This month Luke caught up with one half of Country Resorts full-time bus driving team – Caz (boyfriend Zac is the other driver). Caz is always full of energy and was keen to let us know a bit about herself.
St-Basile-le-Grand, Québec, Canada.
22 years old
How did you come to be here and what were you doing prior to coming to Niseko?
Before arriving in Niseko I was driving buses at the Columbia Ice-field in Canada. Prior to that I did two seasons in Whistler and was looking for another snow destination. A friend then told me about Japan and its magical snow, so I did some research and I realised that I could actually live and work in Niseko so I decided to give it a shot.
What do you love the most about living and working here?
Even though I have been snowboarding for over 10 years Niseko made me push myself even more because of its champagne powder. The trees, the runs and the snow are really different from Canada so I had to get used to it. The other great thing about living in Japan is the food. Coming here you will realise quickly that Japanese food isn't only about sushi. There is so much more food to try!
Have you travelled to other places in Japan? If not yet, where do you hope to go?
I have not but I am planing on going to a few places before I leave. I really want to go to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. I also want to see Mount Fuji and I am really excited about seeing the cherry blossoms in spring. I really want to immerse myself in the Japanese culture and learn more about Japanese history.
What are some of your favourite foods or places to eat around the area?
I really liked Nihonbashi sushi restaurant in Kutchan. If you want a real taste of Japan and to get away from the touristic restaurants, it is the place to go. I have fallen in love with Teppanyaki which has become my favourite Japanese cuisine and I would recommend it to anyone.
Where is your favourite local resort and ski run(s)?
I really like Gate 5 in Hanazono. My favourite run on a clear day is to hike to the peak and ride all the way to gate five. It is always worth hiking because it is not as busy and you can find fresh powder when everywhere else is tracked out.
Having lived here for a while now do you have any locals tips for visitors?
Go to Kutchan. If you want some groceries, need to do some shopping or have a good meal away from the crowd – it is the place to be. If you have an all mountain pass you can catch the bus there for free and it is only about 15 minutes away. Second tip, get some low light lenses for your googles. It is gonna make a good overcast powder day awesome. Lastly, bring some moisturiser. It can sound really girly but if you're coming from somewhere really humid you will find the dry air really hard on your skin.
What are your plans after this winter?
I want to travel Japan for about 6 weeks and after that go to South East Asia. I also just really want to soak up the sun after 3 long winters.
Thanks Caz and all the best!