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Japan Invasion, Part 2!

Mar 10 2008 / Monday

Photos and words by etnies/ ThirtyTwo TM Eddie Lee, continued from Japan Invasion.

The etnies team (Simon Chamberlain, Stian Solberg, Joe Sexton and Markku Koski) tour the land of the rising sun with an escort from the Transworld Japan editor and photographer to capture an 8 page exclusive. Their mission - To session a variety of street rails, take some deep powder turns, explore the Japanese trees and compete in the slope contest at Joetsu Kokusai resort.

After a solid four days of hitting it hard out in the streets and in the trees, the crew headed for Joetsu Kokusai resort for the Slope Contest.

hotel green plaza japan thirtytwo etnies snow

Here we are at the Hotel Green Plaza, looks like a Swiss Chalet doesn't it?

markku simon stian joe thirtytwo etnies snow

Shred invaders...Markku, Simon, Stian and Joe.

thirtytwo etnies snow japan invasion

The Slope Live Session! Haaaigh! The podium.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

The sun decided to grace us for about...ahhh...five minutes...but what an incredible view, eh? Can you believe we were in Japan?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Stian and Joe sizing up the course...Joe Sexton on the right looks a little nervous. I think he was concerned with the size of the rails?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

The course was pretty basic...Starting off with a plethora of rails to choose from, then off to a giant size tabletop and finishing off with a step up gap. During the contest most of the riders were having trouble with their speed due to the tremendous amount of snowfall. Luckily the snow park crew was there to groom as much as possible to help the riders clear the jumps.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

View from the top of the course while the sun lasted.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow stian

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow stian

Unfortunately, Stian was in the first heat, which meant his run was bright and early in the morning when the snow just wouldn't let up.

Here's Stian giviner during his heat.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow markku koski

Markku Koski with a cab 5 as the crowd went nuts!

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

During the intermission the 32 team sets up for the famous "AUTOGRAPH SESSION"...

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

The boys making their marks in Japan.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

The booth was packed and the fans lined up in proper order.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Even the little kids were hyped to get some free shwag.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Simon tossing out some stickers and almost causing a riot!

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

So after the autograph session, Simon decided to play ro-sham-bo with the crowd, for what reason? I don't know...but the fans seemed to love it.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Maybe Simon was sizing up the crowd so he could go crowd surfing? Or maybe Simon Chamberlain thought he was at a punk show?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

I think Simon made it about 2 feet until he hit the ground.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

AARRRRRRGGGGG!!! Simon feeling the bling!

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Saturday night's big event...the Rail Jam. As you can see in the photo, the snow just kept coming down and didn't let up.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow sexton

Joe Sexton mixing it up and showing the judges what he's made of.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow sexton

I don't know if Joe owns a pair of gloves? I guess he's so used to the cold, he doesn't need them?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow sexton check

Joe pretty much dominated and took Best Jibber. Congratulations Joe! It's all about the Yen!

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow Markku Stian

Markku and Stian having some backcountry withdrawals.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

As we were getting ready to leave Joetsu Kokusai resort, we realized it had been snowing for 3 days straight.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Japanese Twinkie, anyone?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

It only snowed about 4ft...

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

so the crew busted out the shovels...

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

to help dig out cars.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

So back on the road again headed to Akakura Kanko for our last stop before Tokyo bound. As you can see, the snow level just kept rising.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Can you see the resemblance? Joe Sexton vs. Hokaido snow pile?

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Back to the slashing...here's Stian Solberg in mid "haaayah!" position.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Stian 50/50 tree ride.

jap

Markku Koski ollies the abaranch blocker.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Stian Solberg was told a few months ago that he couldn't do methods? Looks like he proved someone wrong...ooooh soooo-cooouer.

japan invasion thirtytwo etnies snow

Well, after 10 days of snow and lots of abaranch dangers, the crew made it—despite a few road blocks and some sickness, but all in all, everyone survived the 2008 ThirtyTwo/Stepchild Japan Invasion. (Joe Sexton, aka Ninja-sahn, giving the thumbs up)

Domo Arrigato once again from the crew!


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