The Hakuba Valley receives over thirty feet of fresh snow every season and most of it falls in either January or February. It turns out March can be a good month too. 
Our arrival in Hakuba is preceded by multiple feet of fresh snowflakes. Our Japanese connection, Andrew Kelly, spins up the parking lot a few moments after we get out the bus.
Andrew grew up in England but swapped from conventional Earl Grey to oriental Green, soon after he graduated studying Japanese History in Oxford. His knowledge of the culture, the language and the area easily makes him our most valuable asset of the trip. Andi-san has had a variety of jobs since he moved abroad, but the silent ambition of becoming a stunt driver is one that is still high on his list, we find out on the way to our nightly accommodation.