventurous enough to devote an entire day to exploration – then the Happo Ike Pond is calling you. This adventure begins at Happo gondola where you are uploaded to the Usagi Daira Terrace. Make sure you spend a few minutes here on the open terrace watching the paragliders set off to fly back down to the village below. Next hop on the Alpen Grat followed by the Grat Quad to 1831m. This is Hakuba’s highest lift accessed point. You will feel a drop in temperature from this height so make sure you pack the sweaters even in the middle of summer.From here the hike gets a little tough with climbing to the xx Cairn at 1974m. There are actually a few cairns at different heights – they are good to give you little goals when they going gets hard. Upon reaching the Happo Ike Pond at 2060m take a rest and enjoy the magnificent views of the peaks and the valley below. If you are lucky then the pond will mirror the reflection of the peaks.As you leave the lift accessed area there are no places to buy anything so make sure you bring some snacks for this hike. I recommend hitting the local Lawson convenience store in Happo to stock up on energy bars or do the Japanese thing and buy plenty of rice balls, these are a great alternative to energy bars and just as nutritious. Happo-one lifts are open from 8:00 to 17:00 Season is from May 19 to November 4 Adult 2600yen Children 1460yen Tel: 0261-72-3280

Multi –Day

For the ultimate hiking adventure take a few days and explore the 3,000 meter peaks of Hakuba. The best way to enjoy multi-day hiking is hut-to-hut carrying light packs. Hot food, cold beer and a comfortable bed awaits you at the end of each day. Alternatively you can pitch you tent at campsites that overlook magnificent alpine vistas. The favorite of many is begin the hike at top of the lifts at Happo-one ski area and follow the ridges back down to Tsugaike Kogen ski area. This hike is best carried out over 3 days though it can be done in two. After leaving the lifts at Happo-one climb up to Karamatsu Lodge at xxxm. It takes about xx hours. Drop your bag off at the lodge and do a quick climb of Mt. Karamatsu xxxm After a good night’s sleep rise before dawn and watch the sun rise over the eastern horizon before breakfast. You won’t be disappointed. After breakfast it’s a strenuous climb to the next mountain hut at Tengu-sanjo. Be careful when hiking, this is high alpine and some of the ridges are narrow with some long drops. It should take you about five hours to reach Tengu. For the fitter ones another three hours of hiking will get you to Hakuba Sanso and cut one day off the hike. After Tengu is time to tackle the three main Hakuba peaks. First is Mt. Yarigatake (2,903m), mostly known as Hakuba Yari to save confusion with another Yarigatake. The middle peak is Shakushidake (2,812m ). The last peak is Mt. Shirouma (2,932m) or Mt. Hakuba as the Chinese characters can be read both ways. Just before the peak you will come to Hakuba Sanso the largest of the mountain huts with beds for 800 persons! This is your hut for the last night on the mountains. It’s mostly downhill to the lifts at Tsugaike Kogen and then a short bus ride back to Hakuba. The Tourism Commission of Hakuba make a good map with booking contacts for the mountain huts. Make sure you are fit enough to tackle the mountains. Pack warm clothing – it can get very cold even in middle of summer.

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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:46:34 +0900
The Salt Road http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/20-saltroad.html http://www.hakubaconnect.com/activies/20-saltroad.html saltroadThe Salt Road or Shio-no-mich in Japanese is the ancient path that passes right through the Hakuba Valley from the Sea of Japan in the north down to the castle city of Matsmoto 120kms away. Unlike the new throughfare that follows the Himekawa River the Salt Road is notable for the climbs, sometimes very steep that Hakuba is famous for. Salt as well as hemp was usually carried on the back of peasants. Some cattle or horses were used but because of bogginess of the road or path human feet were most suited.

It was this bogginess in mind, that I was given my Samurai kimino with straw style sandals , I opted to change into more suitable hiking boots. Luckily the kimono covered them.
We gathered together on the edge of the village where Hakuba and Otari meet. Acutally the route alternates most years either walking from north to south or south to north. The mixture of locals, tourists, samurai, peasant soon got on the way and started a slow trickle down towards the Iwatake Kirikubo Shrine located in front of the ski area. Here we were offered our first refreshments, miniature rice balls and Japanese tea while we took in the performance of the Salt Road Taiko Drummers.
After leaving Iwatake we headed down to the valley floor with all the extras in a procession. First in line and on a white horse was the mayor of the town, then the peasants who must have been getting tired by now carrying their heavy loads, then the samurai guarding everyone.

Upon reaching the valley floor it was time for some more refreshments and xxx shrine near to Himekawa River or Princess River in English. This time we got to drink xxxx – not the nicest thing I have ever tasted! The shrines provided a welcome rest for many of the travelers espically after a hard day walking in the hot sun. I bet the samurai got to sleep inside while the others had to make do with a bed underneath the stars.

We finally made it our destination, Green Sports Park. A quick lunch followed by numerous photographs finished off a great mornings walk.

The Salt Road Festival takes place every Golden Week.
Steve Williams
Summer 2013

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test@test.com (steve) ROOT Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:46:55 +0900