Every Great Film/TV Series has a Holiday Special so hence why not Video games?
In January/February 2015 I went on a Vacation to Japan again to ski on its world famous powdered snow. So that allowed me to take a new series of photographs featuring everyone’s favourite and most popular Nintendo Nendoroid, Link from the Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Following up on my the idea from my previous holiday (mfc link), I would take a photograph or two a day of the Nendoroid which I had taken with me in front of a particular monument or tourist place and then post them up here a day at a time.
This time we set out the Northern Japanese island of Hokkiado, to the Ski resort town of Niseko, which we Australians call the 7th State of Australia. Since this is not a touring holiday I realised it would lead to a lot of photographs with a lots of quite snow in it. So I would attempt to make each shot diverse from the others or at least add interesting or humorous commentary. This time I embraced my hobby as a figure collector and hence was open with my friends so didn’t have to hide myself taking photographs of my Nendoriod.
Day 0A: 22/01/2015.
Here we on the Air Asia flight from Perth Australia to Kuala Lumpa however the plane was surprisingly empty which allowed Nendoroid Shenanigans to commence right there and then. Link is clearing defying safety and has wedged himself between pieces of the headrest of the plane seat and could fly out due to turbulence at any moment.
Day 0B: 22/01/2015.
This photo is taken at the sky bridge at the 8 month old new low cost Airport Terminal in Kuala Lumpur. This facility was actually a really big improvement over the old KL low cost terminal as it is clean, spacious and has a sky bridge lit up with multi coloured lights.
Day 1 A: 23/01/2015.
Day 1 the first day of the actual holiday. After landing in Kansai Airport we took a bus ride over to Kobe which is West of Osaka. After having Kobe beef in Kobe we walked over to its Victorian District which was on the side of the mountain on the North side looking down into the Kobe CBD, where Link got himself stuck in a hedge.
Day 1 B: 23/01/2015.
This shot was taken from half way up the mountain range behind Kobe. To reach here you have to travel on the Shin Kobe Gondola, which is near the Kobe Shinkansen station. It was really gusty and hence cold at Twilight time here.
Day 2: 24/01/2015.
After landing at New Chitose airport in Hokkaido we had a 2 hour bus trip to reach our destination of the Niseko Unlimited ski resort. Stopping for a rest at the halfway house I used this opportunity to shoot Link in his photo. However I wished that I had used the opportunity to engage in a snowball fight instead.
Day 3: 25/01/2015.
The View from the back of our Accommodation in Niseko (ext link). Unfortunately the next few photos are pretty boring as I was learning to ski during the first half of the which limited my opportunities to take good and meaningful shots.
Day 4: 26/01/2015.
A shot looking up one of the main Street of Hirafu village Niseko, beyond it is the South West Bottom of the Niseko Hirafu Ski Slope, One of the 4 parts of the Niseko Unlimited resort. Niseko had 2 main streets where they intersected at the bottom were the only set of traffic lights Niseko which made it contrasting to Japan in general for me.
Day 5: 27/01/2015.
Walked East along the main road leading out of Niseko Village. In the background Photo is the Bottom East side of Niseko Hirafu Ski Slope. The Apartment accommodation which we would eventually move into is in the Background.
Day 6: 28/01/2015.
Took a walk down to the the base of the Niseko Family Slope (the most basic slope) in the morning. When I positioned Link to take a photo he fell over and got ice stuck to his face like he stacked it right at the very bottom this basic slope. I found this rather hilarious so I took a photo of it.
Day 7: 29/01/2015.
My friends built a snowman aptly named Phil right outside our residential chalet. Later I took my friend's hard work and posed Link on his nose sticking his sword into Phil to re-create a Zelda Boss fight. Surprisingly Snow men weren't all that common in Niseko so Phil had many people admiring him and taking many photos of him. I titled the photograph "Kill Phil".
Day 8: 30/01/2015.
Since Niseko is a ski resort I finally Macgyvered a set of Skis for Link out of Chopsticks, Toothpicks and Paperclips. So just as Wind Waker > Twilight Princess as a video game, this allowed Wind Waker Link to take to the slopes participating in the greater of the Winter Sport. This is photograph is taken at the East side of the Hirafu ski slopes at the top of the beginner Slope called Kogen which is only 1/5 of the way up to the top of the Niseko mountain.
Day 9: 31/01/2015.
Frustration I hurt myself and wasn’t able to ski for two days day and also finding that health care services were more expensive then predicted. So I posed Link taking out his frustrating on the snow in front of him using his sword spin effect piece.
Day 10: 01/02/2015.
Still been unable to ski I caught the shuttle over to the west side of the Niseko Unlimited resort, to base of the most Western Slope called Annupuri which is steep but wide so you can go down it fast. Link has been careful so not to be hit by a snowboarder who are coming off the rather intermediate slope is shown in the background.
Day 11: 02/02/2015.
On this day circumstances, mostly booking accommodation late, forced to move from our Chalet accommodation to a apartment accommodation. Our Chalet had Tatami Mats which i slept on with a Futon for the last 9 Nights. Once you got used to it it actually was very comfortable. Link Enjoys relaxing on it one last time before we moved out.
