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Planning a Trip to Japan?

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Occupation: Pro snowboarder, Apparel Executive, Filmmaker, Adventurer, Lifestyle Creator
Accomplishments: Former Snowboarder on the American Snowboarding Team (Freestyle)


Mike Basich is a pioneer in freestyle snowboarding who began his career in the '80s and went on to make his name in the '90s, competing in the World Cup and the X Games. In addition to competition, he is constantly redefining the word “freestyle” with stunts such as beginning a run with a 36-meter drop from a helicopter. Not limiting himself only to snowboarding, he also runs an apparel brand and is active in the DIY community.


Location: Hakuba Village, Nagano, Japan
[Interview] The North Face “GRAVITY” Hakuba
[On-Snow Photo] Hakuba Goryu Ski Area Iimori Slope



How was the transportation?


Transportation was easy! Japan's a great place. From California or anywhere in the United States, you get on a flight around 10 a.m. and land here around 3 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, so you have the rest of the day to take a train or check-in to your hotel. It's pretty easy.
And it's super welcoming, everyone here. There's a lot of history... That's the feeling you get when you get here. When I had dinner, it was very traditional, something that you can't experience anywhere else. It's really nice to feel something of the culture right as soon as you land. As far as money goes, a lot of places offer credit cards compared to other countries, so it's pretty easy to just show up and start using your card, which is pretty helpful.



What are the things you like about Hakuba?


Traveling. I've been chasing the snow for 30 years around the world. What's unique about Japan is the different experiences you can have at each resort. Here at Hakuba, you can get here pretty quickly. They have hot springs which offer a great feel of the culture, and it's pretty comfortable for foreigners because there are quite a few people that speak English here.
I think the reason people come to Hakuba is the diversity of what you can experience.
The mountains here are incredible, and they offer a lot of places where you can hike out off the lift, so you get a feeling of the backcountry. The hot springs, again, are an amazing thing to experience while you're in Japan.



What is your ideal trip to Japan?


It would be a combination of getting in the mountains. Here in Hakuba, the Japanese Alps offer an extreme feeling of being up in the mountains. I'd do that with a guide if you've never been in the mountains. I'd maybe go into Tokyo and experience the fashion culture of Japan. The fashion here is very unique, and it changes quickly. Have a little bit of like the most expensive restaurant food you can and low-cost down-the-alley type of food. They both offer amazing handiwork with food.



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