Yikes, it’s been 5 months since I posted, a combination of laziness, business and not knowing what to write about I suppose.
Lots of things have been happening since my last post. I spent the Winter in Nozawa Onsen, a sleepy little ski resort town deep in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture. After months of agonizing, I finally received my work permit and was unsure what to do over the Winter.. I contemplated working as a ski instructor, but didn’t get enthused by the idea of carrying 6 pairs of junior high skis down the mountain. Last minute, a friend of mine found me a job in Nozawa, with the real benefit having access to a free season pass. It was a fun season and I made lots of new friends, despite pitiful snow.
As the Winter season ended, I began working more as a snowshoeing guide for Walk Japan’s Snow Country Trek. We delved deep into the mountains exploring Japan’s Snow Country Culture, sinking knee-deep into powder, visiting thousand-year old Shinto Shrines and talking to bear hunters preserving a historic way of life. I loved it and I’m excited for next year.
And since the end of March it has been non-stop Nakasendo, a sort of historic pilgrimage road through central Japan. It’s a learning experience too but I’m beginning to realize that working so much takes me away from valuable time to develop my own businesses. My guiding and hotel reservation businesses are respectively travelnagano.com and shigakogenguide.com (still very basic) and the other I am doing in tandem with my parents, pickleballtrips.com. My brother and sister-in-law team have done a great job developing the latter.
Between it all I managed to squeeze in a trip to Vietnam with the company that sponsors my work visa, and a trip to the US for the first annual US Open Pickleball Championships. Vietnam was so great we decided to take a group next March! Details to be found at www.pickleballtrips.com. The US Open provided me some wins and some losses but I was overall pretty happy with the results. At the end of the day, you should just be having fun playing pickleball right?. CBS Sports is playing my final with Wes against Kyle Yates and Dave Weinbach on Friday, May 20th at 7:00 PM Eastern. Check it out if you have some time. I don’t like promoting a match in which I get killed but it is the first time professional pickleball has ever been televised… That’s all for now, thanks for reading