Day 12: 03/02/2015.
We had a field trip to Otaru (ext link), which is famous for its sushi and handicrafts such as glass blowing & music boxes. The photograph is of the Otaru Canal (ext link) the most picturesque and quintessential shot of Otaru. Link Presses forward with his sword as it was snowy and windy and therefore quite cold when i took the shot.
Day 13: 04/02/2015.
This photograph was taken at the top of the "Green Quad lift" one of the two main lifts which services the Hirafu Niseko ski slope which was 3/5 up the mountain and about 850 meters above sea level. There is an oversized light up Thermometer there however I felt a lot colder due to wind Chill Factor and it was blowing. I position Link striding forward with his hiking pole towards the top of the mountain. I feared that my fingers would go blue and then drop off just by taking this tricky night-time photo so frankly so taking first this was all I had for the day.
Day 14 A: 04/02/2015.
On the last day of skiing Link psyching himself up about to take take on the most difficult part of the Miharashi Slope at Niseko. An expert (Black Diamond) and the most difficult/dangerous ski slope which I attempted during my stay here. Using the knowledge acquired from my preious 9 days of skiing eventually got down there falling over 5 times or so completing it. If you want to check where the Miharashi Slope is check the Niseko resort Trial Map here (ext link).
Day 14B: 04/03/2015.
I took Wind Waker Link up as far Niseko Mountain as the chair lifts would take me up to a height of 1200 meters above sea Level. The top of Mount Niseko-Annupuri is 1308m while Mount Yotei, known as the Mount Fuji of Hokkaido, which dominates the background, is 1898 meters above sea level. Link is Happy as he can ski continuously all the way down the Ski field while enjoying such a clear and great view.
Day 14C: 05/02/2015.
A photo of Link and myself in my ski gear just in the same place as above, a the top of the mountain. The clouds infront of Mt Yotei kind of make it look like Death Mountain.
Day 15A: 06/02/2015. Link Presents to you the view of Mt Yotei seen from our 4th floor apartment, except he was standing on the wrong side. It was taken right before we had to pack up and leave for our next destination.
Day 15B: 06/02/2015.
So our next destination was Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido. We were lucky enough to be around to attend the 66th Annual Sapporo Snow Festival (ext link). After sneaking back into the place at 12 am when everyone had left, I positioned Link in in front of my favourite of the 8 or so large Snow Sculpture, this of course was the Starwars.
Day 16: 07/02/2015.
Taking this photo is: the figure collector in his native environment. From Sapporo I flew into Tokyo to spend the last 2 days of my holiday. This photograph is taken along the main Akihabara street while looking South. It was a Saturday and the place was packed and it was very hard to find a clear place to take a photograph. Link is posed upon the box of the only Anime figure which I bought in Japan on this trip, while clutching the Wind Waker again as it was actually very windy and quite wet and I wanted better weather.
Day 17: 08/02/2015.
If the previous day in Akihabara was all about Anime than this day was it up to 11. Link and I attended Winter Wonfest 2015. I actually made the whole detour through Tokyo so that I could attend this. Wonfest is held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Its Halls 4 to 8 are dedicated to selling these resin kits / independent stores. While halls 1 to 3 are used by figure companies use Halls 1 to 3 to showcase their current and upcoming releases coming out during the next year. So I had to again compromise and take a photo looking down on the crowds and exhibitions. Here Link, aware that in the short time since his release has had his value had appreciated from $45 to $100.
Day 17B: 08/02/2015.
Here is Link wearing an exclusive face plate which i bought for 100 yen at Wonfes. It was supposed to represent a mascot character who is a cross between a dog and a Kennel. From behind our elevated position were this photo was taken, were where the Cos-players set up. Unlike the ones I assume happens in most Western Anime conventions where they are constantly moving around. Each Cosplayer stakes out a little bit of territory. You would have to wait inline until it was your turn to photograph them. They would then would then go and pose 3 or 4 different positions. Another thing to note that if people were rocking serious camera if they came with one to Wonfes it was a serious piece of equipment. All Bulky High end Nikons and Canons with expensive Lenses and Flashes. No less bulky mirror less DSLR's like my own view finder-less Sony Nex-5N. While on vacation in Japan at tourist locations I had previously noticed the local population utilised a 50/50 split between the camera types.
Day 18: 08/02/2015.
Another High Angle Shot, this time at Narita airport finishing my journey. Compared to Haneda and Kansai the two other main airports which i had been through Narita appeared old and dimmiy lit and hence largely failed to impress me. Link holds his sword high to signal to that he is ready to go home having experienced a great time on this Holiday.
Thank you Muchly for Reading/Viewing. If anyone is interested in Full sized photos they can be found here profile/Sazako/... See the spoilers below are the locations of where I took all of my photographs as well other photographs I took on my trip so you could get an idea of the places.
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Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2
Half Way House
Niseko Hirafu Village and Ski Slope