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Dreaming of our next Travel Spot
The temperature outside had finally dipped these past few days in New York. I donned my thick wale turtleneck and matching navy wool cap. In the spirit of the change of season and weather, Bailey joined in the sartorial splendor by matching me in her 13-year old girl version of my outfit. Brenda chose to not join in the fanfare as to not look ridiculous. The hues of the season didn’t stop with the darker color clothing on our backs. The trees with it’s yellow and burnt orange leaves that seemed to have hung on a little longer than usual, dropping by the hundreds, was also a sign.
One of our favorite dishes
The sun was strong and doing its best to fight through the cold. Autumn was finally, in fact, here. This made the three of us very excited for the upcoming winter season. As a family, we love a chill in the air. The sudden change also led us to thinking forward about what we should do for our family Holiday. During our walk, we listed out a few options. On this specific day, in which we chose to warm ourselves with bowls of ramen for lunch, a ski holiday in Japan made it to the top.
My cousin skiing in Japan
We weren’t just inspired by our culinary choice of the day, Japan and its slopes have been on our minds since my cousin, an avid snowboarder who is residing in Hong Kong experienced the wonderful powder snow of Hokkaido last winter. He orated on the excellent snow and weather conditions. My cousin has been to many fine slopes, so for him to wax on eloquently about Japan as a great option for skiing and snowboarding, says much about the quality of the ski resorts and made us want to go immediately. He also stressed how perfect the resorts were for families, with hills for any skill level and activities other than just the slopes.
Snowboarding VS. Skiing
My wife is a snowboarder, and my daughter and I enjoy skiing. We don’t always agree on what activity in which to do on the slopes, but one thing we agree upon always is what to eat to keep ourselves warm when on a ski holiday. While eating our ramen at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants, we not only researched the best ski resorts in Japan, we also looked up the best Japanese dishes to keep a family warm during a ski holiday.
We love our ramen
Since Hokkaido was already mentioned in conversation, we decided to look no further than pick from one of the resorts there. We narrowed it down to either the Sapporo Teine and Rusutsu Resort. We are leaning toward Sapporo Teine, as Hokkaido is famous for its Sapporo Ramen. As you probably already figured out, we love our ramen (especially Bailey) and it had to take top place on our list of dishes to have while there. Sapporo is Japan’s most northerly island, so they know how to make a dish to take the chill off. Apparently, it’s the corn husks chargrilled that give this specific ramen an umami all its own.
Japanese Hot Pot
The second dish we want to try is called, Ishikari Nabe, a traditional Japanese hot pot recipe. Which would be perfect for a family to share after a day of skiing. With Hokkaido being an area in Japan resplendent with seafood, salmon fillets are said to be the main ingredient of the dish along with locally produced vegetables like potato, daikon, mushroom, and cabbage. As if that weren’t enough, for a deeper flavor profile, tofu, miso soup, other seafood, and sake are usually added. We can only imagine how wonderful this would taste on a cold night.
A local dish in Sapporo
Sapporo is also known for its beer, and apparently, another local favorite to have with one of my favorite beverages is a dish named after Genghis Khan, known as Jingisukan. This grilled mutton dish is a must for me. A special helmet-shaped pan made from cast iron is used to roast the mutton including other ingredients like cabbage, pumpkin, and bean sprouts. I can see myself putting a few down while having this meal, after a few runs on the snowy powder mountains.
Uni Ikura Donburi, a dream dish
On Brenda’s must-haves is a very special donburi dish that is recommended to have in Hokkaido known as Uni Ikura Donburi. This version of the rice dish is loaded with the fruits of their seas such as salmon roe and sweet raw shrimp. However, it’s the addition of the local uni that makes her mouth water. Sea urchin is her favorite delicacy.
As far as Bailey goes, she will be happy with multiple ramen dishes throughout the holiday.
After narrowing down a destination and making a list of best Japanese dishes to keep a family warm during a ski holiday; with bellies full, we exited the restaurant and felt warm on the first cold day of the season. We hope to replicate this feeling this upcoming winter. It’s our hope that it will be during a ski holiday in Japan enjoying comforting local dishes. For the time being, a turtleneck and matching wool hat will have to do.
Pin it to you travel bucket list to Japan!