WAY EAST: Konichiwa Japan – Waves & Snow on Hokkaido
When passionate wanderlust becomes reality, when horizons widen, engaging all the senses with excited anticipation, also the hearts of two adventure women beat the hardest. After an exciting trip to Norway last winter, this winterâ€™s adventure for Aline Bock and Lena Stoffel meant turning WAY NORTH into WAY EAST and looking to more distant horizons for another exciting project for the two soul surfers.
The small team – consisting of Aline Bock; 2010 Freeride World Tour Champion, Lena Stoffel; professional freeskier, a local guide, filmmaker and photographer met up in Hokkaido to prepare for a late winter sojourn. Fully equipped with skis and boards for all kind of waves and snow, they set off in search of the famous Japanese powder snow and perfect waves, but also to discover the reality of a post-Fukushima life in Japan. â€śWe wanted to get our own personal insight on the situation and the reality of nuclear pollution after the accident and find out about the local populationÂ´s opionâ€ś Aline explains.
The adventure took them a several thousand kilometres around Hokkaido on a surf, snow, and camping adventure through the mountains to the ocean and covering some of the least-visited and undiscovered corners of the island.
Lena points out, that â€śbeside surfing the ice cold waters, snow camping definitely was one of the biggest challenges.â€ś With tents and camping equipment on their backs, the crew hit the trail on their skis and split boards to reach the Sea of Japan. Wind gusts up to 100 km/h, 20kg+ of gear, fog, and freezing nights in the snow pushed the team membersâ€™ resolve to their limits. â€śDespite some really tough times, this journey showed us one more time how powerful mother nature can be and how much we, as human beings, need to adapt.â€ś
With their journey through a remote wilderness of untouched landscapes, riding perfect lines and surfing unnamed waves, the two sportswomen carved their own path through this beautiful land. This is all about two brave women, leaving their comfort zone and finding their happiness WAY EAST.
Their 20 minute film WAY EAST, shot entirely during their 3 week long journey in Japan, will be released in autumn 2016.
Travel time: March 7th – April 2nd , 2016
Locations: Hokkaido, Japan / Rishiri, Japan
Photos: Aaron Jamieson