JAPANuary with Andrew Miller


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JAPANuary with Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is an accomplished photographer, adventurer, and creative director focusing most of his work in winter climates where he explores and chases storms, usually with a snowboard under his feet. From the Andes, Alps, Interior B.C. to the West Fjords of Iceland and high peaks of the Himalayas, his award winning images have taken him to remote mountain ranges across the globe while working with a vast range of clients and editorial titles worldwide. From the skin track and helipad to the resort lift and sled trail, Andrew has been out there creating his work and quickly establishing himself as one of the most well-rounded photographers in the snow industry.

 

Japanuary, as it’s commonly referred to these days, is a big deal. The secret is out and things are rapidly changing for the snow scene in the land of the rising sun. As winter can easily fluctuate here in the west, especially in January, more often than not we’re left with a lot of high pressure and warm weather making the migration over to Japan an easy choice. With the odds heavily in our favor, the chance of getting that classic Japow “best day of your life” snow is pretty much guaranteed. With so many shred choices from the North to South Island it’s pretty easy to ditch the crowds and find that off the beaten path family resort. The best advice I always give to anybody heading over for the first time is to go hang with a local. The experience is so much richer and you’re always in for a treat when dining at those tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Just be prepared when they bring out the chicken heart, Nato, horse or any raw meat. It’s always a surprise and sometimes best not to ask what it is first. Regardless of how many times I have been to Japan over the years I always come back home feeling refreshed, inspired and the powder tank is overflowing leaving a nice glow for weeks. This place is truly one of a kind and if you’re a snowboarder or skier it should be at the top of your list!

 

Hustle and bustle of Toyoko. This place is a controlled chaos with the best public transportation to anywhere you need to go.

 

Two bullet train rides later, you have landed in the Japanese Alps providing some of the most scenic and steepest lines in Japan.

 

Being one of the snowiest places on earth it’s no surprise Japan is one of the biggest hydroelectricity producers in the world. Most of the backcountry lines in Hakuba end with a mandatory riving crossing and if you’re lucky you can run across a dam.

 

Japanese culture is amazing: Snowy monkey, temples, ramen, surf inspired snowboards. Plenty to do and see on your days off the hill.

 

The main reason most skiers and snowboarders come to japan. If you’re lucky every day can look like this.

 

Stormy day hiking in the woods, Japanese style.

 

You’re pretty lucky if you manage to see any sun in January. Most of your days look like this but that isn’t a bad thing since it never seems to stop snowing.

 

The rare Japanuary sunset.

 

Bottomless turns in a quintessential Japanese white birch forest.

 

Endless amount of beautifully abstract textures in Japan that go along great with the Jaybird RUN buds which are a lifesaver for all the down time in trains, planes, and buses.

 

Keep in touch with Andrew!