Today we had no races, so I filled the day in other ways. First, Sue and I ran into town (about 2 miles), hoping to see something a little more real than what the resort had to offer, but all we found were gray houses and gas stations and stuff. Too regular. Anyway, we got back and they were holding a Japanese tea ceremony for the competitors to learn more about Japanese culture, so I went up to that. It turned out that these were just some of the hotel staff who knew how to properly do a tea ceremony, and it was neat to learn about the origins of the thing, and watch the precision with which the girl was doing things. Apparently, these started as something that Samuri would go to, and the deliberate movements came from showing a visiting samuri that he did not need to fear poison. Now it is mostly women who perform the ceremony.
The rest of the day I looked around for souvenirs and wasted time like that, I guess the pictures tell the story.
Here I am in the tea ceremony, clearly having doubts about the green stuff in my mug...
Here is the world famous Sharon Crawford being served tea.
They give you a sweet bean paste thing beforehand, supposedly to combat the bitterness of the tea. It didn't taste that bitter, though.
Searching for souvenirs, I found some polar-bear-flavored ramen. There was also bear-flavored ramen.
The view from out of a rainy window to the alpine slopes.
My HRM finally bit the dust, and in need of a new watch, I found one in the souvenir shop for a reasonable price. This says "samuri". Thats what they told me, anyway.
I almost bought this. Is it a joke? Or is it for real? Or is it something else altogether?
This is the side of the hotel facing the alpine slopes. Lots of windows in this place.