Early March. This time around, we were at “Minakami Highlands 200,” a parallel establishment to Minakami Highlands Ski Resort, in order to film winter sports.
Minakami-machi is known for its distinctive four seasons. It snows a lot in winter here and naturally, it becomes an irresistible place for the lovers of winter sports.
Our first day of location filming was done in the blizzard. The film crew and accompanying parties experienced shivering cold while the prepation for filming was going on. The camera was set alongside the dog-sledge road.
“Oide-chan” is a mascot character of Minakami Cooperative Association of Hot Spring Inns and she turned up as our surprise guest. Oide-chan will try skiing for the first time tomorrow. Hope she’ll be OK!
It was a brilliantly sunny day in Minakami-machi! We couldn’t believe we were right in the middle of a snowstorm until yesterday. The location shooting started in the fairest weather imaginable!
“This is the only place in Honshu (the main island of Japan) where dog-sledges are seen.”
The dogs looked awesome! They were American Huskies and the film crew stared at them in awe. Their sharp-eyed look of hunting dogs suggested their ability to focus.
Usually, eight dogs pull a two-passenger sledge.
The dogs started barking as soon as their ropes were tied to the sledge. We were told that their barks meant their desire to run as soon as possible.
Even when the dogs love it, it’s still hard work for them, and the film crew was allowed to shoot only one lap.
The snow had changed the landscape quite a bit but it was picturesque and perfect for filming.
“Get set, go!!
The film crew’s snowmobile ran parallel to the sledge while filming. We were massively impressed by the dedication demostrated by the running dogs.
Afterwards, the crew filmed dogs playing frisbee.
The dog trainer we met turend out to be the world champion of disc dog competitions!
Here, you can wtiness sledge dogs at work, and disc (frisbee) dogs playing their sport at the same time.
Watch the video to see how marvelous they are! Oide-chan wanted to play with them but the dgos were a bit freaked out by the presence of the strange creature.
Children love snow tubes and we got plenty of them. Here, people can also enjoy snow rafting, not to mention riding snow mobiles or driving snow wagons in the mountains. We filmed it all. Our day wasn’t complete until we saw how Oide-chan fared in skiiing. Against our expectation, she demonstrated a rather brilliant downhill skiing skill.
See for yourself!
Minakami Highlands 200 was a fantastic snow paradise that anyone could enjoy, and anyone you go with would love it too.