Departure From Changi Airport
Residence Yasushi, styled as the latest addition to luxury accommodation in Nozawaonsen, officially opens this December. Thrilled to check it out at the first opportunity, we carve out time to go together. And so I find myself in Changi Airport with M4 & M5, making our way to meet family who had flown a week ahead of us. But our departure from Changi Airport is a departure from the norm.
Usually I try to spend minimal time in airports. With curious kids, this proves to be a completely different experience. We spend time oohing & aahing over everything. From the automated terminals for boarding passes & baggage check-in, to the Harry Potter & Christmas pop-ups. In addition, there’re a lot of exclamations. “Look Mama! Free-flow Koko Krunch!” inside the lounge & “Look Mama! AED! Quick, take a picture!” outside. And so I do, to the amusement of bystanders.
Arrival In Haneda Airport, Thence To Residence Yasushi
After traveling through the night from 2245hr to 0620hr, we arrive in Haneda Airport. We take a taxi to Tokyo Station and have breakfast there with the kids’ Godma before hopping on the 0844 Shinkansen to Iiyama. The comfortable journey takes 2 hours and M4 sleeps through while M5 looks out the window, fascinated.
The picturesque drive from Iiyama station to Residence Yasushi is about 15 minutes long. That’s a decent series of gorgeous instastories on snow-capped mountains, rice fields and the river that runs through it.
In fact, when we pull up at Residence Yasushi near the bus station, I realise we could’ve taken a bus from Iiyama station and make a mental note to try that next time.
When we arrive, we are swiftly relieved of our luggage and taken expediently through check-in & orientation: http://yasushinozawa.com/index.html#content4-21
Once alone in our family suite, the kids gravitate towards their favorite corners. Before you can say, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”, M5 is already leaping on one of the two twin beds. Meanwhile M4 lounges on a single bed in the living room and seizes the remote control to pull Lord Of The Rings up on Netflix. In the adjacent room where M3 had been putting up, is a queen bed and second bathroom.
While M5 luxuriates in the hot tub, I admire the clean lines in the furniture and décor. I also love the quirky Singaporean touch in the art featuring iconic HDB flats.
Later in the day, after settling ski logistics, we meet the rest of the family for tea in the Club Room. Freshly made apple pie is among the treats offered and I have 3 servings of this.
Nearby the Reading Room beckons, with its cosy fireplace, books & games like Jenga.
There are also bowlsful of enormous apples which M5 & M6 devour while perched at the reception counter. M5 tells me an apple a day keeps the doctor away, points at me and then roars with laughter. I feel like a vampire being warded off with garlic.
As M6 has been here a whole week before us, he is excited to show us around. He takes us through a tunnel to the annex building where there is more accommodation, but more importantly, a pizza parlor.
At Gochisou, M5 amuses herself on a swing, while M4 attempts to master the Olympic sport that is darts. My father-in-law & I order some fried squid, chicken and a stack of pizzas, my favorite being the tasty Nozawa Onsen pizza filled with onsen eggs. Then M6 wanders over to the bar to have a chat with the barman. He orders an apple juice. Inspired, I order myself a Negroni. It is good. Everyone is happy. And then, it starts to snow.
You know, I’m feeling extremely upbeat about our holiday, which is off to a very good start. The kids & I can’t wait to see what morning will bring. Hopefully, it is fresh powder & good skiing.