Sick Days: Snowboarding in Japan with Mike Yoshida
Japan is the best place to snowboard in the world. There, I said it. I may be biased, as I am full-blooded Japanese, my mother was born and raised there and my father is a second generation son of immigrants. But aside from pride, Japan boasts an unprecedented amounts of powder coupled with a wide array of playful terrain year in and year out. Due to the geographic location, exposed to the Pacific Ocean, storm after storm seems to hit these islands uninterrupted each year. With the natural side being well-taken care of—a plethora of infrastructure including an unlimited amount of handrails, concrete banks, and urban obstacles—Japan is also really good for street snowboarding.
A couple seasons ago, while filming for SNOWBOARDER's movie SFD, we headed over to Japan on a late season jib trip to finish out the season. It turns out that spring is one of the best times to film in the streets of Japan. There is so much snow that spots need time to actually melt out to be put to use. And with much more daylight, there is so much more time to film.
Our crew was a classic one, and dare I say, this was the best rail trip I have been on in my entire life. The riders consisted of Forest Bailey, Lucas Magoon, Jake OE, and Ethan Deiss. John Cavan and Derek Weimer joined us to man the video cameras, and I was there to document with stills.
I couldn't have asked for a better crew. Things always seem to work so much better when everyone gets along, and I've been lucky to work with good friends for the majority of my "career" as a snowboard photographer. – Mike Yoshida