Archives: 2012年1月

Comments on the 50th anniversary

I thanks to people who have cooperated in the publications of “A History of Powder Skiing in Niseko”.


Climbing a mountain with minimal tools, gliding with only the force of gravity are sports that make people be creative. I have interviewed dozens of people for “A History of Powder Skiing in Niseko”. In those days, I was realizing such a definition of skiing and snowboarding again.

I have covered the local history dating back to the sulfur mine and Colonel Lerch. And I have been thinking that skiing makes Hirafu remarkable place.

Having a theme of skiing, this history of Hirafu is not just relics of the past but link the past to the future organically. I think the story is almost like a living thing to breath and grow.
Writing this book will be worth a lot to me forever.

I give a special thanks to everyone on the publication committee gave me this opportunity and to all people for their cooperation.

December 17, 2011
Nonfiction Writer

§37. New generation. (3)

Snowboarding is art for me.

Professional snowboarder, Owner of Mañana Café
IHARA Hiromasa

In this column, we introduce a professional snowboarder who was born in Kutchan and raised in Kutchan.


I was born in 1980 in Kutchan. I took a snowboarding pro license at the age of 22. I am currently working on magazine photos, DVD video and event appearance.

Spring of third grade junior high school, I bought a snowboard at Hirafu. Then I started snowboarding alone without any teacher. To me, the video was only one textbook. I became too enthusiastic about snowboarding my parents were surprised.

In March of the next season, I entered Snowboard Junior World Championship that was held at Hakusan Ichirino Onsen (Ishikawa) . I almost couldn’t practice half-pipe in Hirafu. However, I have participated in half-pipe competition. Competition in just two days, I grew myself surprisingly. Unexpectedly, I won the half-pipe competition of the Japan youth tournament held in Hakuba Norikura shortly thereafter. A snowboard used in the competition was bought at a supermarket nearby and was not famous.

Two years of high school season, I got to the World Cup in Finland.
I am good at sports from childhood, also have confident of concentration.
I, in addition to snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and baseball was doing well. Days continued to be completely absorbed in snowboarding competitions.

But gradually, I became tired of competing against people. NAKAI Koji made snowboarding competition more popular in Japan. But somehow competition with people did not satisfy me. As a result, I began to regard snowboarding as something to express myself. Thus I moved to work in magazine photos and videos from the competition.
Also important was that I hit it off with photographer HANASAKA Takashi in the U.S. Before long, I was convinced that snowboarding is an art. This means that the mountains and snow, the white canvas, to express myself. Photographer makes visible the moment when I express myself with snowboarding.

I opened this café to be involved with this town as a member of society, without a snowboard.
I wanted this café to be not only for snowboarders, but also for local people everyday.
In Kutchan, town residents are often distinguished “downtown people” and “mountain people”. In this café I hope “downtown people” and “mountain people” have contact with each other at ease. I hope “downtown people” will be interested in mountain even more than now. In the future, I hope to transmit something new to the world from our town.

Australians have been moving to Kutchan from the 21st century. I feel that Kutchan has changed little by little with inspiration from them. Respecting the history of 100 years of winter sports, I wish add something new to the town. With the cooperation of people gathered in the café, I might express something new of mine.

Ihara’s blog

Mañana Café
4-2, Minami 1 Nishi 2, Kutchan
Tel: 0136-22-3735