Contrast: Japan

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Definitions. A striking exhibition of unlikeness or the difference in brightness between two colours that makes them more or less distinguishable. Both are themes in Japan. Weather that teases with brief fl ashes of blue before the clouds settle in, leaving only the patterns of birch branches to distinguish snow from sky. The clouds that crack between city to mountain, with breathtaking views to snowcapped volcanoes, only to close again when they hear a ski boot click into a binding. Again, brown trees will gladly show the way through the white Hokkaido backcountry.

Tokyo. The juxtaposition shifts: sublime architecture, historic buildings and temples lie a stone’s throw from mind-bending neon and aural chaos. Crowded streets where drab, well-attired businessmen stream around brightly clad, alarmingly accessorized teenage fashionistas.

Sapporo. Sex clubs and gentleman’s bars on every corner; as easy to get a rub and tug as a bowl of Ramen noodles. Is that a toy store whose lower fl oor is packed with pornography that mostly defi es classifi cation? Who knows. It’s like black versus white here. Conservative on the outside, odd to the core, with only deep, deep snow to balance the two.

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ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | AUTHOR: DAN CARR | ISSUE 10.3

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